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Leverage Your Talent Pipeline For Diverse, Competent Cybersecurity Personnel

  Greg Palmer     Dec 14, 2023

WEI Technical Apprenticeship For Diverse CandidatesThe push for data transformation is compelling companies to modernize network operations and digital infrastructure. However, such transformational efforts demand specialized expertise. To modernize legacy networks, it's not just proficiency in the latest technologies that's essential, but also a deep understanding of the legacy systems targeted for upgrade. Achieving digital transformation goals can be significantly hindered without the appropriate talent. However, even more crucial is ensuring that individuals with the necessary skills are in place to secure those digital environments. The repercussions of inadequate security measures and limited personnel can greatly surpass the costs associated with delaying infrastructure upgrades.

Competing for Talent

As IT leaders strive for greater security and modernization to enhance operations, they also find themselves engulfed in a fiercely competitive landscape for the requisite talent. The Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts that job opportunities for cybersecurity analysts will grow by 35% and for software developers by 25% between 2021 and 2031, significantly surpassing the average growth rate of 5%. Reflecting this trend, the recent tech labor report indicates that around 483,000 tech jobs were added across various sectors in the U.S. in October 2023. Even more, a 2023 congressional hearing showed that the United States only has 69 skilled cybersecurity workers for every 100 required by employers.

Fishing The Same Talent Pool

Adding to the difficulty, numerous companies are vying for talent from the same recruiting labor pool. This results in most job candidates engaging with multiple potential employers. According to an article published by Wharton Online, candidates in such circumstances either don’t show up or eventually ghost an employer in favor of a more lucrative opportunity. It is one more reason why it takes 44 days on average to complete the hiring process. More than ever, IT leaders who are challenged to provide a competitive salary and benefits package are left on the outside looking in.

The Challenge of Cultivating Talent

Many cybersecurity leaders are operating in an environment where support personnel numbers are non-ideal, which creates a challenging scenario for effectively training greener talent. As the cyber team member gains more traction within their skills and contributes to larger tasks and projects, the limitations of a smaller and frugal team grow more apparent to the blossoming employee. As the IT leader, you hope this investment yields longtime retention, but such an environment ultimately stunts the growth and career progression of your promising team member. The uneasy sense of training your employee for their next job eventually becomes a harsh reality.

What Is The WEI Technical Apprenticeship For Diverse Candidates?

Creating Your Own Diverse Talent Pool

It is time to harness the potential of your existing, untapped talent pool that is not only enriched with emerging tech expertise but also contains wide ranging backgrounds. With the guidance of the WEI Technical Apprenticeship For Diverse Candidates, this is now a possibility for organizations starving for fresh, motivated, and lasting talent.

A standout use case of this invaluable program takes us back to cybersecurity. Often, companies are searching for an entry-level security data analyst to assist their CISO in data tracking and visualization. In this scenario, the vetted apprentice is selected by the company in need and WEI takes on the responsibility of providing the candidate with 12 months of data analytics and security-related training. Eventually, the hungry apprentice proves their worth to the company as their appetite for success in learning a new position and field yields tangible results. Expressed observations our team has seen in the past include:


  • Apprentices are willing to tackle more time-consuming tasks than what their senior colleagues are willing to. An apprentice typically enters the IT field with no “ego” and let’s their development speak for itself.
  • Apprentices often demonstrate a strong desire to establish their worth and seize opportunities. The excitement of a new field and position triggers curiosity and brings out the best in work ethic and willingness to be a legitimate team player.
  • IT leaders thin on entry level talent can shorten time-consuming performance management with the in-depth training WEI can provide an apprentice.


In an ideal scenario, a company successfully grooming an apprentice is typically spared the challenges of recruitment, hiring, and initial management. This is largely due to WEI’s seamless process of handling each of these aspects until an apprentice transitions into a full-time opportunity.

Why Diversity Matters

The WEI Apprentice program prioritizes diversity because it is a proven asset, as highlighted by a 2020 McKinsey & Company study. This research found that companies with gender-diverse executive teams were 25% more likely to experience above-average profitability. A diverse workforce brings varied opinions, backgrounds, and perspectives, fostering creativity and innovative problem-solving. Recognizing diversity's value, some companies are even tying executive compensation to meeting Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion objectives. However, a challenge arises: how can companies source diverse candidates for cybersecurity roles when the overall talent pool is already limited?

The WEI Technical Apprenticeship for Diverse Candidates

Understanding the critical nature of your organization’s cybersecurity team requires a solution that marries your existing cybersecurity strategy to its strategy of the future, all while complimenting your existing cybersecurity personnel. The WEI Technical Apprenticeship For Diverse Candidates is designed with this in mind, offering a highly coordinated approach tailored to each client's unique needs and environment. The efficacy of our program is rooted in our four-pronged approach:

  1. Our team collaborates closely to comprehend your technology stack and the specific requirements of the desired role. We craft a comprehensive training program that emphasizes both technical and soft skills, ensuring the apprentice's success in your specific environment.
  2. WEI identifies a diverse range of qualified candidates with robust theoretical knowledge to create a capable talent pool for our clients. Each candidate undergoes a detailed assessment of job-specific criteria to ensure alignment with your business needs. You are then presented with the top candidates, enabling your team to make the final hiring decision.
  3. WEI apprentices are fully supported, as our specialized engineers work alongside them throughout the training. This interaction, including mentorship from both the WEI engineer and your team, is crucial in transforming the apprentice into a valuable asset for your organization.
  4. At the end of the apprenticeship, you have the option to offer the apprentice a full-time position. The engagement between your organization and the apprentice during this period provides valuable insights, aiding in your decision-making process. However, hiring the apprentice full-time remains at your discretion with no obligation to do so.


Get Started With WEI

To discover how to move beyond the uncertainties of recruiting new talent and instead fill your vacancies with diverse candidates specifically trained for their roles, we invite you to explore how more companies are successfully using their talent pipelines to fortify their organizations. Contact WEI below to learn more about this strategic approach.


Tags  digital transformation IT staffing cybersecurity cybersecurity strategy apprenticeship mainframe

Greg Palmer

Written by Greg Palmer

Greg serves as WEI's Director of Technical Resourcing. A versatile, results-oriented senior leader with a strong record of success, Greg is an intellectually agile strategic planner with superior interpersonal skills capable of resolving multiple complex issues across all areas of the organization.

About WEI

WEI is an innovative, full service, customer-centric IT solutions provider. We're passionate about solving your technology challenges and we develop custom technology solutions that drive real business outcomes.

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