From education to employment

Andrew (42) set to break into a career in cyber security!

Andrew Smith Cisco

When Andrew Smith (42) found himself out of work during the pandemic, he decided to use the opportunity to retrain and gain qualifications in Cyber Security through Burton and South Derbyshire College’s (@BSDCofficial) Cisco Networking Academy.

Former self employed coded welder, Andrew had always been interested in computing and cyber security, and through online learning, he has achieved a range of qualifications, including Level 2 in IT user skills, Level 2 Cyber Security: Essentials, Level 2 NDG Linux Essentials, Level 2 Networking Essentials and Level 3 Programming Essentials: Python. He is now progressing to the CCNA 1: Introduction to Networks course to develop his networking skills.

Burton and South Derbyshire College’s Cisco Networking Academy offers a suite of part time online qualifications run in partnership with Cisco, worldwide leader in IT, networking and cyber security solutions. The short courses are separated into three key areas in digital skills: Operating Systems and IT; Networking and Cyber Security. They range from beginner level for anyone interested in gaining a grounding in the subjects to intermediate and advanced levels that could lead to a career in job roles such as system admin, programmer, network technician, helpdesk technician and cyber security professional.

All courses are delivered online with access to the official Cisco curriculum and workshops. Students can complete the flexible courses at their own pace and have access to support when they need it from qualified Cisco instructors.

Speaking about his experience with BSDC’s Cisco Networking Academy, Andrew commented:

“The pandemic gave me the perfect opportunity to study for a different career with the hopes of getting into cyber security. I have always enjoyed working with computers and the deeper inner workings of computing fascinates me. I have always wanted to do this as a career but never had the chance until now.

“As these are distance learning courses, it has given me the ability to go at my own pace and study better with fewer distractions. My tutor was always on hand to respond promptly to any questions or sections I had issues with, which was really helpful. Overall, the knowledge I have gained so far is amazing! I’ve learned so much and hopefully this will lead future employment.”

Sage Lal, Digital & Cyber Development Manager at BSDC added:

“Digital is a growing industry and there is a vast need for industry professionals with the skills in IT, networking and cyber security. As the world becomes increasingly digitalised, there is a huge demand for candidates with high level technical skills. Our partnership with Cisco gives students the opportunity to gain the technical skills to help fill the skills shortage and become the skilled professionals the industry needs.”

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