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    Double gold glory for Cyber Security duo!

    13 January 2023

    Josh Cooke and Brandon Shirley, two Networking and Cyber Security students from Burton and South Derbyshire College have both scooped gold medals in the national final of the Cyber Security WorldSkills competition.

    On the lead up to that national final, Josh and Brandon worked hard to hone their skills, including taking part in training towards an EC-Council qualification, Certified Ethical Hacking (CEH) at the National Cyber Security Academy based at the University of South Wales.

    WorldSkills supports young people across the world via competition-based training, assessment and benchmarking, with members’ national teams ultimately testing their ability to achieve world-class standards in the biennial ‘Skills Olympics’. The WorldSkills Cyber Security competition focuses on all the essential requirements for a successful career as a Cyber Security Analyst within any industry. It is designed to test competitors’ abilities in reconnaissance, scanning, vulnerability testing and exploitation of systems.

    Speaking about the competition, gold medallist, Brandon Shirley said: “WorldSkills has been a phenomenal experience that has really helped excel and test my abilities within cyber security. The competitions have pushed my abilities and allowed me to learn a huge amount. This has also helped with my personal skills, allowing me to become more confident and start believing in the ability that I have, as well as giving me the chance to get my name out to people in the industry along the way. I have met and got to know some very important people who have offered some amazing experiences which has all been available due to the WorldSkills events. Something else that has also allowed me to have the ability and skills to compete is my college course, especially the vendor qualifications such as Cisco's Cybersecurity Essentials and EC-Councils NDE. This have given me essentials skills and training needed to compete in these competitions and have allowed me to gain a huge knowledge and skill base.”

    Fellow gold medallist, Josh Cooke said: “Competitions like this really test your skills. I have been interested in cyber security for the last few years. I find it really interesting and I would particularly like a career in red teaming, a cyber security exercise that simulates a real-life attack to help measure how well organisations are prepared. Cyber security is a good industry to go into as these types of skills are in demand and there are a range of careers to go into, from ethical hacking to digital forensics.”

    Cyber Security skills are in demand in a variety of industries, and Burton and South Derbyshire College offers Networking and Cyber Security courses, as well as being a member of the EC-Council (International Council of E-Commerce Consultants), the College is set to launch a Cyber Security Lab with Stronger Towns funding that will include dedicated forensics and biometrics labs that are a natural addition to existing networking and software development. External specialists and patrons from the security services and industry are involved in the set-up of the new facilities to ensure they meet industry requirements.

    Jacqui Maw, Curriculum Team Leader of Computing and Emerging Technologies said: “We’re absolutely thrilled the students have won gold in the WorldSkills national competition. They are both very gifted learners and will have fantastic careers ahead of them in this sought-after industry. WorldSkills rewards excellence in technical skills and this experience will be great for their personal development and future employment opportunities.”

    Contact Details

    Contact Details

    Burton and South Derbyshire College
    Tel: 01283 494400

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    Burton Town Centre Campus, Lichfield Street, Burton on Trent, Staffordshire DE14 3RL

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