A new effort to expand the nation’s cybersecurity and technology workforce through paid apprenticeships has been launched by CompTIA, a suburban Chicago-based trade association, and ConnectWise, a Tampa-based software company.
The strategy involves pairing new IT professionals, certified by CompTIA, with IT businesses, self-identified through the ConnectWise partner community, for registered apprenticeships.
“We focus so much on top level cybersecurity experts that we forget the majority of this work is done by rank-and-file cyber professionals,” said Todd Thibodeaux, CompTIA president and CEO. “They work with end users, maintain, and secure networks and defend against phishing and other threats to keep everyone and everything working securely. It is with these frontline positions where the most sizable staffing deficits exist, something we intend to address with this program.”
The two companies made their announcement in conjunction with the recent Cyber Workforce and Education Summit at the White House, where Secretary of Labor Martin J. Walsh made an announcement challenging industry and labor partners to help expand registered apprenticeships in cybersecurity.
“We have thousands of partners across the IT industry who regularly tell us about the challenges of finding qualified talent,” said ConnectWise CEO Jason Magee. “With the backing of the White House, and in partnership with CompTIA as an established educator of IT professionals, we have a unique opportunity to move hiring forward by matching trained workers with a robust group of potential employers.”
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.
ConnectWise, through its extensive network of IT service providers, is the employer partner in the new initiative.
The two companies 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.
The initiative provides a new route to talent for channel partners, as well as all segments of the IT field.