Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

NICE Framework Competency Areas: Preparing a Job-Ready Cybersecurity Workforce



Karen Wetzel


This publication from the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE) describes Competency Areas as included in the Workforce Framework for Cybersecurity (NICE Framework), NIST Special Publication 800-181, Revision 1, a fundamental reference for describing and sharing information about cybersecurity work. The NICE Framework defines Task, Knowledge, and Skill (TKS) statement building blocks that provide a foundation for learners, including students, job seekers, and employees. Competency Areas are provided as a means of applying those core building blocks by grouping related TKS statements to form a higher-level description of capability in a particular domain of cybersecurity work. This document shares more detail about what NICE Framework Competency Areas are, including their evolution and development. Additionally, the publication provides example uses from various stakeholder perspectives. Finally, the publication identifies where the NICE Framework list of Competency Areas is separate published and provides the rationale for why they will be maintained distinct from this publication as a more flexible and contemporary reference resource.
NIST Interagency/Internal Report (NISTIR) - 8355
Report Number


competency, Competency Area, cyber, cybersecurity, cyberspace, education, knowledge, risk management, role, security, skill, task, team, training, workforce, work role


Wetzel, K. (2023), NICE Framework Competency Areas: Preparing a Job-Ready Cybersecurity Workforce, NIST Interagency/Internal Report (NISTIR), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, [online],, (Accessed May 23, 2024)


If you have any questions about this publication or are having problems accessing it, please contact

Created June 21, 2023