First published by Baltimore Business Journal, August 22, 2017.

The Cybersecurity Association of Maryland Inc. is launching a new online jobs platform in partnership with Germantown job-seeking firm SkillSmart.

Maryland Cyber Jobs was built to address the shortage of qualified candidates to fill open cyber positions across all industry sectors. Using a skills-based methodology tailored to each hiring company, the platform aims to reduce the time, effort and expense for Maryland employers to find qualified candidates for cyber-related positions.

The Maryland Cyber Jobs platform can also help potential employees to find jobs that best match their experience and current skills, and identify any skills they need to acquire for the jobs they want. The service identifies relevant education, training, certification, internship and apprenticeship resources in Maryland, where job seekers can obtain necessary skills and experience.

Private employers and state officials have been making strides recently to confront the cyber talent gap issue. The new jobs platform is another step in that vein.

Labor statistics have shown that more than 200,000 U.S. cybersecurity jobs are currently unfilled, and the shortage is projected to grow to more than 1.5 million unfilled positions by 2019.

The talent shortage is particularly an issue for Maryland, which has more than 12,000 IT and cybersecurity companies, serving organizations like the National Security Agency and U.S. Cyber Command. The state is also home to 17 higher education institutions that have been designated National Academic Centers of Excellence in Cyber Defense.

Stacey Smith, the Cybersecurity Association’s executive director, said numerous commercial businesses and cybersecurity companies have complained that using standard job boards is laborious. Recruiters often have to sift through too much information to find the few people they might actually want to hire. The new jobs platform marks an attempt to streamline the cyber recruiting process.

“For us, it’s not about the number of applicants, it’s about the quality,” Evan Dornbush, founder and CEO of Point3 Security, said in a statement. “I’d rather have four good ones to review versus having to sift through 400.”

Smith said the jobs platform is not just for use by cybersecurity companies, but for any business, government entity or nonprofit looking to fill a cyber position. Smith said she hopes as the platform grows, it will attract potential candidates from across the U.S. and from foreign countries as well, brining a larger skilled workforce to Maryland.

Maryland has one of the most robust cyber industries in the world, but it needs to be supported by a strong talent pool to continue to grow.

“This is a highly valuable competitive advantage for our state, and we’re excited and proud to offer it,” Smith said in a statement.

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