(ISC)2 Offers 100,000 Free Entry-Level Certification Places

(ISC)2 has announced it is offering free entry-level certification and education to 100,000 cybersecurity career pursuers in the UK.

The program, named 100K in the UK, is aimed at recent graduates and career changers seeking to begin working in the cybersecurity industry. Any UK resident who does not hold an (ISC)2 certification is eligible for the scheme. The entry-level course and certification is designed to give those individuals the first step on a career journey in the sector, enabling them to gain experience and work towards advanced qualifications.

Successful applicants will be given access to an online self-paced education course for the (ISC)2 entry-level cybersecurity certification. They will also receive a voucher to cover the full cost of the exam, which they can take as soon as they feel ready. This must be taken in person at an authorized Pearson VUE test center in the UK.

The entry-level certification covers five areas:

  • Security principles
  • Business continuity (BC), disaster recovery (DR) and incident response concepts
  • Access controls concepts
  • Network security 
  • Security operations

The initiative is designed to address the well-publicized cyber skills gap, which rose by a third last year, according to an analysis by recruitment firm Harvey Nash. The 2021 (ISC)2 Cybersecurity Workforce Study, published in October 2021, found that the size of the workforce is still 65% below what it needs to be.

Additionally, last year, the UK government estimated that at least 17,500 new people need to enter the industry annually simply to maintain the status quo. This requires new pathways to be developed that make it easier for people from non-traditional backgrounds to enter the sector.

Clar Rosso, CEO of (ISC)², explained: “The cybersecurity profession needs the next generation to join its ranks now more than ever. Unfortunately, until now, individuals looking for their first cybersecurity job often do not know where to start, what to expect, or how to convince employers to give them a chance. To address this, we have developed the (ISC)2 entry-level cybersecurity certification to be a trusted endorsement of an individual and their foundational knowledge, skills and abilities. Through the 100K in the UK scheme, we are committed to giving 100,000 cybersecurity career pursuers the opportunity to achieve this certification for free, making a powerful contribution that positively impacts the UK’s cybersecurity workforce challenge today, not years from now.”

Simon Hepburn, CEO of the UK Cyber Security Council, commented: “Cybersecurity certifications that validate young professionals and career changers looking for their first role are essential to delivering a much-needed expansion of the UK cybersecurity talent pool. We welcome all initiatives to attract more first-time cybersecurity professionals to the profession. The (ISC)2 100K in the UK scheme is a timely industry commitment given the strong need to recruit for entry and junior-level cybersecurity positions, which are outstripping the workforce supply by a significant margin.”

Eligible candidates for the 100K in the UK scheme are encouraged to apply here.

Infosecurity recently interviewed (ISC)2 CEO Clar Rosso on a range of topics, including ways to tackle the cyber skills gap.

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