Cisco Cyber Camps

Why Cyber?

Cybersecurity is an exciting and rapidly growing profession, rich in well-paying opportunities. We need a diverse cyber workforce, with different ways of thinking, to create and deliver better, more powerful cyber solutions. The unique way you see the world and approach problems already sets you up for a successful career in cyber. 

We believe that every young woman and non-binary student has the potential to have a successful career in cyber; this is a world where we want team players, social experts, creative thinkers, and people that care about the impact of cybersecurity attacks on individuals including the old, the young, and the vulnerable, as well as protecting corporations, national defence, and public networks.

Are you ready for free, online, self-paced exploratory courses that can put you on the path to a career in tech? 

Why Young Women & Non-Binary Students?

Only 13%!

In the UK, the national average for women and girls entering digital technologies, as well as studying computing-related programmes is an approximate 13%. The numbers vary; at its worst typically 9%, at best, around 22%. Whilst it is difficult to find accurate statistics, non-binary students are also an underrepresented group in the digital technologies field.

Some may ask, why we are we not offering the programme for young men and boys? We agree that there are also underserved communities for this gender. However, as the digital technology and cybersecurity workforce remains around 87% male, we cannot avoid that there is a major gender disparity and a significant issue.

It is our ambition to tilt the percentage, in the right direction.

If you are male and still want access to the content provided, feel free to follow this link to Skills for All ... here, you can access everything that is provided. However without the specialist community support, designed for Girls and Young Women.

Ready to Learn?

From January 2024, and every four months thereafter, we are offering free, remote, supported courses that will train participants on industry-ready cybersecurity skills, taking you from beginner to cyber hero.


The courses vary in length and can be completed online at home, either on a laptop or smartphone. At each stage, you can step in and step out, allowing you to plan your studies depending around your other commitments.

Explore a career!

Each course has a recognised digital badge which you can add to your professional profiles. If you pass all six courses, you will be awarded the internationally recognised Cisco Certified Support Technician (CCST) Cybersecurity certification. All courses will improve your longer term professional prospects.

How does it work? 

Who can study?

The Cisco Cyber Camps are for students that identify as female or non-binary. Candidates must be aged 13-19 at the time of enrolment to participate in a Cisco Cyber Camp sprint. You will register via Cisco, who age verifies on their platform. You do not require any experience whatsoever; this programme is designed to develop confidence, with support from female cybersecurity and digital technology experts.

Learning Methodology

While there are now many terms for remote learning, the Open University has been offering this since the 1960s and it has been a thing since the 1800s. Nowadays, we can all learn, whether in the classroom or online, through a variety of technologies. When you read a book or watch a YouTube video, you are participating in hybrid learning! The Cisco Cyber Camps leverage a blend of learning experiences including the NetAcad Skills for All platform to read content, take tests, and complete practical activities.

Additional resources

As well as the technical cybersecurity training pathways, we are offering an exciting opportunities for participants to develop their soft skills through the Building the Skills Bridge programme. This is a self-paced workbook programme containing a range of resources for you to identify and develop key soft skills that will set you up for success in the tech industry. Resources include exercises and podcasts with guests from leading technology companies.


All webinars will be recorded and shared in the forums. You will require a reasonable internet connection and headphones/speakers, although we will not expect you to speak or have a camera. 

The session times may vary, however, we will aim to host them once a week. All sessions will be communication and all recordings will be shared on the Cisco Cyber Camps community site.

Each session will be led by an experienced female or non-binary professional working in the cybersecurity or digital technologies field.

Study Sprints

For more information on enrolment, please scroll down.

Warm Up Sprint

Estimated duration 30 mins per week, over 12 weeks 

Introduction to CyberSecurity

This introductory course takes you inside the world of cybersecurity. You will learn cybersecurity basics to protect your personal digital life and gain insights into the biggest security challenges companies, governments, and educational institutions face today. Cybersecurity professionals who can protect and defend an organisations network are in high demand.

Estimated Course Duration: up to 6 hours

Bronze Sprint

Estimated duration 2 hrs per week, over 12 weeks 

Networking Basics

The internet is built on computer networks. So no matter what kind of tech career you are interested in, it is essential to know some networking basics! Whether you are preparing for a career in networking, refreshing your knowledge for an industry-recognised certification, or are just curious about what networking is all about, this is the place for you.

This course covers the foundation of networking and network devices, media, and protocols. You will observe data flowing through a network and configure devices to connect to networks. Finally, you will learn how to use different network applications and protocols to accomplish networking tasks. The knowledge and skills you gain can give you a starting point to find a rewarding career in tech.

Estimated Course Duration: up to 25 hours

Silver Sprint

Estimated duration 2 hrs per week, over 12 weeks 

Networking Device & Initial Configuration

If you know the basics of networking, then get ready to strengthen your foundation. A strong networking background is key if you are interested in exciting fields such as Cybersecurity and Network Development (DevNet) or want to continue towards a networking certification like Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA).

