No organization is exempt from the impact of a tight market for tech talent: In the past year, even US government agencies like the Department of Homeland Security have had trouble recruiting the engineers, hackers, and cybersecurity professionals they need to face emerging cyberthreats. Now, the Federal Bureau of Investigation is reportedly considering relaxing some of its stringent hiring requirements to help bridge that gap. The Associated Press reports on a series of recent speeches by FBI Director James Comey in which he suggested that the bureau is considering lowering some of its barriers to entry for this talent cohort, in order to compete with private sector employers offering higher salaries:
He’s floated the idea of scrapping a requirement that agents who leave the FBI but want to return after two years must re-enroll in the bureau’s storied but arduous Quantico, Virginia, training academy. He’s also lamented, half-jokingly, that otherwise qualified applicants may be discouraged from applying because of a fondness for marijuana. … Comey has suggested the FBI may need to build its own university to groom cyber talent and questioned whether every member of a cyber squad actually needs to be a gun-carrying agent.