Why Apply

Why Apply

Join the next generation of digital defenders.

The Cybersecurity Talent Initiative is recruiting our nation’s next cadre of cybersecurity leaders to protect the digital infrastructure from global threats. The program offers recent graduates in cybersecurity-related fields a unique opportunity to jump-start their professional lives and get up to $75,000 in student loan assistance. With opportunities for public and private sector work experience along with leadership development training, participants make an immediate difference protecting the nation and digital economy, while also accelerating their careers as cybersecurity leaders.

The program provides unparalleled networking, educational and professional development experiences. Participants build relationships with future cybersecurity leaders, take part in leadership development sessions and learn from senior mentors who will share cross-sector management best practices.

First students spend two-years gaining valuable public sector experience in a federal agency. As their service comes to an end, participants will be invited to apply for select positions with some of the most innovative private sector companies in the world.

Understanding that developing cybersecurity expertise requires an educational investment, the Cybersecurity Talent Initiative is committed to providing participants with opportunities to earn a competitive salary and ease the burden of their student loan debt. If selected for one of the private sector positions, participants are eligible to receive up to $75,000 in student loan assistance. The average amount of undergraduate student loans for the Class of 2019 was $29,900, according to Student Loan Hero.

Program Eligibility

  • U.S. citizenship at the time of application submission
  • Current enrollment at an accredited educational institution in an undergraduate or graduate cybersecurity-related degree program or recent graduate with a graduation date within the timeframe of January 2020 to August 2022
  • Superior academic achievement
  • Completion of cybersecurity-related major degree (for example, computer science, engineering, information science and mathematics) prior to federal agency start date
  • Outstanding student loans


Two-Year Government Placement

Receive an offer of employment from a federal agency for two years

Job Opportunities

Apply for select positions with leading private sector companies


Develop management skills from senior mentors in the public and private sectors

Cross-Sector Networking

Network with program participants working for other federal agencies and discover innovative cybersecurity practices from private sector leaders

Loan Assistance

Receive student loan assistance if selected for a private sector position

Leadership Development

Participate in sessions to strengthen leadership skills

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