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Before we dive into why you should consider hiring a cyber security apprentice within your organization, let’s first answer the question what is a cyber security apprenticeship? Any apprenticeship refers to combination of employees learning on the job while they receive specialized education in their field. At UMBC Training Centers, the Cyber Apprenticeship is a one year program which combines on-the-job experience (provided by an employer) with related technical instruction (provided by UMBC Training Centers). Apprenticeships allow candidates to earn while they learn and provide employers with entry level technical talent to fill in-demand cybersecurity roles.

Now the big question, as an employer, is “what is the benefit of hiring a cyber security apprentice that is not fully trained yet?”

5 Benefits Of Cyber Apprenticeships For Employers

1. Access A Non-Traditional Talent Pool

The cybersecurity unemployment rate is 0%, which is not great for employers who have cybersecurity jobs to fill. Essentially, in this market, you need to offer a lucrative enough package to poach talent from another employer while simultaneously keeping the talent you have happy and willing to stay at your company. It’s an overall stressful scenario.

By employing a cyber apprentice, you are not looking for existing talent rather you are nurturing future talent. You gain access to employees before they are in the position to be fought over by countless companies and that also brings with it a sense of loyalty that other cyber employees may not necessarily have.

2. No Long Term Hiring Commitment

Unlike hiring a full-time employee, hiring an apprentice is typically a short-term commitment. Apprenticeships often last a year; during which time both the employer and employee can decide if it is a good fit. This time allows an employer to really gauge if an apprentice’s skills and goals align with the organization’s business needs. At the completion of the apprenticeship, employers can extend offers for full-time employment if they want.

3. Lower Salary Cost

While most employers pay their apprentices the industry standard rate (or higher!) for their market, you don’t have to. Since apprentices are completing their cyber education simultaneous to working for your organization, the starting position rate can be offered at 60-75% less of the industry average salary for the position. For example if you hire a an apprentice for a Network Administrator role, you would only have to offer a starting salary of $40,357-$50,447 which is 60-75% of the industry average rate of $67,263. As the apprentice achieves critical role-specific competencies, you will incrementally increase the salary commiserate with those skills so the apprentice attains the full entry-level salary by the completion of their year-long apprenticeship.

4. Business Tax Incentives

Tax incentives for hiring registered apprentices vary on a state by state basis. In Maryland, apprenticeship employers have historically enjoyed tax credits and incentives for hiring apprentices. Currently, eligible employers receive reimbursement for a portion of the on-the job learning (OJL) costs, as determined by the business’ size:

Large Businesses (50 or more employees):

  • 50% of the apprentice wage rate is reimbursable for a maximum of 30 hours per week
  • Reimbursement is capped at $3,120 per apprentice

Small Businesses (49 employees or less):

  • 75% of the apprentice wage rate is reimbursable for a maximum of 30 hours per week
  • Reimbursement is capped at $4,680 per apprentice 

MD Labor calculates reimbursement based on the first 13 weeks of actual employment not to exceed $3,120 per apprentice for large employers and $4,680 per apprentice for small employers.

Additionally, through the Maryland Business Works program small businesses of less than 500 employees may receive up to 50% of their apprentice’s eligible training costs. The program caps funds for eligible businesses at $4,500 per apprentice and $40,000 per company, per program year. However, eligibility for this program is reserved for FTEs who are eligible for benefits and have worked for the employer for a minimum of six months. Visit the MD Department of Labor site for more eligibility requirements for this program.

5. Hand In The Selection Process

By committing to an apprentice you are not simply assigned a person from a list of qualified candidates, you can interview and help choose the candidate that is best for your organization. The goal of an apprenticeship is to help people gain employable skills and employers to find quality talent. That being said, every organization has different roles that need to be filled and different organizational cultures that should be taken into account when selecting an apprentice to sponsor; so it is only natural that you should have a say in the cyber apprentices you sponsor.

Ready To Hire A Cyber Apprentice?

Apprenticeships allow candidates to earn while they learn and provide employers with entry level technical talent to fill in-demand cybersecurity roles.

Join our team of employers supporting and hiring candidates from our Cyber Apprenticeship program!

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