Feeds

back to article Wannabe hacker, you're hired: Brit bosses mull cyber-apprenticeships

Britain's biggest businesses are draughting up cyber-security apprenticeships to train the online samurais of the future. According to digital knowhow spreader e-Skills, just seven per cent of all computer security professionals are aged between 20 and 29. The employer-led quango sees apprenticeships as a vital way of …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.

Has it not occured to them...

That maybe only seven percent of people are QUALIFIED to be considered professionals in anything at that age?

I was lucky enough to be started on my IT career at the age of 6 programming my own games on the ZX Spectrum (a fairly hefty tome full of BASIC-coded games was my first tutor), which gave me a slight headstart.

Most people getting into IT now seem to start the proper work at college or university. Before that, IT lessons consist of "How to use Word" and "Spreadsheets for Beginners". The extra-curriculur computer activity is almost non-existent.

If you want younger experts, you need to teach them better skills from an earlier age. When I went through the GCSE IT programme if I hadn't had my previous experience, I would have been put off completely. Most of my classmates were. From a class of 30, I am the only one with a career in IT.

7
0

Re: Has it not occured to them...

^ A thousand times this.

I remember my IT lessons from school. I think only one of them covered any actual programming and only then if you class turning the turtle in Logo as such. (Which in fairness you should).

I remember one weekend I was looking through my dad's collection of 3.5 inch floppies for shareware games and found a "teach yourself DOS" program. That did more for me than 3 years of secondary school IT.

2
0

Re: That bloody turtle!

I remember having such problems with that little bastard. No matter how well we measured, he would always run short, or not quite make the turn.

After a little testing, we worked out that the board he was moving around on was too shiny for the wheels. Cue the caretaker with some sandpaper, and suddenly all our previous "wrong" programs work fine.

Kind of sad that nowadays he would be seen as too primitive, when really it is just the kind of introduction to IT that is needed around 6 or 7.

2
0
Silver badge

Re: Has it not occured to them...

Please don't denigrate LOGO, my first programming language.

repeat 8 [repeat 4 [rt 90 fd 100] bk 100 lt 45]

0
0
Boffin

Re: LOGO...

...is 'non-denigratable'.

Any among you who have not read 'Mindstorms' should do so post haste.

Especially to find out the reasoning behind the following; take two coins of the same denomination, place them edge to edge such that the faces are aligned identically. Then, keeping the edges touching at one point, with one finger holding one of the coins still, use another finger to 'roll' the other coin around the circumference of the other. How many times will the 'rolling' coin turn over on its journey once around the circumference of the static coin? (Guess first, then do it. If you haven't got 'two pennies to rub togther'...well just keep reading the internet...)

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: Has it not occured to them...

"If you want younger experts, you need to teach them better skills from an earlier age. "

Agree passionately!!! In an increasingly globalized world, why are we still teaching curriculums that are broad and bland? Wouldn't it help economies if we encouraged specialization earlier in life? Why is that so bad? I know others that will disagree with me here.... Still I wonder what they are doing in China and India right now...?

This is a topic I passionately agree with after having spent all my school years being taught-- and forgive me here--- absolute and total bollox! I think everyone should learn to teach themselves one subject thoroughly. That's the only insight I gleaned from school. It wasn't on the curriculum, it was just one teacher's passionate view. The idea of learning-to-learn one thing well, forming the backbone of a learning process that will stand you throughout your career. But hey what I do I know...I also think people would learn more from backpacking around the world for a few years...

0
0
Bronze badge

Re: Has it not occured to them...

"Wouldn't it help economies if we encouraged specialization earlier in life? Why is that so bad?"

Re-read Asimov's "Profession"? Yes, that is taking the suggestion rather to the limit, but that's exactly the point.

