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Skills Gap

Developing and retaining the Federal cybersecurity workforce is a top priority for OPM as we work to strengthen our Federal networks and systems and safeguard critical data in one of the most important challenges of our time. But we cannot do it alone.

Across the Federal Government, we are working together to address critical cybersecurity skills gaps and help address the higher education needs of the Federal workforce. To help accomplish this goal, we are leveraging the expertise of higher education partners we have formed alliances with in recent years, including University of Maryland University College and Champlain College.

As part of our broader effort to attract more cybersecurity talent to Federal service, I’m excited to announce the launch of a program that will help us close this critical skills gap. Champlain College’s new Master of Science in Information Security Operations is being offered at a 50 percent discount to Federal employees via the truED® alliance. This 30-credit program can be completed in 20 months, and more accelerated options may be available for highly-motivated students.

This program is one example of how our relationships with our higher education partners are shaping what is being taught in classrooms to develop future generations of Americans who aspire to public service, and inspire new programs designed to ensure that our Federal workforce continues to be high-performing, well-prepared, and well-trained.

The M.S. in Information Security Operations is an advanced program taught by specialists in the field and is designed to marry tactical abilities with strategic expertise at the operational level. This program is also designed to help security professionals advance and hone their ability to successfully prevent, respond to, and mitigate threats. The program delivers hands-on learning that directly applies to the challenges and responsibilities Federal information security professionals face each day.

For more details on the M.S. in Information Security Operations, you may call 1-877-887-3960 to talk to an admissions representative at Champlain College or register to attend one of the free upcoming Federal informational webinars:

Since April 2015 when OPM partnered with Champlain College to provide Federal employees, their spouses, and legal adult dependents access to top-rated, affordable post-secondary education in high-demand fields, nearly 1,000 Federal employees from agencies across government have enrolled in courses through truED.

Champlain College is designated a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education by both the U.S. National Security Agency and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

I hope Federal employees across government will consider taking advantage of this new degree program and other educational opportunities with our partners.

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We know from OPM’s research that Federal employees are well educated and many hold multiple college and university degrees. They love to learn and often don’t consider their educations complete just because they work for the Federal Government. That is why I am excited to announce a new educational partnership for our workforce.

Beginning this summer, an OPM partnership with Champlain College will help Federal employees, their spouses, and legal adult family members pursue online post-secondary education in such high demand fields as business, health care, and technology.

We know programs like this one work. One year ago, we initiated a partnership with University of Maryland University College. UMUC’s results are encouraging. More than 1,200 Federal employees enrolled in UMUC programs, including nearly 100 spouses and dependents. Together, they have saved nearly $765,000 in tuition. And we know that Federal employees across the country are taking interest. UMUC enrolled students from 42 states and the District of Columbia and from more than 100 Federal agencies.

Our work with UMUC and our new partnership with Champlain College are win-wins. The additional knowledge and skills that Federal workers get through these courses will help them advance their careers while also making them more engaged on the job and more skillful in fulfilling their agencies’ missions.

Champlain College will give up to a 70 percent discount on the courses. The amount of the discount will vary depending on the exact nature of, and the number of, courses they choose to take. In addition to the discount, Federal employees will be able to apply for financial aid and perhaps accrue little or no debt.

Our collaboration with Champlain College will increase all Federal employees’ access to high-quality and affordable educational resources. Champlain’s online courses will allow Federal employees to enroll no matter where they live, and to complete certificate, bachelor’s and master’s degree programs in such fields as cyber security, digital forensics, health care administration, and human resources management.

Employees can immediately begin submitting their applications for the summer term.

Lifelong learning is a staple of today’s Federal workforce, and our alliance with Champlain College pushes us further along that path. I am incredibly proud of the work Federal employees do each and every day, and the time and energy they invest in their jobs. Through our partnership with Champlain, we will help solidify the foundation of that investment. And stay tuned; there are even more opportunities like this to come.

Chalkboard that says 'Discounted tuition for Federal employees and their families thanks to a new education alliance with Champlain College.'

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