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Unitec and Datacom are partnering to fill the security skills gap

Unitec and Datacom are partnering to fill the security skills gap

A global shortage of trained cybersecurity experts is becoming a challenge for businesses

The cybersecurity skills crisis is being tackled locally by a partnership between Unitec and Datacom.

The cybersecurity skills crisis is being tackled locally by a partnership between Unitec and Datacom.

Credit: Unitec

Auckland-based Unitec Institute of Technology has tapped Datacom to help launch a one-year vocational diploma in cybersecurity.

The course, which will offer the first New Zealand cybersecurity qualification in the pre-degree space, is being developed with Datacom, which will also host 10 students at its security operations centre in Auckland.

A global shortage of trained cybersecurity experts is becoming a significant challenge for businesses.

(ISC)2, the world’s largest not-for-profit association of cyber security professionals, estimated a worldwide skills gap of almost three million with approximately two million of these positions in the Asia-Pacific region. 

A study of the cybersecurity talent market in Australia and NZ undertaken by recruiter Hays, also found that over 60 per cent of organisations found recruiting for cybersecurity talent either “difficult” or “very difficult”.

“In an industry stymied by an increasing skills shortage, we’re helping develop our own homegrown talent and ensuring we deliver what industry needs,” said Dila Beisembayeva, academic programme manager at Unitec’s school of computing and information technology.

The initiative is the result of two years of planning, with Unitec working closely with NZQA, ITP New Zealand and industry.

“We’re bridging the gap between education and industry, while at the same time providing employment opportunities for students and equipping them with skills for jobs,” Beisembayeva said.

David Eaton, associate director of cybersecurity services at Datacom and part of a ministerial cybersecurity skills task-force said the company had created a strongly mentored training environment.

This would ensure students are coming to Datacom not just to learn, but to "learn through working". 

"This is the living embodiment of the Future of Work - we train them as they study,” Eaton said.

The programme starts at Unitec in February and is a 120-credit, Level 6 programme. It can be completed in one year full-time or over 18 months to four years part-time.


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