The UK is now in a situation where very few days will pass without some sort of news article on a breach of IT security somewhere within businesses, the public sector, education, finance or charitable organisations. This often involves data theft, or data loss, as well as intentional acts of sabotage, hacking or other criminal activity. For this reason, the requirement by industry for cyber security staff is on the increase. However, a good cyber security specialist needs to build on thorough understanding of computers, how they communicate and how networks are put together.
There are four units involved in this qualification.
Unit 1 - Fundamental Principles of Computing:
In this unit you will understand the different hardware and elements of a computer system and how these contribute to a fully functioning computer system. You will also develop skills required to make changes to a computer system to ensure they are fit for the particular requirements of the user.
Unit 2 - Communication Technologies:
This unit will provide you with the understanding of data communication, and how data is transmitted at speeds from one point to another.
Unit 3 - Developing and Maintaining Networks:
This unit will provide learners with an understanding of a range of computer networks and methodologies to help them develop simple networks.
Unit 4 - Network Threats and Vulnerabilities:
This unit will equip learners with the knowledge and skills to counteract internal and external threats to networks.
This qualification is made up of 4 units, each with equal weighting. Unit 1 and Unit 2 will be externally examined. Both papers will be 2 hours in length. Unit 3 and Unit 4 will be assessed internally - both written assignments.
An interest in computers and computer based technology which you would like to develop further. Access to a computer and the internet at home would be beneficial although you will have access to this in the Sixth Form.
Learners who achieve this qualification will have a range of options. Progression from this Level 3 technical qualification is designed to be to work in a junior cyber security role. This qualification will also contribute to university entry and will provide opportunities to undertake a range of professional qualifications from vendors such as CompTIA or CISCO. Studying this qualification does not restrict future progression into one particular route.
The following are examples of job opportunities within this sector:
Companies that might employ someone with this qualification include:
At least a grade 6 in IT/Computer Science, plus grade 5 in Maths and three other GCSEs at grade 4 or above, including English.