In today’s digital age, technology has transformed every aspect of our lives. Technology has made our lives easier and more convenient, but it has introduced new vulnerabilities that can be exploited by bad or threatening actors. In 2021, the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In) team handled over 1.4 million incidents involving phishing attacks, probing, viruses, malware, and others, and showed a 21 per cent increase compared to 2020, even if many remain unreported.
Emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things (IoT), 5G, Quantumn Computing, Augmented and Virtual reality and Blockchain are transforming our lives and work. While these technologies offer many benefits, they also introduce new threats and challenges that come along with them. With the rise of Cyberattacks and information breaches becoming a crucial concern and occurring more frequently among business houses, the need for cybersecurity experts to manage these risks and protect digital assets is growing.
In order to keep pace with the ongoing challenges, there is a growing need for technology-based education in today’s world. Technology education has emerged as an important means to empower students and professionals with the knowledge and skill sets to meet the ongoing challenges.
Technology education powering cyber secure niche
Technology education is playing a crucial role in addressing the growing need for cybersecurity experts. With the increasing number of cyber threats, organisations worldwide are looking for cybersecurity experts who can help them protect their digital assets from cyber-attacks.
To address this skill gap, Universities have started to offer courses and degrees, partnering with industry leaders to develop cybersecurity programs that meet the specific needs of businesses. Universities and educational Institutions work closely with cybersecurity experts to create hands-on learning experiences that allow students to practice cybersecurity skills in a simulated environment and in real-world situations.
These programs cover a wide range of topics, including cybersecurity fundamentals, cyber laws and ethics, network security, vulnerability management, Threat Intelligence and incident response; knowing these skills provides a comprehensive and innovative approach to protecting digital assets and preventing potential cyber-attacks before they can do any damage.
Introducing technology-based education in new technologies like cybersecurity has significantly increased the number of cybersecurity graduates over the years. Many institutions which provide technology-based education report high job placement rates for cybersecurity graduates as businesses seek qualified professionals to fill their cybersecurity roles.
Incorporating cybersecurity learning into higher education
With the advent of new technologies, education has become more accessible, efficient, and effective than ever before. With the growing demand for digital skills, it has become crucial for educational institutions to adopt new technologies to keep up with the changing trends. Given the rapid growth of cyber threats, cybersecurity education is gaining prominence in higher education.
Listed below are some ways of cybersecurity education that can be incorporated into higher education:
● Cybersecurity boot camps provide an immersive learning experience that can be completed in a shorter duration as a standalone program. These boot camps can be designed to teach specific cybersecurity skills, such as penetration testing, ethical hacking, and incident response.
● Educational institutions can collaborate with cybersecurity firms and offer internships to students. These internship programs can provide students with hands-on experience and allow them to apply the skills in real-world scenarios.
● Educational institutions can conduct workshops and seminars exhibiting different features of cybersecurity tools. These workshops and seminars can be designed for students, faculty, and staff to understand the technology behind them and can be used to promote cybersecurity awareness.
● By including courses on cyber safety, educational institutions can develop into knowledge centres that teach students about cybersecurity-related issues and best practices on cybersecurity that can garner an ecosystem of secure cyberspace.
Government support in India for promoting technological education
India has effectively embraced technology in the education sector due to an increase in the number of mobile devices and internet penetration. It is in an excellent position to use technology in the education sector.
The National Educational Technology Forum (NETF), an independent organisation established as part of NEP 2020, offers a forum for exchanging ideas on the technology used to improve learning, assessment, planning, administration, and other aspects of school and higher education.
However, with the advent of technology, new and innovative teaching methods have emerged, making education more accessible and engaging for learners by providing opportunities for collaboration and interaction through online discussion, group projects, and video conferencing.
Furthermore, a wide range of educational software are being developed and made accessible to students and teachers at all levels for all the aforementioned educational goals. It offers flexibility and convenience to students who can access learning materials anywhere and anytime. It also allows students to learn at their own pace and cater to their individual learning styles. All such software will be accessible to a larger audience, including students in distant places and Divyang students, and will be available in all major Indian languages.
Technology education is essential in today’s world. Overall, technology-based education has the potential to transform the way we approach education and make it more accessible, engaging, and effective.
Addressing the growing need for cybersecurity professionals in emerging technologies, which is likely to grow, requires a collaborative effort between educational institutions, industry, and government agencies. The skill gap in the workforce will only be met if the collaborative effort in education and training is accelerated significantly.
Working together to develop and promote cybersecurity education and training programs can ensure we have the skilled professionals to protect our digital infrastructure and secure our future.
Furthermore, the integration of technology in education has brought about numerous benefits, increased accessibility, and enhanced collaboration and communication that help individuals develop the skills they require to succeed in today’s job market, stay up-to-date with the latest technological advancements, and develop critical thinking, problem-solving, creativity, and innovation skills.
By Mr. Sairaman Srinivasan, Chief Strategy Officer, Consortium for Technical Education (CTE)