With cyber-crime hitting the headlines this month – first there was the announcement that the government is investing up to £20 million in teaching school children about cyber-security with a new ‘cyber curriculum’, and today, a new centre (NCSC) to protect the UK against cyber-attacks was officially opened by the Queen.
17 year-old South Wiltshire UTC student, Keelan Baines, is very current. “I chose to come to the UTC because I eventually want to work in cyber security, and I liked the subject options on offer,” said Keelan, who is studying Electronics and Computer Science at A-Level, as well as doing the Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma in Engineering.
“It also has great connections with businesses in the industry that I want to work in,” he said. Cyber criminals cost the UK £11 billion last year. And figures show that on average cyber-crime left each person over the age of sixteen in the UK £210 worse off.
The NCSC - part of intelligence agency GCHQ - says the UK is facing about 60 serious cyber-attacks a month.
There were 188 attacks classed by the NCSC as Category Two or Three during the last three months. Studying at the South Wiltshire UTC means Keelan, and all the other students, can develop valuable connections with local companies.
“Those links with industry were not much of an option at my previous school in Andover,” said Keelan.
“I also like the fact a large majority of the teachers here have a background in the industry relevant to the subject they are teaching.
“This allows them to explain how the work we do in lessons will be relevant within industry, as well as teach us things a less professionally experienced teacher may not be able to. It helps give a real insight into how the world outside of education works.”
If like Keelan you are interested in cyber security as a career or you are interested in science, maths or engineering, South Wiltshire UTC could be the place for you. If you are in Year 9 or Year 11 at school then call the UTC on 01722 444000 – they are running weekly open mornings.