The new cyber-security MOOC is aimed at everyone from current professionals to students

Free cyber-security MOOC course launched

A free online course designed to inspire the next generation of cyber-security professionals supported by the Government has launched.

The MOOC – which stands for Massive Open Online Course – has been developed with the Open University with support from the IET and is the first of its kind anywhere in the world to gain government support.

Aimed at everyone from those considering studying computing to current cyber-security professionals wanting to improve their skills or even just interested observers, the ‘Introduction to Cyber Security’ course is open to anyone with access to the internet and will cover subjects such as network security, the threat landscape, cryptography, malware and how to manage security risks.

Minister for Culture and the Digital Economy, Ed Vaizey said: “The government has a vision for a vibrant, resilient and secure cyber-space, contributing to economic prosperity, national security and a strong society.

“This vision can only become a reality if we have a strong cyber-security skills base in the UK, both within government and the private sector. The launch of the cyber-security MOOC takes us a step closer to that goal.

“Employers are looking for skilled people in the cyber-security field, now and in the future and we’re particularly keen to encourage more young people and women into the profession. It’s vital that we have the people and the skills to ensure the UK remains at the forefront of the information revolution.”

The course is funded by the government’s National Cyber Security Programme, which is investing £860m over 5 years to improve the UK’s cyber-security skills, and will be available on FutureLearn, a web platform that hosts free online courses from a range of UK and international universities.

Tim Hamer, director of knowledge at the IET, said: “With increasing threats emerging daily, online courses such as this have a vital role to play in raising awareness of the need to improve our cyber-security. The course will also help to fill the shortage of skilled-cyber security professionals that the UK needs.”

The course will be offered 4 times per year over the next 3 years, with the first offering starting on 13 October. Registration for the course is open now on the FutureLearn website.

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