Welcome to Cyber Skills

December 1, 2021
Software development

Cyber Skills Launches during an urgent Cyber Security Crisis for Ireland

We are living through a digital revolution and as we watch the world shift most of its systems online, it is becoming increasingly obvious that our data, systems and identities are vulnerable. Whilst we have a growing IT industry, technology rapidly changes and updates leaving all our Industries, from Finance, Industry 4.0, Healthcare etc in a skills gap for Cyber Security.

Welcome to Cyber Skills

Munster Technological University has officially launched Cyber Skills, a new collaborative initiative that address the critical skills shortage of cybersecurity professionals in Ireland – that can be scaled out Internationally. Cyber Skills was awarded a significant amount of funding of €8.1 million from the Human Capital Initiative programme from the Higher Authority of Ireland. Cyber Skills academic partners include Technological University Dublin, University of Limerick, University College Dublin, and the Commonwealth Cyber Initiative based in Virginia Tech in the US. By collaborating with academic institutions the initiative can keep ahead of cyber-criminals in a fast-changing technological environment.

Professor Donna O’Shea, Chairwoman of Cyber Security at MTU, is the project lead for the initiative. As an expert in Cyber Security, Donna feels:

“Cybersecurity professionals are a company’s best line of defence in a threat landscape that has become increasingly complex.”

Cyber Skills works closely with Industry in order to gain insights into the needs of the Cyber Security workplace. This is to ensure that pathways, modules and credentials are designed in a way that targets up-skilling and re-skilling efficiently in order to produce workplace-ready graduates.

Cyber Skills at its core has a mission of empowering IT professionals to up skill themselves flexibly. There is a strong awareness of how busy life has become for most people which is why Cyber Skills is incorporating fully online delivery and the use of the first Cyber Range in Ireland where learners can test their new skills. An added benefit is that these innovative delivery methods mean these programmes can be scaled regionally, nationally, and even internationally.

What highlights the necessity for Cyber Skills is the eagerness of Industry partners to link with the initiative. Dell Technologies and Mastercard have come on board and are helping to develop three academic pathways which include certificates in Secure Network Operations, Secure Software Development, and Secure Software Architecture. Their staff are some of the first students to come on to Cyber Skills and will be some of the first graduates of the pathways.

The Launch

Cyber Skills hosted its official launch, virtually on June 1st at 10:30am. The hour-long launch came live from the VE Studios Cork where industry partners, cyber security researchers and university project partners took the viewer through the importance of addressing cyber skills shortages in Ireland and the benefits this project will have to industry both nationally and internationally.

The launch was hosted by Professor Donna O’Shea joined by Dr. Eoin Byrne, Cluster Manager of Cyber Ireland. Eoin led the first panel discussion with project partners Prof. Joseph Walsh Munster Technological University, Dr. Anthony Keane TU Dublin, Dr. Thomas Newe University of Limerick and Dr. Ray Genoe University College Dublin. The MC for the event was Cyber Skills Project Manager Jacqueline Kehoe. The agenda included fireside chats and panel discussions with project partners, Bob Savage from Dell and Brendan Gormley from Mastercard. There was also a fireside chat with Vivienne Patterson Head of Skills and Engagement at Higher Education Authority. To see the Launch recording check out the link on YouTube.

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C22TZrui6SI

Cyber Skills is an ongoing initiative, pathways and micro-credentials can be enrolled in twice a year with no specific order. IT Professionals can start semester 2 in January and then take semester 1 of a pathway in the September. The flipped classroom, mixed mode of delivery is ever in flux to suit the needs of the students and ensure the best level of Cyber Security skills are being received to ensure a safer individual, organisation, Ireland and beyond.

Explore more about our pathways and micro-credentials here