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Cyber security: one million job openings and counting

Digital technologies will comprise seven percent of Australia’s GDP by 2020, and as a result, cybersecurity has emerged as a vital, rapidly growing field of employment.

According to a report from our industry partner Cisco, there are currently one million cybersecurity job openings globally. This demand is projected to increase to 6 million globally by 2019, with an expected shortfall of 1.5 million, reports Michael Brown, CEO at Symantec.

Cybersecurity = job security

Joe Franzi, head of cybersecurity at Australian Signals Directorate recently told the ABC, ‘the demand for cybersecurity professionals is insatiable at the moment, and this is not just an Australian problem. It’s a global problem.’ The need for creative problem-solvers is at an all-time high across a range of industries including banking and finance, healthcare, law, retail, defence, and government.

Alec Ross, the author of The Industries of the Future and former advisor to the US Secretary of State, believes cybersecurity is one of the most secure career options available.

‘If a college student asked me what career would most assure 50 years of steady, well-paying employment, I would say cybersecurity. The growth is steep, the need will be sustained, and this need currently comes up against a major talent shortage.’

A growth industry

The global cybersecurity market is booming in the wake of high profile attacks such as Stuxnet and the Ashley Madison hack. Back in 2004, the market was valued at USD$3.5 billion. By 2015 it had risen exponentially to around USD$78 billion, and by next year that figure is projected to balloon to USD$120 billion.

Right now, companies are looking for skilled workers who just aren’t there. As a result, wages are being driven up. A recent report showed that the average salaries of cybersecurity workers are nine percent (USD$6,500) higher per year than other IT workers.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, an information security analyst receives a median pay of $88,890 per year, with the lowest 10 percent earning around USD$50,300 per year and the highest earning more than USD$140,460 (around A$183,500).

Secure your future with cybersecurity

The rapid evolution of cybercrime means that cybersecurity can no longer be isolated to IT departments – it needs to be addressed across all functions of an organization or business.

Companies are looking to employ people with a skill set beyond just the basics of information technology and security.

Simone Bachmann, Head of Information, Security, Innovation, and Culture at Australia Post, explains, ‘we need people with problem-solving skills, we need innovators, we need people with legal and regulatory skills, we need communicators and educators to help people understand the problem.’

The Bachelor of Information Technology (Networking and Security) in ATMC-Federation University enables a student to equip themself with critical knowledge in data and network security. Employment in this area has experienced strong growth over the last 10 years. The specialization in security will allow a student to be on the frontline of the war in cyberspace and to become familiar with the methods attackers use. One will learn to investigate how security breaches occur, how private information is vulnerable and ways to protect it. The student will develop an understanding of the security models provided by major operating systems involved in modern computer networks. Through lecture and lab work they will delve into networks, their protocols and hardware and investigate how these systems can be vulnerable to a malicious attack.

Throughout the program, a student will become familiar with the latest developments in IT and understand the different types of information technology tools and their applications. They will develop an understanding of the organizational settings in which security systems are used and recognize the threats and opportunities of technology in business.

Career Opportunities

The constantly expanding information infrastructure has opened up many career opportunities for information systems graduates, ranging from the very technical to the very business-oriented.  A variety of career opportunities exist in small, medium and large business and government in the major areas of Network administrator, Ethical Hacker, ICT security specialist, Network architecture and designer, Network and security officer and product security manager.



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