The jointly funded centre is aimed at tackling the gap in Australia’s cybersecurity workforce which requires thousands of employees, with more than 18,000 additional workers required by 2026, according to the Australian Cyber Security Growth Network’s sector competitiveness plan.
Victoria University (VU) says the lack of trained staff has the potential to cost the nation approximately $400 million in lost revenue and wages.
The new training centre is to be located at the VU St Albans Campus, wthe university saying that the partnership between industry and education has created a centre that offers up to date training and skills development for students to join a profession that is increasingly critical to a range of industries including finance, healthcare, law, retail, education, defence and government.
The Centre will prepare students to meet the demand for talent in the cybersecurity pipeline through skill development, with technology that is at the forefront of this digital future.
And students have the chance to gain the knowledge, skills and experience, with a flexible, accessible and progressive programs that provide a skill level of cybersecurity awareness required for the workforce.
Courses on offer also support career progression and insights for those looking to work outside cybersecurity, with the centre providing Melbourne’s West with an opportunity to take up a career in a booming industry - and supporting the West by offering opportunities to gain the best in class digital skills.
The Centre boasts a Cyber Security Operations Centre (SOC) with a simulated working environment containing red ‘attack’ and blue ‘defend’ rooms so students can take on real-time roles as data hackers or cyber-savvy protectors to acquire genuine workplace skills in this sector.
The space also offers two immersive computer labs, and a videoconferencing classroom, connecting students and industry virtually.
The centre will be used by many students at Victoria University including those enrolled in the current Free TAFE Course, the Certificate IV in Cybersecurity. To ensure students are job-ready on graduation, they will use leading industry training platforms.
Students will also have opportunities to connect with industry experts, in addition to an industry driven curriculum through Cisco’s Networking Academy program.
Victoria University Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Vocational Education and Pathways), Grant Dreher, believes that the career opportunities offered by the new centre, will support school graduates as well as career changers in Melbourne’s West, as the region progressively moves from a manufacturing base into a sophisticated knowledge economy.
“We are enormously proud to partner with Cisco to help address a workforce shortage in an industry with a vast future demand for trained professionals. The rapid evolution of cybercrimes around the world shows that cybersecurity is not just an Australian problem, it’s a global problem for companies to tackle, using a high quality workforce with the right skills and training.”
Cisco Australia and New Zealand’s Vice President, Ken Boal, says the centre will help to support Australia’s digital transformation.
“We are excited by the prospects of the Cybersecurity Training Centre, to support the skills of the emerging workforce, help create jobs, and enhance Australia’s global economic competitiveness. Partnering with academia to accelerate growth in the cybersecurity industry will create more opportunities for Australia to grow and prosper in the digital era.”
“The Centre offers a great opportunity for the next wave of cybersecurity experts, and working with academia we’re providing a very real pathway for anyone to be part of that,” Boal said.