News: Undergraduates will work with industry to tackle real world applications in security.
An academy in Newport, Wales, will train a cohort of undergraduates in cyber security skills.
The pilot project, called the National Cyber Security Academy (NCSA) and run jointly by the University of South Wales and the Welsh Government, will take its first students from October. It will be run at the Newport City Campus.
Undergraduates studying USW Computer Forensics and Computer Security will work on real-world projects created by NCSA partners. The key to the programme is this interconnect between students and industry, allowing the course to focus on applications.
The course itself will also be tested to see if it meets the needs of the modern cyber security world. If successful, it will be expanded to a full-time dedicated degree programme.
With an initial investment of £500,000, the initiative is partly funded by the Welsh Government. Other supporters of the project include Innovation Point, Airbus, General Dynamics UK, Alert Logic, Information Assurance, QinetiQ, Silcox Information Security, Westgate Cyber, Wolfberry and the South Wales Cyber Security Cluster.
The city, which has received extensive investment over recent years from the Welsh Government, is also set to benefit from a £60 million Newport Knowledge Quarter, as well as the ONS opening a new data hub there.
A recent survey by HR and recruitment firm Harvey Nash revealed the huge demand for cybersecurity skills: 50 percent of hiring managers said that they were looking for security architects.
42 percent of hiring managers required security training and awareness professionals, 39 percent information security leaders, 34 percent SCO analysts and 33 percent security engineering professionals.
(ISC)2, a security certification and industry body, has predicted that organisations will need 6 million security professionals globally by 2019. However, it believes that only 4.5m will have the necessary qualifications.
Julie Lydon, vice chancellor of the university, said that there is a "growing need for graduates with hands-on skills that can fight cyber threats, and that there is a need to work together to address this challenge."
She said that it would provide industry with direct access to a pool of highly trained graduates, while the students would benefit from improved job prospects.
Andy Love, from partner Airbus Defence and Space’s said: "There is an emerging ecosystem around cyber technology that is based in South Wales and Airbus is proud to be part of it.
"Our involvement with the course and the curriculum is an exciting opportunity for business and academia to influence the next generation of cyber security specialists."