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Cyber security continues to be one of the most rapidly expanding sectors worldwide, with global spending on cyber security products and services increasing by 30 per cent from 2017 to 2020. This year alone, Australians spent approximately A$5.6 billion on cyber security from both local and international providers, a figure that is expected to increase to A$7.6 billion by 2024.
Currently, there is a shortage of skilled cyber security workers around the world. In Australia, the pipeline needs to continue to expand to meet the sector’s – and the economy’s – growth needs. The workforce is estimated to increase to 33,500 by 2024, with around 7,000 workers requiring training over the next four years.
The cyber security landscape is evolving continuously and rapidly, so employers need people who can do the same – people with natural curiosity and who enjoy learning throughout their lives.
In the cyber security sector, the problems people face are ever-changing and complex, so persistence and an ability to problem solve are key.
The ability to think like a ‘bad guy’ enables security professionals to anticipate what hackers might try and to identify weak points in system defences. Being perceptive will make it easier to build a strategy to defend against external threats.
People who work in cyber security often like to understand how things work and how they were designed.
The ability to communicate issues in non-technical terms is very important. This skill is particularly important if you want to become a leader in the field and is increasingly valued by employers at all levels.
Pathways into cyber security careers are varied. They might include traditional tertiary or vocational education, but also come from self-learning and demonstrating your practical skills.
A good way to plan your pathway into cyber security is to start by considering the types of activities you like to do and your natural skills base, then match that with the jobs on offer.
For technical cyber security roles, we are advocating for the use of a standard national workforce framework to help people identify, work roles, skills requirements and career opportunities.