Cyber Skills Training For The 21st Century
The Digital Cyber Academy is powered by Immersive Labs Ltd, which was founded in January 2017 by James Hadley.
James’ background in security research and delivering courses as a cyber security instructor led him to create a scalable and effective way of plugging the skills gap.
Through creating and delivering courses James identified the following issues when engaging individuals in developing cyber skills:
- Death by PowerPoint: Individuals lose interest quickly and don’t retain information.
- E-Learning: Individuals race through next, next, next finish to get it over and done with.
- Video Learning: Individuals become disengaged from the one-way interaction and scroll to the individual task elements, skipping content.
- Monkey See Monkey Do: Following prescribed exercises to complete a technical challenge: No knowledge retention. Individuals become frustrated going the pace of the slowest learner.
James identified that those who had a natural ability to develop practical cyber skills have a series of traits or strengths such as:
- Problem Solving
- Analytical Thinking
Immersive Labs create cloud-hosted cyber labs which are created on-demand. Its labs are signposted, enabling anyone, at any level to begin developing cyber security knowledge and practical skills. Signposting ensures the user knows what is expected, including types of activities and search terms if they get stuck. The user is then expected to complete the lab through self-research. Upon completion, users are rewarded with points and badges, which are added in real-time to leaderboards.
After achieving huge success with its enterprise level training platform, Immersive Labs launched The Digital Cyber Academy in October 2017. The Academy enables any student in full or part-time study in the UK, US, Australia or Singapore, to register for an account and start developing a vast range of cyber skills – regardless of degree discipline.
Students are able to compete on a global leaderboard and build a portfolio of validated skill sets, which can then be used to apply for carefully selected cyber jobs. This means students from a diverse range of backgrounds can train and apply for highly sought-after job roles. Not only does this help to close the cyber skills gap – it also promotes greater overall diversity and opportunities within the industry.