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Free entry-level cybersecurity course to be made available to 1m people

20 Jul 2022

Cybersecurity non-profit (ICS)2 has been piloting a cybersecurity professional certificate for beginners and is now rolling it out further.

(ISC)2, an international non-profit organisation for cybersecurity professionals, is expanding its free entry-level cybersecurity professional education programme to 1m people.

The organisation’s plan is to make the programme available on a larger scale globally to combat the worldwide skills shortage in the industry. Last year, it estimated that Ireland needs 10,000 more cybersecurity workers to plug skills gaps.

The (ISC)2 Certified in Cybersecurity programme began as a pilot earlier this year.

At a cyber workforce and education summit taking place at the White House, (ISC)2’s CEO, Clar Rosso, said the programme is now being rolled out further.

“For more than 30 years, (ISC)2 has advocated for the advancement, expansion and enablement of the cybersecurity workforce. We are proud to announce this initiative alongside so many others who share a strong commitment to addressing our cybersecurity workforce,” said Rosso.

Rosso added that the programme would act as “a resounding call to action for organisations serious about expanding the cybersecurity workforce” and help them “make the necessary investments now to break down barriers and clear obstacles for anyone interested in a cybersecurity career”.

(ISC)2 will work closely with new and existing partner organisations to reach historically underrepresented populations and encourage greater diversity within the cybersecurity community. It has pledged that half of the commitment – 500,000 course enrolments and exams – will be directed toward students from minority and underrepresented backgrounds.

Those who take the course will have access to both the materials and the exam for free.

The exam covers five key areas: security principles; business continuity, disaster recovery and incident response concepts; access controls concepts; network security; and security operations.

Once students have completed the course, they will be able to demonstrate to employers that they have the foundational skills necessary for an entry-level career in cybersecurity.

The programme has been developed with input from infosec experts, including (ISC)2 members. On successfully completing the exam, participants will become (ISC)2 members. They will have access to the organisation’s upskilling resources throughout their careers.

(ISC)2 hopes the programme’s expansion will build on its efforts in the UK. It launched a similar skills programme in May, which aims to train 100,000 people for free and reduce the country’s cybersecurity skills gap. It is particularly focused on recent graduates, career changers and IT professionals.

More information about the Certified in Cybersecurity course is available on the (ISC)2 website.

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Blathnaid O’Dea
By Blathnaid O’Dea

Blathnaid O’Dea worked as a Careers reporter until 2024, coming from a background in the Humanities. She likes people, pranking, pictures of puffins – and apparently alliteration.

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