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The Open University and Cisco team up with FutureLearn to launch new cyber security microcredential

The Open University has launched a new microcredential in Cyber Security Operations, endorsed by the Cisco Networking Academy and available now on

Using up-to-date experience from the internationally recognised Cisco CCNA Cyber Security Operations certification, delivered by Senior Lecturer in Networking at The Open University, Andrew Smith, this course will allow students to develop the skills and knowledge needed to respond to and prevent cyber attacks and cyber crimes.

Cyber security is a rapidly changing world and equally evolving discipline. What professionals knew a couple of years ago will have most likely already changed and will continue to do so over time. Furthermore, the need for skilled cyber security talent is greater than ever, with the global IT security skills shortages already surpassing four million in 2019 according to the latest research from (ISC)2.

Microcredentials are accredited, online courses designed to help learners build specialised skills relevant to their career. The Cyber Security Operations microcredential is designed for professionals looking to enter the growing cyber security industry and fill the growing skills gap, as well as those with a background in the area who are looking to upskill and reskill themselves to fill new in-demand roles.

Andrew Smith, Senior Lecturer in Networking at the Open University said: “Many Senior IT professionals recognise that a cyber attack on their organisation is inevitable. They also recognise that staff within their organisations lack sufficient skills to investigate the cause and impact. Cisco Cyber Security Operations is a step in the right direction – ensuring that IT professionals acquire the primary skills required when dealing with any Cyber Incident.”

Simon Nelson, Chief Executive of FutureLearn commented: “Both FutureLearn and our partners recognise that microcredentials will be an essential tool in the face of a rapidly changing workplace. The need is greater than ever, especially in an equally fast-moving industry such as cyber security, for professionals to continuously upskill themselves in order to stay relevant and marketable. Having access to flexible and affordable credentialed learning will be crucial for industry employers and professionals alike as the market continues to advance.”

Nuno Guarda, CSR Manager from Cisco also commented: “The microcredential being offered through our collaboration with the Open University and FutureLearn, brings a unique and interesting way forward for IT professionals to develop their Cyber Security professional skill set. Many of our industry partners are continually seeking individuals with sufficient skills. This microcredential and its links to our professional certification is a step in the right direction.”

The course is currently open for enrolment and begins on 16 March 2020. Students who successfully complete the Cyber Security Operations microcredential will receive 15 UK credits at Postgraduate level from The Open University, a Certificate of Completion from Cisco Networking Academy and, a significant discount on the optional Cisco CCNA Cyber Security Operations Exam should they pass the embedded final assessment at 75% or higher on the first attempt.

About FutureLearn
Here at FutureLearn, our purpose is to transform access to education. We do that by partnering with over a quarter of the world’s top universities to support over 10 million learners across the globe to develop skills and achieve their personal and professional goals. We’re a leading social learning platform founded in December 2012 by The Open University and are now jointly owned by The Open University and The SEEK Group. We use design, technology and partnerships to create enjoyable, credible and flexible short online courses and microcredentials, as well as undergraduate and postgraduate degrees. In addition to top universities, we also partner with leading organisations such as Accenture, the British Council, CIPD, Raspberry Pi and Health Education England (HEE), as well as being involved in government-backed initiatives to address skills gaps such as The Institute of Coding and the National Centre for Computing Education.

About the Open University
The Open University (OU) is the largest academic institution in the UK and a world leader in flexible distance learning. Celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2019, the university was founded with a clear purpose: to open up education to all. Since beginning in 1969, the OU has taught more than two million students worldwide and has over 170,000 current students.

Over 75% of students are in full-time or part-time employment, and 78 FTSE 100 companies sponsored staff on OU modules in 17/18.

The OU has had a unique educational partnership with the BBC since 1971, collaborating on a range of content across TV, radio and digital channels/platforms. Each year the OU co-produces approximately 35 prime-time TV and radio series including, Hospital, Blue Planet, Inside the Foreign Office, Our Dementia Choir and 8 Days: To the Moon and Back.

We achieved more than 351m viewing and listening events last year which prompted more than 8.9 million visitors in the year 2018/19­ to the OU’s free learning website, OpenLearn.

For further information about OU co-productions please visit our website:

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