Digital Scotland Business Excellence Partnership and CompTIA aim to improve Scottish Cyber Skills

CompTIA, has announced the launch of a fully funded cyber security training programme for Scottish businesses. Funded by the Digital Scotland Business Excellence Partnership, and aligned to Skills Development Scotland’s Digital Skills investment plan, ‘Cyber Ready Scotland: A professional Upskilling Pilot Programme’ will upskill IT workers to give them and their companies the cybersecurity skills necessary to protect them online.

Cybersecurity is a tier 1 national threat. However, the cybersecurity skills gap is an issue that is leaving organisations’ defences vulnerable to hackers as there are not enough qualified cybersecurity professionals to help protect them. Cybersecurity skills are the third most in demand digital skill in Scotland according to the Scottish Technology Industry survey. It also conservatively estimates that there will be up to 2,120 unfilled cybersecurity related job roles in Scotland by 2020.

To help plug this gap, the Cyber Ready Scotland pilot will offer an initial 15 people in IT departments in Scottish businesses world class cybersecurity training through a six-month distance learning programme. During the course, must dedicate eight hours a week to study independently, involving adaptive learning through CompTIA’s CertMaster Practice tool, which responds in real-time to students’ feedback. Students will have access to ITProTV, a video training provider for everything IT related. The programme is now open to applications.

Businesses are encouraged to put forward employees to apply for Cyber Ready Scotland. The employers of the individuals enrolled in the programme will be eligible to receive up to 50 CompTIA CyberSecure licenses. CyberSecure is an online training programme that gives all employees – from CEO, to receptionist – a basic level of cybersecurity knowledge.

ITJobswatch.co.uk shows that the median salary in cybersecurity in Scotland is £57,500 – one of the most lucrative and fast-growing sectors.

The 15 candidates will be selected by a panel of assessors to receive expert guidance and learning material with the aim to become skilled cyber security analysts. They will gain the industry recognised CompTIA certifications  Security+ and Cybersecurity Analyst (CySA+).

Graham Hunter, VP EMEA at CompTIA said: “The cybersecurity skills gap is an issue that’s compromising national security. Cyber Ready Scotland will help plug the skills gaps by upskilling the existing workforce to move into in-demand roles in the high growth cybersecurity sector. If successful, we aim to push the programme wider so more people can have the chance to join this important sector.”

Claire Gillespie, Digital Sector Manager at Skills Development Scotland said: “We have chosen to support this programme because of the immediate business need it addresses, with cyber security skills being in such high demand, and the innovative and thorough way in which the course is structured. CompTIA has a long and proven record of delivering high quality training and certifications, and we look forward to congratulating the first round of graduates.”

CompTIA has awarded over 500,000 CompTIA Security+ certifications globally, validating cybersecurity skills. To learn more about Cyber Ready or to apply for the programme, visit https://certification.comptia.org/why-certify/cyber-ready-scotland or contact CyberReady@comptia.org.

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