IT management software company ConnectWise and CompTIA have launched a new cybersecurity training program to expand the U.S.’s cybersecurity and IT workforce.
The program, a paid apprenticeship between the two organizations, was launched in the wake of the Cyber Workforce and Education Summit at the White House, where officials unveiled a Cybersecurity Apprenticeship Sprint that challenges industry and labor partners to close the cybersecurity workforce gap.
Essentially, the partnership will pair new IT professionals, certified by CompTIA, with IT businesses identified through the ConnectWise partner community. The program comes as the U.S. and other countries are struggling to fill cybersecurity jobs.
Citing data from CyberSeek, a joint initiative between the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE) and Lightcast, CompTIA says there are nearly 715,000 open cybersecurity jobs in the country, and almost 40% of them were listed in the first four months of this year.
As a newly designated National Program Sponsor for Apprenticeship, CompTIA will use its education, training and certifications to equip apprentices with the skills and training needed for employment in technology occupations, including cybersecurity roles, the organization says.
ConnectWise, through its network of IT service providers, is the employer partner in the new apprenticeship initiative, and will work to place apprentices on the front lines of cybersecurity.
CompTIA and ConnectWise will offer training, certification and employment opportunities in five high-demand tech occupations: Tech Support Specialist, Network Support Specialist, Cybersecurity Support Technician, Tech Project Coordinator and Data Analyst. Training is based on National Guideline Standards created by CompTIA and approved by the U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL). These standards detail the competencies in technical and employability skills that apprentices need to join the IT workforce, according to the organizations.
“The ability to anticipate, identify and respond to cyber threats is essential in each of these job roles,” said Amy Kardel, senior vice president for strategic workforce partnerships at CompTIA. “Apprentices will receive comprehensive cybersecurity training in the knowledge and skills they will need to protect American businesses.”
Additional details of the program will be shared later this year.
According to CompTIA, the organization has since 2020 partnered with the American Institutes for Research to grow the nation’s IT workforce across industries through apprenticeships, while simultaneously creating career opportunities for diverse populations underrepresented in the tech workforce, including women, individuals with disabilities and people of color.
Also at the Summit, network security solutions provider Fortinet announced a free training offering for schools across the United States.