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28 October, 2021
The University of Wollongong (UOW), Deloitte, TAFE NSW, and Swinburne University of Technology announced their continued commitment to train the next generation of cyber security specialists, with the official launch of the Cyber Academy.
Developed in consultation with industry, the proposed three-year degree apprenticeship style program will fast track students’ careers in the growing cyber security sector, by combining nationally recognised qualifications with on-the-job training and mentorship.
According to a report by The Data Institute, Australia is short 2,300 workers in cyber security, with an expected demand of at least 17,600 additional professionals in the sector by 2026.
The Cyber Academy will play a key role in narrowing the cyber skills gap across Australia, attracting, developing and supporting the next generation of cyber talent, and provide the workforce needed to defend the nation’s critical cyber services.
UOW Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education) Professor Theo Farrell said the Cyber Academy has been designed to address critical skills shortages and provide in-demand pathways for students from TAFE NSW through to university and beyond.
“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,” Professor Farrell said.
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 Deloitte, UOW, and Swinburne to rollout this one-of-a-kind traineeship program to set students up for success in the workplace and help future-proof the industry.”
The program combines blended delivery study with paid employment at either Deloitte, a Government Department, or an industry partner.
Deloitte Australia Cyber Leader, Ian Blatchford, said: “It’s a critical time to address the current cyber security 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.”
Students will move through vocational and higher education components, gaining a diploma after the first year and a bachelor’s degree after their third year. It is envisaged they will have the opportunity to continue employment with their placement organisation following completion of the program.
Vice-Chancellor and President of Swinburne University of Technology Professor Pascale Quester said: “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.”
An in-person event with representatives from each of the partner organisations will be held in mid-November to mark the formal launch of the Cyber Academy.