With A Level results out today, students who did not get the grades they needed and are facing the anxiety of going through clearing, should look at Cyber Security Higher Apprenticeships as an alternative route to a good career without the burden of student loans, urges Ian Glover, the President of CREST.
“Students who did not get their first or second choice university courses have the opportunity to take stock and look at the other options available to them, rather than compromising their aspirations,” says Ian Glover. “We have a severe shortage of people working in cyber security, despite it offering an extremely exciting, challenging and financially rewarding career. Initiatives like the Government’s Apprenticeships schemes open up a future in cyber security to a far wider and more diverse group of young people, combining real-world paid work experience with structured training to attract fresh talent.”
CREST and the cyber security industry have been supporting private and public-sector initiatives to increase the number of people entering the cyber security industry with a wide variety of entry points, educational backgrounds and skill levels. There is also a drive to encourage more diversity by addressing the gender balance and helping people with neuro-diversity to secure employment and harness their skills in cyber security. Details of some of these initiatives can be found in this guide: http://www.crest-approved.org/wp-content/uploads/DigitalDefenders.pdf
“There are incredible people working in the cyber security industry but there simply are not enough of them,” adds Glover. Mark Heholt, Head of Apprenticeships at The Tech Partnership says: “The number of cyber security jobs in the UK is increasing at nearly 20% a year and the average salary of a cyber professional is just over £57,000, so there couldn’t be a better time to enter this exciting career. The new Cyber Apprenticeships give opportunities for trainees to earn while they learn, to become highly skilled professionals without incurring a single penny of student debt.”
To apply for a Level 4 Apprenticeship, a candidate should normally have 2 A Levels or equivalent, or a Level 3 Advanced Apprenticeship, plus 5 GCSEs (Grade C and above), including Maths and English. On completing an 18-24 months Cyber Security Level 4 Apprenticeships the candidates are awarded an industry-recognised apprenticeship certificate that confirms they have passed the end-point assessment and are fully competent in the role for which they have trained.
The two options are:
- Cyber Security Technologist: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/apprenticeship-standard-cyber-security-technologist-approved-for-delivery
- Cyber Intrusion Analyst: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/apprenticeship-standard-cyber-intrusion-analyst
A third option at degree level (Level 6) is expected to be ready for delivery early in 2018: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/apprenticeship-standard-cyber-security-technical-professional
If you are interested in applying for an apprenticeship, you should check the National Apprenticeship Service job-search tool: https://www.gov.uk/apply-apprenticeship