Department of Labor Recognizes UCCS Cybersecurity Analyst Program as a Registered Apprenticeship Program

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — The United States Department of Labor (USDOL) recently approved the University of Colorado Colorado Springs’ (UCCS) Colorado Cybersecurity Analyst Apprenticeship Program (C-CAP), supported by Spry Squared, Inc., a women and minority-owned IT consulting firm.

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The C-CAP Cybersecurity Analyst Program is designed to prepare apprentices for roles in one of the fastest growing fields in the nation. According to CyberSeek.org, the total demand in the United States for cybersecurity analysts is 28,175. Colorado alone needed 17,271 cybersecurity professionals from April 2020 to March 2021. Through a series of college courses, boot camps and workplace-relevant training, apprentices will satisfy the requirements to achieve an academic certificate in cybersecurity management and an industry-recognized credential in cybersecurity.

“We are proud to be recognized as a Registered Apprenticeship Program [RAP] in the state of Colorado, said Dr. Karen Markel, dean of the UCCS College of Business. “RAPs represent the highest standard of excellence for apprenticeships nationwide and we are thrilled to offer aspiring cybersecurity analysts a high quality, industry-recognized pathway to reach their career goals.”

The announcement comes at a time when an increasing number of employers and workers are recognizing the benefits of apprenticeships. According to apprenticeship.gov, apprentices earn an average of $300,000 throughout their careers with an average starting salary of $72,000. 92 percent of apprentices retain employment at the completion of their program and in 2020, more than 221,000 individuals nationwide entered the apprenticeship system.

“The registered apprenticeship program will help employers in the cybersecurity field who struggle to address their skills gaps,” said Bill Dowling, Director of Employment and Training CDLE. “Apprenticeship programs are a proven workforce development strategy that offer hands-on learning opportunities to aspiring professionals and a steady pipeline of highly skilled workforce talent to employers. Employers who adopt registered apprenticeship programs will not only be advancing their business goals, they’ll also be benefiting society at large by expanding access to employment opportunities.”

“We are excited at the prospect of being able to give apprentices customized training in cybersecurity,” said Steve Spry, Vice President and Chief Technology Officer at Spry Squared, Inc. “Thanks to the guidance we received from CDLE and the partnership we have with UCCS, we were able to register a program for Cybersecurity Analysts. This program will allow us to equip apprentices with the exact skills we need to grow. And we take great pride in the fact that we are helping them future-proof their careers.”

UCCS was awarded nearly $6 million in grant funding from the USDOL to administer C-CAP over the next three years with the goal of serving more than 5,100 students across 10 states. C-CAP is focused on developing a diverse pool of cybersecurity talent, with an emphasis on underemployed and underrepresented populations, including women, minorities, and military members. The program launched in 2020 and welcomed 115 Colorado students in the spring and summer cohorts. In addition to the Cybersecurity Analyst Program, C-CAP aims to register four apprenticeship programs to align with industry needs for consultants, IT auditors, penetration and vulnerability testers and managers.

The USDOL established standards for Registered Apprenticeship Programs (RAPs) to advance the development of high-quality apprenticeship opportunities in the United States. RAPs provide apprentices with the education, on-the-job training, mentorship and credentials to succeed in their chosen industry. UCCS is one of the first higher education institutions to seek funding with the USDOL to expand apprenticeship opportunities in cybersecurity.

UCCS will hold a webinar on July 13, 2021 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. “Closing the Cybersecurity Skills Gap through Apprenticeship Programs” with thought leaders in the industry to offer unique perspectives on the role of apprenticeships in workforce development. Attendees will have the opportunity to hear from leading IT representatives from IBM who utilize apprenticeships programs, learn about the Cybersecurity Analyst Apprenticeship Program (C-CAP) and discuss the advantages of developing their own apprenticeship programs. Register for the webinar here.

UCCS C-CAP is currently accepting applications for the 2021 cohort. To learn more about the program, please visit uccs.edu/c-cap or contact ccap@uccs.edu.  If you are interested in hiring cybersecurity talent, please contact Julia Costin at jcostin@uccs.edu. If you are an employer interested in learning more about apprenticeships, please contact CDLE at apprenticeship@state.co.us to be connected to one of their apprenticeship consultants, who can guide you through the process of creating and registering an apprenticeship.

About Spry Squared, Inc.

Spry Squared, Inc. is a woman- and minority-owned small business and is an experienced DoD service provider with cleared personnel on site at various DoD facilities. Spry Squared provides Managed IT Services, including cybersecurity, IT recruiting, and other consulting services. Founded by Linda Tousley Spry and Steve Spry, Spry Squared, Inc. has managing partners who have years of IT experience and understand and identify technology industry standards, innovations, and trends that are essential to businesses’ protection and success.

About the University of Colorado Colorado Springs

The UCCS College of Business was established in 1965 and has more than 1,300 undergraduates and 350 MBA students. The College of Business and Administration awards the Bachelor of Science in Business and Bachelor of Innovation degrees. The Graduate School of Business Administration awards the Master of Business Administration, Master of Science in Accounting and Executive Doctor of Business Administration degrees. More than 10,000 alumni of the College of Business live and work around the world. For more information, visit  business.uccs.edu. The University of Colorado Colorado Springs offers 50 bachelor’s, 24 master’s and seven doctoral degree programs. UCCS enrolls about 12,000 students on campus annually. For more information, visit uccs.edu.

About the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment

The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment’s (CDLE) vision is to create a working economy that elevates all of Colorado. In pursuit of this vision, the 1,300-person state agency’s six divisions help the state’s employers and workers prosper: employers benefit from CDLE’s work to improve Colorado’s talent pipeline, its recruitment assistance, its economic updates, and more. The agency helps workers with and without disabilities pursue their career goals through job training, job search assistance, and career counseling. CDLE works to help workers, employers, and communities thrive by ensuring fair labor practices, providing unemployment insurance, and protecting Colorado communities through consumer protection and safety programs. CDLE is primarily funded through federal and cash funds. Factors that influence its work and funding include federal legislation, budgets, and the state’s economic health.