According to the BBC, The United Kingdom will start offering cyber security courses to thousands of teenagers. The objective is to raise awareness and to prepare the next generation of specialists that will participate in governmental programs.
The Department of Culture, Media and Sport hopes that about 6,000 students aged 14 to 18 will do this after school program, which would last up to four hours a week on a five-year period.
The agency is going to invest $24 million in the project. The administrators will use the money to set the courses and exams.
Reportedly, the cybersecurity pilot will start in September. The students will get familiar with the most common online threats so that they can defend themselves.
The U.K. government will scout for prospects among the participants
The Digital and Culture Minister, Matt Hancock, said the government expected to give the “best and brightest” young minds cutting-edge cyber security training, so they can develop the skill as a secondary aptitude apart from their school studies.
By the time the students finish this pilot program, the Department of Culture, Media and Sport also hopes the participants will be motivated to study a career related to online safety and privacy.
Cybercrime has been becoming growing in popularity and complexity in the era of information. As a result, the private sector gave birth to an industry specialized in protecting organizations, both private and public, from this kind of threats. By the time of the writing, there are around, 58,000 experts working in this field in the U.K. alone.
The world is getting ready for cybernetic warfare
Sir Michael Fallon, U.K. Defence Secretary, claims Russia is organizing and executing a series of cyber-attacks against British organizations.
According to Sir Fallon’s theory, Putin’s administration wants to destabilize “competing” governments using misinformation as a weapon. That would reportedly weaken the influence of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization giving Russia an opening to expand their presence in the geopolitical environment.
Hancock stated that they are determined to prepare Britain for the challenges it faces now and in the future and these extra-curricular subjects will help identify and inspire future talent from the nation.
In order to incentivize students to specialize in this field, the government is already providing university funds and work placements for promising students.
That is the case of Steve Elder, who is 20 years old and works as a cyber-security apprentice. Elder said that educating young people about the risks and vulnerabilities of the security world would help the UK prepare for the future.
“Getting young people involved and getting them taught from a young age will allow them – even in their home environment – to protect themselves before it has to come to people at a specialist level,” said Elder to BBC Radio 5.