A group of cyber security professionals working on their laptops

Best Cyber Security Apprenticeships in 2023

The field of cyber security presents numerous opportunities for high-paying jobs as organizations across the globe recognize the strong need to safeguard their digital assets. One of the best ways for newcomers to enter the field is by pursuing cyber security apprenticeships. They offer a unique chance for people interested in this field to solidify their technical skills and gain industry-specific knowledge. 

Cyber security apprenticeship programs also offer a structured learning environment that allows beginners to work alongside seasoned professionals as they learn to tackle cyber threats. This article dives into more details about cyber security apprenticeships, as well as remote cyber security apprenticeships for those looking for flexible working opportunities. 

What Is a Cyber Security Apprenticeship?

A cyber security apprenticeship is a training program that teaches practical skills in network security, threat detection, and incident response. During an apprenticeship, you can expect to become more familiar with what cyber security is, what kind of threats to look out for, and what strategies can be used to protect computer systems from cyber threats. Cyber security apprenticeships also typically include a stipend, allowing you to earn while you learn.

What Do You Learn at a Cyber Security Apprenticeship?

In a cyber security apprenticeship, you will cover various topics related to computer systems and network protection. As the frontlines against digital threats, cyber security professionals are expected to detect and respond to potential risks effectively. As such, common areas of learning during an apprenticeship include security risk assessment, penetration testing, risk management, and ethical hacking. 

On top of technical abilities, your problem-solving skills will also be put to the test. Most cyber security apprenticeships involve hands-on learning. You may be required to perform tasks such as configuring firewalls, analyzing security logs, and performing vulnerability assessments. Combined, these skills can help you prepare for a successful career in cyber security.  

Importance and Benefits of Cyber Security Apprenticeships

A cyber security apprenticeship generally combines on-the-job training with classroom instruction, allowing aspiring professionals to gain crucial experience in a real-world environment. This helps prepare you for high-paying careers such as cyber security engineers, cyber security analysts, and network security engineers. Other benefits of cyber security apprenticeships are as follows.

  1. Hands-on experience and practical skills development. A cyber security apprenticeship exposes you to practice-based learning. This can help impress future employers as you will be able to demonstrate real-world application of theoretical cyber security skills. 
  2. Networking and mentorship opportunities. Apprentices often work alongside experienced industry professionals who also act as mentors. This is where you can get additional guidance and gain valuable insights. Mentors can facilitate networking by connecting you with other people in the industry, forming a bridge between you and potential career opportunities. 
  3. Career progression and job prospect. Most employers value practical experience over other metrics like academic qualifications when hiring. By completing a cyber security apprenticeship program, you demonstrate your determination, initiative, and proficiency in key cyber security tools and techniques which boost your appeal as a job candidate. 

Top Cyber Security Apprenticeship Programs

Top cyber security apprenticeships are paid training programs designed to help you develop essential skills needed to excel in a cyber security career. Apprenticeship programs also help employers mold talent according to their needs and company cultures, ensuring that the apprentices are ready to take on a full-salaried role upon completion of the apprenticeship. Below are the top five cyber security apprenticeship programs for you to consider.

IBM Cyber Security Apprenticeship Program

IBM cyber security apprenticeship is one of the most popular apprenticeship programs on the market. It is designed to help you learn in-demand cyber security skills using industry-aligned strategies and tools. Upon completion, apprentices can earn the IBM Cybersecurity Professional Apprenticeship Certificate, which is a digital badge that demonstrates a strong knowledge of cyber security fundamentals. 

Application Process and Eligibility Requirements

To apply for an IBM cyber security apprenticeship, you can start by researching IBM’s official Careers page for information on any open positions. Submit your application and ensure that you provide accurate information about your qualifications, experience, and interest in cyber security. You can expect to go through a screening process and an interview if selected. These are meant to gauge potential fit for both parties. 

Eligibility requirements may vary depending on the specific program or region. However, some of the most common requirements for a cyber security apprenticeship at IBM include proof of education, proof of technical experience, passion for cyber security, and a positive attitude. An IBM apprenticeship may last up to three years and apprentices stand a chance to land full-time employment at the end of the program.

