Students looking to make £2,500? GCHQ has the cyber summer school for you

No dress code but must code

GCHQ has announced a ten-week 'cyber insiders summer school' for aspiring white hat hackers, the latest attempt by the Government security organisation to uncover the next generation of British cyber-talent.

Due to be held between 6 July and 11 September in GCHQ's home town of Cheltenham, the ten-week course will be open to any student in year one or two of a University computer science course with the incentive of being paid £2,500 ($3,800) to attend. GCHQ will also cover the cost of accommodation in the town and hand candidates completing the course a CV-boosting certificate.

Attendees will also need to be fluent in at least one computer language and demonstrate the usual ability to work independently or as part of a team.

In return they will get an intensive upload from GCHQ's own experts plus unnamed external speakers drawn from large IT firms.

After delving into the innards of a range of security systems, including mobile, students will have been introduced to everything from pen-testing, ethical hacking and given an understanding the disturbingly insecure character of modern networks.

Its not clear whether the course can be 'failled' as such but it will end with a live exercise to assess what students have learned.

"The unique Cyber Insiders Summer School offers computer science students a fantastic opportunity to enhance their cyber skills and to discover how GCHQ use a variety of technologies to protect the UK," said an unnamed GCHQ spokesperson.

"They'll not only enhance their cyber knowledge, but completing the programme will also look good on their CV and, if they prove their abilities, we may even offer them a job interview."

That's the carrot on offer of course - a job in inside GCHQ's famous donut headquarters. Not many people get those, through more will in future than have done in the past. The £2,500 plus accomodation offer also looks generous.

Candidates need to apply for one of the limited places through the organisation's careers website by 9 March.

Elsewhere in Government, the Civil Service last month announced plans to hire 50 cyber-security apprentices to hold the fort.

Correction: this story originally incorrectly stated that the £2,500 sum was a fee for the course.

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