The first wave of veterans has graduated from the institute's new cyber security training course.
Global cyber security training and certifications provider SANS Institute has announced the inaugural class of graduates from its Veteran Cyber Academy during a ceremony at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra.
The 16-week program — designed for Australian veterans with minimal cyber security experience — involved practical simulations and team exercises to develop veterans’ cyber security knowledge and skills.
The program aims to serve as a pathway for new career opportunities beyond the Australian Defence Force (ADF).
Participants graduate with three industry-recognised certifications from the Global Information Assurance Certification (GIAC) — GIAC Foundational Cybersecurity Technologies (GFACT), GIAC Security Essentials (GSEC), and GIAC Certified Incident Handler (GCIH).
“SANS is focused on providing practical – yet technical – hands-on cyber security training to individuals and organisations,” Steven Armitage, country manager for Australia at SANS Institute, said.
“The Veteran Cyber Academy’s objective was to reskill Australian veterans and provide them with opportunities to re-enter the workforce, after they’ve moved on from the ADF.
“This also helps to support and empower Australian veterans, which has never been more important than it is today.”
Armitage went on to laud the achievements of the inaugural cohort.
“These students have shown an incredible level of high achievement with GFACT exam scores, averaging at 87 per cent and the highest score being 97 per cent, well above the industry norm,” he added.
Graduates have already secured work with the Securus Consulting Group and Bluerydge — official partners of the academy.
Other graduates are currently applying for cyber security positions with Telstra, Fortescue Metals, and the Australian Signals Directorate.
The program is also supported by the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC), Atlassian, Department of Premier and Cabinet, WA Police, and Woolworths.
Royal Australian Navy veteran Jose Hernandez noted the benefits of building new skills for a career transition via the Veteran Cyber Academy.
“Stepping out of this role, I recognised the value of having a multifaceted skillset that opens the door for my next position in an exciting and challenging industry,” Hernandez said.
“By graduating from the academy, I’ve laid the foundation to begin my cyber security career as an ICT security consultant with Securus, a key IT security partner for Defence and other government agencies.
“I am confident in what will come next in my career as I venture in the next professional chapter.”
Patrick Campbell-Dunn, managing director at Securus added: “Through the academy, Securus was able to fill a critical cyber security capability gap in its team supporting Defence.
“Our newest recruit has been trained by the best in the industry and not only demonstrates aptitude, integrity, determination, and passion, but also brings valuable life experience underpinned by his SANS studies – all of which are key to a high performing cyber security team.”