Cyber Apprenticeship program to help fill talent gap
Cyberspace: A Story
Alright, so you clicked--good. In order to better understand this apprenticeship program’s value, we’ll need to paint a picture of the threat we’re up against. Let’s imagine a world dominated by billions upon billions of these interconnected electronic devices that calculate super fast and provide nearly every modern comfort we enjoy: having the lights turn on; moving money digitally; buying food; etc. We’ll call them computers for fun (not the most exciting name, but stay with me).
Like all tools made by the hands of mortal man (and woman, alien or whatever) these mystical machines of whimsy are filled with vulnerabilities, which allow nerds with nothing better to do with their lives our adversaries to hi-jack computers, steal the data we store on them and cause wide-spread disruption in society.
To put it in other terms, if you think it’s private... Oh my sweet summer child, you are very very wrong. Financial information? Adversaries could steal it. Big nuclear reactors? Adversaries can mess around with them without the operators knowing at all. The power distribution grid? Hahahahaha learn to use candles (if it comes down to it, we recommend the Stonebriar® brand).
Cyberspace: A True Story
Now what if I told you that this was our world, and that adversaries are getting increasingly better at exploiting our digital infrastructure. Adversaries are so adept that businesses now assume that they will be breached (and it doesn’t help that some still use Windows XP...come on really?)
But there is good news! We can defend against these adversaries’ attempts to infiltrate our systems.
The problem, however, is that we don’t have enough talent. Now when we say we “don’t have enough” what we mean is that the supply:demand ratio in the U.S. for the cybersecurity professional deficit is half of the national average for other jobs. This means a nation-wide job deficit is especially bad for the cyberfield.
In response to this deficit, ACA is offering an apprenticeship program to train cyber professionals, including new hires, employees wanting to advance their careers, veterans, or active duty service members ready to transition into civilian life. For servicemen and women, this apprenticeship would be sponsored by the private sector, and a job opportunity would be waiting for them at the end of their training.
ACA’s Apprenticeship offers the opportunity to receive classroom and hands-on experience while getting paid. Apprentices are trained by experienced cyber operators and reinjected into their company (or for the case of servicemen and women hired by a matched employer upon completion of the program and exit from the US Military).
This program offers a fortuitous merging of objectives (a pedantic way of saying “a win-win-win” situation). For employers, they receive cyber professionals who have been recruited and trained with the skills tailored to the needs of their business without the expense of training and recruiting. Apprentices learn much needed skills to be competent cyber professionals through a hands-on full-immersion program. Society at large benefits from an increasingly secure cyber world. See? A win-win-win.
We can work to address the cyber threat that is common to us all--and this is one way that ACA is working to push its campaign for a collaborative fight against bad actors in the cyber world.