Cyber apprenticeships: old solution to a new problem
Masterclock brought on a student in a new cybersecurity apprenticeship program run by the Midwest Cyber Center, a St. Louis nonprofit. Apprenticeships, in which companies hire inexperienced workers and pay them to learn on the job, are rare in the U.S. But supporters think they could be a promising way to grow the cybersecurity talent pool. Currently, mainstream models of education aren’t cutting it: U.S. universities conferred just 64,405 computer and information sciences bachelor’s degrees during the 2015–2016 academic year. And when it comes to cybersecurity, according to MC2 executive director Tony Bryan, “most employers aren’t necessarily as concerned with a traditional degree” as much as the certifications and specific technical skills. Plus, the apprentices are paid, offering a pathway for people who otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford to stop working to expand their skill sets.