The NSW government said on Monday that it will offer subsidised training in cyber security for the first time to address a critical shortage in skills in this area.
The cybersecurity sector is forecast to grow from $2 billion to $6 billion over the next 10 years with cybercrime already costing Australia up to $17 billion annually.
A 2026 report by US think tank, the Center for Strategic and International Studies found that the lack of cyber security professionals is felt more acutely in Australia than in other countries. The survey found that 88 per cent of Australian IT decision makers believe there is a shortage of cyber security skills both in their organisation and across the nation.
“We recognise there’s a serious need for cyber security experts in the field, which is why the NSW government has decided to subsidise the Certificate IV in Cyber Security for eligible students,” said deputy premier and skills minister, John Barilaro.
The subsidy could save students up to 75 per cent on the full course cost of $8,100, meaning students may only need to shell out as little as $1,960 for this first qualification, Barilaro said. IT security specialist jobs can command salaries of more than $100,000 per annum.
“With the growing threat of cybercrime impacting everyone – from individuals being scammed over email to global institutions being hacked, there’s an urgent need for people with skills to protect our digital lives and businesses," said Barilaro.
The government quoted a Frost & Sullivan report which showed that the global cybersecurity workforce will have more than 1.5 million unfilled positions by 2020. Governments, the resources sector, telecommunications, energy, defence, and banking and finance are the most vulnerable to cyber attacks.
“Demand for cyber security services and related jobs is forecast to grow by at least 21 per cent over the next five years, according to the federal government’s employment projects,” Barilaro said.
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