Cyber NSF Scheme

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Cyber NSF Scheme
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The Cyber NSF Scheme
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What is it?

Cybersecurity is a new domain essential to our national security. The Cyber NSF Scheme aims to deploy the nation's best to defend our networks. They will be trained to deal with advanced cyber threats, engage in real-world cyber operations and contribute to the national cyber ecosystem.

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Who is it for?

Pre-enlistees who are interested in using their cybersecurity skills during their National Service are welcome to apply. Cyber Operators will perform fundamental cyber tasks such as threat monitoring and assessment. Selected NSFs who possess the skills and aptitude may be offered the Cyber Specialist Award, allowing them to serve as Cyber Specialists.

The Cyber Specialist Award
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Real-World Cyber Operations

Cyber Specialists will engage in real-world cyber operations against rapidly evolving threats. They will perform advanced cyber tasks such as:

  • Incident Response
  • Cyber Forensics
  • Malware Analysis
  • Penetration Testing

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Professional & Academic Certification

Cyber Specialists will undergo continuous training to upgrade their skills and obtain industry-related professional certifications. They will also participate in a Work-Learn Programme which allows them to earn academic credits that can count towards a cybersecurity degree.

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Salary & Benefits

Cyber Specialists will receive competitive remuneration and are entitled to Regular benefits, such as leave, bonuses and medical coverage.

Cyber NSF Work-Learn Programme
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Cyber Specialists can graduate at the same time as their peers who serve 2 years of NS

The Work-Learn Programme is designed to enable Cyber Specialists to continuously upgrade their skills and competencies. While on the job, they will attend cybersecurity modules at a local university, earning academic credits in the process. The work experience and qualifications gained will position them well for a career in the cybersecurity industry.

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Work-Learn Programme table
How Do I Join?
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Application

  • Pre-enlistees can apply online to register your interest.
  • Pre-enlistees should apply for the scheme ~12 months prior to their enlistment.

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Selection Tests

  • Theory test on topics such as network security architecture, cryptography and application security.
  • Practical test involving problem-solving and analytical skills.

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  • Successful applicants will be notified and emplaced on the Cyber NSF Scheme upon enlistment.
  • Selected individuals will be offered the Cyber Specialist Award.

FAQs

Application, Selection Criteria and Process

Q1. Who is the Cyber NSF Scheme open to?

A1. All National Service pre-enlistees are eligible to apply. Applicants are expected to have an interest in cybersecurity, possess strong logical- thinking skills, and have good knowledge of maths, science and/or Infocomm Technology/Security. NSmen and in-service NSF are not eligible for the scheme and can consider other Regular cybersecurity vocations (MDES or DXO schemes) if they are interested to serve in this area.

Q2. What is the selection process to join the scheme?

A2. Applicants will be put through two rounds of rigorous selection and will be tested for their aptitude and logical thinking skills. Familiarity with programming and network security will be useful. Applicants will also be put through psychometric tests and practical problem-solving scenarios.

Q3. Will my polytechnic results affect my chances of being selected for the scheme? Can I still apply for the Cyber Specialist Award if I have poor academic results?

A3. All applicants are expected to minimally possess basic knowledge and skills in cybersecurity. Applicants will be put through two rounds of rigorous selection and will be tested for skills and aptitude in relevant areas such as cryptography, security architecture and application security, as well as put through psychometric tests and practical problem-solving scenarios. Your eligibility for the Cyber NSF Scheme and Cyber Specialist Award will be based on your selection test results.

Q4. Does it matter what my PES status is?

A4. All servicemen, regardless of PES status, will be eligible for selection to be 3-year or 4-year Cyber Specialists. PES A/B servicemen will not be eligible to be 2-year Cyber Operators.

Q5. When will the selection process start and when will the first batch enlist into service?

A5. The selection process will commence in Mar 2018. The first batch of Cyber NSFs will enlist in the second-half of 2018.

Q6. If I apply now, can I still change my mind?

A6. The application form on the Cyber NSF website is only an indication of interest to be considered for the scheme. You will be scheduled to undergo selection tests to determine your eligibility. If found suitable for the Cyber Specialist Award, you will be offered a contract before your enlistment. You can choose whether or not to accept the contract. However, once the contract has been signed, you will be subjected to the terms and conditions of the contract.

Q7. If I am interested to take up a scholarship with MINDEF/SAF, should I sign up for this scheme?

A7. As this application is only an indication of interest, all pre-enlistees who are interested in the Cyber vocation should sign up for this scheme. Your NS performance will be taken into consideration when applying for MINDEF/SAF scholarships.

Q8. If I am not successful in my application for the scheme, what will happen to me?

A8. You will continue to be enlisted according to standard enlistment procedures. Deployment is based on manpower and operational requirements, and the pre-enlistee’s medical fitness, cognitive attitudes, skills and interest.

