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Finding the next generation of cyber security experts

The University of Portsmouth has joined forces with global cyber and information security experts, ThinkMarble, to host the first CyberFirst Adventurers course in the South East to develop the next generation of cyber security experts.

The course will encourage the next generation to consider careers in the cyber security industry.

The CyberFirst Adventurers course is aimed at 11 to 14-year old students with the hope that it will help inform their GCSE subject choices and provide them with the opportunity to see how studying computer science and related subjects could enhance their future career prospects. The course is in association with the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), a part of Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ).

The CyberFirst initiative, which was first launched in May 2016 and is a pivotal part of the government’s National Cyber Security Programme, has been developed to introduce students from the ages of 11-17 to the world of cyber security.

The University of Portsmouth will host a free one-day non-residential course on 23 October, which offers an interactive and hands-on learning experience to showcase the varied roles and jobs in the cyber security industry.

David Hill, Faculty of Technology Outreach Coordinator at the University of Portsmouth, said: “The UK has a world-class cyber security sector, but we need the workforce of the future to engage in this industry if we want to maintain our position and thrive. Bringing together the wealth of knowledge and experience of the University and ThinkMarble to deliver this exciting course is another step towards our continued drive in encouraging the next generation to consider careers in cyber and support them to make informed choices about their futures.”

Andy Miles, Founder and CEO at ThinkMarble, added: “Cyber security hits the headlines on a daily basis and as organisations continue to defend themselves against cyber criminals and hackers, the demand for more skilled people to enter the field is growing exponentially. We know there is a skills shortage facing our industry and if we don’t act upon it now, then we will be facing a crisis.

“As with anything, education is usually the key. We believe it is vital to engage with students not only at A-Level and degree level, where they may have made their subject and career decisions already, but also those younger students still in secondary education. Let’s get them excited about computing early on and change the misconceptions around security being ‘boring’. There aren’t many industries or careers out there that keep you on your toes like cyber security does. We are delighted to be working in conjunction with the NCSC to deliver these short courses to bright and engaging young students and see it just as the first step of our commitment to training the next generation of cyber security professionals.”

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