Skills and Knowledge Gained

  • Cyber security fundamentals, security best practices, and security principles
  • Security tools like Qradar SEIM, Appscan, Guardium, Nessus, and Trend Micro
  • Network system management and vulnerability assessment

Boeing Cyber Security Apprenticeship Program

Boeing cyber security apprenticeship is a new program announced in late 2022 as a way to build a pipeline of brilliant tech talent. It is a paid on-the-job training that lasts up to 12 months, offering $45,000 in annual compensation. Boeing expects to recruit 1,000 apprentices across all disciplines through 2025. Successful candidates will work on real-world projects to prepare them for an entry-level role in this field. 

Application Process and Eligibility Requirements

The application process for a Boeing Technical Apprenticeship Program begins with an online application. You can expect to go through assessments, skill challenges, and a video interview to determine if you’re a right fit for the company. 

Selected applicants have to submit a writing sample and a recommendation letter from a member of the school faculty, an industry leader, or an experienced professional. Successful candidates will be contacted for a final live interview. 

Boeing cyber security apprenticeship opportunities are open to people in the United States. Most programs do not require a degree, making them accessible to all kinds of aspiring tech professionals. According to Boeing, candidates will be evaluated based on their problem-solving skills, technical aptitude, persistence, determination, and positive attitude. 

Skills and Knowledge Gained

  • Cyber security fundamentals
  • Knowledge of computer systems, network management, and security assessment
  • In-demand security tools and technologies

Accenture Cyber Security Apprenticeship Program

The Accenture cyber security apprenticeship is a full-time program that runs for 12 months. Apprentices learn on the job and refine their skills using real-world projects that challenge their cyber security expertise. All Accenture apprenticeship programs are designed to help those without a four-year degree learn valuable technical skills and come with unique mentorship and coaching opportunities. 

Application Process and Eligibility Requirements

To apply for the Accenture cyber security apprenticeship, you have to submit an online application expressing your interest in this opportunity. Not much information is available on the application process but applicants can expect to go through a standard selection process that includes interviews, skill assessments, and further screening. 

Accenture has designed its apprenticeship program to be accessible to many, so no college degree is required to apply. All you need is a high school diploma or an equivalent qualification. Accenture prioritizes individuals who are curious, committed, passionate, detail-oriented, and collaborative. As of 2023, Accenture has trained 2,000+ apprenticeships in 40 states across the country. 

Skills and Knowledge Gained

  • Cyber security fundamentals
  • Collaborative and communication skills
  • Industry-focused tools and technologies

Microsoft Cyber Security Apprenticeship Program

Microsoft cyber security apprenticeship is designed to prepare aspiring technologists for a career in cyber security engineering. Apprentices can expect to master the skills to protect Microsoft systems against potential threats. Currently, the program is not accepting new applications. However, Microsoft constantly updates its programs so check again later for the latest availability. 

Application Process and Eligibility Requirements

Interested applicants can submit an application on Microsoft Leap’s official website. It is imperative that you satisfy the minimum requirements according to your state before applying. Successful applicants will attend two 45-minute interviews that focus on technical, problem-solving, and collaborative skills. 

Microsoft’s cyber security apprenticeship is only open to those authorized to work in the US. Program requirements also vary depending on your location. For example, applicants in Redmond, Washington are required to have completed relevant training from a cyber security bootcamp, community college, or university. Self-taught programmers must submit proof of experience. Microsoft recommends having full availability during the period of the apprenticeship. 

Skills and Knowledge Gained

  • Cyber security fundamentals 
  • Analytical and problem-solving skills
  • Audit management, penetration testing, and secure systems architecture

Diversity Cyber Council Cyber Security Apprenticeship Program

Diversity Cyber Council is a non-profit organization that is dedicated to building a diverse pipeline of tech talent. Its Cybersecurity Workforce Development Apprenticeship Program is a 12-month paid training program geared towards people in underrepresented communities. 

Apprentices will go over five phases of learning where they will refine their cyber security skills. They will also be equipped with the necessary skills to successfully tackle four CompTIA certifications: IT Fundamentals, Security+, Cloud+, and Analyst+.

Application Process and Eligibility Requirements

This cyber security apprenticeship is only open to military veterans, women, racial minorities, and persons with disability. You can expect to go through the standard application process such as interviews, skills assessments, and additional screening. Start by submitting an online application on the official website. 

Applicants need to be legal residents with proof of identification and at least 17 years of age. On top of that, you need to have a high school diploma or equivalent qualification, pass a background check, and pass a digital literacy test. Diversity Cyber Council also requests that apprentices have full availability for the entire cyber security apprenticeship program duration.

