Defence Cyber Chief, Brigadier-General (BG) Mark Tan, and Dean of the National University of Singapore (NUS) School of Computing & Provost's Chair Professor of Computer Science, Professor Mohan Kankanhalli, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on a new Work-Learn Programme (WLP) for Cyber Specialists earlier today. The MOU signing was conducted via video conference in light of the COVID-19 situation.
Cyber NSFs (Full-time National Servicemen), who are recipients of the Cyber Specialist Award , now have the opportunity to participate in a WLP at NUS where they can take up modules from the School of Computing's Information Security programme and earn academic credits that can be counted towards a cybersecurity degree from NUS.
The new WLP at NUS comes on top of an existing WLP established with the Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT) in 2018, where Cyber Specialists are sent for academic training at SIT while being employed in an operational role. The undergraduate WLPs at both partner universities, which are either three or four years in duration, complement on-the-job training that Cyber Specialists receive and better prepare them for more technically demanding cybersecurity roles.
Underscoring the value of the WLPs in developing committed and skilled cyber NSFs, BG Tan said, "Cybersecurity is a national imperative. We must recruit and train up a cyber force to defend and protect Singapore's interests in the cyber domain. Key to this is identifying and nurturing the next generation of talents to hone their skills in cybersecurity, and deploying them on our digital borders to defend our networks and systems. We are confident that the partnership with NUS will broaden the appeal of the Cyber NSF Scheme and contribute to the Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) and the Singapore Armed Forces' (SAF) development of a highly-skilled cyber workforce."
On the WLP at NUS, Professor Kankanhalli said, "Current hyper-connectivity and massive data consumption levels make information security increasingly critical not only for the industry, but also for defence of the country. Our collaboration with MINDEF for the WLP will help develop the next generation of information security specialists to contribute to the nation's defence needs. We look forward to welcoming our first intake of Cyber Specialists as students in our programme."
These investments in people and training are part of MINDEF/SAF's continual efforts to harness NS talents and strengthen cyber defence capabilities. Pre-enlistees who are interested in the Cyber Specialist Award may apply online at www.mindef.gov.sg/CyberNSF.