Visible to the public Cyber Aptitude and the Science of Intellectual Assessment

SoS Newsletter- Advanced Book Block

Dr. Mike Bunting, UMD CASL - Center for Advanced Study of Language

Dr. Mike Bunting, of the Center for Advanced Study of Language (CASL) at UMD, addressed the security industry's need for hiring qualified candidates in an increasingly cyber-security-dependent workforce. The problem, according to Dr. Bunting, is the current difficulty in cyber selection, hiring, placement, and training. There are simply not enough candidates in the hiring pool who are able to readily perform their tasks. As hiring managers cannot predict a candidate's potential for job performance with total accuracy, the difficulty in effective cyber placement increases.

To this end, Dr. Bunting and CASL has partnered with the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) and U.S. government researchers to design an aptitude test for the assessment of potential candidates. The researchers will consider multivariate factors in cyber knowledge, skills, cognitive abilities, motivation, and personality attributes of current experts in the field, in order to identify parameters for success. The goal of the aptitude test is to accurately determine applicants' aptitude for cyber analysis.

Dr. Bunting provided a brief timeline of the work still to be performed before the test is operational and able to de deployed. CASL researchers began by studying available literature on cognitive and noncognitive factors existing in successful analytic job performance. Applications of the Psychosomatic Approach, such as data reduction and factor analysis, were employed in the initial data collection process. Researchers then reviewed specific cyber jobs and consulted instructors and experts in the cyber field, in order to identify success traits. Dr. Bunting and his team are working towards finalizing test content and test items.

Dr. Bunting's personal webpage is available at: