Ben, 16, from Oswestry has attended the CyberFirst Defenders (2019) and Futures (2020) courses:
Before starting the courses, I knew that I wanted to go into something involving computers, however I wasn’t sure in what area. Since doing CyberFirst, it has made me more interested in the cyber security area of employment and I am now seriously considering going down that route for future education and jobs.
LEARNING TO STAY SAFE ONLINE
I learnt a lot about how networks work and how I can transfer the skills that we developed to improve my home network. I also learnt a lot about protection online and how to keep on the right side of the law while also stopping others from attacking me online. During the CyberFirst Defenders course, there were breakout sessions where we got to work in teams, which was great for meeting new people and developing teamwork skills. We were also able to do this virtually in the CyberFirst Futures course last year. I really enjoyed meeting a lot of people, especially those with similar interests to me.
“I learnt a lot about how networks work and how I can transfer the skills that we learnt to improve my home network.”
A DIFFERENT VIEW OF SOCIAL NETWORKING
My personal highlight was the teaching on social networking, as I really enjoyed learning how to find weaknesses in systems. Throughout the CyberFirst courses, we learnt from a wide range of industry experts, which was a great experience. During CyberFirst Defenders, for example, we heard from an expert in social networking security and heard about what his job involves and his different experiences, which was cool!
A DIVERSE RANGE OF SKILLS AND CAREERS OPPORTUNITIES
I think a lot of other students do not realise the diversity and range of skills and career opportunities that can be used in cyber security and think that it is just about sitting behind a computer all day. Often many people dismiss it as being too confusing or just not for them, without looking into it properly.
REALLY RECOMMEND CYBERFIRST
If you are interested in computing at all, I would really recommend CyberFirst. I believe that it is a great way to develop skills and have something to make you stand out to future education or employment. Also, you get to meet new people and have fun on the course.
CyberFirst introduces young people with a passion for computing and technology to the fascinating world of cyber security. It is a programme of opportunities inspired and led by the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), a part of GCHQ. Join a course to start your CyberFirst journey.
YEAR 10 (ENGLAND AND WALES), YEAR 11 (NORTHERN IRELAND) OR S4 (SCOTLAND)
YEAR 11 (ENGLAND AND WALES), YEAR 12 (NORTHERN IRELAND) OR S5 (SCOTLAND)
YEAR 12 (ENGLAND AND WALES), YEAR 13 (NORTHERN IRELAND) OR S6 (SCOTLAND)