A specialised university in Almaty, trains cyber police officers for future service.
One of the military universities in Kazakhstan that prepares specialists in cybersecurity is the Military Engineering Institute of Radio Electronics and Communications of the Ministry of Defense of the Republic of Kazakhstan. The graduate of this university, Lieutenant Sultan Nurgali, shared the details of the training and the prospects for the development of this field with the correspondent at Sarbaz.kz.
Digitalisation permeates all spheres of life on an annual basis, and military technologies are no exception. Thousands of cyber-attacks occur daily on the Internet, posing threats not only to user confidentiality but also to national security. In such conditions, cybersecurity becomes a matter of paramount importance, and the training of professionals capable of facing the challenges of the modern world plays a crucial role.
Why did you choose the Military Engineering Institute of Radio Electronics and Communications and what sets it apart from a civilian technical university?
“I chose the institute in the 11th grade. I had a childhood dream of becoming a military officer because my father was a serviceman. The main difference is that everything is disciplined in our institute as it is a military organization. Civilian students study for a couple of hours and then go home, but we live there and perform duty shifts. I like that a strong team is formed here," – Sultan Nurgali shares.
Tell us about your daily routine at the institute.
“We wake up at 6 a.m., wash up, gather for assembly formation and physical training. We train for 40-45 minutes and then have breakfast. After breakfast, classes start at 9 a.m. and last until lunchtime. Then we have lunch, followed by self-study. In the evening, we engage in sports and mass activities, spending two hours as a platoon. Dinner and personal time continue until 10 p.m.”
What unique opportunities does the institute provide?
“Our information security department is well-equipped with the latest computers and internet access. Moreover, we have an agreement with the International University of Information Technology (IUIT). Our course attends their classes three times a week, and after completing the studies, we receive a certificate of completion from IUIT.”
What difficulties did you encounter during your studies?
“The first six months were challenging. We came from civilian life and had to adapt to military life and regulations, but thanks to our commanders, we managed to adapt. During my studies, for example, I learned to drive a manual transmission vehicle. We spent a week on the training ground learning to drive ZIL, KAMAZ trucks, and buses. Thanks to this, I easily obtained my civilian driver's license.”
What skills and knowledge are required for those who want to enroll in your institute?
“Discipline is the foremost requirement. Without discipline, you won't get anywhere. An officer without discipline is like a person without education. It is also necessary to study and train persistently. You can achieve anything; the main thing is not to be lazy.”
How did you balance between studies and personal life? How long were the vacations?
“Yes, we had weekends off. We would go home, spend time with friends. On the initial courses, there were also cultural outings when our entire platoon would visit museums and theaters. As for vacations, we had 30 days in the summer and 15 days in winter.”
What was the admission process like?
“First, we took the Unified National Testing (UNT), and then we collected the required documents: certificates of no criminal record, medical examination reports. Then we went to the training ground with our National Testing certificates and spent two weeks taking exams: physical training and psychological tests. Based on the results of these two tests and the National Testing, candidates were selected. After that, we underwent a month-long basic military training course. Following that, we arrived at the institute and took the oath.”
Out of all the exams, which one was the most difficult?
“The UNT, of course, was the toughest. Physics and mathematics. The other tests were relatively straightforward.”
What prospects do you see for the development of cybersecurity?
“Over the past five years, this field has been actively developing in our country. The current times call for it. Cybersecurity in the country is very strong, and I hope it will continue to develop further. Besides our institute, numerous departments have emerged that train specialists in cybersecurity with highly qualified teaching staff and students.The Military Engineering Institute of Radio Electronics and Communications of the Ministry of Defense of the Republic of Kazakhstan is located in Almaty.”