30 June 2023

Cyber Hub busts myths at Uncharted Territory to reveal new opportunities

| Dione David
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Iain Russell standing at lectern presenting about cyber security

Iain Russell, Head of Business Development & Operations, Cyber Security at Ionize. Photo: Greg Stoodley.

ACT Government initiative Canberra Cyber Hub will participate in Uncharted Territory to help address the nation’s alarming shortage of cyber professionals.

It is believed that Australia’s current trajectory will land it 30,000 short on cyber professionals within the next four years.

The Territory’s new arts and innovation festival will provide a platform for Cyber Hub’s Protecting Our Future: Securing the Digital Domain Cyber Career Symposium, a series of free events and a cyber career showcase.

The symposium aims to redefine the face of cyber security by helping people ditch tired stereotypes around cyber professionals, bust myths about cyber career prerequisites and crack into the industry.

It is aimed at people considering a career transition to cyber, recent graduates and school leavers looking to explore pathways to a cyber career.

It comprises a series of free panels including ‘Early Career Cyber Stories’. In it, cyber professionals will share their diverse career journeys and provide insights on how attendees can enter or transition into the industry.

READ ALSO Canberra Cyber Hub offers blitz of opportunities to tackle worrying capability shortage

Canberra Cyber Hub director Karen Schilling said the symposium, which was sponsored by UNSW Canberra, would help drive home a key message – that fulfilling cyber careers await all kinds of people.

“Contrary to common belief, you don’t have to be a software developer or engineer to consider a career in the cyber industry,” she said.

“For starters, there is a wide range of roles in the cyber environment. For example, GRC (Governance, Risk and Compliance) is about understanding the policies and processes around making an environment more secure. There’s also the full suite of IT services ranging from administration through to security.

“If you have skills and experience in accounting or administration, or if your background is in leadership or people management, you might just find a new career opportunity in cyber.”

The panel will look to dispel impressions about cyber careers that make candidates feel intimidated or unsure how to break in.

This will be complemented by Cyber Career Showcase, bringing potential employers and education institutions together to promote the vast industry opportunities available.


Australia is expecting a shortfall of 30,000 cyber professionals within the next four years. Photo: Supplied.

Ms Schilling said people might be surprised to discover their background, ability or even the way they think might qualify them for a rewarding cyber career.

“The thing about the cyber industry is a lot of it comes down to aptitude and way of thinking,” she explained.

“There are some companies that specialise in understanding your abilities in that area, and identifying the potential that can come from a person’s critical thinking skills.

“Cyber employers will share more about the industry and their companies, highlighting what roles they have and careers available for people.”

In addition, where education is required to bridge a gap or to switch careers entirely, it does not have to take years, according to Ms Schilling.

“What the research suggests now is that people no longer have just one career in their lifetime. We’re showcasing opportunities that exist in the cyber arena not just for graduates and school leavers, but also for people looking to make a change. It could be their second or third career,” she said.

“There will be education providers there to shine more light on what cyber really is, because it encompasses a very broad skill set. They will help attendees understand the training options available. There are so many short courses and micro-credentialing options available to help people transition into a cyber career.”

READ ALSO Senior RAAF officer appointed as National Cyber Security Coordinator

As industries across the board vie for talent, Ms Schilling said there were several reasons people might consider the transition to a cyber career – not the least of which was how fulfilling it was to help address a sovereign threat to their nation.

“A lot of people come into a cyber career either having been impacted or personally knowing someone who was impacted by recent cyber events,” Ms Schilling said.

“There’s enormous scope in this industry for people who want to make a difference and help protect Australians.

“People’s reasons could be much simpler – perhaps they’re looking for a switch to part-time, or for working from home flexibility.

“Regardless, demand for cyber skills is significantly outweighing supply, and the scope is endless.”

Protecting Our Future: Securing the Digital Domain Cyber Career Symposium takes place on Thursday 13 July from 10:30 am to 6:30 pm at Kambri at the Australian National University, 154 University Ave, Acton.

To learn more, view the program or book your spot visit Eventbrite.


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Would be great to get more notice about this type of event, as it’s too late to cancel other commitments now.

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