Microsoft and AustCyber are launching an alternative pathway program, named the Cyber Security Microsoft Traineeship Program (Cyber Security MTP), designed for Aussies looking to enter the cyber security industry.
The program has been developed in further partnership with TAFE NSFW and the Canberra Institute of Technology.
Students who participate in the program will be spending one day a week undertaking a Certificate IV in Cyber Security through either of the participating educational institutions and will commit a further portion of their study towards gaining relevant Microsoft credentials.
Paid work experience in the industry is a mandatory part of the course which will see students spend four days of the week learning under ongoing supervision and formal training.
The Australian government's Cyber Security Skills Partnership Innovation Fund has backed the Cyber Security MTP, with grant initiatives worth up to $3 million dollars in funding to eligible projects.
The fund was launched in line with recent federal government initiatives to bolster domestic cyber security industry, aimed at fostering innovative projects that help to "quickly improve the quality or availability of cyber security professionals in Australia".
AustCyber estimates around 7,000 more Aussie cyber security professionals are needed by 2024 to effectively combat cyber criminal threats.
There is a massive cyber security skills gap in Australia compared to other countries, with just 134,690 workers employed as of 2021.
The Cyber Security MTP is one of many initiatives aimed at closing the local cyber security industry gap, in response to AustCyber data that revealed a "severe shortage" of job-ready cyber security workers in Australia.
The two-year Cyber Security MTP traineeship is also set to reward participants with skills relevant to roles in software development, system engineering, cyber security and cyber crime.
According to Microsoft, "program participants will have the opportunity for permanent job placement with their host employer".
There are further plans to roll out the program nationally by 2023. The program commenced in Sydney and Canberra this week supporting approximately 200 students.
The Cyber Security MTP is seeking candidates who are either just starting out in cyber security, or who have already begun their career.
Women and those from a culturally diverse or Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander backgrounds are strongly encouraged to apply, regardless of their age, background or experience.
The program is open to young job seekers, junior level IT workers and those who are simply looking for a career change.