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Good Practices

Cyber Skills is a highly focused, collaborative initiative established to address the critical skill shortages in the cybersecurity sector, a challenge amplified by rapid technological advancements and the escalating need for specialized skills to combat evolving cyber threats. 

By engaging closely with key industry partners, Cyber Skills aims to bridge these specific skill gaps through flexible, accessible educational programs that are co-developed with these partners, ensuring the curriculum is precisely tailored to meet the immediate needs of the cybersecurity field.

Get to know the project

Coordinated across three leading higher education institutions in Ireland, including Munster Technological University, Technological University Dublin, and the University of Limerick, Cyber Skills has been instrumental in fostering a concerted effort to advance cybersecurity education. Supported by a significant funding of €8.1 million from the Human Capital Initiative program, it underscores the national recognition of its potential and impact.

The initiative's creation was driven by the necessity to provide specialized education and training that can efficiently upscale individuals in targeted cybersecurity areas, offering the potential to extend its reach to hundreds or thousands of learners. This scalability is vital for addressing the skill shortages not just on a national scale but also regionally and potentially internationally, adapting to the fast-changing technological landscape. 

Who are the beneficiaries of the initiative?

Cyber Skills directly benefits individuals by providing them with new cybersecurity skills and knowledge to implement in their workplaces. These companies, in turn, enjoy strengthened cybersecurity measures. This benefits the overall cybersecurity ecosystem in Ireland and beyond. On a larger scale, Ireland and Europe stands to benefit, advancing towards greater cyber resilience. 

Cyber Skills aims to educate individuals currently in the workforce or those aspiring to enter the  cybersecurity field, offering part-time, online courses tailored to integrate seamlessly into the schedules of busy professionals. The initiative’s goals focus on delivering cutting-edge, practical knowledge that is co-designed by both industry experts and academics, ensuring the content is not only relevant but also immediately applicable within the industry. This approach is geared towards empowering learners with the skills and insights needed to navigate and contribute effectively to the cybersecurity sector, aligning education with real-world demands and enhancing the digital security capabilities of the workforce.

The curriculum

Cyber Skills' curriculum is a living entity, continually evolving in response to the developments within the  cybersecurity sector. Through its strategic collaborations with industry partners and academia, Cyber Skills maintains its position as a leader in cybersecurity education, providing a responsive and forward-thinking educational platform that prepares learners for the challenges of today and tomorrow. This approach not only addresses the immediate skill gaps within the cybersecurity sector but also contributes to the long-term development of a resilient and knowledgeable cybersecurity workforce.

Why is this a good practice?

The CyberSkills program is known for its comprehensive cybersecurity education and impacts individuals,  companies, government bodies and other organizations in Ireland. Many have used the skills and knowledge gained from CyberSkills to transition to new roles in the cyber sector. Graduates become cyber champions, embodying the cybersecurity principles and practices they've learned influencing their organizations. CyberSkills has enhanced cybersecurity awareness and defences in multiple organizations directly making Ireland more cyber resilient. 

The curriculum evolves with industry developments, ensuring relevance. A positive symbiotic relationship exists between the program and the cybersecurity industry, where courses adapt to meet industry needs, and in turn, industry practices are informed and enhanced by CyberSkills insights and innovations. This successful model can benefit others have shared a model with European organizations interested in a similar approach.

Good practice details

Target audience
Digital skills for the labour force.
Digital skills for ICT professionals and other digital experts.
Digital technology / specialisation
Digital skill level
Geographic scope - Country
Industry - field of education and training
Education science
Geographical sphere
National initiative
Type of funding
Start date
End date