Students take on cyber security challenge
A See Yourself in Cyber initiative exposed high school students to in-demand skills and careers in the cyber security industry. Pascal Adolphe reports.
03 October 2023
With demand for cyber security workers growing exponentially, a NSW Department of Education initiative is looking at ways to help meet the need.
The AustCyber’s Cyber Security Sector Competitiveness Plan estimates Australia could need 16,600 additional cyber security workers in technical and non-technical positions by 2026.
The Department’s ‘See Yourself in Cyber’ initiative drew 79 students to two events - one in Newcastle and another in Sydney - where they learned about cyber security careers, met with cyber experts, and engaged in a cyber security challenge dubbed “capture the flag”.
The Cybermarvel team in partnership with the Regional Industry Education Pathways (RIEP) program delivered the event, which was aimed at Stage 5 and 6 students, to help them make informed decisions about their career trajectories.
Manager, Cyber Security Education and Awareness, Mona Sidhu, said TAFE and other tertiary education organisations had already started offering courses and degrees in cyber security, but there needed to be awareness and interest among students to help understand why they should take up the opportunities.
“Students are interested in learning, but most of them may not know how, where or what is available based on their skills and interests,” she said.
“The focus of our See Yourself in Cyber program is to expose students to the skills and knowledge that are required of cyber workers and get them to meet and hear from cyber experts about their pathways into cyber.”
Manager, Incident Response and Digital Forensics, Andrew Jackson, said cyber-trained workers were in high demand globally.
“AustCyber’s Cyber Security Sector Competitiveness Plan shows there has been a 13 per cent increase in cyber security workers from 2015 to 2018,” he said.
“Through the See Yourself in Cyber event, students met with the cyber security team to hear from them what they do and how they do it.
“The students also engaged in a competition to learn about offensive and defensive cyber security skills to improve their understanding of skills and knowledge required.”
The Capture the Flag competition enabled students to get hands-on technical experiences using Linux and coding to solve challenges.
“They also used their literacy skills to create advice on how to protect networks from cyber threats,” Mr Jackson said.
The Hunter School of Performing Arts team, and teacher Ben Howar, were announced as the winners.
Outstanding students were also nominated by fellow students and teachers for individual awards.
As part of the See Yourself in Cyber event, students also completed a TAFE Introduction to Cyber Security micro-skills course.
More information about the courses available can be found on the Cybermarvel careers website.