Cybersecurity Courses Compulsory in Dutch Vocational IT Education as of 2019

On advice of both business and education sector, Dutch IT education at vocational level (MBO) will put more emphasis on cybersecurity. According to the SBB (the Dutch Cooperation Organisation for Vocational Education, Training and Labour Market), the organization that determines which requirements vocational education in the Netherlands must meet, as of 2019 ‘safe programming’ has to be a compulsory element of IT education at the vocational level. 

 

The necessity hereof, is underlined by the fact that last year only 480 IT students completed an optional course on cybersecurity at the vocational level while there were thousands of registered students in IT education programs. According to Edwin van Dis from SBB, "Safe programming must become the new standard".

 

In addition to updating the educational programs, Vincent Raphaël of ROC Mondriaan mentions that it is incredibly difficult to keep up-to-date because of the constantly changing environments and developments in the field. In practice this means that there is really only one solution: “working together with the business community". A number of secondary vocational education programs, including ROC Mondriaan, therefore already do so.

 

Another issue that students encounter is the lack of knowledge of their teachers. Teachers not coming from, or active in the business world are often not aware of the latest programming languages ​​nor have time to delve into these fields. In addition, many IT specials are not motivated to give lectures to students. Therefore, ROC Mondriaan employs teachers who split their time between teaching and working in the IT sector businesses. 

 

Edwin van Dis and Vincent Raphaël are both active in the ‘Vocational and Higher Education Roundtable Cybersecurity’ (part of the Human Capital Agenda Cybersecurity) in which HSD partners, representatives from businesses and the education sector, and the HSD Office exchange ideas and undertake action needed in order to help counter bottlenecks in the current cybersecurity education domain. 

 

The [email protected] program, under the guidance of ROC Mondriaan, focuses on realizing a good connection of vocational cyber security education to the labour market and to realise a smooth learning career trajectory between secundary education, vocational- and higher level education. ROC Mondriaan was the first vocational education provider in the Netherlands providing a ‘Secure Programming’ course

 

Source article: NOS

 

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