GCHQ opens applications for cyber security summer school

UK intelligence agency GCHQ is inviting applications to a 10-week cyber security summer school

UK intelligence agency GCHQ is inviting applications to a 10-week cyber security summer school in an initiative to keep the UK safe and identify prospective recruits.

According to the Cisco 2014 Annual Security Report, more than one million positions for information security professionals remain unfilled around the world.

The course is set to run from 6 July 2015 and is aimed at providing first- or second-year computer science students with cyber security insights from specialists at GCHQ and leading technology companies.

GCHQ is constantly developing innovative ways to combat a range of threats in cyber space from cyber criminals, terrorists, hackers, fraudsters and paedophiles.

The agency also works to protect UK forces around the world and, through its information security arm CESG, provides policy and assistance on the security of government communications and data.

To qualify for the course in Cheltenham, candidates need the ability to solve a variety of complex problems and advanced coding skills in at least one of the following: Perl, Python, JavaScript and C.

They will also need to show that they can work well both in a team and independently, said GCHQ.

On the course, they will work with a wide range of technologies, from legacy systems that have been in use for a number of years to the most up-to-date mobile technology.

Students will be taught technical skills in areas such as cyber security, ethical hacking, penetration testing and security networks. They will also learn about GCHQ’s role in defending the UK against cyber threats. 

The course will culminate in a "live" exercise where students will be able to put into practice the skills that they have learned.

GCHQ will pay students £2,500 to attend the course and will provide accommodation in the Cheltenham area. On successful completion of the programme, students will receive a GCHQ certificate.

The Cyber Insiders Summer School is open to all UK nationals studying computer science at university who have the required skills.

“The unique Cyber Insiders Summer School offers computer science students a fantastic opportunity to enhance their cyber skills and discover how GCHQ use a variety of technologies to protect the UK,” said a GCHQ spokesman.

“They’ll not only enhance their cyber knowledge, but completing the programme will also look good on their CV and, if they prove their abilities, we may even offer them a job interview,” he said.

Prospective candidates are invited to apply through GCHQ’s careers website. Applications close on 9 March 2015.

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