This course covers the essentials of network devices and how to configure them. Learn the characteristics and benefits of Cloud and Virtualization technologies. Explore how to provide Internet Protocol (IP) addresses to devices both manually and automatically. Using this knowledge, you will calculate an IP addressing scheme, configure Cisco devices to create a small network, and test for connectivity issues.

Estimated Course Duration: up to 25 hours

Gold Sprint

Estimated duration 3 hrs per week, over 12 weeks 

Endpoint Security

Gain the foundational knowledge you will use in the workplace as a Cybersecurity Technician. Each day billions of devices are connected to the network, and each one needs to be protected. Build the skills to secure your network all the way to the edge, including hardware, software, and media.

In this course, you will learn how to assess the network, operating systems, and endpoints for vulnerabilities, and how to secure the network. You will also gain skills to maintain the integrity, confidentiality, and availability in your network and your data.

Estimated Course Duration: up to 40 hours

Platinum Sprint

Estimated duration 3 hrs per week, over 12 weeks 

Network Defence

Gain the essential knowledge you will use in the workplace as a Cybersecurity Technician. This course covers ways to monitor your network and how to evaluate security alerts. Delve into the tools and techniques used to protect a network, including access control, firewalls, cloud security, and cryptography. These monitoring and defence tools, along with others, work together to create a layered defence-in-depth cybersecurity strategy. The knowledge and skills that you learn will help you defend networks against many types of attacks and quickly react to any exploits that may occur.

Estimated Course Duration: up to 40 hours

Championship Sprint

Estimated duration 3 hrs per week, over 12 weeks 

Cyber Threat Management

Develop advanced knowledge that you will use in the workplace as a Cybersecurity Technician. This course explores governance in cybersecurity and threat management. Learn to develop policies and ensure your organization complies with ethics standards and legal and regulatory frameworks. You will also gain skills for managing threats, such as how to assess a network for vulnerabilities, manage risks, and respond to security incidents.

Estimated Course Duration: up to 20 hours

The CyberCamp team will offer additional professional certification preparation sessions, worth another 20 hours of personal study time.

Let's Enrol!

Sign up will be available at least two months before the sprints commence. There are no limit on numbers, so please share with friends and family who meet the specified criteria. Each course will commence on the second Monday of the month.

May 2024

With over 970+ girls and young women, we are beyond warm up, bronze or silver and are now in action. We have done warm up, passed bronze, surpassed silver and aiming for GOLD!!! This gives everyone an opportunity to develop their self-paced study skills and to grasp the fundamentals of cybersecurity. It does not matter if you are still running the warm-up race, or are on bronze - the silver sprint welcomes everyone

This sprint will commence 13th of May 2024. 

To enrol,  please follow this link or use the QR code (you can also click on the QR code).

Once you are enrolled, you will access a special course within the Cisco NetAcad ecosystem, which is a combination of learning material, discussion forums and links to the webinars.

Meet the team!

The Cisco Cyber Camps is led by Elizabeth Barr. Elizabeth leads the Cisco Networking Academy programme in the UK and Ireland, working with a wide range of educators to equip and empower over 60,000 students every year.

Elizabeth is also Board Member for Women of Cisco and works with organisations such as the Open University to make the tech industry a more inclusive and accessible space.

With Elizabeth and the rest of the Cisco Cyber Camps team combined, we bring over 100 years of professional Cybersecurity, Computing and Network Engineering experience.

Click the sliders, to meet the team.

Let us introduce some of the lead supporters!

A message for teachers and parents/guardians

Dear teacher...

The primary aim of this project is to up-skill and encourage participants aged 13 to 19. We are open to slightly older participants, based on what age they are when they start the programme. We appreciate your help in raising the profile of this project, however, this is all we are asking for. We will do all of the work, the teaching and the support of your students.

If at any time, CyberCamps is likely to interfere with their primary studies, you can ask partipicants to postpone until the next session. Their studies with you MUST come first.

Dear parent/guardian

There are often assumptions regarding careers for young women, where time and time again careers in digital technologies and cybersecurity are seldom considered.  Cybersecurity and the Digital Technologies industries are always seeking diverse new talent, attempting to overcome the tradition of having only young men enter the sector. With cyber attacks on the increase and cyber threats becoming more complex, the Cybersecurity sector needs diverse, different thinkers.

If you want a poster, a video or a graphic to instatweet, we may have it for you.

Simply follow this public DropBox link to download these resources.

Who are the Open University?

The Open University are supporting this project and collaborating with the Cisco Networking Academy to enable young women and non-binary students to enter the CyberSecurity profession or develop their CyberSecurity skills in an way that will develop a range of personal and professional skills for potential entry into the technology sector.

As a member of this leading Cisco Academy, Andrew Smith - Senior Lecturer in Networking at the Open University leads a range of development projects, supporting the creation of new talent in the technology sector. You may occasionally see him appear during some of the sprints, offering support, experience and advice.

From June 2023 to Sept 2023, this project will be in Pilot Mode. This site will keep changing, please come back and check in to discover new updates.

Additional Collaborative Stakeholders