Cyber NSF Scheme

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Cyber NSF Scheme
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MINDEF launched the Cyber NSF Scheme in February 2018 to tap on the nation’s best cyber talents from the Full-time National Service (NSF) pool to defend MINDEF/SAF systems and networks. They will be trained to deal with advanced cyber threats, engage in real-world cybersecurity operations and contribute to the national cyber ecosystem.

Who is it for?

All National Service (NS ) pre-enlistees are eligible to apply. Applicants are expected to possess baseline knowledge and skills in cybersecurity.

Cyber Vocations

Cyber Operators will perform basic roles 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 in specialised roles and receive various developmental opportunities to continue upgrading their skills over a period of 3 or 4 years.

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The Cyber Specialist Award

Specialised Cybersecurity Operations

Cyber Specialists will conduct specialised real-world cybersecurity operations in areas such as:

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

Developmental Opportunities

Cyber Specialists will have opportunities to develop their cybersecurity skills through: (a) vocational training; (b) On-the-Job Training (OJT); and (c) academic training. Vocational training will equip them with vocational knowledge and skills that include how cybersecurity fundamentals are applied in MINDEF/SAF’s context. Following vocational training, they will commence OJT, where they will train on specific systems, and learn tasks and Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for the specific units they are deployed to, and hone their skills through specialised cybersecurity operations. They may also have the opportunity to gain professional certifications as they continue to develop and upgrade their cybersecurity skillsets. MINDEF has also partnered local universities to offer an undergraduate work-learn programme for Cyber Specialists to continuously upgrade their skills and competencies. Cyber Specialists will take cybersecurity modules on a part-time basis at either the Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT) or National University of Singapore (NUS), earning academic credits in the process that can contribute towards the eventual completion of the degree. The work experience and qualifications gained will position Cyber Specialists well for a career in the cybersecurity industry.

Salary & Benefits

After a minimum period of service, Cyber Specialists will receive competitive Regular salary and will be entitled to Regular benefits such as leave and medical coverage.

Application & Selection Process

All National Service (NS) pre-enlistees are eligible to apply. Applicants are expected to possess baseline knowledge and skills in cybersecurity. Interested pre-enlistees may register their interest by filling out the application form here (Please note that the application form will not be available outside of the application window).

The selection process will commence one year ahead of your enlistment. Shortlisted applicants will be put through rigorous selection tests assessing aptitude and cybersecurity skills. Prior experience and knowledge of programming, network security, cryptography and malware analysis will be useful! Selected individuals will be offered the Cyber Specialist Award before your enlistment while others may serve as Cyber Operators. Those who accept the Cyber Specialist Award may choose between a 3 or 4 -year scheme.

Application Windows
Graduating Year Type of Course Application Window
2021 Diploma course
Higher Nitec course
Closed
NUS High School Diploma or International Baccalaureate Diploma course
GCE 'A' Level course
GCE 'N' or 'O' Level course
National ITE Certificate (Nitec) course
1 Dec 2020 to 21 Feb 2021
2022 Diploma course
Higher Nitec course
1 Jun 2021 to 31 Aug 2021
NUS High School Diploma or International Baccalaureate Diploma course
GCE 'A' Level course
GCE 'N' or 'O' Level course
National ITE Certificate (Nitec) course
10 Dec 2021 to 28 Feb 2022
2023 Diploma course
Higher Nitec course
1 Jun 2022 to 31 Aug 2022
NUS High School Diploma or International Baccalaureate Diploma course
GCE 'A' Level course
GCE 'N' or 'O' Level course
National ITE Certificate (Nitec) course
1 Dec 2022 to 28 Feb 2023


Only shortlisted applicants will be notified.

FAQs

Cyber Vocations

Q1 What is the difference between a Cyber Operator and a Cyber Specialist?

A Cyber Operator will perform basic roles such as threat monitoring and assessment during his 2-year full-time NS. A Cyber Specialist will undergo specialised training and participate in a 3-year or 4-year undergraduate work-learn programme to perform specialised roles such as incident response, cyber forensics, malware analysis, and penetration testing. Cyber Specialists will also receive Regular pay and benefits after serving a minimum period of service.


Work-Learn Programmes (WLPs)

Q1 What are the WLPs available for Cyber Specialists?

MINDEF has partnered the Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT) since 2018 to offer an undergraduate WLP, which offers academic modules from SIT’s Information and Communications Technology (Information Security) undergraduate programme. We have now also partnered the National University of Singapore (NUS) School of Computing, which is offering academic modules from its Information Security programme.

