New talent

We support the development of the UK's next generation of cyber professionals. Our student bursary scheme and courses under CyberFirst are helping us to nurture talent for a future in National Security.  

An exciting competition to inspire and encourage young girls to consider a career in cyber. Registration for this competition has now closed and the finalists announced.


There has never been a greater need for young talented people to help protect UK society, our families and our way of life. As a key part of the UK government’s National Cyber Security Programme, CyberFirst will deliver a broad range of activities designed to identify and support talented young people through their education and highlight exciting career opportunities in cyber security.

The CyberFirst student bursary scheme offers undergraduates a comprehensive package of financial assistance and cyber security related experience to help kick start their career in cyber. Inspired and led by GCHQ in partnership with other government departments and selected industry, the scheme aims to support and prepare students for a career in cyber security. Applications now closed.

Join Cyber First
Join Cyber First
All of our courses are carefully designed to bring out every student’s potential and inspire them to consider opportunities in cyber security. Those who take part delve into how everyday technology really works; how systems and software that surround us are connected to each other; how information flows through networks; and how we can take sensible steps to protect our digital world.
The courses are free; aimed at 11 – 17 year-olds; and offer are a mix of residential and non-residential at universities and colleges across mainland UK. Bookings are now open.

Cyber education for a secure future

Supporting the development of UK cyber talent throughout their academic career and beyond.

Bachelor's degrees

A GCHQ-certified Bachelor's degree helps students to make informed choices about cyber security qualifications and gives employers a way to recruit and develop skilled staff. Universities offering certified courses attract high quality students from around the world. 

Arkwright scholarships

GCHQ is proud to be sponsoring 10 Arkwright Scholars. Arkwright Engineering Scholars are elite students from schools up and down the country who have earned a scholarship through a rigorous selection process. This is just another example of how GCHQ is investing in talent for the future.

Programmes for schools

A programme of engagement with secondary education designed to foster the study of STEM subjects, encouraging promising students to consider cyber security as a career option. The key to this is promoting diversity.

Cyber challenges and programmes

GCHQ is a ‘platinum’ sponsor of the Cyber Security Challenge UK. The Challenge is another great way for people of all ages to get involved with cyber security in a fun enviroment.

Competitions and challenges

This year GCHQ are running a girls' competition. We are looking for teams of four girls in years 9/10 or equivalent, supported by a responsible adult from the school.

Cyber schools programme

We are working with other government departments to develop, as part of a Cyber Schools Programme, an ambitious skills programme for 14-18 year olds, to embed cyber security as a recognised career choice.