Fullstack Academy and CyberUp have partnered to offer a 12-month apprenticeship for cybersecurity employees. ("Source code security plugin" by Christiaan Colen is marked with CC BY-SA 2.0.)

Tech training company Fullstack Academy has formed a partnership with non-profit CyberUp to promote the concept of a 12-month apprenticeship for entry-level cybersecurity employees.

After technology training at Fullstack, apprentices are placed at companies by CyberUp, where they are paid a full-time salary with benefits and get to work on a real-world security team. Over the course of the year, CyberUp works with the candidates to guide them on the security certificates they need to advance their careers and set up mentorships with security industry professionals.

“With nearly 600,000 open cybersecurity jobs across the U.S., risk-averse employers need to get creative with their talent acquisition strategy,” said Tony Bryan, executive director of CyberUp. “Companies can develop their own apprenticeship program or establish a partnership with a Department of Labor-approved apprenticeship intermediary, like CyberUp.”

Dan Weeks, director of employer partnerships at Fullstack Academy, said apprenticeships are a quick, low-risk way to build and diversify the cybersecurity talent pipeline with a proven step-by-step process to establish the competencies companies want most from their new talent over the 12 months of apprenticeship.

“They really do make the onboarding process for new talent easy and predictable for employers," Weeks said.

Here are four steps employers need to take when establishing an apprenticeship program:

  • Examine current hiring practices and see if they are conducive to hiring entry-level talent or support non-traditional hiring opportunities.
  • Take a look at the current team’s requirements, assess their functions and determine which roles would be conducive to an entry-level hire/apprentice.
  • Determine if hiring managers are ready to take on apprentices or support them in learning how to coach apprentices once they enter the program.
  • Consider dividing tasks of mid-level roles into two apprentice roles. This lets the company support the same functions, allows room for headcount growth — and can reduce the spend on hiring.