Thanks to Paul Richards (pictured right), Head Of Training & Assessment, The Cyber Scheme for this guest blog on educating the next gen and becoming a talented hacker.

Becoming an ethical hacker or penetration tester at practitioner level takes between three and twelve months, with gifted and talented or people already in a similar role having a head start. The candidate should never stop learning but there comes a point where they are reaching a level where the industry has marked as practitioner level, sometimes mile stoned by gaining a qualification.

However long it takes, finding a learning method that works for the candidate is essential. Some like to self-study and are happy building labs and learning from the internet. Many websites now offer excellent online resources if that fits the candidate’s learning style. Some are free but most cost money, but nothing compared to the day rates of a cyber security consultant or penetration tester.

The options for becoming a better hacker

Some candidates will join a cyber company and be part of a graduate training scheme. This might contain various elements such as mentoring, self-study, online labs, etc. Some companies will also include a face-to-face element such as a training course. The training course does not make the three to twelve months learning journey null and void but adds a level of depth to the training by adding specific hard-to-grasp subjects, patches gaps in knowledge, and allows the candidate to learn in a way that suits them.

It allows the candidate to network with candidates outside of the company and use technologies that maybe not be available at home or in a small office environment. The cost to maintain good quality training rigs might be a reason doing all of the training in-house isn’t an option. It’s not always cost-effective to have your advanced practitioners nonbillable to mentor your juniors. The practitioner course at the Cyber Scheme adds value to your graduate training program or enhances the self-study of anyone aiming for practitioner level.

What makes us different is that we are not for profit and our aim is to offer the best in cyber security training. That’s why we do it. We want to raise the bar and add value to the cyber security industry. Having enough skilled people in the sector really matters to the Cyber Scheme. With bespoke training labs, face-to-face training and mentoring we can simulate a smorgasbord of sceneries and situations to make the training engaging and exciting. We use our wealth of knowledge, with qualified teachers, qualified penetration testers and our proven track record in cyber security training. 

A website won’t see a struggling candidate and put difficult concepts into ways to help a candidate be successful. A video doesn’t know if the candidate is watching and paying attention. A website doesn’t go that extra mile to ensure understanding and depth of knowledge. 

Our training has a series of follow-along examples to mimic what good looks like in the cyber security industry. We set examples for the candidates to follow to prepare them for cyber security consultancy. We have formative and summative assessing methods to ensure that the candidate understands the topics in-depth, and we build a learning plan to ensure the candidate has a road map to success beyond the classroom.

If you are on the journey or you have a graduate cyber training program, then please get in touch with The Cyber Scheme to see what we can do for you.

Shona Wright

Shona covers all things editorial at TechSPARK. She publishes news articles, interviews and features about our fantastic tech and digital ecosystem, working with startups and scaleups to spread the word about the cool things they're up to. She also oversees TechSPARK's social media, sharing the latest updates on everything from investment news to green tech meetups and inspirational stories.