Strengthening and Diversifying the Cybersecurity Workforce

A young man working on a computer pauses to smile at the camera.
Logan is gaining the skills for a cybersecurity career as an apprentice with McLeod Information Systems in Charleston, South Carolina.

Demand for cybersecurity workers is skyrocketing: From April 2021 to April 2022, U.S. employers shared 714,548 job postings for cybersecurity job roles, and cybersecurity jobs increased by 43% in the last 12-month period compared with an approximately 18% increase in demand across the entire employment market.

In response to industry demand, the White House and the departments of Labor, Commerce and Homeland Security joined forces to announce the 120-Day Cybersecurity Apprenticeship Sprint at the July 19 National Cyber Workforce and Education Summit hosted by the White House Office of the National Cyber Director.   

The Cybersecurity Apprenticeship Sprint is a national campaign to engage employers, industry associations, labor unions and training providers to explore Registered Apprenticeship as a tool to recruit, train and retain diverse talent and connect with our Office of Apprenticeship to develop new apprenticeship programs or quickly join existing programs. The Cybersecurity Sprint also seeks to connect career seekers to cybersecurity apprenticeship opportunities.

Cybersecurity Apprenticeship Sprint progress report

Sept. 20 marks the halfway point for the four-month sprint. To date, our Office of Apprenticeship has received and responded to over 240 organizations looking to start, join, expand or support a program, and 1,600 career seekers interested in learning more and potentially starting an apprenticeship program. We have partnered with industry leaders, experts and organizations to amplify and catalyze interest and action in cybersecurity apprenticeships. Since July 19, 2022:

  • Over 99 employers launched or are close to launching new Registered Apprenticeship programs, which will provide workers with high-quality, earn-as-you-learn training for good-paying cybersecurity jobs. Our department-funded industry intermediaries (Safal Partners, Apprenti and AIR) work side by side with our apprenticeship staff nationwide to meet business needs through Registered Apprenticeship.

  • Employers have hired more than 2,800 individuals through Registered Apprenticeship programs to develop cybersecurity-related expertise. These companies across technology, defense and other key industries in the cybersecurity field are committed to nurturing and developing quality talent for their workforces.

  • The departments of Labor, Commerce, Homeland Security, Defense and other federal agencies continue to partner with industry and labor to host informational sessions and build partnerships with employers, workforce organizations, industry groups and labor organizations to further support the development of Registered Apprenticeship across the cybersecurity field.

Unlocking the code of opportunity

For many entering a cybersecurity apprenticeship program, getting a shot at a career in cybersecurity is a dream come true. Take Logan, for example. Logan grew up in foster care and was flagged by his counselor as high-potential candidate for a technical career in cybersecurity. Since then, Logan was hired at McLeod Information Systems in Charleston, South Carolina, where he excels in a cybersecurity Registered Apprenticeship program. He is excited about the new skills he’s learned, including knowledge about how to look for potential threats and how to mitigate them. And as he put it, “I love having a job that I enjoy doing.”

Through the Cybersecurity Apprenticeship Sprint we are helping businesses with critical needs, like McLeod Information Systems, to create pipelines to access talent through Registered Apprenticeship. Apprenticeship experts nationwide are poised to work with businesses to meet their needs and make them globally competitive. Together, we can raise awareness for the success and value of Registered Apprenticeship for rebuilding our economy through good jobs, advancing racial and gender equity, and supporting underserved communities, especially in high-growth, in-demand fields like cybersecurity.  

Brent Parton is the acting assistant secretary of labor for employment and training.