VU's new Cybersecurity Training Centre at St Albans

Victoria University through its Polytechnic, in partnership with the world’s largest Cyber Security vendor Cisco, are opening a Cybersecurity Training Centre in Melbourne’s West to meet an increasing demand for workers in one of Australia’s fastest growing and under-serviced industries.

The jointly funded Centre will tackle the gap in Australia’s cybersecurity workforce which requires thousands of employees. More than 18,000 additional workers are required by 2026, according to the Australian Cyber Security Growth Network’s sector competitiveness plan. The lack of trained staff has the potential to cost the nation approximately $400 million in lost revenue and wages.

The Cybersecurity Training Centre will be located at Victoria University’s (VU) St Albans Campus.

Courses designed to meet industry needs

The Centre relies on an effective partnership between industry and education to offer up-to-date training and skills development. Students will graduate ready to join a profession that is increasingly critical to a range of industries, including finance, healthcare, law, retail, education, defence and government.

Courses are co-designed by cybersecurity professionals, including Cisco’s Networking Academy. They will deliver practical insights and learning modules related to current industry practices. The Centre will prepare students to meet the demand for talent in the cybersecurity pipeline through skill development, with technology that is at the forefront of this digital future.   

Students have the chance to gain in-demand knowledge, skills and experience through flexible, accessible and progressive programs that teach cybersecurity awareness required in the workforce. Courses also support career progression and insights for those looking to work outside cybersecurity.

The Centre provides Melbourne’s West with an opportunity to take up a career in a booming industry, and supports the West by offering opportunities to gain current digital skills. It boasts a Cyber Security Operations Centre (SOC) with a simulated working environment containing red ‘attack’ and blue ‘defend’ rooms so students can take on real-time roles as data hackers or cyber-savvy protectors to acquire genuine workplace skills. The space also offers two immersive computer labs and a video-conferencing classroom, connecting students and industry virtually.

Training the next wave of cyber-crime fighters

The Centre will be used by students at Victoria University including those enrolled in the current Free TAFE Course, the Certificate IV in Cybersecurity. To ensure students are job-ready on graduation, they will use leading industry training platforms. Students will also have opportunities to connect with industry experts, in addition to an industry-driven curriculum through Cisco’s Networking Academy program.

Victoria University Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Vocational Education and Pathways), Grant Dreher, believes that the career opportunities offered by the new centre will support school graduates as well as career changers in Melbourne’s West as the region progressively moves from a manufacturing base into a sophisticated knowledge economy.

“We are enormously proud to partner with Cisco to help address a workforce shortage in an industry with a vast future demand for trained professionals. The rapid evolution of cyber crimes around the world shows that cybersecurity is not just an Australian problem; it’s a global problem for companies to tackle, using a high-quality workforce with the right skills and training.”

Cisco Australia and New Zealand’s Vice President, Ken Boal, says the centre will help to support Australia’s digital transformation. “We are excited by the prospects of the Cybersecurity Training Centre to support the skills of the emerging workforce, help create jobs, and enhance Australia’s global economic competitiveness. Partnering with academia to accelerate growth in the cybersecurity industry will create more opportunities for Australia to grow and prosper in the digital era.”

“The Centre offers a great opportunity for the next wave of cybersecurity experts, and working with academia we’re providing a very real pathway for anyone to be part of that,” said Mr Boal.

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