Rebound KC: Cybersecurity apprenticeship available in Kansas City

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Posted at 7:02 AM, Mar 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-18 12:49:42-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A new collaboration between apprenticeship programs will help people around the Kansas City, Missouri, area enter the cybersecurity field.

Clark University’s Tech Quest Apprenticeship program is now working with Kansas City-based Full Employment Council to help unemployed and underemployed people over the age of 17 find a career in cybersecurity.

In February, Tech Quest and the Cybersecurity Youth Apprenticeship Initiative (CYAI) began working together. CYAI is a nationwide program geared toward developing apprenticeship programs for people aged 16 to 21.

Both Tech Quest and CYAI use grant funding from the U.S. Department of Labor to facilitate paid, registered apprenticeships with employers.

“Apprenticeship is a great way lean, to work, to understand a career and to get paid while you’re learning,” pointed out Mark Ouellette, from CYAI.

Program managers said right now, there are 3,600 cybersecurity job openings in the Kansas City metro.

“Not only is the demand far from being met. It’s a rapidly changing area. Every month brings new cybersecurity-related challenges,” explained Dug Jones, Tech Quest’s program manager.

Ryan Starks will join an apprenticeship in April in St. Louis. The 19-year-old and his father are going through the program together.

“This field is always growing,” Starks said. “So there will always be a need for it, and right now there's a bigger need as the world goes online.”

41 Action News developed a Rebound Rundown for people considering this path:

  • Don’t be intimidated if you lack computer skills; apprenticeships can teach you those skills.
  • It’s a myth that cybersecurity takes place alone in a dark room. You’ll need to be a team player.
  • Problem-solving skills are a must.
  • Look for a “registered apprenticeship program” because more employers are connected with those programs.

For more information on CYAI, visit its website. Tech Quest Apprenticeship’s website provides information about joining the KC-based program.

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