Life as a cyber security apprentice: Ellie's story

Meet Ellie, 21, to find out more about life as a cyber security apprentice at Sellafield nuclear site in Cumbria. Part of our Bitesize world of work series.

There's a constant security threat at Sellafield and I feel proud knowing that I am protecting over 10,000 employees on site.

  • Ellie works in cyber security for Energus, keeping people safe online. The threats can be everything from emails that contain links to viruses, up to hacking. She is based at Sellafield nuclear site and helps educate Sellafield employees to stay safe online
  • At school, Ellie enjoyed English and went on to study English Language at university, but she left after one year as it wasn't for her
  • She then found her cyber security apprenticeship on a job site. There were lots of challenges at first, as she didn't have previous knowledge. She worked hard to learn the ropes and is now really enjoying her job.

What to expect if you want to be cyber security professional

  • Cyber security professional salary: £20,000 to £60,000 per year
  • Cyber security professional working hours: 37 to 39 hours per week
  • Typical entry requirements: You can do a degree or postgraduate qualification in Forensic Computing and Security, Computer Science, Cyber Security or Digital Forensics. Courses with industry placements will help you develop your skills. You'll usually need two to three A-levels for a degree. You can do a cyber intrusion analyst or cyber security technologist higher apprenticeship. You can also take a cyber security technical professional degree apprenticeship. You'll usually need four or five GCSEs (or equivalent) at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and college qualifications like A-levels (or equivalent) for a higher or a degree apprenticeship. You could also start work as an IT support technician, network engineer or developer after doing A-levels. You would then work your way up by taking further training on the job.

This information is a guide (sources: LMI for All, National Careers Service)

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