Brit cyberwarriors, your country needs you
Spooks tap up IT security boffins to protect nation
The government is proactively addressing its failure to retain internet specialists to deal with cyber security threats, according to a document (PDF) presented to Parliament by Prime Minister David Cameron.
Cameron presented the document to Parliament as the government's response to issues raised by the intelligence and security committee in its 2010–2011 annual report, which expressed concerns at the inability of GCHQ, the British intelligence service, to retain suitable internet specialists to respond to threats.
The government says it will support departments and agencies in developing cyber security training and skills programmes for staff as part of the National Cyber Security Programme.
In addition, the report points out that the Cabinet Office and GCHQ are both supporters of initiatives such as the Cyber Security Challenge, which aims to promote careers in cyber security.
The initiative does this through annual competitions and events, as well as by providing "advice and opportunities" to people interested in starting a career in information security.
"Experienced internet specialists are highly prized by both government and industry and GCHQ recognises that it therefore needs to maintain its competitiveness in the market place," the government says in its response.
It argues that GCHQ uses a "retention payment system" to ensure it remains competitive, and that these bonuses and the unique appeal of GCHQ help to keep leaver rates low.
But the government says that says that GCHQ wants to involve other government departments in further measures to attract and retain skilled intelligence staff.
The committee's recognition that the Security Service needs IT specialists to deliver its major technology projects was welcomed by the government. GCHQ said that use of interim specialists and contractors is kept under constant review in order to secure best value, and it agrees with the committee that closer collaborative working is a means of making further savings.
The government says it welcomes the committee's intention to examine agencies' use of consultants and contractors in greater detail.
This article was originally published at Guardian Government Computing.
Guardian Government Computing is a business division of Guardian Professional, and covers the latest news and analysis of public sector technology. For updates on public sector IT, join the Government Computing Network here.
If they were that serious, why is the salary so low for software engineers? Is £25K even enough to live on down south in the Cheltenham area?
how about funding people to do the research in order to become the experts you seek? no? oh well then guess people like myself who were due to go into this area (and then likely end up in the doughnut) will continue to bugger off to private companies who pay higher and expect less.
Maybe if i didn't have to pay education fees out of my own pocket (BSc & MSc)and had the chance to further my research through some funding for post graduate (its distracting having to work part time at weekends and getting threatened every shift for not serving underage to just pay the fee's let alone living expenses) there might be a bit of will but when private companies show you more love through training/financial rewards your not going to compete
It's not the money.
My Nanny earns more than some devs at GCHQ, which is absolutely ridiculous, bearing in mind what they do for us.
However it's not the wage that makes it crap, it's the location. And for anyone to be able to afford to work there, they have to have a wife that works full time too, and unless she wants to work in some garden centre in, albeit beautiful but still, sheep shagging inbreed country, you've got to be in the southeast.
Just this week, I met an ex internet whiz from there. He must earn three times what he did, at least.
They can't compete with the private sector when Westminster tw*ts turn around and say "Well, they do speak seven languages, and have 17 postgraduate qualifications in obscure modular mathematics, and operate in fields where I can't even understand the problem, let alone the solution, but they haven't got a PPE from Oxford, and haven't worked their entire career in politics. They don't lack any real word experience either... and besides, they're engineers."
That said, if they paid say 60-70K, had an office within 20miles, I'd do it. (Not that they'd have me, even if DV clearance didn't take 128 years to get.)