Q2 Can I choose which university to undergo the WLP with?

You may choose the university you wish to undergo the WLP with. To be placed on the WLP with SIT, you must be offered the Cyber Specialist Award. To be placed on the WLP with NUS, you must be offered the Cyber Specialist Award, and NUS must offer you a place in the School of Computing’s Information Security programme by the end of your BMT.

Q3 What is the difference between the NUS and the SIT work-learn programmes?

The programmes are similar. Cyber Specialists will earn similar percentage of academic credits for the completion of the respective university’s Information Security degree. Cyber Specialists will undertake the same operational duties. The difference in admission criteria is based on the respective university’s policy.

Q4 Can I apply for the Cyber NSF Scheme / Will I be eligible for the WLP even if I haven’t decided whether to apply to NUS and which programme to apply for?

Yes, you are still encouraged to apply for the Cyber NSF Scheme. The online application is only an indication of interest to be considered for the scheme.

Q5 Can I apply for the Cyber NSF Scheme / Will I be eligible for the WLP even if I don’t intend to pursue a degree in Information Security?

Yes, you are still encouraged to apply for the Cyber NSF Scheme as long as you are interested in any Computing/Computer Science/Computer Engineering-related degree. The online application is only an indication of interest to be considered for the scheme.

Q6 I have a place in another local university. Am I able to defer my university enrolment?

All local universities have agreed to defer the enrolment date of Cyber Specialists for the duration of their scheme (3 or 4 years). For individuals who have secured university placements, MINDEF will provide you with a letter for you to submit to your university’s Admission Office when you apply to defer your enrolment.

Q7 What are the arrangements like for the WLP?

MINDEF/SAF will work with the universities to schedule your operational duties and part-time studies.

Q8 Can I complete my cybersecurity degree in other universities? Are the credits earned at SIT or NUS transferable to another university?

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

Q9 Will MINDEF/SAF sponsor the remaining studies to complete the undergraduate degree?

If you are interested in MINDEF/SAF sponsorship for your remaining studies, you may wish to consider a career in MINDEF/SAF. There are uniformed and non-uniformed options for service in cybersecurity vocations. You may also click here and here for information about our uniformed and non-uniformed cyber vocations respectively.


Administration

Q1 If I apply now, can I still change my mind?

The online application 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 subject to the terms and conditions of the contract.

Q2 If I accept the Cyber Specialist Award, do I have to pay for any costs during the programme?

MINDEF/SAF will pay the tuition fees of the academic programme at NUS or SIT until completion of the contract.

Q3 Is there a bond for being in this scheme?

There is no bond period for Cyber Specialists beyond the contract.

Q4 Can I extend or shorten my Cyber Specialist contract subsequently?

The maximum duration for the Cyber NSF Scheme is 4 years. Hence, no extension is available for those who opt for 4 years of service. Cyber Specialist on the 3-year scheme may opt to switch to the 4-year scheme before they graduate from the Cyber Specialist Cadet Course (CSCC), depending on your performance and MINDEF/SAF's operational requirements.

Once the contract is in effect, you will be subject to the terms and conditions of the contract. Cyber Specialists on the 3-year or 4-year scheme are expected to remain committed to their training and operational roles for the duration of their contract.

Cyber Specialists who are interested to continue serving in MINDEF/SAF may wish to consider a career in MINDEF/SAF. There are uniformed and non-uniformed options for service in cybersecurity vocations. You may also click here and here for information about our uniformed and non-uniformed cyber vocations respectively.

Q5 Does it matter what my PES status is?

All servicemen, regardless of PES status, will be eligible for selection to be 3-year or 4-year Cyber Specialists.

Q6 Where will I be deployed to?

Deployment is based on MINDEF/SAF’s operational requirements. You will be informed of your posting upon completion of BMT.

Q7 Must I do shift work?

You may be required to perform shift work and stay in, according to the unit’s operational requirements.

Q8 Am I required to pass the Individual Physical Proficiency Test (IPPT) and meet the Body Mass Index (BMI) requirements?

You are required to attempt and pass the IPPT annually if you are eligible to take IPPT based on your medical status. You will also need to meet BMI requirements.

Q9 If I am interested to take up a scholarship with MINDEF/SAF, should I sign up for this scheme?

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

Q10 If I have an existing scholarship/award that comes with a bond, can I still apply for this scheme?

Yes, you may apply for this scheme as this application is only an indication of interest. If found suitable for the Cyber Specialist 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.

Q11 What happens if I am not successful in my application for the scheme?

You will continue to be enlisted according to standard enlistment procedures.


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