If you’re thinking about pursuing a successful career in information security, you should consider apprenticeship programs to help you get started. Apprenticeships combine classroom education with on-the-job training to ensure employers recruit and develop a highly-skilled workforce. An information security apprenticeship is a perfect opportunity to earn money while you learn.
Information security apprenticeships are usually open to all individuals with a background in a related field, whether you’re still in college or a full-time worker hoping to make a career change. If you’re interested in pursuing this track, keep reading to find out all you need to know about this type of program.
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What Is an Information Security Apprenticeship?
An information security apprenticeship is a training program where you work while learning more about the processes, practices, and technologies used to keep sensitive data safe from unauthorized access.
Information security apprenticeships allow you to learn about procedural controls, access controls, technical controls, and compliance controls implemented to keep both physical and digital information protected. You can earn a salary while receiving mentorship from experts in the field, and gain access to employment opportunities according to your performance.
What Does An Information Security Apprentice Do?
The role of an information security apprentice varies according to the company and the services they provide. In general, an apprentice in this field works under experienced information security professionals to learn more about information security measures and practices.
As an apprentice, you will be working full-time as you study. The hiring company will train you through specific coursework, after which you will be scheduled for assessment or exams. Technical tutors and mentors will be there to assist you as you move through the coursework and take on new responsibilities.
An apprentice in this field is also expected to perform administrative and clerical duties related to information and data security. These duties include organizing documents and responding to emails. However, you’ll also take part in information security projects.
Information Security Apprenticeship Salary
While ZipRecruiter does not list salaries specific to information security apprenticeships, they do list the average salary of a cyber security apprentice, which stands at $97,497 per year on average. The amount of money you make as an apprentice will vary according to your level of expertise, company, and location.
Information Security Apprenticeship Requirements
The entry requirements for an information security apprenticeship vary with each organization. Most organizations require applicants to have job experience and an understanding of networking concepts. Time is also an essential requirement as most apprenticeship programs run for about 15 to 18 months, meaning you’ll be a full-time member of the company.
Types of Information Security Apprenticeships
With the help of an apprenticeship, you can pursue several careers in information security. You can become a cyber security engineer, consultant, or specialist. Here are some of the most common jobs information security apprenticeship jobs.
Computer Security Specialist
Computer security specialists are in charge of the day-to-day operations involving network security. You can expect to work under staff department heads and other computer security specialists. Your duties will include maintaining security infrastructure, solving server and network security-related issues, and learning more about network security.
Data Security Administrator
Data security administrators are primarily concerned with database security. These professionals also oversee the day-to-day management of databases. Some of their duties include setting up new accounts, managing user information, and restricting permissions for existing accounts.
At the junior or apprentice level, your main duties will involve working with other professionals to improve database performance and efficiency. You’ll also learn more about a wide range of database technologies such as Structured Query Language (SQL).
Information Security Analyst
Information security analysts take measures that ensure the security of an organization’s networks and computer infrastructure. As an information security analyst apprentice, you’ll learn data encryption programs, firewalls, how to install security software, and how to develop the best practices for data security. You’ll also monitor networks for any issues that might arise.
Penetration testers, also known as ethical hackers, are hired by companies to infiltrate their computer systems and networks to find loopholes and vulnerabilities that can be exploited by unwanted intruders. During your apprenticeship program as a penetration tester, you’ll build your skills in coding, computer forensics, systems analysis, and problem-solving.
Cyber Security Technician
As a cyber security technician, you’ll learn how to diagnose and resolve software issues. You’ll also identify techniques and technologies used by hackers to break into computers and their networks. You’ll also be in charge of performing security updates to computers and network systems and preventing network vulnerabilities and security breaches.
Information Security Apprenticeship Jobs
Below you will find a list of information security and cybersecurity apprenticeships available in the US. Consider these when looking for an apprenticeship opportunity to hone your skills in information security and receive training from experienced professionals in the field.
