THE UK GOVERNMENT has revealed its Mooc, the "Massive Open Online Course" that it expects to inspire and inform the next generation of UK cyber security champions.
The Mooc has passionate backing from cyber security minister Ed Vaizey. Vaizey announced that the online course has been developed with the Open University and will be free to take. Anyone can take the course and the government expects, or perhaps hopes, that it will reach 200,000 potential cyberswots. Traditionally Moocs, given their name, offer unlimited space.
"The government has a vision for a vibrant, resilient and secure cyberspace, contributing to economic prosperity, national security and a strong society. This vision can only become a reality if we have a strong cyber security skills base in the UK, both within government and the private sector," said MP Vaizey.
"The launch of the cyber security Mooc takes us a step closer to that goal. Employers are looking for skilled people in the cyber security field, now and in the future, and we're particularly keen to encourage more young people and women into the profession. It's vital that we have the people and the skills to ensure the UK remains at the forefront of the information revolution."
The free course isn't totally free, of course, and it is being paid for by the government's National Cyber Security Programme, which has £860m to spend and five years to spend it.
The Open University will host the course, and its vice chancellor said that the government had lent insight to the educational content.
"For more than 40 years the [Open University] has been offering free access to a whole range of learning materials, giving people the chance to learn new skills anywhere, anytime," said Open University vice chancellor Martin Bean.
"This course will combine the expertise of the [Open University]'s leading academics with the insight only the government can offer in this important field." µ