South Carolina State University has partnered with Urban Institute a Washington, D.C.–based think tank that carries out economic and social policy research to help jumpstart a new degree-based apprenticeship program in cybersecurity. The registered apprenticeship comes as a result of collaboration with ISHPI Information Technologies Inc., Integer Technologies LLC, and a consortium of historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) in South Carolina that also includes Voorhees and Benedict colleges.
This apprenticeship will bring build a dedicated team of Urban Institute researchers, HBCU faculty, and South Carolina employers to address the cybersecurity skills shortage in South Carolina. The program will also help to increase the participant's possibility of getting hired after completing their programs.
“The competency-based degree apprenticeship program will enhance the theoretical knowledge and skills of HBCU computing graduates. He said apprentices will receive much-needed practical experience working with employers and getting financial help while continuing with their programs of study. This project will help us to produce a robust pipeline of skilled professionals to address the information technology/systems and cybersecurity requirements of employers, including federal agencies.”
Nikunja Swain, Chair of SC State’s Computer Science and Mathematics Department
The apprenticeship program will be supported with technical assistance from Urban’s Apprenticeship Modernization as well as the Expansion Fund contract from the US Department of Labor. These partnerships will create a pathway to high-quality careers in cybersecurity and IT for HBCU students and help meet employer demand for positions in these fields throughout both South Carolina and the nation.
Many students of color have faced systemic barriers when entering the cybersecurity field in the past. With this innovative degree-based, registered apprenticeship HBCUs will play a critical role in developing highly skilled workers that will launch successful and well-paying careers in an industry with great demand for talent.