FIU Foundation News

FIU, first four-year research university in the State of Florida to offer Cybersecurity Apprenticeship Program

–By Cristina Jaramillo for FIU News

The Florida Department of Education has approved Florida International University’s Cybersecurity Apprenticeship Program (Cyber-CAP). The program combines technical skills, industry credentials, and on-the-job training to prepare learners to work in cybersecurity.   

Funded by a $2 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor, FIU’s Cyber-CAP program is aimed at addressing cybersecurity workforce shortages. According to a 2017 Global Information Security Workforce Study, the industry is expected to have approximately 1.8 million unfilled positions by 2022.

“FIU is well-positioned to shift the higher education paradigm to meet the needs of the rapidly changing world of work,” said Elizabeth Bejar, senior vice president for Academic and Student Affairs and Cyber-CAP principal investigator. 

The Cyber-CAP team leverages student support services within Academic and Student Affairs as well as the technical expertise provided by co-principal investigators Robert Grillo, vice president and chief information officer for FIU, and Selcuk Uluagac, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering in the College of Engineering & Computing. 

FIU is partnering with several industry leaders to host apprentices in cyber occupations. Partners include Cylance, ForeScout Technologies, McAfee, the Beacon Council, and the Society for Human Resources Management Foundation. Companies participating in the program will work with FIU to develop a customized pathway for employers and learners.  

“Data from the Department of Labor indicate that apprentices are retained at above a 90% rate after their apprenticeship is completed,” said Bridgette Cram, assistant vice president for Academic and Student Affairs and co-principal investigator. “Our program is open to employers who are looking to bring on new hires or re-skill their current workforce, providing them the flexibility to create a pipeline of skilled employees to tackle growing cybersecurity challenges.”

FIU will train 800 Cyber-CAP apprentices over a four-year period in critical cybersecurity competencies. Each apprentice will have 2,000 hours on-the-job training, receive related technical instruction through the College of Engineering & Computing, and receive exam preparation for cyber industry certifications. 

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