Q9. If I have an existing scholarship/award that comes with a bond, can I still apply for this scheme?

A9. Yes, you may apply for this scheme as this application is only an indication of interest. If found suitable for the Cyber Specialists Award, you will be offered a contract before your enlistment. On your end, you should engage your scholarship/award agency to clarify the terms and conditions of your bond.

Q10. How can I prepare myself for the selection tests?

A10. The selection tests will assess your aptitude in areas such as inductive reasoning and logical thinking. Prior experience and knowledge of cyber domain areas such as network security, cryptography and malware analysis will also be useful.

Q11. If I had not applied for the scheme earlier but have changed my mind during BMT, can I still apply?

A11. No, you need to submit your application prior to enlistment in order to be considered for the scheme. This is necessary because all applicants will need to undergo selection and screening before they can be considered for the Cyber Specialist Award.

Q12. I have been selected for Commando/NDU vocational assessment. Can I still be selected as a Cyber Specialist?

A12. Yes, you can still apply and it is necessary because all applicants will need to undergo selection and screening before they can be considered for the Cyber Specialist Award.

Terms and Conditions of the Scheme

Q1. Can I extend my short-term contract?

A1. The maximum duration for this scheme is 4 years. Hence, no extension of short-term contract will be allowed for those who are already on the 4-year Cyber Specialist contract. For 3-year Cyber Specialists, they may be eligible for extension of contract to 4 years, depending on their performance and MINDEF/SAF’s operational requirements. However, there is an option for Cyber Specialists to sign on for a Regular career in MINDEF/SAF if you are interested to continue to serve in this area. There are MDES (uniformed) and DXO (non-uniformed) options for service in the cybersecurity vocations. You may approach your manpower officer to find out more or visit https://www.cmpb.gov.sg/web/portal/cmpb/home/before-ns/joining-as-a-regular

Q2. Is there a bond for being in this scheme?

A2. There is no bond period for Cyber Specialists. They will be undergoing studies throughout the duration of their contract and can leave after the end of their 3- or 4-year period. Cyber Specialists who take up the short term contract will be subjected to the terms and conditions of the contract.

Q3. When will I receive regular pay?

A3. A Cyber Specialist will have to serve a minimum term as an NSF, before he is eligible for Regular pay. A 4-year Cyber Specialist will start receiving Regular pay within the first year. A 3-year Cyber Specialist will start receiving Regular pay within the second year.

Q4. Must I get a placing in a cybersecurity course first before applying or qualifying for the Cyber NSF scheme?

A4. No, all pre-enlistees are eligible to apply for the scheme. Applicants are expected to minimally possess basic knowledge and skills in cybersecurity. Applicants will be put through two rounds of rigorous selection and will be tested for skills and aptitude in relevant areas such as cryptography, security architecture and application security, as well as put through psychometric tests and practical problem-solving scenarios. As long as you do well for these tests, you can be selected into the scheme.

Q5. Can I sign on as a Regular during my contract period? And what can I sign up as?

A5. Yes, Cyber NSFs have the option to sign on for a Regular career in MINDEF/SAF if they wish to continue to serve in this area. There are MDES (uniformed) and DXO (non-uniformed) options for service in cybersecurity vocations. You may approach your manpower officer to find out more or visit https://www.cmpb.gov.sg/web/portal/cmpb/home/before-ns/joining-as-a-regular

Q6. I am unsure about committing to a period of 3 or 4 years, can I take up the Cyber Specialist Award first and drop out subsequently? If I decide to take up a 4 year Cyber Specialist Contract, can I change my mind and shorten the duration of service subsequently?

A6. The current application form is just an exercise for you to indicate your interest in the scheme. You can still change your mind up to the point when you sign the contract. However, once the contract has been signed, you will be subject to the terms and conditions of the contract. Cyber Specialists in the 3- or 4-year scheme are expected to remain committed to their training and operational roles for the duration of their contract.

Q7. Do I have to pay for any costs during the programme?

A7. The cost of the Cyber NSF Scheme will be fully borne by MINDEF/SAF. There is no requirement for those on the programme to make co-payments.

Q8. If I fail my SIT cybersecurity modules, do I still have to serve out my NS liabilities or can I ORD at my 2nd year mark?

A8. Cyber Specialists who accept the Award will be subject to the terms and conditions of the award and our performance management framework. Award holders are expected to commit and perform to a high standard. Should an individual not perform up to expectation, he will be subjected to performance review. If any individual is removed from the Award scheme due to poor performance, he would still be required to serve out any remaining NS liabilities.

Q9. Must I do shift work as a Cyber Specialist?

A9. Yes, the Cyber Specialists will be required to perform shift work according to the unit’s operational requirements.

Q10. Can I be an officer on this scheme?

