Australians pessimistic that cybersecurity skills gap will be closed within a decade

But training providers, looking outside the industry for “a new breed of cybersecurity talent”, are doing their part to help

Despite an ongoing flurry of new cybersecurity training initiatives hitting the market, Australian and New Zealand cybersecurity professionals are among the world’s least optimistic that the cybersecurity skills gap will be filled over the next decade.

Just 14 percent of the Oceania respondents responding to ISACA’s Technology Landscape of the 2020s survey said they believe the cybersecurity skills gap will be mostly or entirely filled over the next decade – on par with the 13 percent saying the same in North America but behind peers in Europe (16 percent), the Middle East (19 percent), South America (22 percent), Asia (24 percent), and Africa (26 percent).

More Australian respondents (18 percent) believe the gap will stay the same than in any other region, while 37 percent believe the gap will widen a lot or somewhat.

That’s a pessimistic assessment of the future prospects for an industry that has 107,000 members in Australia and 2.8m globally.

Cybersecurity in this country is, as elsewhere, screaming out for new members – with local figures suggesting a skills gap of 17,600 by 2026 and recent (ISC)2 figures suggesting that the global cybersecurity workforce needs to grow by 145 percent to meet demand for skilled talent and close a cybersecurity skills gap as high as 4.07m professionals.

Closing this gap is a key goal of training provider DDLS, which recently launched a Certified Cybersecurity Professional course that CEO Jon Lang said will address “huge unmet demand” in the market.

The six-month course incorporates three CompTIA certifications and has been designed to help people with no cybersecurity industry experience break into the industry.

Leveraging the analytical, investigative or other strengths of their past professions would help trained staff find new careers in cybersecurity that play to their strengths, Lang said, noting that different roles “require different people and different personality types”.

“Unemployment levels in cybersecurity are at 0%,” he said. “With cybersecurity emerging as one of Australia’s most promising growth sectors, these certifications offer professionals a direct pathway to help address the skills shortage in the field.”

More recently, persistently high demand in Australia helped DDLS secure a partnership with US-based training firm New Horizons Computer Learning Centers to bring a range of technology, cybersecurity, process management, and professional development courses to Australia.

Courses are only one of numerous approaches being taken by cybersecurity industry players to foster cybersecurity skills development.

RMIT University, for one, recently partnered with Amazon Web Services to develop a Cyber Ready Cloud Innovation Centre (CIC) that will allow students, researchers, government bodies, and subject matter experts to collaboratively solve cybersecurity challenges around areas including cyber policies, training programs, security protection and control systems.

Security vendor Kaspersky, for its part, also recently partnered with RMIT University in a cybersecurity competition that, Kaspersky ANZ general manager Margrith Appleby said in a statement, “will ensure the development in training, educational content and innovation for a new breed of cybersecurity talent in Australia.”