Optus Business has launched new online cyber education program, Optus Cyber Security Experience, for secondary schools, TAFE and universities, in a bid to help educators introduce students to the potential of growing science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) career pathways.
In addition to enabling students to explore the possibility of a career in cyber, in parallel, the program looks to address the cyber skills shortage in the nation.
Specifically, the free program - in partnership with LifeJourney - offers an education course that allows students to experience a ‘day in the life’ of Optus’ cyber experts to understand the skills and activities involved in a cyber-attack.
At the same time, students can gauge the wider importance in helping Australian companies combat the growing volume of cyber threats.
As part of the program, teachers can also achieve a ‘Cyber Teacher Certification’ so that Australia’s ICT, Mathematics and Science educators can continue to deliver cyber security learnings to students.
“The Optus Cyber Security Experience is a great example of how Optus Business and global partners such as LifeJourney are working together to deliver an interactive learning experience to inspire students to think about careers in cybersecurity and study STEM subjects at school,” Optus vice president of business technology services, David Caspari, said.
“We are demonstrating why this is a rewarding and interesting career, how these roles are critical in helping Australian organisations combat the growing volume of cyber threats, and what subjects and courses students need to consider,” he said.
Secondary school, Barker College, is the first in Australia to sign up to the program.
The Optus Cyber Security Experience is the latest cyber security investment made by Optus Business in the last 12 months, including the opening of its $10 million Advanced Security Operations Centre (ASOC) and its Cyber Security and Innovation Hub in Melbourne; an $8 million partnership with La Trobe University to establish industry-focused cyber curriculum.
The program launch also follows the opening of the $10 million Optus Macquarie University Cyber Security Hub last year. As such, Optus Business said these initiatives continue to demonstrate the company’s commitment to resolve Australia’s cyber talent shortage.
Australian Cyber Security Growth Network chief executive, Craig Davies, hammered that there is a critical need for collaboration to occur across the cyber community to develop educational pathways into the security industry.
“There’s no questioning an ‘all-in’ approach is needed to properly address Australia’s cyber skills shortage, and initiatives such as the Optus Cyber Security Experience demonstrate how all parts of the ecosystem – government, industry and academia – can help improve the current cyber curriculum and develop a strong pipeline of job-ready graduates,” he said.