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Date of Award


Document Type

Restricted Dissertation: Campus only access

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership



First Reader/Committee Chair

Andrew Hughes


The cybersecurity profession is a high-demand, high-wage industry with an acute labor shortage (Crumpler & Lewis, 2019). Employers have difficulty finding qualified applicants to satisfy demand (Crumpler & Lewis, 2019). Apprenticeship programs are proven to help prospective employees gain the customized training and skills needed to become cybersecurity professionals (Crumpler & Lewis, 2019). Nonetheless, Gonser (2018) and Jethwani et al. (2017) stated that there is a low rate of women cybersecurity professionals. The labor shortage in the cybersecurity industry could be reduced if women were attracted to and recruited to the profession (Toppin, 2018).

Therefore, this study aimed to determine the factors that ignited women’s interest in the cybersecurity profession, their challenges, and support network. Simon and Clarke (2016) stated that young girls should be introduced to computer technology at a young age. However, this study profiles three women apprentice candidates aged 31-53, with diverse ethnicities and educational backgrounds. Findings suggest that recruiting middle-aged women to fill the cybersecurity workforce gap can be a viable target market due to the self-confidence that they have accumulated throughout their working careers.