IBM partnership boosts students' cyber skills

IBM Australia Limited

Thursday, 23 December, 2021

IBM partnership boosts students' cyber skills

High school students in South Australia will benefit from an online cyber skills program available under a partnership with IBM.

IBM, in partnership with the South Australian Government and AustCyber’s South Australian Cyber Security Innovation Node, will offer its SkillsBuild for Students online program to high schools across South Australia, including state, private and independent schools, for students and educators to develop their skills across a six-month program.

Minister for Innovation and Skills David Pisoni said the initiative will help students gain cyber skills that will have a real-world application when they enter the workforce.

“The IBM SkillsBuild program will give high schools access to an amazing resource that is free for students and educators. The program aligns to industry needs that focus on key cyber skills, including artificial intelligence, cloud computing and cybersecurity,” Pisoni said.

“It also includes courses on emerging technologies and courses on professional competencies, both leading to free digital badges that students can share on their online resumes.

“Through the program, students preparing for internships and jobs earn the same badges as professionals in the field with the platform providing skills development in both technical as well as workplace readiness topics.”

The partnership is part of IBM’s global commitment to provide 30 million people of all ages with new skills needed for the jobs of tomorrow by 2030, and to address critical skills shortages in Australia. Katrina Troughton, Managing Director of IBM Australia and New Zealand, says without intervention now, Australia faces extreme shortages of cybersecurity talent that is needed across all industries.

“Cybersecurity is one of the biggest issues of this decade. It impacts nearly every facet of life, from national security through to personal safety and mental wellbeing. But with a shortage of people with cyber skills in Australia, we need to look at ways to fast track young people into these critical areas of need, and that challenge is bigger than any organisation to address alone,” Troughton said.

“Our partnership with the South Australian Government and AustCyber South Australian Node is designed to unlock opportunities for high school students and give them access to the range of possibilities that a career in technology holds. More than that, students will be able to enter the workforce of tomorrow with the digital acumen they need to be able to fully participate in and contribute to the digital economy.

AustCyber’s CEO, Michelle Price, said initiatives like IBM’s SkillsBuild would build on curriculum-based cybersecurity initiatives in the classroom and promote the cyber sector to Australia’s workforce of the future.

“With an estimated 7000 new direct jobs needed in the cybersecurity sector by 2024, now is the time to give our students the skills they need to be ready to meet our future challenges,” she said.

“SkillsBuild is a game changer for all high school students across South Australia. Students will have the opportunity to embed learning on everything from the basics, right through to the complexities in cloud computing, artificial intelligence and the emerging technology of tomorrow. It will give them an edge in any vocation they decide to go on to further study and/ or when entering the workforce.”

Image credit: © Nagy

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