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LOVE AT FIRST BYTE: TAFE NSW helps Anna's career shift from childcare to IT


LOVE AT FIRST BYTE: TAFE NSW helps Anna's career shift from childcare to IT

CYBER BOOM: The cyber security industry is expected to go through an unprecedented boom post-COVID and many emerging IT professionals, such as Albury's Anna Kirdyashkina, want a piece of the action.

26 August, 2020

A woman who migrated from Russia for love in 2007 is gunning for a career in the booming cyber security sector after embarking on her second IT qualification with TAFE NSW Albury.

Mother-of-three Anna Kirdyashkina, who is married to Zen X Albury owner Dave Lam, was trained as a civil engineer in Russia but after stints working in engineering and early childhood education decided to last year enrol in a Certificate III in Information, Digital Media and Technology.

She is now completing a Certificate IV in Information Technology Networking before planning to tackle the Diploma of Information Technology Networking at TAFE NSW and pivoting to a career in cyber security.

The COVID-19 pandemic has thrust the issue of cyber security further into the spotlight and exacerbated an already chronic skills shortage in the sector, with a landmark recent report – Staying Ahead of the Technology Curve, Now and in the Future – predicting a jobs shortage of 17,000 workers in Australia by 2026.

After six years working in early childhood education on the border, Ms Kirdyashkina said she decided to study information technology at TAFE NSW to challenge herself further.

“I was always interested in IT and learning new programs but I wanted to learn professionally  and TAFE NSW was the perfect place to do it,” she said. “The teachers are amazing. They adjust everything to you to help you learn and develop; it’s the best experience I’ve ever had in my life as a student.”

TAFE NSW Wagga Wagga Head Teacher of Information Technology George Holt said cyber security was a field awash with job opportunities and that now is the time of people to get the skills they need to pursue job opportunities.

“There are so many jobs out there because cybercrime is such a grave threat to Australian businesses and individuals so we need to train people to address that threat,” Mr Holt said.

“Most larger businesses have cyber security experts in place but we need an army of support workers to assist with things like checking computers for malware. This really is an emerging industry.”

He said with almost half of Australian employees working from home during the pandemic, a trend that is likely to continue in coming years, it had seen an explosion in scam emails from increasingly sophisticated cyber criminals.

According to IBM, COVID-related spam emails had surged exponentially, growing 14,000 per cent in two weeks alone during March.

Enrolments are still open for semester two for the Certificate III and IV in Information Technology (Networking) at TAFE NSW Albury. To find out more, phone 13 16 01 or visit

Media contact: Daniel Johns, TAFE NSW Media and Communications – Business Partner, 6938 1441, mobile 0477 722 428.