Skills and Knowledge Gained

  • Skills needed to pass CompTIA Fundamentals, Network+, Cloud+, and Analyst+ examinations and certifications
  • Secure applications, network, cloud, and systems
  • Cyber security fundamentals

Government Cyber Security Apprenticeship Programs

Government cyber security apprenticeships are similar to other apprenticeship programs except they are offered by government agencies. They provide on-the-job learning opportunities and pathways into employment in the public sector. Government cyber security apprenticeships vary in structure, duration, and specific requirements as each government agency may have its own program. 

Benefits and Career Prospects of Government Cyber Security Apprenticeships

Completing a government cyber security apprenticeship can lead to promising career prospects, especially if you are interested in working in the public sector. It can serve as a foundation for a long-lasting career where you can explore specialized roles within government agencies or departments. 

Working in a government cyber security role allows you to make meaningful contributions to national security. Using your cyber security skills, you can safeguard critical information, maintain the integrity of government operations, and protect digital infrastructure from potential threats. As the government continues to invest in enhancing its cyber security capabilities, an apprenticeship can help you get one step closer to job security. 

Notable Programs and Agencies Offering Cyber Security Apprenticeships

  1. US Department of Homeland Security – Cybersecurity Apprenticeship Program
  2. US Department of Defense – United Services Military Apprenticeship Program
  3. US Department Of Veterans Affairs – Federal Cyber-Security Apprenticeship Program
  4. California Department of Human Resources – IT Cybersecurity Non-Traditional Apprenticeship Program
  5. Oregon Bureau of Labor & Industries – Network Security Administrator Apprenticeship Opportunities

Overview of the Growing Demand for Cyber Security Professionals

The demand for cyber security professionals continues to soar as the world becomes more interconnected and reliant on technology. Cyber attacks are becoming more complex, posing significant risks to businesses and individuals. Governments aren’t exempt from such threats as well, as evident in the major ransomware attack in February 2023 that compromised sensitive U.S. Marshals Service information. 

The adoption of cloud computing, artificial intelligence, and other emerging technologies has also created new vulnerabilities that require specialized skills. Currently, the demand for reliable cyber security professionals does not match the pool of talent available. This is one of the major factors contributing to the growing number of apprenticeship opportunities across the US—to train more talent and equip them with the skills to seamlessly transition into a cyber security job.

How Much Do Cyber Security Professionals Make?

Cyber security professionals make an average of $85,604 a year, according to Glassdoor. Depending on experience level, skills, location, and company, the salary range is between $52,000 to $140,000 a year. Meanwhile, the average cyber security apprenticeship salary is $71,204. Most entry-level cyber security apprenticeship programs offer a basic allowance of $45,000 a year.

What Certifications and Training Do You Need to Become a Cyber Security Professional?

If you’re wondering how to get into cyber security, you have come to the right place. First, you will need to establish a strong foundation in computer science and cyber security basics. These topics are commonly covered in a four-year undergraduate program, a coding bootcamp, or a vocational school. You can also solidify your skills by enrolling in a cyber security apprenticeship program where you get to earn while you learn.  

Certification is not necessarily required to become a cyber security professional. However, they can help verify your competency in certain areas which may work to your advantage when applying for jobs. Some of the most popular and well-regarded cyber security certifications are offered by CompTIA. Depending on your specialization, you may be interested in certifications like CompTIA Security+, CompTIA PenTest+, or Network+. 

Can a Coding Bootcamp Help You Enter the Field of Cyber Security?

Yes, a coding bootcamp can help you enter the field of cyber security. Hundreds of cyber security bootcamp graduates have successfully launched their careers in this field, using only the practical knowledge that they learned at the bootcamp. This is because coding bootcamps use a practical approach to teaching, allowing students to get a lot of hands-on experience as they build their portfolio projects.

Additionally, most cyber security bootcamps offer career services to help their graduates ease into a new tech job. These can include mock interviews, resume writing workshops, coaching, technical exercises, and exclusive networking opportunities. Combined, such tools can help bootcamp graduates become well-rounded job candidates and improve their chances of entering the field of cyber security.

