Schools are educating students in cyber-security
Schools are educating children in cyber-security to prepare them for the digital future. Source: Jefferson Santos/

The data-based world is well and truly upon us. All of our information is online, stored safely away by privacy companies who control the multitudes of data we entrust to Facebook, Twitter and even our mobile banking apps.

In our digitised world, data is synonymous with money. Through our stored data, businesses can work out who we are, where we live, what we do, how much we earn, who our friends are and what we desire.

Although this data can be used for good – such as tracking terror threats and increasing business transparency – there are also people who will use it for evil: cyber-attackers.

Cyber-attacks are the bank robbers of the data-sphere. If they manage to hack into your secure data, they have all the information they need to sell your data to companies, steal your identity and even steal your money.

This is why the UK has launched the £20 million (US$27 million) Cyber Discovery programme. The programme encourages 14 to 18-year-olds to engage with security problems in cyberspace to prevent a skills gap occurring as the economy develops, reports the BBC.

As the global technological industry surges forward, the need for skilled cyber-security experts also blooms. Jobs in cyber-security are expected to grow 28 percent in the next 10 years. This makes it a more promising career prospect than other computer jobs, which are predicted to increase by 10 percent, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Nicholas Coppolino, who teaches networking classes for Parkville High in Maryland, US, titled Security Plus and Network Defense, told Education Week that the challenge with teaching cyber-security is how quickly trends move on.

Coppolino says online resources such as Hacker Highschool and Cyber Aces are integral to be able to provide his students with relevant information on the ever changing cyber-security field.

Head of cyber-risk at Deloitte Phil Everson told the BBC: “There’s already significant global demand for cyber-talent across the world and there are not enough skilled people to meet that demand.

“We want to try to give the younger generation, who have grown up with the Internet, an awareness of security and its implications.”

Ian Glover, who heads the Crest organisation that certifies people who carry out security work, said: “If you can get them interested in technology that’s great, but you need to be able to describe the range of roles there are in cyber-security and the benefits of being in the industry, because it’s an awesome place to be.” 

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