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Addressing Workforce Needs

Florida's Polk State College, Safal Partners Launch Cybersecurity Registered Apprenticeship Program

As a national shortage of cybersecurity workers continues to grow more critical, Polk State College in Winter Haven, Fla., has launched a Cybersecurity Technician Apprenticeship Program in partnership with Safal Partners, a U.S. Department of Labor national industry intermediary.

An Apprenticeship Accelerator event is scheduled for Jan. 18 in Bartow, Fla., for employers to learn more about this opportunity.

According to Cyberseek, there are about 30,300 open cybersecurity jobs in Florida currently being advertised, up from 22,000 in November.

“Today every business — regardless of industry or sector — is a tech business, and that means every employer needs skilled cyber workers who are able to keep their data safe,” Polk State Corporate College Director Howard Drake said in a news release. “Our new cybersecurity apprenticeship program helps employers attract, train, and retain the cyber talent they need, and provides workers with paid on-the-job learning, college credit, and industry certifications.”

The registered apprenticeship program offers five courses: Cisco Certified Network Associate Cybersecurity Operations, Computer Forensics, Cybersecurity Analyst, System Security Certified Practitioner, and Ethical Hacking. The program also includes approximately 12 months of competency-based, on-the-job training structured by the Florida Department of Education.

Students receive 3 credits toward a Polk State certificate or degree for each eight-week, online, self-paced course they complete. Students who complete the program will receive a national credential from the U.S. Department of Labor and will be qualified to earn additional industry certifications.

Polk State worked closely with the Florida Department of Education, the state's apprenticeship agency, and Safal Partners, the USDOL intermediary expanding apprenticeship in cybersecurity and tech occupations, to develop the program, the news release said. Safal Partners will provide employers participating in Polk State's program with direct incentive funding and ongoing support.

For more information, visit the apprenticeship event website or email Garry Grafton at [email protected].

About the Author

Kristal Kuykendall is editor, 1105 Media Education Group. She can be reached at [email protected].

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