Optus Business Launches Cyber Education Program To Bridge Cyber Skills Gap

Partnership with global STEM pathways leader LifeJourney to bring cyber security education into the classrooms of secondary schools, TAFE and universities

Optus Business has launched the Optus Cyber Security Experience (click here), an online cyber education program for secondary schools, TAFE and universities enabling educators to introduce students to one of the fastest growing STEM career pathways, with the aim of addressing the critical cyber skills shortage in Australia and worldwide.

The program delivers one of Australia’s first free online national cyber security education courses for students to experience a day in the life of Optus’ cyber experts to understand the skills and activities involved in a cyber-attack, and the critical importance in helping Australian organisations combat the growing volume of cyber threats.

The program also provides a Cyber Teacher Certification program so the nation’s ICT, Mathematics and Science teachers can deliver cyber security learnings to their students.

David Caspari, Vice President Business Technology Services at Optus said, “Optus Business continues to lead Australian ICT enterprises in bridging Australia’s cyber security skills gap.

“The Optus Cyber Security Experience is a great example of how Optus Business and global partners such as LifeJourney are working together to deliver an interactive learning experience to inspire students to think about careers in cyber security and study STEM subjects at school.”

The Optus Cyber Security Experience provides a career simulation experience for students, as part of LifeJourney’s ‘Day of STEM’ program.

The new partnership will see Barker College on Sydney’s north shore become Australia’s first secondary school to sign up to the Optus Cyber Security Experience.

The Optus Cyber Security Experience program is supported by Macquarie University, La Trobe University and Deakin University – who are partnering to connect students with exciting new cyber courses and degree pathways.

Students also learn about the types of courses and STEM subjects they need if they are interested in Cyber careers.

“We are demonstrating why this is a rewarding and interesting career, how these roles are critical in helping Australian organisations combat the growing volume of cyber threats, and what subjects and courses students need to consider.”

Today’s launch follows the opening of the $10 million Optus Macquarie University Cyber Security Hub in 2016, demonstrating the commitment of Optus Business and Macquarie University to resolve Australia’s cyber talent shortage.

Speaking at the launch, Craig Davies, Chief Executive Officer, Australian Cyber Security Growth Network said: “As part of our Cyber Security Sector Competitiveness Plan, there’s a critical need for collaboration to occur across the cyber community and develop educational pathways into the security industry.

“There’s no questioning an ‘all-in’ approach is needed to properly address Australia’s cyber skills shortage, and initiatives such as the Optus Cyber Security Experience demonstrate how all parts of the ecosystem – government, industry and academia – can help improve the current cyber curriculum and develop a strong pipeline of job-ready graduates.”

David Wilkinson, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Corporate Engagement and Advancement), Macquarie University said: “The cyber skills gap is a critical issue for the nation and education is key to addressing this challenge, if we want to be prepared and internationally competitive.

“Macquarie University is taking a leading role to ensure more young people take an interest in, and get access to, high quality cyber security training to equip them for the jobs of the future. Initiatives such as the Optus Cyber Security Experience play an essential role in improving the knowledge and skills among today’s and tomorrow’s workforce.”

Rick Geritz, Chief Executive Officer, LifeJourney said: “Research suggests there will be a global shortfall of 2 million cyber security professionals by 2019[i] and Australia is no exception to this trend. Through our ‘Day of STEM’ platform LifeJourney is committed to engaging all Australian students with an authentic experience that empowers them to explore exciting opportunities in cyber security.”

The Optus Cyber Security Experience is the latest cyber security investment made by Optus Business in the last 12 months, including the opening of its $10 million Advanced Security Operations Centre (ASOC); its Cyber Security and Innovation Hub in Melbourne; an $8 million partnership with La Trobe University to establish industry-focused cyber curriculum; and the Optus Digital Thumbprint program which develops cyber awareness within Australian schools.

“Today’s announcement is one piece of a wider program that Optus Business is undertaking to develop an end-to-end cyber education initiative that fosters Cyber Skills from early education, all the way to board education and awareness programs with our Enterprise and Government customers,” Mr Caspari said.

The above media release was issued by Optus Business on 2 May, 2017, click here to view original.