ITSVET Project
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Discover ICT Security Expertise

ITSVET project, why?

The project ITSVET aims at developing a model for providing ICT security skills on the vocational education level. Reports show that demand for ICT security professionals has grown faster over the past five years than demand for other ICT jobs. Thus, the objective of the project is to meet the needs of the region’s employers through developing a VET model for the ICT security specialists to reduce the skill gap of the labour market in the Central Baltic region. The consortium brings together ICT employers, vocational education institutions and vocational education regulatory bodies.

ITSVET project, what is it all about?

In practice the project performs a research to identify the needed competences for ICT security specialists in the Central Baltic labour market. Based on the results the project develops a new curriculum (EQF level 5) for vocational education schools in Estonia, Latvia and Finland. To make this a ready-to-go model, learning materials and a teacher’s guide will be developed and the future teachers of this curriculum will be trained. All three participating vocational schools will run a pilot of the developed curriculum in their school.

Developing a joint curriculum will lead to further integration of the Central Baltic region labour market due to enhanced mobility of students and employees as well as raised awareness about the developed curriculum.

Starting with research

In the beginning we have identified The Central Baltic regions needs in ICT Security issues by research. Research stages were following:
  • Online survey for companies and organisations
  • Dacum analysis for ICT security experts (DACUM analysis is based on high-performing incumbent workers analysing the duties and tasks that make up their job)
  • Desk research for policy experts and education experts
  • Focus group interviews (SME's)
Key outcomes are following:
  • The top sectors concerned about ICT security are ICT (39% of all respondents) and government (15% of all respondents) sectors.
  • The skills areas needed by employers are very wide. It could be a challenge for educators to prepare ICT security professionals who will be competent in all security domains. Most of respondents (80%) include additional competences’ requirements for ICT security specialists. The most popular requirement is network administrator’s competence (64%). Among popular requirements are also software development (28%), risk management (28%), finance reporting (8%).
  • 40 % of respondents confirmed security incidents in the past 12 months. The real number of incidents could be even bigger as 17% of respondents do not deal with incidents and there is also sound probability that some incidents were not detected.  There was quite a big difference in reported incidents (47% in Latvia, 36% in Estonia and 30% in Finland).
  • SMEs are more exposed to ICT security risks, as they cannot afford dedicated ICT security specialists while outsourcing of this function is not popular solution in Estonia and Latvia (32% of Finland, 10 % of Estonia, 8 % of Latvia respondents said that ICT security function is outsourced).
  • Typical security positions. Network administrators (79%) and Information security specialists (46%) are dominated positions accountable for security processes in organisation. The list of additional positions includes:  computer engineer; programmer; computing systems analyst; IT security analyst; chief information officer, contingency manager, financial manager and senior developer.
  • Supply and demand gap for security specialists in the labour market is big. It is quite challenging to find ICT security specialists: in scale from 1 (not a big challenge) to 5 (big challenge) Latvia replied at level of 4.01, Estonia - 3.66 and Finland - 3.21. Most likely Finland has lower number because of many organizations with outsourced security issues’ handling (32 % of responses). 
Employers’ expectations / requirements for ICT security specialists.
Almost  half of all respondents (47%) assume bachelor degree as minimum requirement for ICT security specialists. Only 19% of all respondents said that college degree would be enough for ICT security specialist. There is a difference in perception of college degree as minimum requirement for ICT security specialists: in Latvia only 14% of respondents agree with this opinion, while 23 % of all respondents in Estonia and Finland agree that college level of education will be enough for ICT security specialists. Biggest part (31%) of respondents said that they expect 1 to 3 year experience in the field. At the same time 19 % of responses were “No experience requirements”. 
Dacum-seminar in Tallinn in March.
Dacum workshop planning core skills and subskills.

Next steps

After research phase the new ICT Security Curriculum will be planned, learning materials created, teachers coached and pilot tested. Finally educational actors will include the outcomes to their normal activities.
ITSVET project team
ITSVET Project team

ITSVET Project Contact Details
ITSVET on Facebook
ITSVET on Facebook
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