Cyber Security Challenge and e-skills UK to launch student programmes

The Cyber Security Challenge UK is to join forces with e-skills UK, the employer body for technology skills, to inspire the next generation of cyber professionals (view press release). The two organisations are launching complementary programmes this autumn, both aiming to show secondary students how exciting and engaging a career in the cyber profession can be.

The Cyber Security Challenge UK, a government-backed initiative working to find cyber talent, will be starting its new school programme in September 2013. Hundreds of schools have already registered with the Challenge, which will see Key Stage 4 pupils work in teams to crack industry-produced coding challenges and then design their own ‘ciphers’ for other schools to break. The Challenge gives students a chance to develop their skills and demonstrate them in a competitive environment, aided by a suite of imaginative teaching resources, including an activity from mathematician and author Simon Singh.

e-skills UK’s Secure Futures campaign will also be launched in September 2013, bringing together UK employers and schools to to support education in cyber security, and open students’ minds to the variety of career opportunities available in the sector. It gives teachers access to a wealth of free interactive resources including lesson plans, project briefs, and opportunities for cross-curricular learning, as well as enrichment activities like online games in which students gain experience in digital forensics, cyber psychology and disaster recovery. These specially-developed materials dispel misconceptions about a career in cyber security, showing how involving and exciting it is to be part of this growing area.

According to Stephanie Daman, CEO, Cyber Security Challenge UK: “Safeguarding valuable information online is a major priority for the UK’s economy and for our society, and as a result, the cyber security sector is crying out for more people. Our new schools programme provides teachers with engaging resources to educate pupils about online crime and how it can be prevented, at an age when they are considering subject choices and career options. Through partnering with e-skills we can together offer many thousands of students a clearer pathway into the profession, demonstrate the exciting variety of job opportunities out there, and help address the critical skills crisis facing the UK cyber security industry.”

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