Exciting Cyber Futures: Update

During last month’s SWCSC Networking Meeting, Mike Halliday and Steve Caunter gave us an update on how the Cyber Futures programme is shaping up.

Over the autumn term, students at South Devon College have been trialing the Immersive Labs workshops and sessions. The core of these have been heavily technical whilst aiding development of employability skills, providing the next step in their education. These have been provided by four main partners: PGI, CoreTech Security, Lineal and Optimising IT, alongside the NCSC. The group of partners designed a curriculum to establish an understanding of the increasing need to develop cybersecurity technologies and how they can be built; starting from operating systems and networking, to encoding and encryption.

The spring and summer terms will continue developing technical skills with a range of new partners, but will focus on employability and providing career context. Workshops will include: CV building, prepping for interviews and discovering jobs and their benefits, encouraging the students to direct their career aspirations into the cyber tech industry.

Spring term content
Summer term content

At the beginning of December the NCSC held a focus group with the Level 3 Computing students. Below are what they believe works well and what needs to be improved upon for the spring and summer terms or future roll outs of the program.

Stengths Areas for improvement
Enjoy external content and guests (gives variety to curriculum – different style of learning) Want more flexibility to work at own pace (abilities vary in class)
Enjoy being challenged Topics are technically heavy, desire for acreers and employability workshops (now in development for S/S terms)
Delivered by industry experts Face-to-face workshops – difficult to build rapport in virtual spaces (accessibility)
Shorter workshops
Variety in style of content delivered (more engagement and interaction wanted)

However, South Devon College has seen incredible developments and growth in the last few months taking their Immersive Labs ranking from 263rd in October 2021 to 102nd in December, setting them on track to secure the College’s Cyberfirst Gold status.