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Tackling the virtual cyber war with a new Cyber Academy.

Cybersecurity – it’s mission critical for all organisations. But the cyber profession faces a major roadblock: a vast talent gap. There simply aren’t enough qualified workers to fill millions of open global roles, over 2,000 of which are here in Australia. 

There’s no doubt that there is a shortage of cyber security workers around the world. AustCyber, the Australian Cyber Security Growth Network, estimates that this could reach 18,000 open roles in Australia in the next decade. With society’s increasing reliance on technology, and hackers finding new ways to breach digital systems and devices, the need for security skills will only continue rise.

In addition to existing cyberskills education providers, it will take hyper-collaboration across Australia – and beyond – to find new and additional ways to close the skills gap. So in order to increase our cyber muscle, our public sector, education providers and industry have come together to develop an Australian-first: an innovative education model to help train the next generation of cybersecurity specialists.

Welcome to our very first Cyber Academy.

“We have a strong track record of partnering with industry and tertiary education providers to provide students with the practical training they need to gain employment. This one-of-a-kind traineeship program sets students up for success in the workplace and helps future-proof the industry.”

Lyn Rickard, TAFE Digital General Manager 

Deloitte is working closely with TAFE NSW, the University of Wollongong and Swinburne University of Technology to launch the Academy program with bootcamps planned for the second half of 2022, closely followed by the commencement of the academic curriculum in early 2023.

The Academy’s proposed three-year degree – which includes an ‘earn as you learn’ apprenticeship program to fast track students’ cybersecurity careers – will make sure that graduates can hit the ground running, and add value quicker. The program combines blended study with employment at either a Government Department, an industry partner or Deloitte (committed to taking 10% of all program students).

All successful graduates will receive nationally recognised qualifications.

Deloitte recently launched a global Women in Cyber campaign to celebrate the “few protecting the many. The underrepresented, who over influence. The half of the world, who see the problems differently, who solve them uniquely.” Meet some of our Australian women in cyber here.

The Academy’s focus is on being truly inclusive, and creating a pathway for neurodiversity, female, and indigenous participation – as well as a focus on regional Australia. Students will also benefit from Deloitte’s well-established DAcademy, which helps our future generation of workers network and connect, so they truly thrive.

Jordan Roberts is a third year university student pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Information Technology, majoring in Networking and Cyber Security, as well as a Bachelor of Creative Intelligence and Innovation. She recently joined Deloitte as an Undergraduate and says, “I wish this was available to me when I started my journey in cybersecurity as it focuses on practical, on the job learning and provides ongoing support and mentorship.

“Students are put at the forefront of the program, with fantastic opportunities to work in Government and Industry Cyber teams, fast-tracking their career from day one.”

Theo Psychogios, Financial Advisory Partner, is thrilled to be involved in this nation-shaping learning initiative, especially given its critical and collaborative nature. He says, “Don’t be mistaken: we’re in a virtual war. A cyber attack happens every 32 minutes; and our cyber posture in this hostile environment isn’t good enough.

“Deloitte is helping to shape and develop the Academy’s curriculum with industry and government, which includes supporting students so they can show their practical cyber security skills in a proactive and gamified (but safe) environment. This lets us better match each student’s human characteristics and innate skills, with the technical knowledge they can gain. We’re also developing an innovative recruitment model to make sure we have the best possible talent pipeline in Australia.

“It’s a really rewarding initiative to be involved in.”

Ian Blatchford, Deloitte Australia Cyber Leader, concludes, “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. It’s critical to address the current cyber security skills shortage and will initially launch in New South Wales and Victoria, with each state’s Academy partners nurturing close to 200 students per year per state, to contribute towards a three-year target of over 1,000 qualified cyber workers.” 

If you would like to learn more about Australia’s future workforce, visit our AFR Higher Education Summit 2022 page.

“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 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.”

Pascale Quester, Vice-Chancellor and President

“UOW is delighted by our collaboration 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.”

Theo Farrell, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education)