Departments of Labor and Commerce Launch New Cybersecurity Learning Program

The US Departments of Labor and Commerce have announced a new plan to promote recorded apprenticeships in the cybersecurity industry.

Called the 120-Day Cybersecurity Apprentice Sprint, the plan aims to support many industries’ use of recorded apprenticeships to develop and train a skilled and diverse cybersecurity workforce. It refers to a White House initiative to address industry talent needs and connect underserved communities to good jobs.

The Commerce Department touts the plan as key to improving the country’s economic and national security cybersecurity apparatus. It is supposed to ensure that a sufficient number of candidates are qualified and prepared for cybersecurity careers.

The cybersecurity industry is facing a critical shortage of workers, with hundreds of thousands of vacancies currently available. By recruiting employers, industry associations, unions, educational service providers, community organizations and others to establish registered apprenticeship programs, the government aims to provide a greater number of skilled cybersecurity workers to meet the needs currently unsatisfied.

“The Cybersecurity Apprenticeship Sprint will help build employer-led partnerships that will meet industry talent needs and connect Americans to quality, well-paying jobs,” Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said Tuesday. in a press release. “Using the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education Workforce Framework for Cybersecurity, employers will ensure that all apprentices receive a standardized approach to cybersecurity education and training. »

There are currently 714 registered apprenticeship programs and 42,260 apprentices in cybersecurity-related programs. The ultimate goal is to fill nearly 700,000 open cybersecurity jobs across all sectors.

“The Cybersecurity Learning Sprint is a creative initiative that will foster a swathe of new talent in the cybersecurity workforce by initiating highly visible and valuable work experience, and focusing on inclusivity and diversity as a primary goal,” Casey Ellis, founder and chief technology officer at outsourced cybersecurity platform company Bugcrowd Inc., told SiliconANGLE Today.

Michael DeBolt, chief intelligence officer of cybercrime intelligence firm Intel 471 Inc., was also positive, calling the program “not very promising in the right direction to help both sides of the equation: the busy employer to fight against cybercrime and the aspirant”. cybersecurity professional looking for an entry into the profession.”

“All reasonable employers agree that we can only win this fight with fresh, creative minds and diverse backgrounds and perspectives,” added De Bolt. “But it requires an investment of time, money and energy. Quite often, these resources are directed to tangible things that provide the clearest, surest, and fastest path to ROI, such as the latest technology or the proven senior analyst who can get started right away.

Sounil Yu, Chief Information Security Officer at JupiterOne Inc., a cyber-asset attack surface management company, noted that the critical cybersecurity labor shortage continues to threaten our ability to properly defend our digital ecosystem and our way of life.

“Building on the successes we’ve seen in other job markets, we should examine which of our unfilled cybersecurity jobs can be addressed through skills training and adapt our hiring practices to enable a similar scale of filling gaps in the labor market.” says Yu. “At the same time, we should partner with cybersecurity-focused job training and education programs that allow a wider range of job seekers to qualify for these opportunities.”

Photo: Steve Snodgrass/Flickr

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