November 12, 2019

Cyber apprenticeship program highlighted during National Apprenticeship Week event

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — The latest details of the burgeoning Purdue Cyber Apprenticeship Program will be highlighted Wednesday (Nov. 13) during a National Apprenticeship Week event.

The nationwide program is designed to create a steady pipeline of cybersecurity professionals for employers, while also offering a channel for participants to find high-paying jobs in the field. It was announced in July and is funded by the U.S. Department of Labor.

Geanie Umberger, clinical professor and executive director of the program, often referred to as P-CAP, said it is a unique opportunity for employers.

“The Cyber Apprenticeship Program is gaining interest with apprentices and employers, all of whom will benefit from the unique features that are being added over the next several months,” she said. “There is no other apprenticeship programs registered by the U.S. Department of Labor like this.”

Wednesday’s National Apprenticeship Week event is scheduled for 1-2:30 p.m. at KAR Global in Carmel. It will be hosted by Leon Ravenna, chief information security officer of KAR Global, and president of the Cyber Leadership Alliance.

The afternoon event will feature U.S. Labor Secretary John Delgado speaking about apprenticeship; Tracy Barnes, chief of staff of the Indiana Office of Lieutenant Governor; and Darrel Zeck, executive director of the Indiana Department of Workforce Development’s Office of Work-Based Learning and Apprenticeship. Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb also will issue a proclamation declaring National Apprenticeship Week, now in its fifth year.

The week showcases apprenticeship programs and apprentices nationwide among businesses and communities while providing valuable information to career seekers. P-CAP’s continued development since July also will be featured during the event.

Umberger said the apprenticeship program offers a bachelor’s degree in cybersecurity. But ongoing work with Purdue University Global will expand that in the future.

In addition, she said, apprentices now will have the opportunity to earn-and-learn by taking classes while working to earn a salary while receiving valuable on-the-job-learning and soft skills training. They can achieve as many as six certifications to establish a portfolio of their abilities.

“When apprentices are finished, employers have a person on staff who can understand both their cyber needs and their company culture,” Umberger said. “The Department of Labor has shown in studies that 91 percent of individuals who complete a registered apprenticeship are still employed by their apprenticeship employer a year or more later.

“This is powerful for industries with huge employment gaps like the field of cybersecurity,” she said.

As an apprenticeship approved by the Department of Labor, P-CAP focuses on an existing crisis-level need for cybersecurity experts, amid exponential growth in demand.

The program is designed to create a steady pipeline of cybersecurity professionals for employers, while also offering a channel for participants to find high-paying jobs in the field.

Umberger said P-CAP has had more than 1,000 inquiries by potential apprentices over the past two months, demonstrating the demand nationally for high-paying jobs in the cyber field. Enrollment begins in January. 

Writer: Brian Huchel, 765-494-2084, 

Source: Geanie Umberger, 765-496-3723,

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