Demand for IT security skills on the rise down under

Demand for IT security skills on the rise down under

Demand is outweighing supply for personnel with a combination of the necessary skills to effectively defend Australian businesses from cyber attacks, a study has shown.

Online recruitment firm Seek has revealed that within the 12-month period to November of last year, there had been a 60% rise in the number of IT security jobs advertised.

The demand for IT security skills is so high that last year, the University of New South Wales and the Commonwealth Bank announced a $1.6 million (£0.78m) five-year collaboration with a view to produce more security engineering graduates in Australia. Further, Macquarie Telecom said that it would finance two IT security scholarships at Western Sydney University.

It may be some time before those graduates are perceived as valuable prospects in the workpalce, however.

Raytheon Websense product marketing director Bob Hansmann, talked about the difficulties in finding security experts. He said:

“You can hire someone who graduated magna cum laude with a PhD but it takes several months for them to be responsible for a piece of research. What seems to be best is someone with 10 to 11 years of experience. But these don’t grow overnight.”

He added that there used to be an adequate number of security professionals because they were only hired by the largest organisations, such as banks. However, he also pointed out that after the high-profile attacks on Target and Sony, there is more of a demand for cyber personnel in other sectors.

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