Information Security (Cyber Security) Analyst Apprenticeship Program – City College of San Francisco
The California Community College Chancellor’s Office’s California Apprenticeship Initiative (CAI) developed an apprenticeship program to create pathways for skill development in this field. It fosters collaboration between community colleges, industry partners, and the Division of Apprenticeship Standards to create programs where apprentices receive support from mentors to help them succeed.
If you register for the program, you will go through more than 157.5 hours of advanced instruction. Each employer will curate the program to meet their current needs. They will also create a committee to ensure your performance is on track. After completing the 18-month training, you will receive a certificate of completion and be ready to sit for a cybersecurity certification exam.
Cybersecurity Registered Apprenticeship Program – Mantech
ManTech offers professionals a cyber security apprenticeship program to acquire career-oriented skills and knowledge. This program has a basic and an intermediate level. The basic level leads to an associate degree and helps you prepare for cyber security certification exams including CompTIA Network+, CompTIA Cloud+, CompTIA Linux+, and CompTIA Security+.
The intermediate level apprenticeship is geared towards those pursuing a bachelor’s degree and will get you ready for exams such as the Linux System Administrator I and II, Certified Ethical Hacker, Certified Incident Handler, and Certified Information Systems Security Professional.
Harper’s Cybersecurity / Networking Apprenticeship
Harper College provides a one-and-a-half-year networking apprenticeship program for professionals looking to acquire in-demand skills. In the paid program, the employer will cover your salary as well as your college coursework fees. The college programs will run during the evening and are flexible enough to allow you to attend day classes as well.
The employer will assign you a mentor who will guide you and ensure you acquire the skills and best practices inherent to the job. Once you complete this program, you will receive a certificate of completion from the Department of Labor and will be eligible for six CompTIA certifications. In addition, you will have one and a half years of experience in cyber security to add to your resume.
California Cybersecurity Apprenticeship Program (CCAP)
Coastline College offers an apprenticeship program to foster relationships between professionals and employers. In the program, students learn different cybersecurity tools and techniques in a local company. The hands-on experience you will gain in the training program will help you earn a certificate and possibly an Associate of Science in Cyber Security or Computer Networking.
By attending Coastline College, you will have the option to specialize in cybersecurity or Cisco networking. Both programs are offered online and feature hands-on training in the labs located on the Garden Grove campus. To qualify for the program, you will need to have a high school diploma.
Colorado Cybersecurity Apprenticeship Program (C-CAP | College of Business)
The University of Colorado Springs offers an online apprenticeship program to help professionals acquire mid-level and advanced-level cyber security skills and knowledge. The program aims to train professionals specifically for the cyber security analyst role. It features three courses amounting to 12 credits.
Upon completion, you will receive a certificate of completion and a UCCS certificate in cyber security management. You can also use the credits to pursue a Bachelor’s Degree in Business focusing on cyber security management or information systems. As you complete each phase, you will receive an increased salary and greater job responsibilities.
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Secure Software Apprenticeship
This part-time secure software apprenticeship program runs at East Pretoria in Illinois. To qualify, you will need experience in programming, specifically Java development. You should also have a GPA of 3.0. Having good analytical and communication skills is an added advantage.
To acquire hands-on experience, you will perform security processes, manage incident risks, conduct research, and perform security analysis and visualization. You can join the infrastructure protection, threat detection, data protection, application risk management, information security and governance management, or vulnerability management teams.
Cyber Apprenticeship – UMBC Training Centers
This paid apprenticeship is open to professionals with prior experience in information security and great potential in cyber security. To qualify for the program, you must have an associate or Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science, Information Technology, Cyber Security, or equivalent.
To join, you should also be certified in CompTIA Network+ and Security+. They will also check if you have solid experience in information technology. The program also requires professionals to complete the pre-apprenticeship program offered by UMBC training center or equivalent. It will be an added advantage if you have a working knowledge of operating systems and computer hardware.
Cybersecurity Apprenticeship Program – Cybersecurity Center for Business (CCB)
Cybersecurity Center for Business curated this program to help fill 5,200 open jobs in Wisconsin. The apprenticeship runs for 16 weeks online and features 60 hours of on-the-job training. The company aims to train more than 1,600 apprentices and partner with 700 private and public companies in four years.
