Urban Institute Announces Launch of Innovative Degree-Based Apprenticeship Program in Cybersecurity

Contact: media@urban.org, (202) 261-5709


November 19, 2021 – Today the Urban Institute announced the launch of a new

degree-based registered apprenticeship program in cybersecurity in collaboration with

South Carolina State University (SCSU), ISHPI Information Technologies Inc., Integer

Technologies LLC, and a consortium of historically Black colleges and universities

(HBCUs) in South Carolina including Voorhees and Benedict Colleges.


Students of color face systemic barriers to entering the cybersecurity field... This innovative degree-based registered apprenticeship program at HBCUs will help develop highly skilled workers & launch successful, well-paying careers in a field with great demand for talent.

This innovative apprenticeship program brings together Urban Institute researchers,

HBCU faculty, and South Carolina employers to address the cybersecurity skills

shortage in South Carolina. The consortium’s apprenticeship program, supported with

technical assistance from Urban’s Apprenticeship Modernization and Expansion Fund

contract from the US Department of Labor, will create a pathway to high-quality and

rewarding careers in cybersecurity and IT for HBCU students and help meet employer

demand for positions in these fields in South Carolina and nationally.


Urban is providing technical assistance to SCSU and the consortium to help design,

launch, and implement the registered apprenticeship program in cybersecurity.


“Students of color face systemic barriers to entering the cybersecurity field,” said Diana

Elliott, principal research associate at the Urban Institute. “This innovative degree-

based registered apprenticeship program at HBCUs will help develop highly skilled

workers and launch successful, well-paying careers in a field with great demand for

talent.”


“South Carolina State University is glad to be part of this innovative and one-of-a-kind

program,” said Nikunja Swain, chair of the Computer Science and Mathematics

Department at South Carolina State University. “This competency-based degree

apprenticeship program will enhance the theoretical knowledge and skills of our HBCU

computing graduates with much needed practical experience working with the

employers, getting financial help while continuing with their program of study, and

increase the possibility of getting hired after completion of degree. This project will help

us to produce a robust pipeline of skilled professionals to address the information

technology/systems and cybersecurity requirements of employers, including federal

agencies.”  


"Integer is thrilled to collaborate with the Urban Institute, SCSU, Benedict, and other

SC-based HBCUs on this innovative effort,” said Duke Hartman, chief executive officer

and cofounder at Integer Technologies, a South Carolina–based defense research

company and the first employer in the country to sign up for the program. “We believe

that America's science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) workforce should

look like America. We hope this program inspires more students of color to pursue

STEM degrees and join us in the national security workforce."


“ISHPI has its origins in Mount Pleasant, SC, with a track record of providing

cybersecurity services to federal employers in the low country. It is an honor to

collaborate with the Urban Institute; South Carolina State University, the premier

public HBCU in the state; Integer Technologies LLC; and the SC HBCU consortium to

address the cybersecurity skills shortage in South Carolina statewide by launching an

employer-led cybersecurity degree apprenticeship cohort,” said Earl Bowers, president

and chief strategy officer of ISHPI.

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