Rise Up Cyber Challenge 16

cyber-security-1The problem: Cyber security professionals of the future: Where will they come from?

 Our security services are facing a problem – not enough people are coming through school and academia wanting to become cyber security professionals.

  • ICS conclude that there will be a worldwide shortfall of 1.5 million cyber security professionals in 2019
  • The industry needs 100s of 1000s of people to fill digital skills related positions
  • Some industry estimates conclude that 750,000 additional people could be required in the UK alone by 2017.

 Many senior decision makers within the security services are not up to date with the use of technology and inherent security issues. They need staff who both understand the technology, and are able to communicate effectively with the senior leadership teams.


The Solution: A Rise Up Challenge?

 Well – it could be the start? In what has become an annual event, Maths, Computer Science and Languages students were set the following brief:

The government has allocated a £20m fund to help get more people onto the cyber security career path. Working in your teams, the challenge is to work out how and where to spend the fund, ensuring that the government gets best value for money.

  •  You could decide on a long term strategy, focus on particular niche areas for a quick win or take a more holistic approach.
  •  Your solution might be technological (such as an app or an online training offering), a marketing campaign, or anything else your team comes up with!

 Working in teams who had have never met before, over an intense period of 7 hours (fueled by cakes and pizza), the teams came up with a whole range of innovative solutions.


Why do it?

This skill set of this specific group of students exactly fits the profile of the government agency who set this global challenge. Once again this year the multidisciplinary teams teams came up with a whole range of relevant, innovative solutions.

But these challenge events are about much more than providing a problem solving and recruitment forum for employers; a Rise Up Challenge can tick multiple boxes when it comes to employability.

‘It was great to see students with different backgrounds, strengths and abilities come together to successfully work on what turned out to be a difficult (but important) challenge scenario.’ Dr Philip Ansell, Senior Lecturer in Mathematics and Statistics

‘It is always great to see students hone their business skills. This year’s cohort did fantastically well with what was a difficult challenge. I’m sure what they have learned here will give them a massive head start in interviews.’ Dr JC Penet, Lecturer in Modern Languages

‘It was fantastic to see the students working collaboratively, with their colleagues from other disciplines, on a very real challenge – and some highly innovative solutions presented by the teams.’ Dr Steve Riddle, Lecturer in Computer Science

And this is what it looked like……..


Idea Development
Run it past your mentors
Keep the refreshments coming!
The winning team
Networking and celebration

Rise Up host events with schools throughout Newcastle University. If you’d like to see your school get involved in a Rise Up challenge please let us know.

Dr Dawn Weatherston

Enterprise Adviser (Education)


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s