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Progress your career with a funded Cyber Security Apprenticeship

960 640 Guest Post

This funded Degree Apprenticeship programme from De Montfort University (DMU) is a great opportunity to work towards becoming a fully-competent cyber security professional.

Businesses often find their workforce has gaps in the specific digital skills needed to protect them from cyber security threats. The Cyber Security Technical Professional Integrated Degree Apprenticeship provides the essential skills and knowledge to ensure individuals can become independent cyber security professionals who can operate within business, technology or engineering functions across a range of industry sectors. Apprentices will develop skills which enable them to lead teams that research, analyse, model and assess cyber risks, design, develop, justify, manage and operate secure solutions, and detect and respond to incidents.

The great news is that if your organisation is a Levy payer, this apprenticeship allows you to utilise the funds within that Apprenticeship Levy. If your organisation does not pay the levy, up to 95% of the apprenticeship can be funded by the Government Apprenticeship Service. With this service you have the opportunity to reserve funds up to three months in advance of the start date for the programme. From now until autumn, up to 15,000 apprenticeships are available via this route.  

The teaching on this programme is underpinned by the work of academics from DMU’s Cyber Technology Institute (CTI). The CTI is a recognised NCSC Academic Centre of Excellence in Cyber Security Research as well as an Airbus Centre of Excellence in SCADA Forensics. This research and industry expertise provides the perfect environment for apprentices to develop the skills they need to respond to real-world cyber security challenges.

Key elements of the apprenticeship include; Risk modelling, analysis and assessment strategies, Cyber Incident Response tools and techniques, Secure software development, Malware Analysis, and understanding of the applicable laws, regulations, standards and ethics.

During this 42 month programme apprentices can expect to attend DMU for week-long blocks of teaching for each module, learning alongside peers from industry to encourage broad scope thinking. Integrating workplace training with academic learning provides apprentices with an increased understanding of their organisation’s unique business needs.

This apprenticeship is suitable for professionals employed by an organisation who will support their participation in the entire programme. This includes regular meetings with a work place mentor to support development of the professional skills they need to complete the programme successfully.

DMU works with organisations such as IBM, Siemens and BT delivering apprenticeships, where learning and skills are embedded back into the business from day one, adding real value and transferring fresh and innovative ideas.

The programme is based on the Level 6 Cyber Security Technical Professional (Integrated Degree) apprenticeship standard and is allocated Funding Band 27 (£24,000) by the Institute for Apprenticeships (IfA).

To find out more, click here.

UK’s first female cyber security apprenticeship graduate achieves Distinction

960 640 Stuart O'Brien

QA cyber security apprentice Stephanie Haynes has become the first woman in the UK to successfully complete the Cyber Security Technologist Level 4 apprenticeship programme.

Haynes gained a Distinction, the highest possible grade achieved by only one other learner so far.

Of the 238 learners currently on a QA cyber security apprenticeship, 39 (16%) are female, with new research from Cybersecurity Ventures predicting that women will represent more than 20 percent of the global cyber security workforce by the end of 2019.

“We’re delighted for Stephanie and we congratulate her on an amazing achievement,” said QA Apprenticeships Director Ben Pike.

“According to a new QA survey of 200 women working in the tech sector or in a digital role, 87% felt there needed to be more female role models in tech. QA is passionate about encouraging more women into tech roles and empowering this through apprenticeships. Pioneers like Stephanie are inspiring others to follow in their footsteps.”

Discussing her achievement, Haynes said: ”When I found out I was the first female cyber security apprenticeship achiever in the UK, it was a surprise, but I was also really happy to hear it. It’s exciting because I’m hoping that, with this result, I can help to inspire more women into a career in tech. 

“I want them to know that you don’t always need a strong technical background before starting your career, or have a particular ‘personality type’ to fit into the industry. If you’re enthusiastic about your field of interest and love what you do, you will thrive!”

Haynes was recruited through a national campaign for cyber apprenticeships in line with a wider government cyber skills strategy.

During her time as an apprentice at HORIBA MIRA, an automotive engineering and development consultancy company based in Nuneaton (Warwickshire), Haynes has risen to the unique challenge of adapting and applying the general information security principles she’s learned on her apprenticeship to a vehicle product cyber security context.

“I chose to do the cyber security apprenticeship because it not only offers a comprehensive mix of theoretical and practical knowledge and training, but the opportunity to work within the industry and gain experience by applying those new skills in a real-world security environment,” explains Haynes. 

Paul Wooderson, Cyber Security Principal Engineer and team leader at HORIBA MIRA, says that Haynes has become a highly valued member of the team.

“Her contribution continues to directly benefit the ongoing delivery and further development of our automotive cyber security services,” said Wooderson. “Apprenticeships have proven to be an effective additional means for us to develop the diverse teams of competent professionals that we will need to address the challenges of the future.”

Haynes plans to pursue a degree in cyber security to bolster her career and complete further professional certifications.

“To anybody considering an apprenticeship, I would strongly encourage you to go for it,” she said. “This combination of technical competence, soft skills and experience will make you a valuable and well-rounded asset to your workplace – not to mention it will look great on your CV!”