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Up to 100,000 people who want to pursue careers in cyber security will be able to take advantage of a new programme, launched by professional trade association (ISC)², offering free training and certification on its entry-level qualification.
The 100K in the UK programme will be open to anybody from recent graduates to career changers, and represents a multi-year, multi-million pound investment from the organisation, which has become a vocal campaigner for improved access to professional security training.
If successful to its fullest extent, the programme will expand the UK’s existing cyber security workforce by a third, and easily plug the gap left by security professionals cycling out of the industry – government figures estimate that around 17,500 new people need to enter the industry every year just to maintain the status quo.
“The cyber security profession needs the next generation to join its ranks now more than ever,” said Clar Rosso, CEO of (ISC)². “Unfortunately, until now, individuals looking for their first cyber security job often do not know where to start, what to expect, or how to convince employers to give them a chance.
“To address this, we have developed the (ISC)² entry-level cyber security certification to be a trusted endorsement of an individual and their foundational knowledge, skills and abilities,” she said. “Through the 100K in the UK scheme, we are committed to giving 100,000 cyber security career pursuers the opportunity to achieve this certification for free, making a powerful contribution that positively impacts the UK’s cyber security workforce challenge today, not years from now.”
Simon Hepburn, CEO of the UK Cyber Security Council, added: “Cyber security certifications that validate young professionals and career changers looking for their first role are essential to delivering a much-needed expansion of the UK cyber security talent pool.
“We welcome all initiatives to attract more first-time cyber security professionals to the profession. The (ISC)² 100K in the UK scheme is a timely industry commitment given the strong need to recruit for entry- and junior-level cyber security positions which are outstripping the workforce supply by a significant margin.”
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The programme will be open to anybody with UK residence who does not already hold one of (ISC)²’s certifications. Once enrolled, participants will be able to access an online, self-paced course to work towards the entry-level badge. They will also be issued vouchers to cover the full cost of the final exam, which they can sit at an authorised Pearson Vue test centre as soon as they feel they are ready.
The course and exam cover five main subject areas: security principles; business continuity, disaster recovery and incident response; access control; network security; and security operations.
On completion, successful candidates will not only gain the entry-level cyber security certification, but also become full members of (ISC)², which gives them access to further professional development resources.