American Cyber Alliance (ACA) & Arkansas Center for Data Sciences (ACDS) Announce Partnership


LITTLE ROCK, Arkansas, June 6, 2019 – Today the American Cyber Alliance (part of Forge Institute) and the Arkansas Center for Data Sciences announce a collaborative effort to develop a much-needed, data focused Cybersecurity apprenticeship program.

“Right now, the numbers tell us that the United States has 313,735 open jobs in cybersecurity with nearly half of those being for corporate Red Teams. In Arkansas, there are an estimated 893 positions available. Cybersecurity Ventures (part of the Herjavec Group), indicates there will be 3.5 million cybersecurity jobs open by 2021,” said Lee Watson of the American Cyber Alliance. “The demand for highly skilled cyber professionals is growing at a rate much faster than the current supply. This program is a key piece of developing the cyber talent pipeline and we’re excited to be partnering with Bill Yoder and ACDS on our Apprenticeship Program. Bill’s team brings a depth of experience and knowledge not only in data science, but also in running successful certified apprenticeship programs with the US Department of Labor.”

According to Bill Yoder, Executive Director of the Arkansas Center for Data Sciences, “ACDS was established to increase the economic transformation of Arkansas through the utilization of advanced data science tools and concepts like machine learning. Cybersecurity is one of the fastest growing fields utilizing these tools and concepts so it made sense to begin with Cybersecurity. I’m thrilled to partner with Lee and the ACA to help drive and support this effort.”

Participants will gain experience building a Cyber-focused, Security Operations Center(SOC), participating in a Red Team, performing penetration tests, hunting for threats, managing an incident and automating threat intelligence analysis. Participants will work in teams to identify and mitigate cyber threats through hands-on, simulated training exercises.

The instructional portion of the Cyber Apprenticeship program will begin this August and run full-time for 16 weeks. The first eight weeks will be instructor-led, classroom training with experiential group projects. The second eight weeks will be mostly in the field with participants gaining experience in real-world environments. Participants with an active Security Clearance may be eligible to participate in enhanced cyber analyst training opportunities.

ACDS has officially registered the program through the United States Department of Labor and the Arkansas Department of Workforce Services and will lead recruiting efforts. The ACA will provide instructors, curriculum, guest speakers, and other training experiences. Both organizations will engage Arkansas employers. Members of the US Armed Forces may be eligible to participate through the Career Skills Program (or CSP). More information can be found on our website.

Applications are now open and applicants should visit program to learn more and apply for the program. Companies wishing to send their employees or hire veterans participating in the program should reach out on our website.

About American Cyber Alliance (ACA)
The American Cyber Alliance was established in December 2018 as a private-public partnership that reduces cyber risks through trusted collaborations that enable greater workforce development, innovation and enhanced information sharing programs. More information about the ACA can be found at

About Arkansas Center for Data Sciences (ACDS)
The Arkansas Center for Data Sciences is striving to develop, engage and retain top talent in computer and data sciences.  ACDS’ will help Arkansas become a global leader in the transformation of existing industries through the application of data analytics and related computing capabilities involving the integration of technical and business skills.  The longer-term mission of the public-private partnership is to be a catalyst in advancing a thriving ecosystem and high-value business environment in Arkansas. More information about ACDS can be found at