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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The scheme will involve the following minimum amounts of paid work:
4+ weeks of work each year during university holidays.
9-12 months' work placement during university (usually during the third year of a "sandwich" course).
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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
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.
Applications are accepted between 1 September and 28 February from women in year 13.
CV including full academic record and extracurricular activities.
A letter setting out your reasons for pursuing a career in technology and your university applications (degree subject and institutions).
A reference from your school confirming your aptitude for the scheme and your expected A-level grades.
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.
An initial conversation over Zoom.
An aptitude test, assessing your reasoning and problem-solving skills.
A visit to our offices in Knutsford to meet our team and see how we work.
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.