Singapore moves to strengthen cyber security talent pool


26 August 2014

A new undergraduate information security degree programme and post-graduate scholarships are being introduced in efforts to boost Singapore’s cyber security talent pool. This was announced by Singapore’s Minister of Communications and Information Dr Yaacob Ibrahim at the Infocomm Security Seminar on 26 August.

The undergraduate programme will be launched by the Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT) in September 2015, and will give students the opportunity to pick up practical skills from host organisations through an integrated Work-Study scheme.   The four-year honours programme seeks to give students a broader perspective of cyber security, equipping them for tasks such as formulating cyber security policies and the balancing cybersecurity against other business imperatives.  

The degree programme will complement polytechnic education, which is more focused on the technical aspects of cybersecurity, for example, developing expertise in managing firewalls, carrying out penetration testing and implementing intrusion detection systems. Qualified polytechnic graduates can apply for up to one year exemption for the SIT programme.  

In other initiatives at the degree and diploma levels, the Nanyang Technological University has included an information security specialisation as part of its undergraduate curriculum. Response to this was strong, with more than 30 per cent of the final year cohort opting for the programme.

To build up R&D capabilities in cyber security, 30 post graduate scholarships will be introduced from next year to support further studies and research in cyber security at the Masters and PhD levels. The scholarship programme was co-developed by the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore and the National Research Foundation.

Apart from dedicated cybersecurity experts, other ICT professionals in areas such as network engineering and application development will also be trained to defend infrastructure and applications from cyber threats. Earlier this year, Singapore Polytechnic launched a Cyber Security Academy and Singapore Technologies Electronics and Engineering opened a DigiSAFE Cyber Security Centre which will provide training opportunities for those interested in a career change and und help upgrade the skills of existing personnel in technical roles.