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Cybersecurity has undoubtedly been one of ICT’s fastest growing professions in recent years (if not the most rapid of the industry). With the world becoming more technologically connected, and digital crimes currently costing the Australian economy over $1 billion each year (with new attacks reported every 10 minutes) – it’s easy to see why.

The sector has thus become an attractive field of study for many entering tech, with organisations such as AustCyber working to make security education more accessible, flexible, and effective in equipping future workers. Graduates are predicted to reach 2,000 a year by 2026.

Below, we explore the biggest reasons for pursuing a course in cybersecurity – and why there’s no better time than now to do so.

Australia is experiencing a cybersecurity skills shortage

The global IT industry is currently short of qualified security workers – surpassing four million as of November 2019 (according to (ISC)2 statistics).

Australia currently faces a growing skills gap set to reach 18,000 experts by 2026, as crime methods grow ever-more sophisticated and attack numbers continue to grow. This shortage has lead to significant consequences for the nation’s economy, including a loss of up to $405 million in revenue and wages for the security sector in 2017. (As the field plays a critical role in our broader economic activities, such losses have likely hindered revenue growth for the wider economy.)

In addressing this widening gap, training providers (including DDLS) have increasingly offered various courses on both the fundamental skills and specialist roles of cybersecurity. The government continues to encourage individuals to undertake cybersecurity studies, helping build our nation’s capability in the field.

Students can rest assured of the high job security and plentiful job opportunities awaiting them upon graduation; as the industry continues to face steep growth and high talent demand. Such jobs are also unlikely to be outsourced, as it likely takes greater risk to place these responsibilities in the hands of “faceless” individuals across the globe – rather than relying on an in-house expert or reputable managed services provider (MSP).

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Students can choose from a wide range of specialities

Because cybersecurity is necessary in all sectors of the tech field, students can enjoy a wide range of career options in the field. The need for cybersecurity is tied to the varying technologies currently used by businesses (or emerging on the market), giving graduates the opportunity to work from an expansive selection of digital systems – from websites, to cars, to smart devices.

As such, today’s cybersecurity students can choose from a wide range of specialised courses in the sector, catering to these various areas. Interested in the growing world of cloud computing? There are now plenty of security programs with a focus on the cloud. Fascinated by IoT? Perhaps an IoT security course would suit you best.

However, general cybersecurity courses (that don’t necessarily focus on a specific IT sector) can also help equip one with transferrable security skills applicable across most IT areas and technologies.

As it plays a necessary role in the industry, the security sector is also prone to change – continuously adapting to evolving market needs. This field is thus both an exciting and dynamic one; with increasing, new opportunities for learning and specialisation.

Students have the plenty of online study options

Whether you’re a current student with other educational commitments, a busy employee, or simply looking to learn from home (especially amidst the current pandemic) – cybersecurity education fortunately offers plenty of options to study online.

As a profession predominantly taking place in the online sphere, all one needs to train for the sector is a computer and a stable, reliable internet connection.

DDLS is a leading provider of IT training in Australia, currently offers a wide selection of security courses with options for face-to-face, classroom experiences or entirely remote, virtual learning. Plenty of these courses are provided by globally acclaimed industry vendors such as Cisco, Microsoft, and CompTIA.

To encourage communication and collaboration with other students, such online programs typically provide individuals with a centralised learning portal – complete with discussion forums and instant messaging tools. DDLS also provides a “virtual classroom” option, in which students engage with instructors and other students through web conferencing technologies (i.e. Zoom, Microsoft Teams, etc.).

With various opportunities to study online, individuals can upgrade their skills in cybersecurity while tending to busy work schedules or other personal commitments.

Salary potential is high

Due to a critical shortage in talent and its high industry demand, employers are willing to pay premium wages to those willing (and qualified) to fulfill their available security roles.

According to AustCyber, the cybersecurity sector currently sees an average $12,000 premium paid for a security worker over a general IT worker. Numbers grow exponentially higher as role seniority increases, with security management or engineering roles earning an average wage premium of over $20,000 above their general IT counterparts.

Graduates can thus enjoy both the job security of being in a consistently in-demand industry, and the financial security these roles provide.

In analysing its salary data, Indeed concluded that software architects, cloud engineers, senior security consultants, security directors, and application security engineers were the top five highest-paid job titles in the cybersecurity field. Entry-level security professionals have plenty of opportunity to progress to more specialised, higher-level positions in the industry.

The need for cybersecurity is set to further grow

Technologies are only set to further evolve and grow ever-more connected. As said by Allan Buxton, forensics director of Secure Forensics – “The world is only becoming more networked”.

As attack speeds increase and criminal tactics are continuously refined, the need for cybersecurity is here to stay. As mentioned, emerging new technologies only pave the way for increased demand – such as computing systems in newer vehicles, or smart devices playing a role in the IoT.

Additionally, businesses and individuals are only growing more reliant on digital systems and data (with 22.31 million Australian internet users, as of January 2020) – either for storage, transmission, or analytical activities. Security will increasingly be needed to secure such information and prevent potential breaches.

As such, the skills for cybersecurity are only set to grow in value in the coming years – making the field an incredibly lucrative field of study for any tech professional.

Looking to study cybersecurity?

With the increasing digitisation of the modern business world, there’s no better time than now to launch a cybersecurity career.

DDLS offers a wide variety of security certifications under global industry leaders – these including RESILIA, (ISC)2, ISACA and CompTIA. Students can equip themselves with both the fundamental skills of the field and in specialised areas such cloud computing, management, forensics, and ethical hacking.

To cater to your schedule and preferred pace of study, DDLS Anywhere provides the option for virtual learning – helping you access your course from anywhere that suits you best. Get your start in an industry of zero unemployment today – and enquire with us on a course.

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