There is a global shortage of cybersecurity professionals and with data breaches and ransomware attacks on the rise, the industry is crying out for quality individuals to fill the roles. In Ireland, the recent Cyber Ireland Skills Survey reported that nearly half of all cybersecurity roles are currently unfilled. The colleges are churning out plenty of new graduates, but it will take years to fill the gaps. This presents the perfect opportunity for those returning to the workforce or who want a change in career direction. If you are someone who wants to move into the industry and bring your professional and life experience with you, how do you do it? What pathways are open to you?
The good news is, there are a plethora of quality, affordable (or free) courses to get you started on your move in to an exciting, well-paid, sought-after role. Check out the details of each provider regarding start times, certification, cost and if it’s online or classroom based.
A national and EU backed upskill initiative offers a range of undergrad and postgrad courses in sought-after areas. Courses available include many in cybersecurity and are level 7, 8 and 9 on the National Framework of Qualifications. These courses are free to jobseekers, returners or previously self-employed and those in employment only pay 10% of the course fee. May be too late for this year, but keep an eye for courses starting in January or September 2022.
Cyber Quest is a fantastic initiative from IT@Cork Skillsnet to upskill and reskill those who’s employment has been impacted by the pandemic. All training is online and self-paced focusing on much needed cyber skills training. There are 3 pathways depending on your starting point and all courses are free. They also have a busy jobs board for placing qualified applicants.
Recently launched collaborative initiative to address the skills shortages in the cybersecurity sector. Offering a range of paid courses for those who have some technical skills but wish to upskill or reskill in cybersecurity. Courses are delivered online and Cyber Skills are currently accepting applications for 2021.
Further Education & Training Course Hub
The FETCH Hub is where you can find and apply for courses available on the national further education and training sector. Search the term ‘cyber’ and you will find a range of courses both online and class-based including CompTIA Cybersecurity Analyst (CySA+). The Hub also provides access to the national network of Adult Education Guidance supports if you need help in finding the right course your needs.
I often refer to Ecollege as the ‘best kept secret’ in Irish education as it is such a fantastic resource to anyone wishing to upskill, especially now as all courses are free to aid those impacted by the current Covid pandemic. This online college is backed by SOLAS and the courses are available to those over 18 years and living in Ireland. Don’t keep this one to yourself, register for a course and pass it on.
Collaboratory - Cybersecurity Hub at TUDublin
Provide industry with structured and accredited training programmes, along with innovative, flexible, bespoke solutions in the areas of Cyber Security, IoT and AI. Collaboratory offer online, self-paced courses in cybersecurity (partnered with CISCO) and also short, needs specific courses.
FIT - Associate Apprenticeship - Cyber Security
Facilitated by FIT (Fast Track to Technology), this is an excellent option for school-leavers or adult learners who wish to ‘earn while they learn’. Suitable applicants receive 6 months training prior to being placed with an organisation to learn on-the-job while completing their studies.
ICT Skillsnet & CISCO
ICT Skillsnet have joined forces with CISCO to offer the CISCO Networking Academy training courses. These courses are a great place to start if you are new to cyber security as their courses are self-paced and include quality video content.
ICS Skills Net and NCI offer this Masters of Science in Cybersecurity. This is a grant aided course so outstanding value for eligible candidates working in private or commercial semi-state organisations in the Republic of Ireland. Intake in in January 2022, applications open
ICTTF – International Cyber Threat Task Force
Paul C Dwyer and his team have put together excellent professional courses for those working and wanting to progress in the cyber security industry. Some course are available in conjunction with ICT Skillsnet and the Irish Computer Society. Check each course for details. ICTTF also offer a ICTTF Cyber Security Bootcamp for Women which is free for participants and offers an excellent foundation for women who want to learn more about cyber security, applications are open.
ITAG – Innovation Technology AtlanTec Galway
ITAG are offering short course such as Cyber Security Analyst Bootcamp for Jobseekers. Fantastic opportunity for jobseekers to upskill quickly to gain the skills and support they need to start a fulfilling and well-paid career.
Skills For All
CISCO is also behind the Skills For All courses which offer a selection of entry-level cybersecurity courses which are free, online and student-paced. This is an excellent starting point for anyone who wants to learn more about cybersecurity and securing themselves or their organisation.
The Open University is behind the courses offered by Future Learn. They offer free courses including their Introduction to Cyber Security which is perfect for complete cyber novices and another good starting point for those wanting a taster or just learn how to secure themselves online.
UCD Professional Academy
UCD Professional Academy offer a range of short professional courses covering a wide range of popular topics, including a Professional Diploma in Cybersecurity, the one I created and deliver. There is also a Professional Diploma in Ethical Hacking available. Courses are delivered completely online with regular intake. UCD Professional Academy offer an attractive corporate discount, often with 50% off eligible group bookings.
Returners & Returnships
Returners are those who are returning to working outside the home after a break of two years or more. There are many reasons for breaks in our careers such as travel, sickness, caring responsibilities, family needs etc. For whatever reason, those returning should be provided with specific supports to up-skill, build confidence and ease them back to a rewarding role and workplace community. This blog post details the supports available to returners in Ireland.
Cyber Ireland Course Finder
This article has focused on courses offered outside of the traditional colleges, however, for a list of courses offered by Irish colleges and universities check out Cyber Ireland’s course finder.
So, what’s stopping you? Take the first step today to gaining an exciting, specialised, well-paid career which can take you anywhere.