After a strong application period with over 1,500 prospective participants, the Federal Cyber Reskilling Academy is underway with its first class of 30 students.

The program aims to train Federal employees from outside of IT fields to become cyber defense analysts, with Federal agencies serving as sponsors, and hiring people after they finish the program. While the program may have just begun, the timeline for the program has the cohort completing their training on July 14, a quick turnaround that was an intentional choice.

“The reason that we were trying to run this first pilot of 25 very quickly is that we want to go through the program, get the individuals out, and we actually want to place them at agencies … so we can have a full lifecycle of how they went through the process, and how they actually perform on the job for agencies,” said Federal CIO Suzette Kent in March.

While the program initially planned to select 25 participants, it ended up selecting 30 people, with five additional slots in virtual training.

“The CIO council was able to find additional resources from its budget and was able to offer five additional slots for virtual training – expanding the inaugural class from 25 to 30,” an OMB official said in a statement. “We expect the virtual training will be a good alternative for agencies to offer their employees for future cohorts.”

On the topic of future cohorts, the next round of the Reskilling Academy has yet to be finalized, but Kent’s prior comments noted that future efforts may focus on robotics process automation and leadership courses for Federal IT personnel.

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