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Open University announces new computing qualifications

Clare McDonald

The Open University has announced a new range of computing qualifications developed to help postgraduates and IT professionals acquire skills they can implement in a business environment.

The new courses, including a module in Digital Forensics Management, will teach skills such as defending against IP espionage and identifying the source of information leaks.

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According to representatives at the Open University, the new modules have been created to teach skills that are currently in demand in the sector.

The skills shortage is currently a problem, with organisations such as The Cyber Security Challenge attempting to raise awareness about the shortage of appropriately trained individuals.

Blaine Price, senior computing lecturer for the Open University, highlights that in terms of cyber security it is not necessarily only employees with technical skills that need to be able to identify threats and attacks but also other IT professionals or those in other positions such as HR.

“The main thrust of this teaching is to give individuals the kind of up-skilling they need to be effective responders to an incident of some kind in an organisation,” said Price. “Traditionally, security has been a very small part of teaching if you’re doing a computer science degree or any other kind of post-secondary training in IT; it was considered a very niche area.”

Organisations are beginning to realise that the kind of basic training that many people will have received around this subject area is not enough, but that people shy away from learning more about cyber security because it has a reputation for being highly technical.

The Digital Forensics course may also highlight legal requirements based around a case involving employee data that HR representatives should know but may not be aware of.

“There are aspects of digital forensics that are relevant for people in HR and there’s legislation that you should know about and there are policies and some simple tools.”

Other modules will also be available in software engineering, software development and project management.

The new qualifications have been designed to meet the accreditation requirements of BCS, and enrollment for the May modules closes on 17 April.


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