Cyber Discovery programme extended to Scotland and Northern Ireland due to success

The online programme, designed to inspire young people to consider a career in cyber security, returns for a second year after a successful pilot across England

Over 23,000 young people aged between 14 and 18 have already taken part in the Cyber Discovery programme which uses interactive games to teach teenagers about cyber security in an accessible and fun way. Those who perform at the highest levels will also have the opportunity to attend a special summer camp to hone their skills and meet industry leaders.

The scheme sits within Cyber First, the government’s cyber security skills programme, which is part of the £1.9 billion investment through the National Cyber Security Strategy to transform the UK’s cyber security and ensure we build skills in the workforce of the future.

Minister for Digital Margot James said: “We need to inspire young people and show them a career in Cyber Security can be exciting and rewarding, not only to give them more opportunities but also help build a talented workforce for the future. The Cyber Discovery programme has been a great success so far. I hope more teenagers will take part and learn that those working in cyber security can come from any walk of life, and have studied any subject.”

Based on the success of last year’s Cyber Discovery programme, it’s clear there’s both the appetite and the aptitude to learn about cyber security in the UK.
– James Lyne, SANS Institute

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The £20 million Cyber Discovery programme teaches students about subjects including digital forensics, defending against web attacks and cryptography. It is being delivered by IT security training company the SANS Institute.

The programme is also a key part of the government’s modern Industrial Strategy – a long term plan to ensure that businesses have the skilled workers they need here in Britain.

Head of Research and Development for SANS Institute, James Lyne, said: “Based on the success of last year’s Cyber Discovery programme, it’s clear there’s both the appetite and the aptitude to learn about cyber security in the UK. Before taking part in Cyber Discovery, 40.4% of female students and 35.5% of male students hadn’t even considered a career in cyber security. This dropped to 9.6% and 6.3% respectively after these students took part in the programme. And many of the club leaders, who are also computer science teachers, told us they used Cyber Discovery last year to complement their lesson plans. We hope to extend this enthusiasm and passion for cyber security across the the UK in year two.”

Any young person between the ages of 14 to 18 can take part. Registration and completion of the first assessment phase closes on 7th January 2019. You can find out more on the Cyber Discovery website here.

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