Looking for a career? Huge demand for cyber security roles forecast
Jason Duerden just sort of ‘fell into’ cyber security, a pathway he said is surprisingly common in the industry.
“I started out in a business degree, moved on to a masters in business and MBA, and really got into the industry through my interest in gaming and web design,” he said.
“I don’t have a security technologist’s background or education … but if you understand some basic concepts and motivations around adversaries and why people would want to steal or impact people in a negative way you can really self develop.”
The 29-year-old is a Regional Director with tech company, BlackBerry Cylance, and according to figures by AustCyber, is one of about 20,000 people working in Australia’s growing cyber security industry.
“Cyber is one of those spaces that rapidly changes every single day.
“Everybody says their industry does, but it is the reality for us. What we are building today may not be relevant for tomorrow.”
It’s predicted there’ll be a jobs shortage of 18,000 cyber security roles in Australia in only seven years and the jobs coming onto the market are probably a far cry from the hacker trope you’ve got in your head.
“That’s obviously evolving pretty quickly … many of the business leaders that I work with from a client perspective don’t have any technical background.”
So what gigs are there?
The industry says there’s more than 50 different job types in the cyber security industry, from the technical penetration testing type role, to business, marketing, law and communications.
Damien Manuel, Chair of the Australian Information Security Association, said the roles are very diverse.
“Third-party supplier management is going to be a real key area,” he said.
“There’s a whole range of jobs that’ll be required in the assurance space and auditing space, project management … investigations, forensics, architecture, design, policy, behavioural change, incident management, communications, intelligence gathering, training.”
Damien said the prevalence of those jobs will grow, along with our interconnectedness.
“What’s going to drive the market in the future is as we become more and more digitally connected and we move to 5G, which then starts to link in a whole range of other technologies, the demand will grow for people to protect systems, information and organisations.”
There’s also good news for those interested in law, psychology, business, marketing, or really anyone who likes problem solving.
“If you’re a young person who’s looking to build a career, cyber security is definitely the path to go down because there are so many jobs and so many different types of jobs as well that you could apply for,” he said.
Aight, I’m hooked, how do I get one?
Todd Williams, Director of the NSW Cyber Security Innovation Node, said there’s a few traditional pathways into the industry, including TAFE certificates and uni courses.
“Cyber security at universities is an interesting one because you can do a cyber security degree through computer science, you can also do cyber security through law because international human trafficking, identity fraud and identity theft, from a legal perspective is also cyber … you can do a cyber security degree in management,” he said.
“What’s really important for people wanting to get into the industry now is to do some micro credentialing.
“There’s opportunities to do a traineeship, you can actually in New South Wales do a traineeship or a school-based apprenticeship with a company.
“You get paid, you’ll end up with a certificate three in cyber security and you’re more likely to be offered a full time job at the end of your traineeship.”
But Todd said even though many schools and unis are getting stuck into teaching cyber, there’s a challenge brewing.
“I think there is a bit of a challenge there about what people think cybersecurity is and there’s a very old way of thinking about cybersecurity, which is penetration testing, hacking, keeping out the baddies,” he said.
“That’s correct but what we’re seeing now in 2019 is not just a risk mitigation strategy of cyber security, cyber is actually really helpful, it’s a good thing, it can make your business better.”
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Article first published by Tim Swanson on abc.net.au