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UK sidelines universities for cyber security training

March 13, 2014 // Nick Flaherty

UK sidelines universities for cyber security training

The UK government is taking the training of new cyber security specialists out of the hands of universities and engineering departments with new apprenticeships.

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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 cyber security 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 cyber security 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 cyber security into software engineering and computing degrees, as well as ongoing support for Centers for Doctoral training and a certified Masters degree in Cyber Security..
"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.

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