Reflecting on Upskill in Cyber
Earlier this year, e2e-assure were approached about supporting the latest UK HM Government initiative to “…reskill individuals for roles in cyber security, in just ten weeks”. Called “Upskill in Cyber” it was being delivered in partnership with the SANS Institute. Trainees would undertake studying two SANS training courses and then taking the associated certification exams (GFACT and GSEC), as well as soft skills development to make the immediately suitable for joining the cybersecurity industry. As a company we have a long history of supporting initiatives to get more people into our industry, including support for previous training academies, careers events, and speaking to students at schools.
Invited to participate, I became involved as a mentor to the trainees over the duration of the academy. As a virtual academy, this was via Slack. As some of the students were undertaking studying while also still working full time, this allowed more flexibility to provide them with any support I could offer beyond the normal “office hours”. I started off my career in an analyst role, progressing through to Senior, and ultimately to my current role as SOC Manager so I felt suitably prepared to answer their questions and provide relevant insights! There was a great variety of discussions and requests for help, and I was able to help various different students with advice on CVs, interview prep and techniques, as well as the reality of working in cybersecurity as a career. Plus we had some great discussions on continuing their professional development once they successfully landed that first role.
In late August, a virtual Careers Fair was held for the students. Joined by a couple of my colleagues, we spent a great day talking to everyone about what we do and the realities of working in a SOC day-to-day. There were so many keen and enthusiastic students that we actually overran the end of the show trying to finish answering all their questions!
Overall, it was a great experience and I feel very privileged to have been involved in helping these students take their first steps into what will surely be a long and rewarding career in cybersecurity.