Upskilling and Expanding the Australian Cyber Security Workforce

September 13, 2022

Work and Workers

Australia is experiencing a critical skills shortage across the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector, but the most significant skills shortage appears to be in the increasingly important Cyber Security sector. While this shortage is not necessarily unique to Australia, given the significant increase in workforce size and capability needed in the short and medium term, it is arguably a significant economic and national security concern. A major study of technical professionals and educators identified Cyber security as the most significant technical skill shortage globally (Pluralsight, 2022). This international contestation will result in competition for migrant talent within key markets where there is no dearth of talent.

The report models the shortfall within the cyber security workforce, forecasting the anticipated increase in the size of the workforce needed by 2026. The report examines sector demographic and retirement trends, and technical requirements needed to contribute viably to the sector. The report then outlines an alternative approach to upskilling and reskilling, involving more expedient movement between. The report also considers the supplementary role of targeted migration in addressing technical skills shortages.

The Australian workforce possess the necessary talent to address the shortfall if adequate investment in upskilling and reskilling is made, while acknowledging he need for a targeted program of migration to supplement the investment in domestic capability.