Belfast Met tackles the shortfall in skilled cyber security professionals

Cyber security is a fast growing area in IT with a predicted global shortfall of 3.5 million skilled cyber security professionals by 2021 – an issue being addressed at Belfast Met.

Coupled with the fact that Northern Ireland is being billed as the number one location in the world for cyber security inward investment and the number one global destination for US cyber security companies with an eye for international expansion, it’s no wonder Belfast Met is adapting its curriculum to meet the growing demand.

Phil Allen, Curriculum Area Manager at Belfast Met tells us how these ‘hard-to-find’ skillsets are being nurtured at Belfast Met.

“Cybercrime costs the UK billions of pounds every year and with the emerging threat of online security breaches in today’s digital era, businesses are now regarding cybersecurity as a high priority issue.

“However, the cyber security industry faces a massive problem: there are simply not enough highly-skilled cyber security professionals and employers are struggling  to attract the talent they need to keep hackers and cyber criminals at bay.

“At Belfast Met we want to raise awareness of the shortage of cyber security skills and the opportunity of higher salaries for individuals with the right skills and qualifications.

“We are constantly adapting our curriculum to meet the growing demand for ICT specialists and are currently the only FE college in Northern Ireland to offer a Higher Level Apprenticeship in Cyber Security and a Foundation Degree in Cyber Security.

“Both courses provide our students with a qualification, validated by The Open University, along with practical skills and relevant work experience in the workplace, opening up exciting new career paths for them.

“The College is the first in Northern Ireland to offer a brand new qualification in Cyber Security through Cisco, known as Cisco Cyber Security Operations. Our entire team is now qualified to deliver this programme which is offered through a part-time course, as well as embedded in the full-time curriculum.

“We are also the first college to offer the following cyber qualifications – EC Council CEH, BCS CISMP, Comptia Security+ and Cisco Cyber Security Essentials.

“There has never been a better time to consider a career in cyber security or data privacy as the career prospects for cybersecurity professionals are only going to grow. It’s a career that promises a stimulating course of study, constant challenges and benefits, and a long future ahead.”

To find out more about the wide range of ICT courses on offer at Belfast Met, call 028 9026 5265 or visit

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