Best Cyber Security Coding Bootcamps

  • Cybersecurity Bootcamp – Flatiron School
  • Online Cybersecurity Bootcamp – Springboard
  • Self-Paced Cyber Security Boot Camp – The Tech Academy
  • Cybersecurity Bootcamp Online Part-Time – Coding Dojo
  • Cybersecurity Bootcamp – Devmountain

Top Jobs You Can Land After a Cyber Security Apprenticeship

Completing an apprenticeship can open up a range of careers in cyber security. Using data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, here are some top jobs you can potentially land after a cyber security apprenticeship. Note that some of these are entry-level cyber security jobs while others require industry experience and advanced certifications. 

You can also land remote jobs in cyber security. Employers like Apple, Accenture, Microsoft, and The Home Depot also offer remote cyber security jobs for those who prefer a flexible working arrangement. A great place to start when looking at cyber security apprentice jobs is the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE) Cybersecurity Apprenticeship Program Finder. Otherwise, check out the list below for potential careers post-apprenticeship.

Job Median Salary Job Outlook
Computer and Information Systems Managers $159,010 16%
Computer Network Architects $120,520 4%
Information Security Analysts $102,600 35%
Database Administrators and Architects $101,000 9%
Network and Computer Systems Administrators $80,600 3%

Exploring Different Types of Cyber Security Apprenticeships

There are two main types of cyber security apprenticeships: in-person and remote. While the learning framework is similar, they offer distinct experiences. For example, remote cyber security apprenticeships can help you better prepare for remote cyber security jobs but they may offer limited networking opportunities. Meanwhile, in-person apprenticeships may have more access to physical collaboration but they have to stick to a stricter work schedule. 

Traditional In-person Apprenticeships

Traditional in-person apprenticeships require apprentices to be on-site for the whole training period. Many people prefer in-person apprenticeships because they have immediate access to mentorship, guidance, feedback, and personalized learning. You also get more face-to-face interactions, allowing opportunities to form more meaningful relationships and bonds with peers and other industry professionals.

Remote Cyber Security Apprenticeships

Remote cyber security apprenticeships are more flexible, allowing apprentices to undergo training fully online. This eliminates commuting and relocation costs, making it a win-win option for both apprentices and employers. With a remote apprenticeship, you are required to use virtual collaboration tools and communication platforms. This can help you develop remote collaboration skills, which are sought-after by modern employers.

Should You Do A Cyber Security Apprenticeship?

Yes, you should do a cyber security apprenticeship because it is a unique opportunity that combines on-the-job training and earning opportunities. The practical approach allows you to apply theoretical knowledge to real-world situations, build a solid foundation in cyber security, and develop key skills needed to become a cyber security expert. You will also get to work hand-in-hand with, and learn directly from, experienced professionals. 

A cyber security apprenticeship can also enhance your portfolio, make you stand out in a competitive job market, and boost your chances of landing a high-paying job in the field. As more companies and organizations strive to be more proactive in their cyber security measures, skilled professionals are increasingly in demand. Use an apprenticeship as leverage to make a seamless transition into a long-term cyber security career. 

Cyber Security Apprenticeships FAQ

What is the difference between a paid and a free cyber security apprenticeship?

The difference between a paid cyber security apprenticeship and a free cyber security apprenticeship is the compensation you receive as an apprentice. Most apprenticeship programs are earn-and-learn opportunities, offering a reasonable stipend throughout the entire apprenticeship. Free cyber security training is similar to an internship where the focus is more on learning the fundamentals.

How long is a cyber security apprenticeship?

A cyber security apprenticeship can go for up to three years. However, most programs run for 12 months. Apprenticeships are personalized training designed with one goal: to prepare you for the roles and responsibilities of a cyber security professional within a company. As such, companies must ensure that apprentices receive adequate training.

What is the role of a cyber security apprentice? 

The role of a cyber security apprentice varies depending on the requirements of the program or company. Common responsibilities include assisting with security assessments, monitoring security systems, performing research and analysis, and participating in training initiatives. Above all, a cyber security apprenticeship is designed to help you learn on the job. 

What are the advantages of a cyber security apprenticeship?

There are many advantages of a cyber security apprenticeship. It is a unique opportunity to learn directly from and work with professionals with years of experience. This exposure allows you to receive constructive feedback which can help propel your career. You also get to learn about the best security practices and apply them in real-world scenarios. Additionally, most cyber security apprenticeships offer an allowance, allowing you to earn while you learn. 

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