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SA gets cybersecurity academy

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A specialised Cyber Security Academy is being launched in South Africa this month, offering Fortinet’s Network Security Expert (NSE) certifications. 

A partnership between global cybersecurity solutions company Fortinet and T-Systems South Africa, it is aimed at helping participants upskill or build cyber security awareness skills to address a widening global cyber security workforce shortage in the market. The initiative is incorporated into T-Systems’ existing ICT Academy, and is accessible to the youth from local community.

“Cybersecurity has become a top C-level priority across the globe with skills in high demand,” says Marcus Karuppan, ICT Academy manager at T-Systems South Africa. “With the addition of this focus to our ICT Academy, we are empowering participants with new skills that will make them even more employable.

“T-Systems has been a Fortinet partner for many years and we offer their solutions to our customers. Building on our relationship, we are now collaborating with them to focus on cybersecurity skills development and awareness. We see the benefits in their program first-hand as many of the students that graduate from the ICT Academy are employed at T-Systems South Africa and we see the value in having our technicians hold these certifications. This means that the participants have excellent potential for employment with us and other ICT firms at the end of their learning period.”

The ICT Academy offers learners the opportunity to study toward an NQF4 qualification in their first year, which includes technical support, CompTIA and ICDL. The second year offers an NQF5 qualification to earn their national certification in either Telecommunications Network Operations, Systems Support or Systems Development.  Collaborating with the Fortinet’s Security Academy Program, it will also enable participants to complete Fortinet’s NSE certification level 4 (NSE4) qualification.

“Our goal is to enable CSI programs like the ICT Academy to empower participants with an international qualification,” says Doros Hadjizenonos, Fortinet regional director for Africa. “We cover the cost of the online curriculum and certification to enable this programme to be offered to the broader base of learners as possible, and the ICT Academy will fund the cost of the facilities and resources required for program implementation.”

Learners who are already part of the ICT Academy will be able to gain additional skills in infrastructure security as well as the new cyber security stream. New learners will also be able to join the new cyber security program.

“Empowered with an international certification from our ICT Academy, learners are able to apply for both local and global jobs abroad,” says Karuppan. “As all of our learners come from disadvantaged backgrounds, this is an incredible opportunity for them to gain valuable qualifications and experience. Our goal is to create a pool of employable graduates with skills in the security sector to help address a noticeable skills gap in South Africa.”

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