Virgin Money was a founding partner of the SDS-driven initiative Tech Industry in the Classroom because they wanted to inspire pupils not only about digital technology, but also about tech in the context of financial services which is such an important sector for Scotland’s economy.
Scott Fraser, Cyber Security Architect, Virgin Money, said: “This programme is a fantastic initiative which allows organisations, like Virgin Money, to give something back to the communities in which we serve. There is a wide range of career paths within financial services, so this is a great opportunity to provide schoolchildren with insight into the important role IT and cyber security plays in delivering cutting-edge digital experiences for customers while ensuring their accounts are safe.
He added: “And in this digital world, giving the children some awareness of data protection and privacy is a really important life skill as well.”
But what did Virgin Money get out of it? “As well as the overall bonus of providing career insights to young people and encouraging them to think about a technology career in Financial Services, it also allowed us to shape and steer some elements of the project, and build brilliant relationships with SDS and the schools we worked with along the way,” enthused Scott.
In this case, Virgin Money supplied cyber security professionals to talk about real examples from the wider industry to bring the importance of computer security to life for the pupils.
“We really hope we sparked an interest in pupils who have not considered IT careers before, and confirmed for anyone who was already thinking of an IT career that there is a wide range of roles available. We also hope that the young people took away the view that they can start learning now and this will give them a head start for any future career.”
It was an approach that worked well. Scott said he was delighted by the amount of pre-lesson thinking the pupils had put in, and said their cyber specialists really enjoyed discussing and answering the interesting and challenging questions posed by pupils.
Scott concluded: “We would really encourage others to get involved. What a great opportunity to encourage young people, share your experience and push forward the message of cyber security. If that doesn't make someone actually take up a future IT career, at least it is getting people switched on to computer security and personal data protection.”
Tech Industry in the Classroom is delivered and driven by SDS but fully supported by: