skillstx brand green with TAG

From High School Cyber Whiz to CISO: Marie Crosby’s SFIA-Driven Career Journey

Step into the captivating world of cybersecurity and witness the extraordinary journey of Marie Crosby, an ambitious tech enthusiast with an insatiable thirst for knowledge. From graduating as a promising young cyber whiz from a local trade school to ascending to the coveted position of Chief Information Security Officer at a Fortune 500 tech company,

Marie’s path is an exhilarating testament to the transformative power of the Skills Framework for the Information Age (SFIA).

Dive into a riveting tale of skill development, cross-training, and relentless ambition, as Marie consistently updates her SFIA profile, identifying skill gaps to propel her career forward. Discover how SFIA fuels Marie’s ascent to the C-suite and triggers a profound organizational metamorphosis, creating numerous competitive advantages that nearly doubles the company’s revenue.

Let’s embark on this enthralling odyssey where SFIA becomes the ultimate catalyst, leading to a win-win for Marie and the organization.

Chapter 1: The Beginning

Marie had always been fascinated by the world of technology. Growing up in a small town, she nurtured her passion for computers and cybersecurity. After completing high school, Marie enrolled in a local trade school specializing in cybersecurity and digital forensics. Little did she know that this decision would pave the way for an extraordinary journey, with SFIA playing a pivotal role.

No alt text provided for this image
SFIA (Skills Framework for the Information Age) | SFIA Foundation

Chapter 2: Discovering SFIA

Marie became acquainted with the Skills Framework for the Information Age (SFIA) at trade school. The globally recognized framework intrigued her with its structured approach to defining skills and competencies for various roles. She realized that updating her SFIA profile regularly could help her identify skill gaps and areas that required further development, which was essential for advancing her career.

Marie entered the professional world with the knowledge and enthusiasm she had acquired from her studies. She secured a junior cyber security analyst position at a Fortune 500 tech firm.



Chapter 3: Recognizing Skill Gaps

No alt text provided for this image
SFIA Skills Profile & Gaps | SkillsTX Talent eXperience

Marie consistently updated her SFIA profile in her new role to reflect her progress and proficiency in various cybersecurity domains. As she learned and gained practical experience, she identified skill gaps crucial for advancing her career.

Marie impressed her supervisors during her first performance review by demonstrating her keenness to improve and grow. Utilizing SFIA, she discussed her skill gaps and outlined her plan for professional development. This proactive approach caught the attention of the HR/Talent Management department, and Marie was recognized as an “emerging leader” within the company.

Chapter 4: Swift Career Progression

Marie’s journey of continuous improvement and skill development paid off immensely. After 18 months of employment, she was promoted to a more senior role as a cybersecurity specialist. Leveraging SFIA as a roadmap, Marie consistently demonstrated her commitment to learning and development, which earned her further accolades from the organization.

Chapter 5: The Power of Cross-Training

As Marie progressed in her career, she realized the significance of cross-training to broaden her expertise. SFIA gave her insights into the skills needed to excel in various roles. Armed with this knowledge, she sought opportunities to work with unfamiliar technologies and concepts. Marie’s open-mindedness to learning new skills allowed her to adapt quickly to different challenges, further boosting her professional growth.

Chapter 6: Aligning Job Roles and Descriptions to SFIA

No alt text provided for this image
SFIA Levels | SFIA Foundation

Marie’s firm recognized the potential of adopting SFIA organization-wide and aligned all their job roles and descriptions to the framework. This alignment streamlined their talent management and acquisition processes, enabling HR to identify suitable candidates with the necessary skills and competencies for each role.

Additionally, SFIA facilitated better communication between team members who spoke the same language when discussing skills and professional development. The organization’s ability to identify skill gaps and provide targeted training programs led to a highly skilled and efficient workforce.

Chapter 7: Climbing the Ladder

No alt text provided for this image
Climbing the Career Ladder

Marie’s commitment to SFIA-driven professional development allowed her to climb the career ladder steadily over the next three years. She was promoted to Cybersecurity Manager, Director, and Assistant Vice President. She updated her SFIA profile with each promotion and had her skills independently validated through a certified SFIA assessor, verifying her skill levels and proficiencies in various domains. The company’s HR/Talent Management department applauded Marie for her proactive approach to career growth, and they continued to invest in her professional development.

Chapter 8: Chief Information Security Officer

After five years of relentless dedication, Marie achieved the pinnacle of her young career in her late twenties. The tech firm appointed her their Chief Information Security Officer (CISO). It was a testament to Marie’s unwavering pursuit of excellence, her proactive approach to skill development, and the organization’s commitment to SFIA.

Chapter 9: A Win-Win for Both Individual and Organization

No alt text provided for this image

The adoption of SFIA proved to be a win-win situation for Marie and the organization. Marie’s continuous improvement and professional growth helped her reach the C-suite, leading the organization’s cybersecurity efforts with confidence and expertise.

Simultaneously, the organization thrived with a workforce that consistently updated their SFIA profiles, enabling them to identify and address skill gaps effectively. The culture of skill development and alignment with SFIA gave the company a unique competitive advantage, making it a magnet for top digital talent. As a result, the organization nearly doubled in revenue, cementing its position as a Fortune 500 tech giant.


The story of Marie Crosby highlights how adopting SFIA can drive individual growth and enhance organizational success, fostering a culture of continuous improvement and skill development. By embracing SFIA, individuals and organizations can embark on a transformative journey, achieving unprecedented heights and becoming leaders in their respective fields.

hashtagPassionForPotential hashtagSkillsFramework hashtagDigitalSkillsGap hashtagSkillsAssessment hashtagEmployeeExperience hashtagDigitalTalent hashtagDigitalSkills hashtagDigitalHR hashtagCareerPlanning

Additional Resources:

AUTHOR NOTE: Reproduced with thanks to John Kleist III, Chief Growth Officer for SkillsTX and author of Digital Talent Strategies, a popular newsletter on LinkedIn.  John proudly considers himself a Talent Management Revolutionary: Spearheading Skills-Based Digital Talent Strategies with SkillsTX Talent eXperience Skills Intelligence and the #SFIA Framework | Unlock Your #PassionForPotential.