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education: Colleges and Universities
Mentorship Plus a Paycheck
With elements of blue-collar and white-collar work, cybersecurity professionals are often classified as “new collar.” Many jobs in the industry call for skills learned outside a degree program. Advancement, however, generally demands edu- cation, too. That’s where cybersecurity apprenticeships come in. Structured to take you from raw talent to becoming a skilled and educated professional, these pro- grams are designed to be paired with coursework in both two-year and four-year degree programs. Even better: You may well end up with your employer paying for
your higher education. While internships
can be valuable, they are part-time or short- term and offer low or no pay. Apprentice- ships are full-time jobs in which you are paid a salary as you gain skills. Unlike in- ternships, apprentice- ships are not left to employers to design. Rather, they are regu- lated by the Depart- ment of Labor and must include mentor- ship by a professional
at the journeyman level, on-the-job training at no less than 60 percent of the stan- dard wage for the job, and related tech instruction (though you may be responsible for tuition for such instruction).
Another advantage to apprenticeships is the opportunity to test your skills. Observes Craig Koroscil, senior executive at Circadence, “It’s okay to fail now–once you start work, it may not be.”
Just as with cyber camps or other programs, make sure the apprenticeship states the learning objectives in specific terms and outlines the measures of performance, together with any certifications earned. Martha Laughman, director of cybersecurity workforce development at Smoothstack, suggests searching online for apprentice- ships registered with Department of Labor. You can also check Cybersecurity Ap- prenticeship Tracker and use the NICE Workforce Framework and CyberSeek to align the opportunity with the credentials you want for your future. Structure is key, Laughman adds. Look for community colleges and universities that have partner- ships with reputable employers.
to issues of evidence for prosecuting cybercrime. And the increasingly thorny public policy questions of who should have access to information and how we can protect individual privacy won’t be settled with coding. There are business management courses for the tools to manage teams, projects, and your own cybersecurity company. Most cyber programs accommodate coursework outside of tech. New York Institute of Technology’s B.S. in Information Tech- nology, for instance, allows students to customize the program with several electives. Sarah Basset Lee, director of the School of Computing Sciences and Computer Engineering at the University of Southern Mississippi, also recom- mends jumping at any opportunity to foster communication skills. “Even if you’re going down a technical path, you’re going to have do some writing. I’d suggest that students celebrate any

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