Edith Cowan University (ECU) announced as one of two Academic Centres of Cyber Security Excellence.
Edith Cowan University will lead Australia’s efforts to train the thousands of cyber security professionals required to fill a global skills shortage in the industry.
It’s estimated there will be a shortfall of more than 1.5 million cyber security professionals around the world by 2020. Meanwhile almost 20 per cent of positions in the sector in Australia will go unfilled because of a lack of trained professionals.
Federal Education Minister Simon Birmingham announced ECU would share $1.9 million as one of just two Academic Centres of Cyber Security Excellence in Australia, and the only one in WA.
ECU Vice-Chancellor Professor Steve Chapman said the University is already one of the best in the world in the field of cyber security.
“This announcement further recognises ECU as a leader in cyber security research and teaching nationally,” he said.
“Since 2001 more than 1000 cyber security professionals have graduated from ECU’s cyber security program – one of the longest running undergraduate cyber security degree programs in Australia.”
ECU School of Science Executive Dean Professor Andrew Woodward said cyber security graduates from ECU work in some of the world’s leading tech companies including Google, Facebook and Microsoft.
“Cyber security skills are in such high demand we see our best students being offered six figure salaries when they’re only in their second year of a degree,” he said.
“The industry is booming globally right now. It has been for the past decade and will continue to boom into the next decade.
“Unlike industries such as mining and construction which can boom and bust – we’re only connecting more devices to the internet and that means more demand for cyber security professionals.
“That demand is being fed by the realisation that companies outside the tech industry need trained cyber security personnel.
“The high profile cyber attacks on the UK health system, the Democratic Party in the US and the Australian Bureau of Meteorology are showing how badly we need trained professionals.”
The new funding will also help improve the awareness of cyber security issues among the general public.
This includes programs to encourage more school-age children to study STEM subjects related to cyber security, short courses for those already in the workforce and opportunities for TAFE students to move into a university study.
ECU also has long standing agreements with a range of industry and government organisations including WA Police, Australian Federal Police, Cisco, Interpol, Woodside, Emirates Airlines and CERT Australia.