Strong cyber security skills and capabilities are a key driver of economic activity across the Australian economy and are critical for Australia’s future prosperity.
Currently, there is a well-known global shortage of skilled cyber security workers. In Australia, the shortage is severe and is predicted to reach 18,000 cyber security jobs required by 2026.
At AustCyber, part of our mission is to establish Australia as the leading centre for cyber security education – a key goal of our Cyber Security Sector Competitiveness Plan. In just two years we have seen TAFEs and universities around the country rapidly expand their cyber security program offering, often in close partnership with industry.
Now AustCyber, along with other partners, is helping to prime Australian high schools to engage and inspire the next generation of cyber security professionals.
Initiatives underway in this space include the Schools Cyber Security Challenges designed to provide high school teachers with resources to support the teaching of cyber security concepts, and to inform students of career opportunities in the field.
“Cyber security challenges are a practical, hands-on way for students to develop real-world skills that align to jobs in the cyber security sector,” said Owen Pierce, Program Director of National Workforce Development at AustCyber. “They also teach skills that are infinitely relevant and translatable to the future of work.”
Another initiative is AustCyber’s partnership with the Australian Careers Service. In June and July, AustCyber staff – accompanied by other cyber security industry professionals – will be speaking at events around Australia with high school career counsellors as part of a roadshow to lift the veil on the diverse opportunities and pathways that a career in cyber security offers young people.
These initiatives and events build on the success of the CyberTaipan Pilot Program which brought together youth from across the country to compete in a series of cyber defence challenges.
“It’s about investing in students today to build tomorrow’s cyber security workforce,” said Owen.
Find out more about the broader range of ways AustCyber is supporting education providers here, or explore cyber security and related programs at Australian universities and TAFEs using AustCyber’s education dashboard.