Paid internships in cybersecurity on offer for young Jamaicans
Young people at work at a cybersecurity operations centres in Morocco (Photo: AP)

Jamaican students will have an opportunity to join cybersecurity experts in becoming certified and highly skilled to strategically respond to existing and emerging cybersecurity threats under the Purple Team’s Internship Programme, which will be expanded with an official training location.

According to Mario Sparkes, founder and CEO of the OPTIMITY Group, Jamaica has taken the lead to significantly improve the Caribbean’s response to tackling cyber threats and strengthening its resilience.

“Cybersecurity professionals are in high demand, and predictions from several government agencies and cybersecurity companies suggest that there will be thousands of job vacancies in the field.

“The OPTIMITY Group has seen what the Government is setting out to do to address the gaps, and we are championing this move by taking on full-time, paid interns. This will allow them to have real work experience as they work alongside The Purple Team to develop their skills in this highly technical and competitive field,” Sparkes said.

The Purple Team is an expert cybersecurity and managed security service provider focused on arming IT infrastructure internationally.

Its programme is a 12-month paid internship during which candidates complete nine sought-after, industry-recognised certifications. The programme aims to build an elite cybersecurity task force that is certified and highly skilled.

Sparkes added that in addition to unemployed university students who have completed their studies, sixth-form students are also eligible to apply for the year-long internship.

“The investment in high school and university graduates is significant because we believe that they can provide world-class information security services,” explained Sparkes.

“While our work to increase cybersecurity resilience tackles unemployment, we believe it is also our corporate social responsibility to train more young Jamaicans in becoming competent at combating all exploitable vulnerabilities within any online network and to provide businesses with the requisite tools needed to shield them from future vulnerabilities,” added Sparkes.

The internships boast full-time employment with a monthly stipend, on-the-job training, exam fee waivers, access to learning platforms, and signing and success bonuses.

Applicants should be at least 16 years old and have Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) passes in mathematics and information technology.

Submission of the applicant’s last academic report is sufficient until external examination results become available.

Applicants will be short-listed based on the expected accomplishments for their grade level, which does not place fifth form students at a competitive disadvantage.

“MS Tech Solutions will also cover the cost of soft skills and job readiness training, the learning management system and the certification exams. I must point out that this initiative aligns with several Sustainable Development Goals in Vision 2030 that help address poverty, quality education, gender equality, decent work and economic growth, and industry innovation and infrastructure development”, said Sparkes.

“If you are interested in information technology and want to build a career in this field or become dynamic and have a meaningful impact on the present and future, cybersecurity may be the perfect fit, and the internships will remain open to everyone who qualifies,” Sparkes concluded.

The OPTIMITY Group of Companies consists of MS Tech Solutions Ltd, AI Tix and Smart Living. The group will also be launching the Purple Team in Jamaica and Canada on Saturday.

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