Cyber Security, a burgeoning sector with skills shortages, employment and career opportunities.
Extracts from the National Cyber Security Strategy 2016 -2021 below:
“The future of the UK’s security and prosperity rests on digital foundations. The challenge of our generation is to build a flourishing digital society that is both resilient to cyber threats, and equipped with the knowledge and capabilities required to maximise opportunities and manage risks.
Our vision for 2021 is that the UK is secure and resilient to cyber threats, prosperous and confident in the digital world”.
To realise this vision the Government has pledged to work to achieve the several objectives including developing an innovative, growing cyber security industry, underpinned by world leading scientific research and development. The aim being to have a self-sustaining pipeline of talent providing the skills to meet national needs across the public and private sectors. Cutting-edge analysis and expertise will enable the UK to meet and overcome future threats and challenges. The paper goes on to state:
“We will use the authority and influence of the UK Government to invest in programmes to address the shortage of cyber security skills in the UK, from schools to universities and across the workforce”.
“The UK needs a vibrant cyber security sector and supporting skills base that can keep pace with and get ahead of the changing threat.”
“Insufficient training and skills – We lack the skills and knowledge to meet our cyber security needs across both the public and private sector. In businesses, many staff members are not cyber security aware and do not understand their responsibilities in this regard, partially due to a lack of formal training. The public is also insufficiently cyber aware”.
“We also need to develop the specialist skills and capabilities that will allow us to keep pace with rapidly evolving technology and manage the associated cyber risks. This skills gap represents a national vulnerability that must be resolved.”
“The Government will invest to maximise the potential of a truly innovative UK cyber sector. We will do this by supporting start-ups and investing in innovation. We will also seek to identify and bring on talent earlier in the education system and develop clearer routes into a profession that needs better definition.”
“The UK requires more talented and qualified cyber security professionals. The Government will act now to plug the growing gap between demand and supply for key cyber security roles, and inject renewed vigour into this area of education and training”
“The UK needs to tackle the systemic issues at the heart of the cyber skills shortage: the lack of young people entering the profession; the shortage of current cyber security specialists; insufficient exposure to cyber and information security concepts in computing courses; a shortage of suitably qualified teachers; and the absence of established career and training pathways into the profession. This calls for swift intervention by the Government to help address the current shortage and develop a coherent long-term strategy that can build on these interventions to close the skills gap.”
“We will develop and implement a self-standing skills strategy that builds on existing work to integrate cyber security into the education system. This will continue to improve the state of computer science teaching overall and embed cyber security into the curriculum. Everyone studying computer science, technology or digital skills will learn the fundamentals of cyber security and will be able to bring those skills into the workforce. As part of this effort, we will address the gender imbalance in cyber-focused professions, and reach people from more diverse backgrounds, to make sure we are drawing from the widest available talent pool”.
“The UK Government and Devolved Administrations have a key role in creating the right environment for cyber security skills to be developed and to update the education system to reflect the changing needs of industry and government. But employers also have a significant responsibility to clearly articulate their needs, as well as train and develop employees and young people entering the profession”
“the Government will invest in a range of initiatives to bring about immediate improvements and inform the development of the long-term skills strategy. These include:
- establishing a schools programme to create a step change in specialist cyber security education and training for talented 14-18 year olds (involving classroom-based activities, after-school sessions with expert mentors, challenging projects and summer schools);
- creating higher and degree-level apprenticeships within the energy, finance and transport sectors to address skills gaps in essential areas;
- establishing a fund to retrain candidates already in the workforce who show a high potential for the cyber security profession;
- identifying and supporting quality cyber graduate and post graduate education, and identifying and filling any specialist skills gaps – acknowledging the key role that universities play in skills development;
- supporting the accreditation of teacher professional development in cyber security. This work will help teachers, and others supporting learning, to understand cyber security education and provide a method of externally accrediting such individuals;
- developing the cyber security profession, including through achieving Royal Chartered status by 2020, reinforcing the recognised body of cyber security excellence within the industry and providing a focal point which can advise, shape and inform national policy;
- developing a Defence Cyber Academy as a centre of excellence for cyber training and exercise across the Ministry of Defence and wider Government, addressing specialist skills and wider education;
- we will work with industry to expand the CyberFirst programme to identify and nurture the diverse young talent pool to defend our national security; and
- embedding cyber security and digital skills as an integral an integral part of relevant courses within the education system, from primary to postgraduate levels, setting standards, improving quality and providing a firm foundation for onwards progression into the field.
- Measuring success
- The Government will measure our success in strengthening cyber security skills by assessing progress towards the following outcomes:
- there are effective and clear entry routes into the cyber-security profession, which are attractive to a diverse range of people;
- by 2021 cyber security is taught effectively as an integral part of relevant courses from primary to post-graduate level;
- cyber security is widely acknowledged as an established profession with clear career pathways, and has achieved Royal Chartered Status;
As a student, employee or employer, start your cyber journey through the opportunities afford you through the work of the Global Cyber Academy https://www.globalcyberacademy.com/ and Ofqual regulated Awarding Organisation, Qualifi https://qualifi.net/ . A collaboration that has developed Cyber Security qualifications at Level 2,3,4 and soon to be available Level 5. Qualifications dependent upon level and candidate eligibility that are Education and Skills Funding Agency, Adult Education Budget and Advanced Learner Loan recognised.