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Computer Network Operations Specialist Ref. 1014

IT, Science & Technical
Cheltenham, London, Bude, Scarborough, Harrogate, Lincolnshire, Manchester
Competitive package based on qualifications and experience

Do you want to be part of an organisation that uses cutting edge technology, makes a real difference to the UK, provides excellent development opportunities, and gives you the chance to build an exciting, challenging and varied career? If you already work in the technology sector, our organisation has a wide number of technology-related roles available, to which applicants are able to apply at any time.

Our organisation is tasked with protecting the country’s people, businesses and interests in the cyber age. Working with colleagues in MI5, SIS (MI6), the MOD, the National Crime Agency, the police, academia (and many others), we gather and analyse intelligence from digital and telecommunications sources, and ensure that IT networks, systems and data are secured against hackers and other threats. Nowhere else will you be able to apply your technology expertise in such a unique environment, against such a varied set of challenges and with such interesting colleagues!

Our organisation has headquarters in Cheltenham – geographically located within an hour of Bristol and Birmingham – as well as Bude, Harrogate, Lincolnshire, Manchester, London and Scarborough. Despite the (necessary) secrecy around some of what we do, the urgent nature of our mission means there will always be opportunities to work with partners, industry and academia from across the UK, and even to re-locate between offices.

At our organisation we’re proud of our inclusive and supportive working environment that’s designed to encourage open minds and attitudes. Just as we offer a wide range of roles – specialist, technical as well as more general roles (HR, project management, finance, leadership…) - so too do we welcome applicants from a wide range of backgrounds. To do our job – which involves solving some of the hardest technology problems the world faces - we need all talents and we need people who dare to think differently. In return, along with excellent training and development options, we’re committed to providing a healthy work/life balance that enables you to perform to the best of our ability.


GCHQ have staff who are world class experts in understanding computer networks. We use this knowledge both to protect the UK’s sensitive information and to provide valuable intelligence, including carrying out computer network operations against terrorists, criminals and others posing a serious threat to the UK. Strict legal controls, safeguards and requirements apply to GCHQ’s activities, which can only be carried out for the statutory purposes and in support of the national security priorities that are set by ministers.

At GCHQ, Computer Network Operations Specialists work in both cyber defence and cyber intelligence roles. We are looking for committed and responsible individuals who have the potential to carry out operations to keep the UK safe. In cyber defence roles, our operations specialists may find themselves working in a team detecting and preventing attempts to attack the critical national infrastructure, or seeking to defend government systems against criminals seeking to steal information, identities or money. Cyber intelligence specialists might need to develop software to access the computers of a terrorist group, or carry out operations to retrieve vital online clues about the location and identity of members of an organised crime ring.

We ensure that our specialists receive the training necessary to develop the right skills for the job. We attract people with a diverse range of backgrounds and experience, so training is tailored to meet the needs of the individual and the role. The need to keep up with changing technology means that staff will need to continue learning and developing throughout a career in computer network operations.

Our work is unique and it makes a difference to the UK.


To apply for a Computer Network Operations Specialist role you will need to meet the following criteria:


a) Have a 2:2 or above in Computer Science, Mathematics, Physics or a combination thereof (Natural Science can be considered a related/combined discipline); or a Bachelors’ or Masters’ degree incorporating ethical hacking, digital forensics or information security.

b) An ability to undertake complex coding tasks using various languages (Assembler, C, C++. Java, Javascript, Perl, Python) and evidence of having done so beyond the basic requirements of a university course.

c) Excellent problem-solving skills.


a) A thorough understanding of internet communications protocols, including knowledge of how these protocols are commonly secured.

b) An understanding of multiple operating systems and their programming interfaces.

c) An ability to undertake complex coding tasks using various languages (Assembler, C, C++. Java, Javascript, Perl, Python) and evidence of having done so either professionally or as a hobby.

d) Excellent problem-solving skills.



Competitive package based on qualifications and experience


Bude, Cheltenham, London, Scarborough, Manchester, Lincolnshire, Harrogate (All sites are within 30 mile radius of the location centre). 

Please note that there may not be vacancies at every location, and it may not be possible to offer a position at any of your selected locations.


Following initial eligibility and technical sifts, the recruitment process will comprise a competency-based interview with technical staff and members of our HR department.

Interviews to be held regularly throughout the year.