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Wednesday 18 October 2017
Local

Cybersecurity: a field of opportunity for students

Cybersecurity, a field of opportunity for students: Chaguanas Mayor His Worship Gopaul Boodhan (3rd from left) is flanked by Rayan Ramoutar, Consultant with the GSPP; Tracy Hackshaw, Programme Manager & Head of the Programme Execution Unit GSPP; Raj Ramdass, Director RSC International; Sugan Ramdass, Director RSC International; Chrisen Maharaj, Manager, Capacity Building and Programme Financing EXPORTT. PHOTO COURTESY THE MINISTRY OF PLANNING AND DEVELOPMENT.

The Global Services Promotion Programme (GSPP); being implemented by the Planning and Development Ministry, is designed to drive this country's economic transformation/diversification.

This, the ministry says, is being done "through the use of information technology-enabled services (ITeS) to broaden opportunities in other economic sectors, especially with the current challenges in the oil and gas industry."

A cybersecurity workshop was the most recent initiative undertaken since the GSPP. Participants were introduced to the basics of cybersecurity through introduction to hardware and software, and were taught the importance of this arm of ICT in the financial, business and education sectors.

Students in attendance learned that "globally, countries cannot meet the demand for cyber security experts, especially in the recent wake of public and private cyber-attacks involving ransomware."

The ministry also said the "students were interested to learn that jobs in the sector pay upwards of TT $35,000 to $50,000 monthly depending on experience and certification."

Funded by a loan and grant agreement with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), several initiatives have been undertaken since the GSPP's inception in November 2017.

They include a training session with Google for students and IT practitioners, collaborations with the business community, seminars for schools involving building computer systems, an internet of things workshop with IBM and the aforementioned cybersecurity workshop; held at the GSPP hub on Ramsaran Street, Chaguanas.

The workshop was a collaboration with RSC international, which focuses on enhancing education through technology.

While the amount of money one can earn from working in cybersecurity certainly caught students' attention, the ministry said "the main point of (the workshop) was to foster the passion and desire in the students present to pursue careers in ITeS generally, as this is the wave of the future; inclusive of careers in robotics and the automotive industry."

The ministry says through the GSPP, it is "certain that given time, the myriad of opportunities in the ITeS sector will come to fruition in all other sectors of development, (thus) contributing to national development while creating opportunities for prosperity in TT."

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