Women in tech university scholarship scheme

women in technology university scholarship scheme

An opportunity for young women to kick-start their tech career, through financial support at university and paid work at a high-tech North West software business.

Who are we?

Based in Knutsford in Cheshire, PortSwigger is a global leader in the cybersecurity sector. Our cutting-edge software is used by over 50,000 customers in 150 countries to help them secure their websites. Our educational and research output is used by millions of people globally to learn about web security.

What are we offering?

We are offering scholarships aimed at encouraging young women to choose a career in technology.

Scholarships will include extensive opportunities for paid work, a tailored personal development program, generous financial support throughout university, and the potential for a permanent position after graduation.

Women working in tech

Eligibility

The scheme is open to women at school who are:

  • Currently studying for A-levels in year 13.

  • Considering a career in technology.

  • Aiming to study computer science or a related subject at a top university.

  • Living within commuting distance of Knutsford.

  • Expecting AAA grades or better at A-level.

Women working together in tech

Why should you consider this opportunity?

TechNation's 2021 report, stated that "UK tech pioneers are creating the future". At PortSwigger, our mission is "to enable the world to secure the web". By working with us you're laying the groundwork for a long and fulfilling career, in one of the most fast-paced and innovative industries of the 21st century.

According to current statistics:

Woman in need of mentorship opportunity
  • 72% of women in tech are regularly outnumbered by men in business meetings by at least a 2:1 ratio.

  • Women were 22% more likely than men to experience impostor syndrome at work.

  • 72% of women in tech firms want more mentorship opportunities.

Source: TrustRadius 2021 Women in Tech Report

How does the scholarship scheme work?

The scheme will involve the following minimum amounts of paid work:

There is no obligation to work at PortSwigger following university. However, we hope that many scholars will want to join us as graduate developers on completion of the scheme.

Find out about our graduate scheme

Work during studies

Teams and challenges

Whilst you're studying, the work you'll do with us will be as part of one of our software engineering teams - these are made up of six or seven people that you'll get to know very well. This is in part due to the way that work takes place at PortSwigger. Knowledge is shared, we work collaboratively, and you'll often have your thinking challenged.

If you're already aiming to study computer science (or a related subject) at university, it's likely that you're the kind of person who relishes a challenge. PortSwigger people all thrive on working together on incredibly complex problems - tackling them both logically and mathematically - to help work toward a shared consensus on how best to solve the problem.

Woman at work
Woman working in tech

Technology and development

Our engineers work with a wide range of technologies, including programming languages (Java and .NET), databases, and public cloud platforms. During your time with us you'll get to see how we use these technologies to build our own implementations, which we often then deliberately break to ensure continued delivery of first-rate software to our customers.

You'll get hands-on experience, your opinions will count, and your ideas will be taken into consideration with exactly the same gravitas as our existing PortSwigger team members. While you're with us we'll work with you to create a tailored personal development plan, helping you to learn and grow in the areas where you show the most aptitude or interest.

"We're a highly supportive team and we look after each other, so if you thrive on learning new things, solving interesting problems, and having fun along the way, then PortSwigger is the place to be."

Mary F, Director of Engineering

Mary F, Director of Engineering

PortSwigger culture

Your time at university will teach you all sorts of skills, including plenty that we value very highly here at PortSwigger. Independent working, lateral thinking, and high degrees of trust and freedom, are all core pillars of the PortSwigger culture. We truly believe that our culture is our most important superpower, and our biggest differentiator as an organization.

As you'll come to see if you work with us during your studies, we minimize hierarchies and give our people a high degree of trust and freedom. We set ambitious goals, while supporting everyone in their personal development. Most of all, we think that work should be fun. If it stops being fun, then we're doing it wrong.

Learn more about the PortSwigger culture

Learn more about how PortSwigger operates

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Read about our software engineering teams

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Discover the PortSwigger workplace

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Graduate opportunities

Our graduate program gives students fresh out of university the opportunity to kick-start their software development careers, by learning directly from the very best software developers in the industry. Those people who join us as graduates are given the opportunity to program in pairs from day one, working on real production code, in a friendly, supportive, and healthy working environment.

We are committed to continuous self-improvement and personal development. Our graduate joiners typically make very rapid progress through individual mentoring and coaching, in a way that doesn't happen on larger graduate schemes. We generally find that after two years with us, our graduates are performing at a level we would expect to see after 3-5 years of working elsewhere.

Meet some of our Swiggers who joined us as graduates

Frankie H graduate joiner

Whilst sitting my final year exams I began looking for jobs and came across the role here at PortSwigger. Things worked perfectly so that before officially graduating I started. I have now been here eleven months and still believe it is the perfect job and place to work for me.

Frankie HFinance Assistant Read more
Josh S graduate joiner

Working here combines a load of great benefits into one bundle: interesting work...feeling valued and being able to contribute to software that thousands of people use daily.

Josh SSoftware Developer Read more
Tom L graduate joiner

I've been here now for three years and in that time worked on Burp 2 beta, the Web Security Academy, and finally, Burp Scanner.

Tom LSoftware Developer Read more

Reward

We will pay a stipend of £10,000 per year of full-time university study, plus a salary of £600 per week for all work carried out for us.

For a typical student who takes full advantage of work opportunities, total reward over the course of the scholarship would be in the region of £70,000.

Application process

Applications are accepted between 1 September and 28 February from women in year 13.

Applications should include:

Contact us via email to submit your application. Please ensure that all the documents outlined above are attached to your email application. If you have any questions, contact us via email and we'll be happy to answer them.

If you need some support with your application, please read our guidelines for your cover letter.

The interview process will comprise:

Offers will be conditional on A-level grades and successful entry onto a suitable university degree course. Note that offers will factor in your expected grades, and may be higher than AAA.

Why does PortSwigger exist?

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Continuous learning at PortSwigger

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PortSwigger's culture of caring

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