Cyber skills boost as apprenticeship programme gains NCSC certification | #government | #hacking | #cyberattack

The Strathclyde’s Uni MSc Cyber Security Graduate Degree programme has been fully certified by the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC).

Certification means the programme meets the criteria defined for Scottish Graduate Apprenticeship Master’s Degrees as providing a General Foundation in Cybersecurity.

The Cyber Security Graduate programme offers work-based learning in combination with online and on-campus study over 18 months.

Students gain the chance to gain a master’s degree whilst applying their learning in the workplace, attending the university campus one day every three weeks to learn from Strathclyde’s specialists and network with peers.

The programme, which was created in partnership with the cybersecurity industry, is focused on building the specialist knowledge and the cybersecurity skills that industries need, including the latest cybersecurity strategies, theories and techniques, for protecting and defending information systems from attack.

Commenting on the accreditation, Professor Scott MacGregor, Vice-Principal of Strathclyde, said: “We are very happy that this graduate apprenticeship degree programme has received certification from the NCSC.

“This certification recognises the quality of the programme and will give students confidence that their qualification is valued by industry.

“Graduate apprenticeship degrees provide an ideal opportunity for employers and employees alike to gain new skills and knowledge that can be immediately applied in the workplace.”

The NCSC – a part of the Government Communications Headquarter (GCHQ) intelligence agency – runs the certified degree programme to recognise courses that offer a high standard of cybersecurity education.

The scheme aims to help students make informed decisions about the range of courses on offer at UK universities and give employers confidence that graduates from these courses will have valued cyber skills.

Chris Ensor, NCSC Deputy Director for Cyber Growth, added: “I am delighted that the University of Strathclyde’s MSc Cybersecurity (Graduate Apprenticeship) is now fully certified by the NCSC.

“Offering a certified degree helps prospective students make more informed choices about their future career prospects in cybersecurity and employers can rest assured that graduates of these courses will be well-taught and have valued industry skills.”


The NCSC said it was committed to growing the UK’s cyber-skills pipeline to address the current skills gap. According to the UK government National Cyber Strategy, the cybersecurity sector workforce has grown by around 50% in the last four years, with demand for skills often outstripping supply.

In summer 2021, the UK saw record numbers of teenagers developing their cybersecurity skills across a range of virtual and in-person courses.

According to the NCSC, over 1,850 teenagers joined in its CyberFirst summer courses over that period. This is the second year in a row that saw record participation, with courses moving online for the first time in 2020.

This is an important development as cybersecurity skills are more necessary now that they have ever been due to the rise in cyber-attacks.

According to Fortinet research from April, around 80% of firms worldwide experienced data breaches linked to a lack of cybersecurity skills or awareness.

Over 2021, global firms saw a 64% increase in lost revenue or incurred fines in response to security gaps, according to the report. The data also revealed a tenfold increase in ransomware attacks.

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