Cyber ​​Academy will pay you $40,000 to study cyber | information age

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Faced with concerns that universities are not creating job-ready cybersecurity graduates, consulting giant Deloitte has teamed up with two Australian universities to create a hybrid program combining university study and paid on-the-job employment.

The new Cyber ​​Academy program brings together Deloitte with the University of Wollongong (UoW), Swinburne University of Technology and TAFE NSW for a three-year blended program that is expected to “accelerate” 1,200 careers in cybersecurity.

Participants will undertake three years of ‘digital predominately’ learning while earning an annual salary of $40,000 to work 3 days a week at Deloitte, a NSW government department or industry partner.

The scheme is open to residents of NSW or Victoria aged 17 or over, who are completing their education this year – or are no longer in school. They must hold an HSC or equivalent, a professional diploma, or have completed a one-year university course.

Students will move through the vocational and higher education components as they complete the program, which according to UoW Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education) Professor Theo Farrell, “will meet a critically needed workforce and will make an important contribution to this vital area of ​​Australian resilience and security.”

Upon completion of the programme, graduates will obtain a Diploma in Information Technology (Cybersecurity) from TAFE NSW and a Bachelor’s degree in Computing (Cybersecurity) from UoW.

The Cyber ​​Academy “harnesses cutting-edge expertise to ensure a pool of highly skilled graduates can kick-start and provide vital protection for our economy in the cyber sector,” the Minister for Skills and Training said. from NSW, Alister Heskens, announcing the programme, which is now accepting entries of interest for an early 2023 start.

Deloitte has pledged to take on 10 per cent of all students who complete the program and other internships can also transition into permanent roles, Swinburne Vice-Chancellor Professor Pascale Quester said this “reflects the commitment of Swinburne towards true industry-integrated learning and will help our students to be job creators and job takers in the future world of work.

The fight for job-ready graduates

The Cyber ​​​​Academy program aims to fill Australia’s current cyber skills gap, identified as a priority in AustCyber’s cybersecurity sector competitiveness plan – which warned that nearly 17,000 workers additional cybersecurity resources were needed by 2026 to address a “serious shortage of ready-to-use cyber employees”. security agents “.

And while claimed “ready-made” courses from private institutions like Logitrain, the Institute of Data and the Adelaide Institute of Business and Technology have focused on helping students acquire the technical certifications demanded by industry, the participation of universities in the Cyber ​​Academy program allows students to obtain conventional tertiary degrees at the same time, saving them time and accelerating their entry into the workforce of cybersecurity.

While a recent business survey found that half of graduates don’t learn enough to start working when they graduate – and another found that only 27% of employers still require degrees – universities are struggling to maintain their relevance as industry continues to step up to fill the skills gap.

While some universities have explored increasingly popular micro-certificates for targeted academic programs so students can graduate earlier and continue learning throughout their lives, the promise of full degrees and gainful employment aims to make the Cyber ​​Academy particularly attractive to students.

This could make it a lifeline for a university sector that is looking abroad to boost its workforce, even as it struggles to stay relevant in the cybersecurity debate after cutting jobs, investing in research and investing to fight growing foreign interference.

Morrison government initiatives such as the Cyber ​​Security Skills Partnership Innovation Fund and the Job-ready Graduates Package aimed to address the skills gap in “national priority areas”, the latter creating up to 30,000 new university places and 50,000 new places in short-term courses while its CESAR package was designed to add hundreds of new cybersecurity workers.

Yet the Cyber ​​Academy’s combination of nationally recognized academic qualifications, on-the-job training and mentoring, said Steve Jansz, Managing Partner of Deloitte Australia’s Risk Management Consulting, will blaze a new trail. as a “first of its kind” program.

“The risks of more complex and sophisticated cyberattacks are clear,” he said, “and we need the best and brightest working in cyber to help protect Australians and Australian businesses.”

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