Helping Escape Room experts unlock a career in cybersecurity
ARE you an Escape Room expert or a whizz at Wordle? If the answer is yes, even you might not have figured out yet that your skills could be ideally suited to a career in cybersecurity.
York College University Centre’s Foundation Degree in Digital Technologies (Cybersecurity) equips students with the key skill employers are seeking in an ever-growing industry.
Engineering and Digital Technology tutor Richard Hind and his students stress, however, that you don’t necessarily require a technical mind to excel in cybersecurity.
In fact, Richard even points out that the qualities needed to identify possible cyber attacks today are not dissimilar to those in demand more than 80 years ago when the Allied Forces were looking for intelligence ingenuity to defy the threat of Nazism.
Giving his views on the ideal Cybersecurity applicant, Richard said: “We’re looking for problem solvers and we don’t want anybody to be put off because they don’t think they have a technical mind. I always refer to the advert that was placed in The Times when Bletchley Park was looking to recruit code-breakers during World War 2.
“They wanted people who could complete a cryptic crossword so, if you’re good at puzzles or Escape Rooms, then cybersecurity might be the perfect career path for you.”
The two-year course is run in collaboration with the Yorkshire & Humber Institute of Technology – the Government-funded body that helps deliver many of our accredited STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) courses, including the funding of specialist, up-to-date equipment.
Students are on campus two full days a week, meaning the full-time degree still offers the flexibility of a part-time course.
The skills acquired can be applied to a range of vocational routes, such as information security management, web development, programming and systems and network administration, as students benefit from practical, hands-on experience via our custom-designed virtual Cybersecurity Lab.
Our course is also validated by the Open University and provides a top-up route to studying the subject at BSc (Hons) level with the Open University.
Learning how to work as part of a team and about different research methods, meanwhile, are among the transferable skills students can expect to obtain, with Richard adding: “We are getting feedback from employers and North Yorkshire Police’s Cyber Crime Unit and the consistent message is that we are teaching skills that are vital in the cybersecurity industry.”
Second-year student Malik Ghali agrees with Richard that technical reservations should serve as no barrier to anybody considering the Cybersecurity course as a study option.
“Nobody should be afraid of the course being too technical,” he declared. “Before I did the course, I’d used computers for a long time, but I wouldn’t say I did much technical stuff and the teaching isn’t just technical.
“There’s a good mix and you also learn life skills in terms of how to deal with people in the workplace and how you translate the more technical stuff to people who might be less technical, but I’ve also learned how to deal with network problems and the kind of things you would encounter during a day-to-day job.”
Fellow student Matthew Galley is of the same opinion, saying: “Within the first year, you go through the stages so, if you don’t have much of a technological background, you can develop and mould that knowledge, as it is supplied. It’s all made easy to understand but, if you don’t understand something, the tutors are willing to help you out and will give you an easy explanation and advice.
“I originally had no interest in doing the course, but I learned about it from Richard during my second year at College. I did a Cybersecurity module as part of my previous course, which made me want to do the course and I’ve found it very interesting.
“I enjoy the practical aspects of cybersecurity and implementing it on a website and using hardware to make it function appropriately for the cybersecurity needs.”
For more information on the Foundation Degree in Digital Technologies (Cybersecurity) course or to apply for a place, please click here