During the program, apprentices will learn difficult cyber security terminology, how to assess vulnerability risks, identify security risks, and data security. This information will help you prepare for the CompTIA + certification exam. Upon completion of the program, apprentices will receive a certificate of completion.
How to Get an Information Security Apprenticeship
Information security apprenticeships can be extremely helpful when launching your career in network security or cyber security. However, these apprenticeships are highly competitive as many people are applying for limited positions in top companies.
Preference is typically awarded to students with knowledge of network security, TCP/IP, or related topics. For this reason, you should consider the following training programs to equip you with the skills necessary to help you stand out from the crowd.
Bootcamps are short programs with condensed curricula designed for students looking to pick up technical skills quickly. They are a great alternative to college or university education, as they are cheaper and equip students with in-demand technical skills. Additionally, bootcamps tend to have flexible learning schedules to ensure your current professional life isn’t disrupted.
The best cyber security bootcamps typically take about six to eight months to complete. You’ll learn about topics such as data encoding, basic cryptography, networking, HTTP, system administration, operating systems, and security concepts. Many bootcamps will also offer career services to help you land an apprenticeship or entry-level job.
Volunteer and Demonstrate Transferable Skills
One of the best ways to get ahead of the competition is by volunteering and showing a genuine commitment to the information security field. Remember, apprenticeships work just like any other job, and enthusiasm, passion, and knowledge of your hiring employers will take you a long way. Volunteering shows a willingness and a passion that other applicants might not have displayed.
Volunteering is also a great way to show that you have the willingness to gain valuable transferable skills. Such skills include communication, problem-solving, teamwork, multitasking, critical thinking, and creative thinking. Working on these soft skills will help you succeed in any program or job.
Online Courses in Network Security
Taking short courses in network security can be a great idea to help you prepare for advanced apprenticeship programs. Online learning has many advantages, including flexible schedules and affordable tuition fees. This means you can learn without necessarily disrupting your professional or academic career.
Consider short courses offered by accredited community colleges that cover related topics in network security, cyber threats, and information technology. Additionally, some colleges and universities offer apprenticeship programs that run for one to two years as part of their college offerings. During this time, you’ll receive college coursework while working for an employer.
Vocational training refers to a series of training programs designed to prepare students for direct employment. Vocational education is a great alternative to college education as it is offered at both the secondary and postsecondary levels.
The best part about vocational training programs in information security is that they get workers into the industry quicker than other educational alternatives. Besides that, you’ll also develop the practical skills needed to increase your chances of success when applying for an apprenticeship.
Is an Information Security Apprenticeship Worth It?
Yes, information security apprenticeships are worth it, especially for professionals or students who want to launch their career in IT or experienced professionals looking to make a career change. An information security apprenticeship is an ideal option for those looking to learn from industry professionals by completing complex projects and working full-time.
Information Security Apprenticeship FAQ
Yes, many people find it challenging to land information security apprenticeships, mostly because of the training and coursework required to qualify them for such positions. Besides, there is intense competition for such positions. Apprentice candidates with previous experience in the field are sometimes given priority.
An information security apprentice assists with the deployment and maintenance of information security hardware and software. Information security apprenticeships also provide an opportunity for trainees to learn more about forensic data analysis, fact-gathering, and preventing cyber attacks.
Apprentices receive compensation for their work and have a chance to be mentored directly by experienced professionals in the field. This means that by the time you complete the program, you’ll have plenty of practical experience and skills to kickstart your dream career.
These apprenticeships are equivalent to the first year of an undergraduate degree, a foundation degree, or an HNC (Higher National Certificate). Level 4 apprenticeships offer excellent opportunities for students looking to learn while earning valuable job experience.
Yes, information security apprenticeships are a great start to your career journey and gain practical work experience, especially if you want to start a career in cyber security or information security. Apprenticeships give individuals an opportunity to learn and gain technical skills in the field while earning a salary and can open up many job opportunities.
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