A10. No, this is a Cyber Specialist Award, there are no NSF Cyber officer positions at this point. However, if you are interested to be an officer, you may wish to consider a career in the Military Domain Expert Scheme (MDES). For more details, visit https://www.cmpb.gov.sg/web/portal/cmpb/home/before-ns/joining-as-a-regular

Cyber Specialist Award

Q1. When must I decide to take the Cyber Specialist Award?

A1. If found suitable, the Cyber Specialist Award will be offered before your enlistment. For this pilot batch, only 50-70 awards will be offered, you are advised to take up the award as soon as you are offered.

Q2. How many Cyber Specialists does MINDEF/SAF plan to recruit for the programme?

A2. In our first year, MINDEF/SAF is aiming to recruit about 50-70 Cyber Specialists for the vocation. MINDEF/SAF will continually assess our requirements for cyber talents based on the evolving cybersecurity threats and environment.

Work-Learn Program

Q1. What are the arrangements like for the work-learn programme? Will a Cyber Specialist be required to attend lessons at night?

A1. MINDEF/SAF will arrange for 1 study day per week, subject to the operational schedule/tasks.

Q2. Can I choose the university for the work-learn programme? Why is the programme with SIT and not with other universities?

A2. For this pilot scheme, MINDEF/SAF is collaborating with SIT to provide a customised work-learn programme that suits our training requirements. Beyond this time frame, we are open to collaborating with other academic and training institutions to meet our cyber training requirements.

Q3. Can I complete my cybersecurity degree in other universities? Are the credits earned at SIT transferable to another university?

A3. You can apply to any university to continue your studies through their normal admission process. Cyber Specialists who have earned SIT credits may be eligible for credit transfer to other universities. This is subject to the academic policy of the respective universities.

Q4. If I decide to pursue a cybersecurity degree after my ORD, will I automatically gain admission into the SIT Info Security course?

A4. Cyber Specialists who have gone through the work-learn programme will earn credits for their completed cybersecurity modules. However, they will have to meet SIT’s entry requirements if they wish to be enrolled into the full-time programme upon their ORD.

Q5. Will MINDEF/SAF consider a period longer than four years in the future? E.g. A work-learn programme where personnel finish with a degree.

A5. The objective of the work-learn programme is to provide deep expertise training for Cyber NSFs to prepare them adequately for their operational roles. The length of the work-learn programme is designed to be sufficient for the Cyber NSFs to acquire the training they require to perform their operational roles. MINDEF/SAF will reassess the duration of the work-learn programme if required.

Q6. Will MINDEF/SAF sponsor the remaining studies to complete the cyber degree at SIT?

A6. If you are interested to get MINDEF/SAF to sponsor the remaining studies, you may wish to consider a Regular career in MINDEF/SAF. There are MDES (uniformed) and DXO (non-uniformed) options for service in cybersecurity vocations. You may approach your manpower officer to find out more or visit https://www.cmpb.gov.sg/web/portal/cmpb/home/before-ns/joining-as-a-regular

Professional Courses

Q1. What courses can I expect to be sent for and what tasks will I be asked to do during my time in the programme?

A1. The courses that Cyber Specialists will be sent for depends on the operational roles they are performing. They could be sent for professionally accredited courses, for example, network penetration testing, red team operations and cloud security architecture.

Others

Q1. Will pre-enlistees be allowed to indicate their interest in the Cyber vocation as part of the NS Vocation Interest (VI) initiative?

A1. Pre-enlistees will not be able to indicate their interest in the Cyber vocation as part of the VI initiative. This is due to the requirement for pre-enlistment selection tests. Due to the highly demanding nature of the Cyber vocation, the selection process for Cyber NSFs is different from that of the other vocations. Only pre-enlistees who pass the selection tests and meet the necessary criteria will be selected to serve in the Cyber vocation.

Q2. What happens to NSFs in the programme after they have completed their full-term of service?

A2. Servicemen who complete their term of service on the Cyber NSF Scheme will continue to serve their Operationally Ready NS in the Cyber vocation.

Q3. I already have a place in other local universities but I am also interested in this scheme. Should I still apply?

A3. As this application is only an indication of interest, all pre-enlistees who are interested in the Cyber vocation should apply. The SIT modules taken as part of the work-learn programme may be considered for credit transfer by other universities. This is subject to the admissions policy of the university.

I'M INTERESTED

(Pre-enlistees who are keen to join the scheme need to fill up the application form to indicate your interest. The application submission will not commit you into a specific track within the scheme)

Click here to register your interest.


Application Window

  • All those enlisting from May 19 to Dec 19 should submit their applications by 31 Aug 18.
  • All other pre-enlistees should submit their applications ~12 months prior to their enlistment.


Only successful applicants will be notified.

For any enquiries, please click here to contact us!

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