Australian TAFEs will this year offer "hands-on-keyboard" qualifications in cyber security, in response to the huge demand for skilled professionals coming from industry and government.
The initiative has been led by Box Hill Institute in Victoria and backed by AustCyber, formerly the Australian Cyber Security Growth Centre.
The two qualifications – the Certificate IV in Cyber Security and Advanced Diploma of Cyber Security – are practical, non-degree courses that students can complete either full-time or part-time, while they are working.
"This means employers looking to upskill their ICT workforce or bring on apprentices will benefit from the model," AustCyber said in a statement this morning.
The courses are now open to enrolment at Box Hill Institute, Canberra Institute of Technology, TAFE NSW, TAFE Queensland, TAFE WA and TAFE SA.
TasTAFE and Charles Darwin University in the Northern Territory "will work closely with industry in their respective jurisdictions" to also implement the programs this year, AustCyber said.
AustCyber's Cyber Security Sector Competitiveness Plan, published in April, estimates that Australian organisations will need at least 11,000 additional workers in the field over the next decade to meet existing demand, and this only covers a limited set of technical roles.
"The growth in malicious cyber activity is driving demand for cyber security professionals worldwide, particularly in the Indo-Pacific region. Australia like other countries has a major skills-gap in cyber security work roles making it difficult for employers to recruit appropriately skilled job-ready graduates," AustCyber, one of six federally funded Industry Growth Centres, said.
"The curriculum design allows for cyber security experts and mentors from industry to contribute to the practical training of the students ensuring course content is delivered with a real world lens," it added.
The qualifications were developed with a range of industry partners, including the National Australia Bank, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, ANZ Bank, NBN, Cisco ANZ, REA Group, BAE Systems, Telstra, Deloitte, CITT, the Australian Information Security Association and ISACA.
“Telstra like other companies is actively seeking to recruit new talent that have practical hands-on-keyboard cyber security skills. Knowing that the programs have been developed in close consultation with industry and are being delivered by TAFEs provides us with reassurance of the quality of the graduates that will come through,” said Telstra CISO for Asia Pacific, Berin Lautenbach.
NAB CISO Andrew Dell said: “NAB is proud to work collaboratively with government and the education sector to build a strong pipeline of cyber security talent in the future. Job-ready graduates will help NAB to grow and nurture industry leading capability, keep our customers’ money and data safe and achieve our vision to build a global best practice cyber security capability.”
The private sector has also been funding cyber security centre’s within universities in recent years. At the end of 2016 Optus Business formed a partnership with La Trobe University to offer a “market leading” cyber security degree. The partnership followed the launch of the Optus Macquarie University Cyber Security Hub, the result of a $10m dollar between the telco and the Sydney university.
In 2016 the SEC.EDU Security Engineering Lab at UNSW was launched, backed by the Commonwealth Bank.
The University of Melbourne and Edith Cowan University (ECU) last year took a share of $1.91 million of government funding over four years to establish ‘Academic Centres of Cyber Security Excellence’ to “help build the required expertise and job-ready skills” in information security.