Number of Girls Applying for British Cybersecurity Courses Surges
Britain’s National Cyber Security Centre has reported a significant increase in the number of young women applying for cybersecurity courses.
Rather appropriately, the surge in female applicants for the free cybersecurity courses was announced on Ada Lovelace Day, an international celebration of women in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) held every year on the second Tuesday of October.
According to the figures, nearly 12,000 girls took part in the prestigious CyberFirst Girls Competition 2019. Also, the CyberFirst Defenders course, which introduces teenagers to how to build and protect small networks and personal devices, had 705 female participants.
NCSC’s cybersecurity courses, which are held at venues across the UK, have proved to be popular beyond just girls, with the center reporting a 29% rise in overall applications in 2019 compared to the year before.
Participants are given the opportunity to encounter and explore everyday technology so they can build an understanding of how it works. They also attend lectures, learn through hands-on practical projects, and have the chance to hear presentations by guest speakers.
Saskia, who attended the CyberFirst Futures course that took place in Cardiff, said: “I haven’t had the opportunity to study computer science at school, but CyberFirst has encouraged me to consider the subject at University—I just wish the course was longer!”
As part of the NCSC’s CyberFirst initiative, young people interested in studying cybersecurity at university can apply for an annual bursary of £4,000. They can also put themselves forward for three-year apprenticeships in the cybersecurity industry, which allow them to earn while they complete a recognized degree course.
Chris Ensor, NCSC deputy director for growth, said: “We’re delighted to see so many young people interested in finding out more about cybersecurity. The significant rise in female applications is especially pleasing, and something we want to see continue into the future.
“It’s never been more important to increase and diversify the cybersecurity workforce and we’re committed to nurturing the next generation of skilled experts and addressing the gender imbalance.”