The SANS Institute has launched an open Cyber Aptitude Assessment competition that will offer high ranking applicants access to cyber 'boot camp' training worth £30,000.
The competition is available online and consists of roughly 40 multiple-choice questions which must be completed within 45 minutes.
The questions test participants' existing IT and security knowledge around key topics, including networking, security, programming languages and hardware.
They also include maths problems, comprehension tests and logic puzzles in a bid to tell whether applicants have the skills to work in cyber security.
SANS will then offer competitors a breakdown of their scores and use them to create a cohesive rank.
An undisclosed number of the top ranking applicants will then be offered £30,000 worth of training at a cyber boot camp organised by the SANS Cyber Academy.
The camp will be run by SANS instructor James Lyne, and will reportedly condense two years' worth of training into just eight weeks. Those who graduate will be GIAC certified.
The move is reportedly designed to help plug the UK cyber skills gap. Several government departments and businesses have reported difficulty in recruiting skilled cyber security professionals in recent years.
Julian David, chief executive at TechUK, described the shortage as one of the biggest problems facing the UK technology industry.
GCHQ launched its first open recruitment drive for "computer network operations specialists" in May in an attempt to overcome the shortage.
Prior to this the UK government announced a Cyber First programme in March designed to find and train the next generation of security professionals, continuing its efforts to bolster the nation's digital defences.
Lyne has been a constant supporter of initiatives like Cyber First, but warned during a keynote at Infosec Europe earlier in June that these education initiatives should teach future white hats how computer systems work, not just how they are hacked.
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