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Cybersecurity To Soon Be Taught In High School

The Lycée Guillaume Kroll, which is launching a higher education program in IT security, is positioning itself as one of the country’s centers of expertise in the field, and as intends to collaborate with startups.

Photo: The BTS opens the door to a dozen different professions / Credits © Lycée Guillaume Kroll

In Esch-sur Alzette, the Lycée Guillaume Kroll is setting up a higher technician’s certificate (BTS) in cybersecurity, scheduled to start next autumn.

Launched by a group of teachers, in collaboration with ministerial experts in the field, the initiative positions the school as one of the poles of IT expertise alongside Lycées des Arts et Métiers (Luxembourg City) and Edward Steichen (Clervaux).

The school already offers two courses of this type in cloud computing and communication technologies.

The future two-year higher education cycle aims to prepare 18-20 year-old students for cybersecurity professions. “The market has a huge need for young talent in this field,” explains Marc Ludwig, one of the school’s IT teachers and co-initiator of the project. “Our training is a response to this demand and to the current challenges in this area.

Collaboration with startups

After presenting his project to the Lycée’s management, he submitted his concept to the Ministry of Higher Education and Research (MESR), which approved it.

The process follows the “Digital Luxembourg” initiative launched by the government in 2014.

It is also part of the Sparta program, a European network of cybersecurity expertise, aimed at coordinating and developing the implementation of high-level research and innovation in digital security, in order to strengthen the strategic autonomy of the EU.

The approach is therefore technological, theoretical and practical: with a focus on governance and communication, and on current trends in this area.

“Our training is thus a response to this demand and to the challenges in terms of cybersecurity”

Also, the training in English has five pillars. Three are technical (operating systems and automation; telecommunication network technologies; security concepts; a 4th deals with governance (organization, security management, legislation); the last one focuses on communication (project management; personal development: how to communicate with non-specialists, how to prepare for a job interview…).

The teaching will also be based on cooperation with actors in the sector: 250 hours of the program will be dedicated to presentations and workshops by external speakers, and visits to companies.

The course ends with a 12-week internship in a company at the end of the 4th semester.

“Partnership with the professional world is an integral part of our philosophy,” insists Marc Ludwig. “Information security is constantly evolving and developing, and the school is not able to keep up with this pace. That’s why we use external specialists and experts, so any collaboration with startups is welcome.

“The partnership with the professional world is an integral part of our philosophy. Any collaboration with startups is therefore welcome.”

In addition, the 14 students will network with local professionals and will thus be able to develop regular contacts with specialists and representatives of the Luxembourg cyber security ecosystem.

“Once their BTS cybersecurity diploma is in their pockets, the young specialists will have the necessary knowledge to manage and analyze incidents, or to launch and administer infrastructures to secure systems and networks, and more generally to respond to the most current security challenges,” explains Marc Ludwig.

Access to a dozen professions

“They will also have the professional skills required to work in an operational security team or as technical advisors.

The BTS opens the door to a dozen different professions: incident response analyst, network security operator, security administrator, operational security officer, CISO assistant, security operations desk…

“We remain very confident, because the concept has proved its worth with our BTS cloud computing.”

Marc Ludwig is already looking further afield: he plans to build bridges with universities in the Grande-Région, such as Nancy and Luxembourg, to enable young graduates to enter a third year of a Bachelor’s degree in Cybersecurity. A process that has already been carried out for Guillaume Kroll’s other BTSs.

The project is currently in the process of accreditation and approval by the Ministry; its response is expected in early May. Registrations will begin as soon as the ministerial green light is given.

“We remain very confident, because the concept has meanwhile proven itself with our BTS cloud computing,” concludes Marc Ludwig.

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