GCHQ has confirmed that it will start approving Master’s degrees, meaning that aspiring spies will be able to earn a certified qualification in the subject.
The surveillance body has provided participating universities with a brief that asks them to ensure they have certification applications submitted by 20th June.
The document says that, since there are now so many courses and qualifications related to cyber security on offer, it can be hard for both employers and students to assess which are worth pursuing.
The purpose of the new certification is to make this assessment easier all round.
A GCHQ spokesperson said that the organisation would send staff on the courses.
The spokesperson said:
“Whilst we will be offering opportunities for GCHQ staff to up-skill through Master’s courses that are successfully certified, we also believe they will have much wider applicability across the public and private sector and encourage other organisations to look for the certification as a mark of quality.”
The document states that in order for a course to receive certification, it needs to show that it offers a “general, broad foundation in cyber-security”, which includes sufficient knowledge of cyber threats such as “adversarial thinking”, “malicious code” and “common attacks”.
This will certainly raise the bar for those seeking a career in cyber security, with bosses being given more of a measuring stick when assessing potential employees. The more widespread the new certification becomes, the easier information security recruitment will become, especially for businesses targeted by graduates.
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