Online Assessment

NICE Workforce Diagnostic

N2K created the NICE Workforce Diagnostic to provide cybersecurity leaders with a foundation for making smarter cybersecurity training and talent decisions.

Jeff Welgan, Head of Cyber Workforce Solutions, explains why N2K created the NICE Workforce Diagnostic and how your organization can utilize it.

Diagnostic Overview

The NICE Workforce Diagnostic provides cybersecurity leaders with a baseline into competency areas of strength and weakness covering all seven categories of the Workforce Framework for Cybersecurity (NICE Framework). Developed by NIST, the NICE Framework establishes a common lexicon of cybersecurity-related competencies that can be applied to any organization and cybersecurity job role. As the name suggests, the NICE Workforce Diagnostic is a diagnostic solution designed to help organizations align their people initiatives to the NICE framework.

The diagnostic is delivered in two parts. First, participating practitioners complete an initial assessment that can be completed in 45 minutes or less. Unlike knowledge assessments or employee screening tools, the diagnostic includes questions that go beyond simple multiple choice to truly capture comprehension at the practitioner level.

Upon your team’s completion of the diagnostic assessment, designated leaders will gain access to a written Insights Report with actionable training recommendations and/or an interactive Insights Dashboard. The dashboard includes filters for demographics, job roles, experience, and specific areas of the NICE Cybersecurity Workforce Framework to uncover further insights and to support talent applications and initiatives.


There are no formal prerequisites for practitioners taking the NICE Workforce Diagnostic. However, this diagnostic assessment is best suited for individuals who have up to 10 years of experience in cybersecurity or information technology roles.

Related Courses

After taking the NICE Workforce Diagnostic, the N2K team will make custom training and workforce development recommendations for how to best remediate areas of weakness and build upon areas of strength.

Benefits of Diagnostic Assessments

Here are some of the ways that organizations can benefit from using a diagnostic to improve cybersecurity workforce development:

  • Prioritizing training deployment and spend
  • Verifying competencies for specific roles
  • Cross-skilling current talent based on proficiencies
  • Onboarding talent into specific roles
  • Modernizing cybersecurity job roles and expectations

live demo

Explore the Cyber Insights Dashboard.

case study

Role & skill mapping of 400+ workforce for Fortune 100 Tech Company

Why Pursue a Diagnostics-First Approach?

Your organization regularly conducts network scans to find and patch vulnerabilities, so why not do the same with your people? Most cybersecurity leaders don’t have a mechanism to accurately measure the current state of their cybersecurity teams. Without objective visibility, training dollars are misallocated.

A diagnostics-first approach empowers cybersecurity leaders to make informed decisions on the state of their cyber teams prior to spending the thousands (or perhaps millions) of dollars they commit annually to training. Your organization saves precious time and money by only deploying training in areas that have a positive impact on closing persistent skills gaps.

Signal to your practitioners that investments in training are purposeful and relevant to their roles. When has a one size-fits-all bootcamp or subscription helped to answer the question “did this make us better at what we do?” Investing and training in the areas that are needed most not only improve employee job performance, but have a positive ripple-effect that improve employee satisfaction, retention, and career path opportunities

This diagnostic assessment includes:
For cybersecurity leaders:
  • Insights Dashboard with performance and demographics data
  • Written Insights Report with workforce recommendations and analysis
For practitioner participants:
  • Web-based 45-minute diagnostic exam
  • Personal Performance Tracker to review results and scoring
  • Detailed explanations with links to the NICE Framework

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NICE Workforce Diagnostic FAQs

  • As part of the U.S. Department of Commerce, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), “promotes U.S. innovation and industrial competitiveness by advancing measurement science, standards, and technology” with the goal of enhanced economic security and improved quality of life.”

  • The National Initiative of Cybersecurity Education (NICE) is a partnership between the private sector, government, and academia focused on promoting cybersecurity education, training and workforce development to increase skilled cybersecurity professionals in the U.S.

  • The NICE Cybersecurity Workforce Framework—under NIST Special Publication 800-181—is a published resource that organizes roles and categories within the cybersecurity workforce. The goal of the resource is to provide organizations with a “common, consistent lexicon” within cybersecurity.

  • Upon your team’s completion of the NICE Workforce Diagnostic, N2K will deliver a detailed Insights Dashboard and/or Insights Report. Our Data Analysts review the demographic and performance results of the diagnostic assessment, then provide prescriptive recommendations for next steps, which might include training courses, workforce alignment, or workforce mapping, depending on your organization’s cybersecurity objectives.

  • Yes, we’ve built upon research done by the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE) and leveraged the National Cybersecurity Workforce Framework (NCWF), to establish a baseline skills taxonomy. Through further work with companies to understand actual job roles and organizational needs, we’ve developed a roadmap that ties role requirements with necessary skills.