ConnectWise, CompTIA Look to Close Cybersecurity Skills Gap with New Apprenticeship Program

Digital classroom online education concept. School desks and laptop. 3d illustration.

ConnectWise and industry association CompTIA are together launching a new apprenticeship program to address the U.S. cybersecurity workforce gap.

The companies will offer training, certification and employment opportunities in five high-demand technology occupations:

  • Tech Support Specialist
  • Network Support Specialist
  • Cybersecurity Support Technician
  • Tech Project Coordinator
  • Data Analyst

The program’s impetus is to pair the two organizations to match new IT professionals, certified by CompTIA, with IT businesses, as self-identified through the ConnectWise partner community for registered apprenticeships.

The training component is based on the National Guideline Standards developed by CompTIA and approved by the U.S. Department of Labor. These standards detail the competencies in technical and employability skills that apprentices need to join the IT workforce.

Each company will bring specific areas of expertise to the collaboration. For its part, CompTIA said it will use its education, training and certifications to arm apprentices with the skills and training necessary to land technology jobs, including cybersecurity roles. Some three million IT professionals worldwide hold CompTIA certifications, the association said.

715,000 Cybersecurity Jobs Open

For its part, ConnectWise will leverage its large network of IT service providers, MSPs and MSSPs to employ qualified candidates in the apprenticeship program. Even at this early stage of the program dozens of ConnectWise partners are interested in participating, the companies said.

CompTIA and ConnectWise announced the program in conjunction with the Cyber Workforce and Education Summit at the White House, where Secretary of Labor Martin Walsh unveiled a Cybersecurity Apprenticeship Sprint, challenging industry and labor partners to help expand Registered Apprenticeships in cybersecurity.

According to recent data compiled by CyberSeek, a joint initiative between the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE), CompTIA and Lightcast, U.S. employers posted openings for some 715,000 jobs in cybersecurity roles in the 12-month lookback from April, 2022. Roughly 40% of those job postings were listed in the first four months of 2022.

The CompTIA and ConnectWise effort follows a raft of somewhat similar engagements that have been put on the table in the last few months. For example, last summer Amazon, Apple, Google, IBM, Microsoft and others pledged to help strengthen the nation’s cybersecurity with funding and programs to grow the cyber workforce and invest billions of dollars to underwrite the effort.

IBM to Train 150,000 People

IBM said it will train roughly 150,000 people in cybersecurity skills over the next three years and partner with more than 20 Historically Black Colleges & Universities to establish Cybersecurity Leadership Centers to grow a more diverse cyber workforce.

Microsoft had earlier launched a campaign to help prepare and recruit 250,000 people by 2025 to fill the nearly 500,000 open jobs nationwide that require cybersecurity skills. The vendor has subsequently expanded the program to 23 additional countries.

D. Howard Kass

D. Howard Kass is a contributing editor to MSSP Alert. He brings a career in journalism and market research to the role. He has served as CRN News Editor, Dataquest Channel Analyst, and West Coast Senior Contributing Editor at Channelnomics. As the CEO of The Viewpoint Group, he led groundbreaking market research.