Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ll know that online security is more important than ever. It’ll come as no surprise, then to hear that HM Government have set about promoting Cyber Security as a potential career to teenagers. Cyber Discovery is an extracurricular learning programme, which is back for its’ second year. The programme is accessible to students aged 14-18 across the UK. The goal of Cyber Discovery is to ensure that enough people enter the cyber security profession in the coming years.

 About Cyber Discovery

Cyber Discovery is a Government Funded programme. It’s open to UK students age 14-18, who can can take part as an individual.  Another option is to be part of a Cyber Discovery club. The Cyber Discovery clubs are ran by Club Leaders, (who are usually parents or teachers with a passion for all things Cyber). They provide students with support, motivation and guidance during the programme, which is made up of 4 stages…

The Four Stages Of Cyber Discovery

Stage 1: Registration and CyberStart Assess

Firstly, you need to register to take part in Cyber Discovery. You must do this by 31 January 2019, and complete the CyberStart Assessment. This measures your existing problem-solving skills, knowledge and potential for a career in cyber security.

Cyber Discovery - teenage girl at laptop
Image Credit

Stage 2: CyberStart Game

Secondly, If you score highly enough in stage 1, you get access to the CyberStart Game. This stage uses online challenges to develop security disciplines. Including cryptography, Linux, and programming. It is open from 15th January 2019 – 18 March 2019.

Stage 3: CyberStart Essentials

Those who complete stage 2 will get access to stage 3 – CyberStart Essentials. This stage focuses on theoretical concepts. Stage 3 will further expand players’ knowledge, and is open from 5th March 2019 – 29th April 2019.

Stage 4: CyberStart Elite

Finally, the best students will be chosen to attend CyberStart Elite. These are in-person camps, which are unique and exciting. Furthermore, these face-to-face events are designed to help accelerate students’ entry into the cyber security profession. Persistence, team work and determination are all key skills within cyber security. Stage 4 will encourage you to work with others on challenges, and teach you to make the most of each other’s strengths and skills.

Cyber Discovery - woman at laptop Image Credit

Give Cyber Discovery A Try With CyberStart Go

CyberStart Go allows you to have a look at the Cyber Discovery programme without committing. It’s a great way to see if you have what it takes to crack the codes. You get 1 hour to crack 12 challenges. (5 are easy, 6 are medium difficulty and 1 is hard). (I had a go myself – purely for research, of course! It took me 42 minutes to get all of the easy and medium levels done, but I couldn’t crack the hard level. If you give it a go, make sure you let me know how you did!

Sign Up Today

If you like the sound of the programme, why not sign up to CyberStart Assess today?

My Thoughts

As a geeky parent, I am really excited to see HM Government are proactively encouraging students to learn more about cyber security. My niece is 15, and a big fan of computers. For that reason, I’ve sent her the link to join in. Perhaps she will be at the next Elite camp this year? I love the fact that it’s free, and accessible to anyone with an internet connection. Furthermore, I was impressed to read that 170 students made it to stage 4 last year. That’s certainly a lot of potential employees!

Back in Y2K when I was doing my GCSE’s, I didn’t have a clue what I wanted to do with my life. I hadn’t done I.T. at GCSE level, so I didn’t consider anything web or computer based as an occupation. Had I been able to access something like Cyber Discovery, maybe I’d have realised my love of technology much sooner than I did. Perhaps my career path would be different if I had.

Does this sound like something your teen would enjoy?

Finally, if you’ve enjoyed this post, why not check out more of my geeky content.

 

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