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Welsh students offered free virtual courses by National Cyber Security Centre

Credit: National Cyber Security Centre

Young people aged 11-14yrs in Wales are being invited to participate in a series of free, virtual CyberFirst courses to help students explore their passion for technology and inspire the next generation of cybersecurity talent.

Created by the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) – a part of GCHQ, and delivered in partnership with QA and the  educational charity The Smallpeice Trust, the CyberFirst courses are designed to show students interested in computing and cyber security what a diverse range of career paths are available in the field and to help them develop the skills they need to excel.

The content is structured in a way that aims to harness every student’s individual potential whilst delving into the ins and outs of everyday technology using realistic scenarios.

The interactive, instructor-led courses, that will take place in virtual classrooms throughout February 2021, include:

  • CyberFirst Trailblazers – open to any student starting Year 8 in the 2020/21 academic year. Students will become ‘digital detectives’, employing digital forensics to identify the source and spread of malicious software and learning how open source intelligence can help with the collection of further information. They will also learn the basics of website customisation.
  • CyberFirst Adventurers – open to any student starting Year 9 in the 2020/21 academic year. Students will use ‘big data’, work against the clock in a cryptography exercise, and have the chance to create their own models using 3D design software.

The courses will also instil a strong sense of responsibility in students, emphasising the importance of acting safely, legally and ethically in the cyber security profession.

Chris Ensor, the NCSC’s Deputy Director for Cyber Growth, said:

“I’m delighted we are offering our CyberFirst Trailblazers and Adventurers courses online next year, giving more students from across Wales an exciting opportunity to develop their digital skills.

“I would really encourage students to sign up to learn more about what cyber security careers actually look like and to connect with other like-minded people with a shared passion for technology.

“The cyber security experts of the future will play a vital role in keeping the UK safe online, and the NCSC is committed to nurturing the young talent this country has to ensure we have a well-equipped and diverse workforce.”

Dr Kevin P. Stenson, chief executive of The Smallpeice Trust, said:

“With many students continuing to shield or facing the possibility of self-isolation, the online CyberFirst courses will provide a brilliant – and most importantly, safe – opportunity for young people in Wales to boost their digital skills and enrich their problem-solving abilities from their own homes.”

The CyberFirst Trailblazer and Adventurer courses will take place on the 8th February and 11th February.