Cyber security is the defence of computer systems, networks, devices & data from unauthorised access and exploitation. It affects everyone: businesses, governments, even you at home.
The world of cyber is a constant battle between the people working in cyber security and the people trying to exploit the defences. For this reason, companies are always looking for fresh blood to take up the fight.
Cyber security apprenticeships might just be some of the most fun and exciting jobs on the market right now.
Why should I be interested in a career in Cyber Security?
We live in a constantly connected world where the value of both public and private data is ever increasing. Cyber security helps to keep this data infrastructure safe.
Not only are careers in cyber security often well paid (Senior Security Architects can net upwards of £65,000 a year) but the roles also span across a wide range of industries and interests.
I’m keen! who offers these apprenticeships and how I can apply?
We are going to take a look through some of the big providers of cyber security apprenticeships in the UK. Could one of these routes be your perfect stepping stone into the industry?
If you know what you’re after, you can use the quick-nav below to jump straight to an area of interest.
Cyber Security Apprenticeships with The UK Government
We start off with the UK government’s lead security agency, known as Government Communications Headquarters or GCHQ. Based in Cheltenham, GCHQ recruits budding cyber fighting apprentices to come and work in its huge underground headquarter, known as “The Doughnut”!
Working with the National Cyber Security Centre, GCHQ apprenticeships help protect the nations data from attack while also earning a degree. Recruits have a starting salary of £18,920, with the chance to nab a full time job at the end of their apprenticeship.
Other routes into government security include working with HMRC and the defence of their important financial data.
The GCHQ national apprenticeship window opens in September. Find out more about Degree apprenticeships and more at GCHQ.
Media & Digital
Media and digital makes up a decent portion of the cyber security recruitment sphere. With traditional media moving ever more digital, security has become an important part of ensuring digital products are safe and secure.
Channel 4 offers a number of different apprenticeship opportunities, including cyber security (level 4). This role will not only get you fully qualified as a cyber security professional, but also lands you a foot in the door of a prestigious media organisation.
Check out the full Channel 4 apprenticeship intake.
The BBC are another organisation that have taken their products digital in the last decade. They are looking for cyber security apprentices to help maintain and promote all aspects of information security across the organisation.
The cyber security roles available for apprentices are split into two different specialisations. These include:
Cyber Security Technologist – Applying an understanding of cyber threats, hazards, risks, controls, measures and mitigations to protect organisations systems and people.
Cyber Intrusion Analyst – Detecting breaches in network security for escalation to incident response or other determined function.
Click here to view the full roster of BBC apprenticeships.
Telecoms providers have always been at the forefront of the fight for cyber security. BT offers a fantastic integrated cyber security qualification, that lets you earn a degree while working and earning full time.
BT notes that throughout the course of your apprenticeship you’ll gain a wealth of invaluable experience. You’ll also be taught key concepts such as security, identity, confidentiality, integrity, availability, threat, vulnerability, risk and hazard and how they relate to each other.
Recruitment drives happen a few times a year, so keep an eye out for when applications open back up.
LLoyds Banking Group
Keeping your money and financial data safe is kind of a big deal.
Lloyds have apprenticeships across a number of security roles, from strict cyber security to data analysis. They also boast a wide range of entry criteria, from intermediate (level 2) apprenticeships, all the way up to degree apprenticeships.
Lloyds recruitment window is currently on hiatus, but you can register your interest for the 2021 intake.
Santander describes their apprenticeship programme as “The full package”, offering the chance to develop a career within financial crime detection, including cyber security and technology learning paths.
They take on a number of apprentices across their corporate and commercial banking infrastructure, including a highly regarded financial crime apprenticeship.
The next application window opens in January, but you can register your interest now by joining their talent network.
If you hadn’t realised by now, cyber security is big business. In the defence sector, this can mean huge teams of professionals dedicated to the safety and security of highly confidential data and information.
As one of the largest defence contractors in the world, Leonardo is a big player in the sector. By offering a number of cyber security opportunities, they hope to attract new young talent to the defence industry.
Bonus tip: it’s always worth checking in with all of a company’s competitors, as they will often have a similar recruitment drive. Leonardo’s big competitors include BAE systems and Thales, who have both offered cyber security apprenticeships in the past few years.
Other ways into cyber security
If you know you definitely want to work in cyber security, but don’t yet have a strong opinion about the company or industry you want to work in, there are some other ways to kick on with your learning journey.
Because cyber is such a growing industry, there are several apprenticeship providers who have decided to “cut out the middleman” and recruit budding cyber professionals directly. Providers like, QA, Baltic, and Escalla can help you get a foot in the door of the industry, and will help to find you a place within a company that matches your desires.
Securing a future in cyber
Well there we have it, a quick rundown of some of the best ways into the cyber security industry as an apprentice. Whether you decide to choose a specific employer, industry, or training provider, we hope this guide has given you a head start on making the right choice for your future career.
As always, if you have any questions or need further advice, check out the rest of our industry and job focus guides in our discovery section.