“It’s never been more important to increase and diversify the cyber security workforce”
Nearly 1,000 young women joined one of the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) summer cybersecurity courses this year: a rise of nearly 50 percent on 2018
The courses, held all across the UK, are aimed at introducing and teaching young people how to code and undertake cybersecurity operations. The NCSC has noted that the overall influx of applications for courses has gone up by 29 percent in the last year.
Chris Ensor, NCSC deputy director for growth commented in a release that: “We’re delighted to see so many young people interested in finding out more about cyber security. The significant rise in female applications is especially pleasing, and something we want to see continue into the future.”
“It’s never been more important to increase and diversify the cyber security workforce and we’re committed to nurturing the next generation of skilled experts and addressing the gender imbalance.”
CyberFirst Summer Courses and Competition
In 2019 nearly 12,000 girls were involved in the CyberFirst Girls competition.
The competition is a team based event aimed at female competitors from year 8 in England, Wales and year 9 in Northern Ireland. Interest in the CyberFirst Girls competition has risen by 110 percent in comparison to the previous year.
During the event the competitors form teams of four and try their hand at cyber challenges such as code breaking and problem solving. The challenges are based on school’s computer science syllabus, as well as more challenging cyber topics set by the NCSC that would not be include in traditional education.
Out of the 12,000 girls who took part this year, 705 were also involved in the CyberFirst Defenders courses, on which 14 to 15-year-olds were shown how to build and defend personal devices and networks.
For any young people interested in studying cybersecurity at a third education level the CyberFirst initiative is offering bursary of £4,000 to undergraduates. Also include with the financial help is paid cyber security work experience that aims to help students establish an understanding of real-world working conditions.