With over 67,500 cybercrime reports between the 2020-21 financial year (a nearly 13% increase from the previous year), cyber security remains in higher demand than ever. The rise of telecommuting further adds to the urgency of greater awareness; as those working from home, with often weaker security protocols, are now ever more vulnerable to the growing rates of cybercrime.
The industry thus calls for a greater workforce as our country continues to fight off these malicious digital trends. Opportunities to education, train, and work in the sector have never been more abundant, making it one of the most attractive IT fields to pursue. But what exactly do you need to get hired in cyber security?
Below, we break down the importance of gaining a cyber security certification, and how training with AIICT can help.
Australia’s demand for cyber security
According to recent findings by Security Brief, tech salaries are experiencing a global increase of 15-30% on average, with data analytics, programming, cloud computing, and cyber security among the topmost skills sought after by employers. The country continues to grapple with an ever-growing skills shortage, as AustCyber research shows nearly 17,000 more cyber security workers are required by 2026. While education providers are pushing efforts to expand their security training, the current industry growth is still insufficient in meeting talent demand.
Now is therefore the optimal time to enter the industry, with the average security worker granted a generous $117,943 AUD per year (based on Talent.com statistics). However, it’s often recommended to equip yourself with certification in the field (or a few), helping you stand out among candidates in the job market.
The importance of a cyber security certification
It boosts your employability
Having a cyber security certification under your belt verifies your skills as industry standard and up-to-date, making you a much more attractive candidate among potential employers. This is especially so among international bodies such as CompTIA, ISACA, and ISC2, where your certified skills are recognised worldwide – further expanding your career opportunities.
However, it’s important to complement your certifications with actual work experience. This can be done through cyber security internships, personal projects, or entry-level jobs; anything to help put your knowledge to real-world practice. A resume solely composed of certifications may demonstrate technical knowledge to your employer, but is not sufficient evidence of industry experience.
It demonstrates initiative
Cyber security certifications also help demonstrate initiative. They show a level of commitment to your field; the drive to continuously improve your skills and keep up to date with rising demands. Being in a constantly evolving field, it is critical to stay in tune with new security technologies, tools, and practices – helping keep your company stay one step ahead of rising cybercrimes.
Niching down and specialising in a certain cybersecurity field also improves your chances of employment in the job market (by making you an expert of a certain area, rather than a “jack of all trades”). At the same time, this demonstrates your passion for certain aspects of the industry.
You save your employer time and money
By being a verified master of your field, companies can count on you to save them financial and productivity costs in the long run. Cybercrimes are reported to cost the average Australian business about $3.35 million AUD per breach, with a year-on-year increase of 9.8% (according to IBM research). Not only are customers likely to lose their trust in a cybercrime-impacted business – but these incidents also typically result in greater downtime, as employees attempt to recover lost files and corrupted data.
Demonstrating a certified level of security skills thus makes you much more of an asset to potential employers, ensuring them that you have the right tools and knowledge to keep their information safe.
It demonstrates your depth of knowledge
Above all else, cyber security certifications represent your depth of knowledge – and the more, the better. They offer a benchmark for your capabilities and demonstrate your range of specialties, elevating your status in the sector. They can also equip you with the confidence you need in your abilities, keeping you on your toes and aware of emerging digital risks.
Additionally, certifications can often be used to negotiate a pay rise or a promotion. Those already employed in cyber security sector can level up their skills through an in-demand certificate program, boosting their value in the workplace and, in turn, their pay grade.
Choosing the right cyber security certification for you
Determine your specialty
Not all cyber security certifications are built the same. With an industry of varying specialisations, it can help to first identify where your current skills and interests lie. Perhaps you’re drawn to the challenge of penetration testing – or the complexities of network security? Maybe you’re interested in the emerging trends of cloud computing?
Whatever your inclination, use this to map out the potential security certifications that can help you get there. It may even help to stack multiple certifications for a broader, deeper knowledge of your chosen area.
Ensure fundamental knowledge of the field
Gaining specialist knowledge off the bat may result in general knowledge gaps that can stunt your ability for professional development.
Before diving into your specialty training, be sure to firstly have a fundamental knowledge of the cyber security field. It is crucial to have a comprehensive understanding of the basics; the technologies and processes that form the core aspects of effective cyber security. Once you’ve got that down, only then is it recommended to “niche down” and choose a specialty.
Identify your skill level
Finally, be sure to choose a certification that matches your skill and experience level. Most training programs allow you to advance your certification level as you complete each course, helping further build your skills and ensure they stay competitive within current industry demands.
Additionally, having multiple certifications under your belt can help you further stand out in the job market.
Get certified with AIICT’s Certified Cyber Security Professional course
The Australian Institute of ICT (AIICT) currently offers a Certified Cyber Security Professional course, designed to explore the essentials of cyber security and technical support, as well as the specific skills required for network security. Comprised of three certifications by CompTIA (a global leader in vendor-neutral IT certificates), students will gain a thorough knowledge of best security practices, network management, penetration testing, and more.
Best of all, this program is delivered online, helping you train according to your specific goals and schedule.
Enter a field of growing opportunity and zero unemployment, and enquire with us on the course today.