GCHQ is to open a summer school offering a six-week cyber course in the north of England.
Named Northern Exposure 2015, the summer school will offer a “stimulating learning experience” for 30 students who have a natural curiosity about technology and an interest in the latest gadgets.
Running from 13th July to the 21st August in Scarborough, it is open to UK nationals aged 18 and over, those selected will not only learn how the internet works, but also how GCHQ uses it to protect the UK from a range of cyber threats.
“Northern Exposure 2015 is an exceptional opportunity for successful candidates to try something new, work with and learn from experts in this field and discover whether it’s something they would enjoy,” a spokesperson said.
“You don’t need a technical qualification to apply. In fact, Northern Exposure 2015 is aimed at anyone who enjoys learning about new things and solving problems. The only qualifications candidates need to apply are at least two A-levels or equivalent at grades A-C in any subject and at least five GCSEs at grades A-C (these must include Maths and English).”
Yesterday, GCHQ announced a ten-week cyber training summer programme for first or second year university students who have an interest in cyber. The Cyber Insiders Summer School will run from 6th July – 11th September 2015 and will be located in Cheltenham.
Security blogger Graham Cluley praised GCHQ for their ideas and creativity, but asked how many people would want to work for the company considering the negative headlines around the intelligence agency.
“They are being imaginative with their attempts to find talent out there, whatever you think of the Black Ops division, clearly they have this challenge of finding the skills so they can offer them an attractive job, and I think that if you have those skills the chances are you are going to be better rewarded in the private sector than in Cheltenham,” he said.
“In the last couple of years they have been painted as the bogeymen, and young people may have thoughts that even though they will be doing things that are cool and are designed to protect people, there would be a perception of the organisation as a whole that it may not have all of its freedom and liberty at its heart.”
Cluley said that being at that age and learning those skills would have been cool, but it is the question of whether people want to work for GCHQ at the end of it, but may be tempted to at the end of the course more than if they had not.
Places are limited and applications close on the 9th March. Prospective candidates are encouraged to apply through GCHQ’s careers website www.gchq-careers.co.uk