Information and communication technologies have evolved over the last two decades and are now integrated into virtually every aspect of our lives. From the rise in wearable technology such as the apple watch, to the emerging smart speaker such as the amazon echo, the UK is now a digitalised society.
This boom in digital tech in the UK means that we need to secure our technology, data and networks from the numerous threats within cybercrime.
Cyber-attacks are growing more frequent, sophisticated and damaging when they succeed, with recent attacks on large organisations such as the NHS attracting national attention. This has prompted the government to produce a five-year National Cyber Strategy. This includes an investment of £1.9 billion in the defence of technological systems and infrastructure, as well as supporting education providers in training individuals with the correct skills to address these challenges.
This skills gap represents a national issue that needs to be resolved, as it is estimated that there could be 3 million unfilled jobs in the cyber security industry by 2021. This offers great opportunities for young people with a passion for digital technology, but who may not have considered this career route.
At Middlesbrough College, our new Level 3 Cyber Security course is unique to the Tees Valley, and teaches school leavers the fundamental knowledge of information security. This includes data analysis and encryption, ethical hacking and risk management. The course will develop your specialist skills in how to manage cyber risks giving you a head start in the job-race and preparing you for higher level study or an apprenticeship in industry.
The UK requires more talented and qualified cyber security professionals. The Government will act now to plug the growing gap between demand and supply for key cyber security roles, and inject renewed vigour into this area of education and training.