The Waikato Institute of Technology (Wintec) will be the first educational institution in New Zealand to offer the Fortinet Network Security Academy (FNSA) program, in a bid to address talent shortages across the country.
Specifically, the FNSA is designed to develop and train cyber security experts to manage new and advanced threats on the horizon.
The Academy will provide industry-recognised cyber security training and certification opportunities to students who will learn how to protect organisations from cyber threats.
As a result, Fortinet will provide the Wintec team with the skills required to teach the program through extensive staff development, backed up by NSE4 certifications issued by the security vendor.
“A global shortage of cyber security professionals is impacting New Zealand as government departments, corporations and businesses compete for talent, in response to an increasing number of cyber-attacks,” Fortinet senior regional director of A/NZ and Pacific Islands, Jon McGettigan, said.
“Current estimates show up to one million cyber security job openings with demand expected to rise to six million globally by 2019. We are partnering with organisations in the local market to help fill the pipeline of cyber security experts.
“Wintec is one of New Zealand's largest and leading Institutes of Technology and has an impeccable reputation for training excellence − we hope to continually grow such strong partnerships in the region.”
McGettigan said students will be prepared at international FNSA sites for “success in a career in network security”, obtaining both the theoretical lectures and hands-on laboratory practice needed to achieve a Fortinet certification.
The Academy extends the training and certification opportunities previously only offered to Fortinet customers and partners to educational institutions, non-profit organisations and veterans programs.
“Wintec is excited to partner with Fortinet, following our IT industry research results, where cybersecurity topped the list of essential skills for a bright career in IT today,” Wintec industry engagement director, Klaus Reiter, added.
Wintec provides students with the option of getting the FNSA certification alongside degrees in Applied Information Technology, encouraging participation through incentives, such as free course vouchers, for students pursuing certification for the first time.
According to Reiter, FNSA was created to address the international shortage of cyber security experts, while building a workforce skilled in all aspects of Fortinet’s end-to-end network security suite of solutions.
“FNSA is a great platform to provide our students with advanced IT skills and certifications that will boost their employment prospects, while gaining recognition in the industry within an elite group of security professionals,” Reiter added.
“Wintec is committed to providing a skilled workforce that meets the needs of the IT industry and matches with the economic and employment priorities of New Zealand.”
Reiter said Wintec has witnessed increased demand for courses aimed at careers in cyber security, with 80 per cent of IT students now enrolled for the FNSA certification program.