DECRYPTING top-secret messages was all in a day’s work for pupils at Tain Royal Academy as they got out of the classroom for a taster of what it might be like to be a cyber security gatekeeper of the future.
They were given the opportunity to channel their inner Alan Turing as they stepped into the shoes of a forensic computer analyst for an insight into skills that could lead to an exciting new career.
The Cyber Skills Programme launched by Skills Development Scotland in late 2017 to encourage school pupils across the nation to become the cyber security gatekeepers of the future.
The session was held at the Digital Studio and Careers Lab in the Skills Development Scotland Careers Centre on Church Street in Inverness.
It shone an intriguing light on cyber security and raised awareness of the abundance of dynamic career opportunities in the sector.
The day was split into two separate workshops, the first a My World of Work Live!, which included a Cracking Cryptography session where pupils were challenged to decipher top-secret messages, like the world-famous Enigma machine.
The second workshop was hosted by Police Scotland, who used it to provide guidance and advice on how to stay safe online, as well as showcasing the many exciting cyber crime-fighting career opportunities available within Police Scotland.
Claire Gillespie, key sector manager for digital skills at Skills Development Scotland, said: "Cyber security has a significant place in today’s digital world and this will continue to be the case for many years to come. As a result, it’s absolutely critical that we educate and encourage our younger generations to consider a career in this exciting, fast-moving sector.
"Engaging, interactive events such as this one are a fantastic way of bringing the sector to life, while showcasing the endless career possibilities and opportunities that cyber security has to offer."
Sergeant Steve Gillies of the Safer Communities Cyber Crime Prevention team said: "We were delighted to have been invited to participate in such an exciting event and delivering a presentation that we hope enthused and encouraged the next generation into careers in the cyber industry.
"We also took the opportunity to provide advice and guidance on the subject of social media and how to protect yourself and keep safe online."