The UK government is taking the training of new cybersecurity specialists out of the hands of universities and engineering departments with new apprenticeships.
A severe global skills shortage means the government is now looking to apprenticeships and Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) for training rather than boosting the number of software engineers being trained in universities. It is also adding the topic to teaching of 11-year-olds to “inspire” people to choose it as a career.
“The Cyber Security Skills: Business Perspectives and Governments Next Steps” report recommends new higher-level and advanced apprenticeships and special learning materials for 11- to 14-year-olds alongside a new MOOC for online training, as well as working with vocational qualifications providers to look at how cybersecurity can be embedded in teaching in Further Education colleges.
"Today countries that can manage cyber security risks have a clear competitive advantage," said Universities and Science Minister David Willetts. "By ensuring cyber security is integral to education at all ages, we will help equip the UK with the professional and technical skills we need for long-term economic growth.”
There will be some support for universities that come up with innovative proposals to improve cybersecurity teaching, while a new internship scheme will help provide students with work experience, but this is around existing courses. The report recommends incorporating professional qualifications into degrees, getting businesses involved in course design, and embedding cybersecurity into software engineering and computing degrees, as well as ongoing support for Centers for Doctoral training and a certified master’s degree in cybersecurity.
"It is clear from this and our own research that the national shortage of cyber skills is a key issue for businesses and government in the fight against the growing threat from cyber crime," said Sir David Pepper, representing the professional institutions in the Cyber Security Skills Alliance. "We will work closely with the government and industry in support of this programme, in particular to help establish career paths in cyber security and improve recruitment and training."
There will be new e-skills UK projects to develop key stage 3 learning materials and training for teachers for older children with a “Secure Futures” campaign in London, Greater Manchester, and Sussex following a successful pilot in Worcestershire.
This story originally appeared on EE Times Europe.