There is a worrying shortage of cybersecurity professionals in Australia, with more than 17,600 additional qualified workers needed by 2026. Narrowing this cybersecurity skills gap in Australia will be the key focus of the new Cyber Academy, created by Swinburne University of Technology in partnership with Deloitte, TAFE NSW and University of Wollongong (UOW).
Developed in close consultation with industry, the proposed program will fast track students’ careers in the growing cybersecurity sector through work-integrated learning and mentorship, providing a pathway for students to develop industry-relevant skills and enter the workforce.
Swinburne’s Vice-Chancellor Professor Pascale Quester said: ‘This program embodies Swinburne’s commitment to be the prototype of a new and different university for the 21st century.
‘As a dual-sector institution that is committed to helping our learners succeed in a tech-rich future, we’re delighted to be providing students with this innovative education and employment opportunity.
‘The Cyber Academy reflects Swinburne’s commitment to genuine industry-integrated learning and will help our students to be job makers and job takers in the future world of work,’ she said.
Training cybersecurity professionals
The Cyber Academy will play a crucial role in attracting, developing and supporting the next generation of cyber talent, and will help provide the workforce needed to defend the nation’s essential services.
The proposed program combines study with paid employment at Deloitte, a Government Department, or an industry partner. Students will move through vocational and higher education components and may have the opportunity to continue employment with their placement organisation following completion of the program.
The program will also complement Swinburne’s cybersecurity and network security courses, focusing on building real-world skills and close industry engagement. Swinburne’s close partnerships with industry provide students with a world-class, immersive learning experience that prepares graduates for their career.
Deloitte Australia Cyber Leader Ian Blatchford said: ‘It’s a critical time to address the current cybersecurity skills shortage. The Cyber Academy is an innovative, Australia-first program which will pave the way for the next generation of cyber leaders from diverse backgrounds and regional areas.’
TAFE Digital General Manager Lyn Rickard said: ‘TAFE NSW has a strong track record of working with industry and tertiary education providers to provide students with the practical training they need to gain employment. We’re proud to be partnering with Swinburne, Deloitte and UOW to rollout this one-of-a-kind program to set students up for success in the workplace and help future-proof the industry.’
UOW Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education) Professor Theo Farrell said: ‘UOW is delighted by our partnership with Deloitte, TAFE NSW, and Swinburne resulting in this highly innovative cybersecurity program that will create exciting career opportunities for our students. The Cyber Academy will address a critical workforce need and make an important contribution to this vital area of Australian resilience and security.’