Seriously, don't mix up skill acquisition and education. The latter must be broad to be meaningful. This is not to disagree with "everyone should learn to teach themselves one subject thoroughly" but to add "and several more thoroughly enough". When at university (or even doing your Ph.D.) are you quite sure you know what you will (want to) be doing in 10 years? Education is (well, should be...) about teaching yourself to learn new stuff.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

I work in security for one of the "big firms" mentioned in the article. We are definitely looking to take on more grass roots and newly trained staff as the "old hands" are giving up the technical stuff at their age and moving into management/consultancy etc., so the technical roles need filled.

However, I'm concerned that this will lead to saturation and a feeling of there being nothing else on offer. This in turn brings mediocrity and drives down salaries for a massively interesting, massively exciting and ever growing field. See what has happened with CS graduates wandering blindly into software engineering jobs by default, for an example of what I'm talking about.

As well as cultivate new talent, we need to strike a balance too. Not easy,

0
0
Anonymous Coward

<grumpyoldgit>

Why the obsession with *young* people and *grass roots* ? I would love to do this sort of stuff but the salaries being offered are beyond ridiculous - it would almost be better to be a high school maths / science teacher. I have to absolutely discourage my kids from doing anything technical like this, even though I hate doing so. Not because the inevitable outsourcing can truly undercut on costs - it can't (indeed, most of the code I have seen I would have been ashamed to have authored as a biology undergrad) - but because the managers think it can.

You want good people, of any age? Open your fracking wallets, and stop outsourcing to numpties who can hardly code better than they can speak English.

</grumpyoldgit>

1
0
FAIL

Catch -22

Can't get a security job with out security clearance

Can't get security clearance without a security job

and they wonder why they are struggling to recruit

0
0

This post has been deleted by its author

Windows

For as long as operating systems and devices continue to become more media centric, and interfaces are designed to be prodded with fingers on tiny screens, then you will never again have the same inquisitive generation who were brought up trying to break things with an MS-DOS prompt. Getting a computer to do what you wanted used to be a fun challenge which in my case led to a youth of tinkering / programming, which eventually led me to create and innovate software in a business environment.

It's difficult to see where such inspiration comes from today given the force-feeeding of crap such as Windows 8 to any youngster who's lucky enough to be given a PC for Christmas, as opposed to an iPad.

Apprentiships targetted at 16+ year olds is not the answer; a change to the way Children are introduced to technology is so that talent can be recognisted and grown at a young age, rather than after the career-horse has bolted.

3
0
Big Brother

>...you will never again have the same inquisitive generation who were brought up trying to break things with an MS-DOS prompt.

This statement is partly true in my opinion. The 'inquisitive generation' will always exist, and while it is true they are no longer trying to break things with an MS-DOS prompt it should be pointed out that they are trying to break things with 'social engineering' which is more prone to abuse and has always been the real entry point for 'malicious / subversive / inquisitive / call it what you will' behaviour.

I guess what we're discussing here are two distinct sets of skills. One is the technical tinkering type and the other is the social manipulation type. The solution, take the brats at an early age and drop them into a locked room with a locking device and tools to crack it open, as well as a link to the outside where somebody can hear and see them. Their choice, try to crack open the lock or plead with the observer to let them out. That will sort out the 'social engineers' from those who don't need the 'social' bit (slightly self-deprecating pun intended).

2
0
FAIL

idiots

let me see a large percentage of CS grads can't find jobs that pay more than minimum wage.

Oh lets fix that we will use apprenticeships to drive down wages further.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Delusional.

Erm, besides BT and QinetiQ, none of those companies are British. IBM? EADS? (Cassadian). There is no British security industry. Maybe I missed the release of the new "Blighty-Wall 7" Firewall from Secure-O-Brit Ltd last week. lol

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Wake up and smell the roses

The Infosec inductry is full of overpaid grads with a bag of qualifications and no idea on security. ost leach off others and industry FUD. I know some very capable gifted peeps who not only know their stuff but are dedicated, almost fanatical. What they dont have is the paper work (and the money to pay for it) to get the jobs. So the people who can do the stuff do it (and watch the "pros" pant around like puppies or go over to the darkside. This is exactly what we need - stop the styleover substance approach ..it aint working.

0
0
This topic is closed for new posts.