Australia’s Shortage of Cybersecurity Professionals, Highlighted by the Government
The Cybersecurity-related profession is a very dynamic, too dynamic in fact that many in the industry are not formally educated to become a future member of the sector. The reality on the ground is there is no specific Bachelor’s degree that is a sure-fire way to create a geek after graduation. A level of geekery is required for cybersecurity job, as the technical requirement is very high. No technical course can make a person do it, unless there is a naturally occurring passion for the individual to interpret current IT events and practical applications of concepts.
The problem in the nutshell is in our age of the continued growth of Big Data, companies expanding their server footprint demands the need for more experts in the field of cybersecurity. The problem today is the apparent personnel shortage in the cybersecurity sector, there is tremendous demand to hire experts in the field, which the new graduates cannot fill-up.
This exact scenario is very common worldwide, but in this instance we highlight the situation in the land down under, Australia and how the country is trying to fill the requirement of this sector. The annual Cyber Security Sector Competitive Plan is prepared recently by the Ministry for Industry, Science and Technology of Australia under Minister Karen Andrews. In the document, it is estimated that by 2026 the World’s Cybersecurity labor market will grow to US$250 billion, which will can only be filled-up by competent cybersecurity professionals that the world currently does not have. Australia as a nation mimics the world statistics, as there are not enough IT security professionals for the growth trajectory of the country’s ever increasing demand in the cybersecurity market.
The currently recorded shortage of IT security professionals is at a somewhat manageable 2,300, however, with just that number, it is enough for Australian firms to miss $405 million of potential profit. The sector is estimated to demand for 31,600 people in the Australian Cybersecurity profession in less than 120 months from now. The graduates of Universities around the country cannot produce such number in less than two years, as the skill set required for those jobs are beyond anything a student learned in their University life.
The education sector needs to get their act together in order to reform the education institution, in order to fulfill the demands of the ever-growing sunshine industry of cybersecurity. Degrees alone are not enough in order to assure that a person has enough knowledge and drive in order to help the cybersecurity industry to reach its yearly obligations towards the rest of the Australian business sector’s IT security.
The Ministry, headed by Minister Andrews is expected to find ways to promote grassroots programs to create new generation of young adults that are competent with cybersecurity technologies and have strong drive in helping the nation and its business sector to secure itself. Only time can tell if this endeavor will be fruitful, as an established cybersecurity professional, most of them are self-taught, self-trained.