University links to F5 Networks and Hutchinson Networks

Tie-up will bridge cyber security skills gap

Date posted

11 May 2016


Leading cyber-security company F5 Networks (F5) and IT network services provider Hutchinson Networks (HN) have announced a partnership with Edinburgh Napier University.

The collaboration will lead to the sharing of technology and insights which will strengthen the university’s cyber security courses.

In providing technology and training licences, F5 and HN will help the university build on the progress it is making towards tackling the growing skills gap in Scotland and across the UK.

With the shortage of qualified IT security personnel predicted to reach 1.5 million globally by 2020, collaboration between educational institutions and technology companies grows ever-more important.

Through the partnership, students at Edinburgh Napier will benefit from the integration of devices provided by F5 and HN throughout their degree courses, exposing future employees to real-life IT environments and threats and enabling a better understanding of IT security technology.

Students will also benefit from training licences, allowing them to develop the appropriate skills before entering the industry as a graduate. 

Enhanced by F5 and HN technology, modules on topics such as cryptography, network forensics and malware analysis are given added relevance, empowering students to feel fully prepared for a professional cyber-security career.

Partnerships like these highlight Edinburgh's growing status in Europe as a beacon in tackling the skills shortage. Edinburgh Napier has already produced a significant number of graduates now employed within the Scottish IT industry, with HN employing 17 graduates themselves over the last 4 years.

Mihai Burghelea, a graduate of the university, said: “Studying at Edinburgh Napier was a fantastic experience that gave me the hands-on IT skills I’d need to start my career,” said Mihai Burghelea, a graduate of the university. 

“As a graduate employee in today’s Scottish cyber-security industry, I can appreciate how relevant the skills taught and technology used throughout my course are to my everyday work.”

Bill Buchanan, Head of the Cyber Academy based within Edinburgh Napier University, said: “There is a drastic cyber-security skills shortage in the Scottish IT industry and around Europe. For education to make graduates industry-ready, it has to be delivered in modern, dynamic ways that mirror the corporate environment.

“The support of F5 and HN has been integral to providing our students with world-class training infrastructure.

“The partnership sets the bar for how cyber-security businesses can work with academic institutions to tackle the skills gap together, for the benefit of the industry, and ultimately, society as a whole.”