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From National Security to Cybersecurity

In an effort to address the growing skills gap in the cybersecurity industry, a team of former Royal Marines Commandos have launched a business providing free cybersecurity training, accredited qualifications and careers for ex-service members looking for a path back to the civilian life while maintaining their roles as security defenders.

Crucial Academy offers accredited training courses covering both offensive and defensive cybersecurity, information assurance and threat intelligence. The courses, developed by former military personnel, include a module that gives students real-world experience, but unlike graduates of other training providers, Crucial Academy graduates will reportedly begin their new careers free of debt.

Course developers have already made a successful transition to notable cybersecurity companies and financial technology companies, and they bring that wealth of experience to their offerings at Crucial Academy at its proclaimed state-of-the-art training facility in Brighton, England.

The first cohort began its courses at the end of June and completed its work last week, and the next cohort is slated to begin soon. In order to take the courses, candidates must first undergo a rigorous selection process that assures they are the proper match for the training.

“I was proud to serve my country and I wanted to give something back to the military for all the skills and experiences the Marines gave me, and I know my colleagues feel the same,” Crucial Group’s chief executive and former Royal Marine Commando Captain Neil Williams said in a press release.

“People who have spent time in the forces have an incredible work ethic, resilience and a security-driven mindset that makes many very well suited to a career in cybersecurity," Williams continued. "Following my experience of leaving the forces, I know that the transition can be very challenging. We’re pleased to be able to help give them a pathway into a successful career – and in a sector where they can make such a difference.”

After successful completion of the training, qualified Crucial Academy candidates are introduced to a cybersecurity career with one of the academy’s commercial partners, an additional offering that also benefits businesses by helping them to meet their growing demand for qualified cybersecurity personnel. According to a 2016 skills gap analysis from ISACA, there will be an estimated a global shortage of 2 million cybersecurity professionals by 2019.

“The other benefit to our model of course is that it also helps businesses future-proof their recruitment and growth plans by providing a pipeline of trained cybersecurity professionals,” Williams said.

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