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Building The Cybersecurity Talent Pipeline With CyberTrust & The BSU Cyber Range

  Patrick Gamble     Apr 02, 2024

The Cyber Range at Bridgewater State University is designed to foster the next wave of cybersecurity talent.As business leaders outside of IT continue accepting cybersecurity as a business strategy rather than just as a digital defense mechanism, there are still major vacancies in the cybersecurity personnel pipeline that require addressing. Knowing this, WEI’s advanced security solutions are complemented by a focus on helping replenish the talent pipeline. This commitment is confirmed by WEI’s partnership with CyberTrust Massachusetts, a non-profit organization working to cultivate a robust talent pipeline. The support CyberTrust receives from its higher education consortium members is paramount, especially with the all-new Cyber Range at Bridgewater State University (BSU) opening earlier this year. 

Bridging The Cybersecurity Skills Gap

Fundamentally, our partnership with CyberTrust is built on the collective mission to train students to create a more diverse and qualified cybersecurity workforce. This correlates with an offering that debuted last year, the WEI Technical Apprenticeship For Diverse Candidates. The program, designed to train and develop individuals with the attitude and aptitude to learn solutions across the entire IT spectrum, is directly applicable to those learning within the Cyber Range.


The Technical Apprenticeship carries a 99% success rate in placing entry-level IT professionals into a full-time IT position, a metric WEI is very proud of. As companies starving for cybersecurity talent continue relying on heavily fished talent pools and lean on expensive third-party managed services, the apprenticeship avenue is growing in popularity. In this case, an individual gaining real-world experience as an intern at CyberTrust at the BSU Cyber Range can be eligible for the WEI apprenticeship program for meaningful job training and career development. The four-step process of the Technical Apprenticeship For Diverse Candidates is: 

  1. Identify Apprenticeship Plan & Expectations:  For the apprenticeship to succeed, WEI and the respective client will develop a custom role that is specific to the client's existing tech stack. Once the expectations are identified and agreed upon, individuals from diverse backgrounds with the potential to excel in cybersecurity careers are then recruited. This initiative aims to tap into underutilized talent pools, fostering a more inclusive and well-rounded cybersecurity workforce. 
  2. Hire Apprentice: All apprenticeship candidates must complete a job suitability assessment and participate in client interviews to be eligible for hiring. While a candidate will not already possess the required entry level skills to be a full-time cybersecurity employee, their attitude and aptitude regarding cybersecurity is what drives the hiring decision. This is where WEI's guidance to equip an apprentice with the essential technical skills comes into play. 
  3. Deliver Development Plan: WEI pairs trainees with experienced cybersecurity professionals who offer guidance, support, and career development opportunities. Mentors play a crucial role in shaping the trainees’ professional growth and ensuring a smooth transition into the workforce. Technical and soft skills are developed in this important stage, often lasting 12 months. 
  4. Transfer Apprentice To Full-time Employment: Upon successful completion of the program, the apprentice will be transferred to full-time employment under the client that the apprenticeship took place with. This commitment to job placement helps bridge the cybersecurity skills gap and strengthens the regional cybersecurity landscape. The client has no obligation to hire the apprentice, however. 


BSU Cyber Range: Building the Future Cybersecurity Workforce

The state-of-the-art BSU Cyber Range features a sophisticated network infrastructure that replicates real-world scenarios, allowing CyberTrust interns to utilize a next-gen security operations center (SOC). Here, students participate in simulated cyberattacks, test blue team/red team strategies, and hone their incident response skills within a controlled environment. This hands-on learning experience proves invaluable in preparing students for the challenges they will encounter in their professional careers.

The Cyber Range is not just a training ground for aspiring cybersecurity professionals, however. It also serves as a valuable resource for regional organizations. Businesses, government agencies, and non-profit institutions can leverage the Cyber Range to train their IT staff and security teams on the latest cyber threats and defense techniques. This collaborative approach fosters a more secure digital ecosystem for the entire region.

The creation of this facility serves as a catalyst for strengthening the regional cybersecurity landscape in several ways:

  • Collaboration And Knowledge Sharing: The Cyber Range fosters collaboration between academia, industry, and government agencies. This exchange of knowledge and expertise is crucial for staying ahead of cyber threats and developing effective defense strategies.
  • Building A Talent Pipeline: By providing students with the necessary training and experience, the Cyber Range helps to build a robust pipeline of cybersecurity talent in the region. This benefits local companies and organizations seeking to fill cybersecurity gaps within their workforce.
  • Economic Development: A growing cybersecurity workforce creates a more attractive environment for businesses to attract new investors and customers. This, in turn, leads to a boost in regional economic activity and the creation of new jobs across various sectors.

Through CyberTrust Massachusetts and BSU, students and interns are gaining access to experiential learning opportunities at a live SOC that monitors and safeguards the IT infrastructure of local governments, non-profit organizations, and small businesses. This immersive experience allows students to observe cybersecurity professionals in action, apply their theoretical knowledge to practical situations, and gain a deeper understanding of the intricacies of SOC operations.

Career Pathways For Cybersecurity

By integrating advanced hands-on experience with classroom learning, BSU and CyberTrust are revolutionizing cybersecurity education, as the Cyber Range equips students with real-world skills and knowledge required for entry-level positions. These obtained skills and relationships will serve as the critical foundation for many young cyber professionals. Even more, BSU will be offering an undergraduate program in cybersecurity in Fall 2024. WEI is proud to support this incredible ecosystem of education, training, and inclusivity.

Next steps: Jeff Cassidy, the Manager of Cyber Security Operations Center at CyberTrust Massachusetts, joins WEI Cybersecurity Solutions Architect Shawn Murphy for an exciting discussion about modern cybersecurity. Topics the two experts dissect include the modern SOC, incident response, and threat hunting. Listen to the WEI Tech Talk here:


Tags  IT Security technology partner cybersecurity cybersecurity strategy Enterprise Cybersecurity SOC cybertrust cybersecurity talent CyberTrust Massachusetts

Patrick Gamble

Written by Patrick Gamble

Serving as WEI's Digital and Content Marketing Manager, Patrick is a regular subscriber to the latest news and notes across the IT industry. He is always ready to share WEI's take on ground breaking technology solutions.

About WEI

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