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The Unique Cyber Masters Programme Helping Shape our Digital Economy

Venture supports a growing range of training programmes geared to nurturing the talent pipelines needed for a high-performing Southeast Wales.

In this Venturescape feature, we look at the Cyber Masters Programme, created in partnership between Cardiff University and PwC, delivering world standard knowledge and expertise to students with the ambition to succeed in one of our 4.0 economy’s most important domains: Cybersecurity.

Cybersecurity is both the ‘Great Enabler’ and ‘Great Protector ’of the whole digital world – opening up the true potential of organisations and sectors, as well as protecting against cyber attacks. So the CCR is somewhat blessed to be home to world-class Cyber companies such as Alert Logic,  Awen Collective, Thales and Wolfberry (recently voted ‘The UK’s Most Innovative Cyber Company’), together with R&D-led Cyber collaborations such as Airbus’ global Centre of Excellence in Cyber Security Analytics, based in Newport. In fact, as a region, we enjoy a very special Cyber ecosystem founded on close collaboration between Academic R&D, private sector innovation and government support – giving us a unique testbed that even London, New York and San Francisco doesn’t possess.

Little wonder that according to the National Digital Exploitation Centre, the Welsh Cyber industry employs over 45.000 people and contributes more than £8 billion a year to the Welsh economy. Our job now is to continually stay ahead of the curve, helping protect and enable organisations of every size in every sector – through a sustainable cyber talent pipeline built on industry-leading training initiatives such as the Cyber Masters Programme

A Cyber Masters Programme to keep us ahead of the curve …

This advanced Cyber Masters Programme developed by Cardiff University in partnership with PwC is geared to preparing high-class, employment-ready cyber security professionals for the surprisingly diverse opportunities available in the cyber world. With Cardiff Capital Region support, this radically different MSc programme provides a cutting-edge fully-funded learning experience to a 15-strong cohort from across the region. It’s partnership working in action and a complete departure from traditional classroom-based learning, bringing together world-leading business advisors, technical experts and industrialists.

As the Skills & Talent hub of CCR, Venture is delighted to be championing a unique MSc programme developed by the cyber security researchers at Cardiff University working in tandem with the Ethical Hacking and Cyber Security team at PwC. Every student on the programme will enjoy access to leading-edge research and industry practice – with unrivalled opportunities to learn from internationally recognised cyber security experts, through a blend of course support, group working and one-to-one guidance.

Working on real-life problems in Cardiff University’s world-class cyber security and forensics laboratory, each student has the support and encouragement to hone their expertise by using the latest software, penetration testing tools and forensic technologies. That alone represents an unparalleled opportunity for the cohort to develop the theoretical knowledge, advanced understanding and practical skills needed to master a complete skillset for this fast-evolving discipline.

A blueprint for partnership working that ‘works’

For us as a Skills & Talent hub, this type of collaboration is a key part of future training. It promotes partnership working across government, higher education and industry – bringing together the strong research base and teaching expertise in our region, providing an engaging alternative to exclusive classroom-based learning; and, crucially, focusing on work readiness through a teaching/learning framework that’s grounded in the real world of work.

Working with PwC has created a blueprint for other businesses in the region to follow – enabling organisations to work with us to adapt, refine and build upon the model. In many ways it represents a route map for skills development across our clusters; and a key driver in nurturing that talent pool we need to build our world-class reputation for Southeast Wales.

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6 June 2024

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