Australia will need 17,600 more of these employees by 2026
Australia’s cybersecurity sector lost $405m in potential revenue and wages in 2017 as the industry continues to confront a growing skills shortage, a new report has revealed.
Today, the sector employs close to 20,000 workers but requires 2,300 more. By 2026, the talent gap is expected to widen to 17,600, the Australian Cyber Security Growth Network (AustCyber) predicts.
The talent pool has grown seven percent in the past two years but falls short in meeting the demand.
On the other hand, the average time-to-hire in cybersecurity takes 20% to 30% longer than the processing times for other IT sectors.
There may be hope, however. AustCyber reports talent growth thanks to other IT professionals slowly shifting gears and specialising in security.
One method of attracting top talent is by paying security experts a wage premium – about $12,000 on average – compared to the average pay across the IT industry, AustCyber said.
A more sustainable approach is by establishing partnerships between schools and the cybersecurity sector to produce the kind of graduates it needs, the analysis suggested.
“Over the past year, universities and vocational training providers have accelerated efforts to launch new cybersecurity courses and degrees,” the report stated.
“Partnerships with employers are helping to improve the quality of cybersecurity education by focusing curricula more on industry needs and facilitating more on-the-job training opportunities.”
While such partnerships will address the deficit in the long run, much more is needed to plug the gap now. The industry will continue to grapple with skills shortage in the medium term unless companies provide “better pathways for workers to transition from other industries into cybersecurity roles,” AustCyber said.