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Singapore Develops Cyber Youth programme

Cybersecurity is an important growth sector in Singapore’s economy and digital future. As the economy digitalises further and cyber threats continue to grow in scale and sophistication, there is a growing need to build up the cyber talent pipeline today, to meet the future’s demand.

Under the SG Cyber Youth programme, the Cyber Security Agency of Singapore (CSA) supports youths in pursuing a cybersecurity career through facilitating access to cybersecurity bootcamps, competitions, learning journeys, career mentoring sessions and school talks. The programme is one of the key initiatives under Foundational Enabler 2: Grow a Robust Talent Pipeline of the newly updated Singapore Cybersecurity Strategy 2021.

The SG Cyber Youth Odyssey is a learning roadmap that provides clear milestones to guide students in their cybersecurity journey. It is developed in consultation with educators, industry practitioners and training partners. The four stages of the learning roadmap, ‘Excite’, ‘Explore’, ‘Experience’ and ‘Excel’, will guide students with varying degrees of cybersecurity knowledge to explore and further their interest in cybersecurity through participating in activities under SG Cyber Youth, including Youth Cyber Exploration Programme (YCEP), A.YCEP and SG Cyber Olympians.

Each stage builds upon knowledge of the previous stages and guides youths towards a deeper understanding of cybersecurity topics. The topics covered in the roadmap are wide-ranging, and they include fundamentals of cybersecurity and technical areas such as penetration testing and network security. The SG Cyber Youth Odyssey provides a clear set of learning outcomes and recommended topics to guide the development of activities for SG Cyber Youth.

The recommended topics are meant to complement other STEM and Smart Nation initiatives, and activities in schools. The learning roadmap aims to help educators, career counsellors and parents by providing a structured approach to cybersecurity education and career guidance to help youths progress their interest/skills in cybersecurity. The roadmap can also serve as a reference for industry and training partners to guide the conduct of activities and training for youths at different stages of their journey.

The SG Cyber Youth Odyssey is expected to be used by more than 3,000 youths, parents and educators per year. After completing the learning roadmap, youths are encouraged to pursue a cybersecurity course offered by Institutes of Higher Learning (IHLs) and join the cybersecurity workforce.

A key pillar under Singapore’s Cybersecurity Strategy is the development of a vibrant cybersecurity ecosystem comprising a skilled workforce so that it can support the cybersecurity needs and be a source of new economic growth. To reinforce the future cybersecurity talent pipeline, CSA is moving upstream to engage youths at the pre-tertiary level. The youth programme aims to excite students about the possibilities and prospects in the world of cybersecurity, teach them fundamental cybersecurity concepts and give them opportunities to participate in practical assignments and competitions.

As reported by OpenGov Asia, CSA has also launched the latest Strategic Leadership Programme under the SG Cyber Leaders Programme, to further develop local cybersecurity talents to improve the cybersecurity landscape.

The SG Cyber Leaders Programme is the first initiative implemented. It aims to develop a pool of top-tier local cyber leaders who are familiar with international best practices and cutting-edge technologies for dealing with ever-evolving cyber threats. The new Strategic Leadership Programme, communities of practice, and study trips will be used to expose participants to global best practices and technologies.

The subjects in the Strategic Leadership Programme will provide them with the skills and strategic knowledge they will need to hone their cybersecurity leadership and drive their organisations’ cybersecurity strategy and posture. Security Architecture, Emerging Technology Applications, Public-Private Partnerships in Cybersecurity, Understanding Cyberspace with Geopolitics, and the Role of the CISO and CEO are just a few of the subjects discussed.

Strong cyber leaders are essential for leading and nurturing the next generation of cyber talent so that they can fulfil cybersecurity jobs at all levels of an organisation. A “cyber leader” is the individual who is responsible for cybersecurity in his or her organisation.

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