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Jack secures his future with study

Jack Spence is securing his future by training to join the frontlines of internet security and protecting Australia from ever-increasing cyber attacks.

Having always been fascinated with computers and wanting to pursue a career where he could work with them, Jack researched the study options available and enrolled to study the Certificate IV in Cyber Security (22334VIC).

“I’ve enjoyed coding software and building computers, so I researched the information technology industry and discovered cyber security and knew it was the area I needed to specialise in,” said Jack.

“Firstly because it fascinates me, and secondly because it’s growing. So by getting qualified, I know I can enter the industry and grow with it.”

Jack’s research into where to study brought him to TAFE Queensland, where his passion is being channelled in the right direction as he learns the technical skills and gains the knowledge he needs in a hands-on environment.

“My course is giving me a good balance of completing practical tasks and learning the theory behind it along the way. By learning the various tools in a hands-on way, we’re also learning how to use them effectively, which will help when I start my career.”

With the information technology sector in a period of rapid growth and technology becoming the norm in everyday life, the need for more trained and skilled IT people to drive innovation and protect both public and private sectors from invisible enemies has never been more paramount.

Cyber security protects systems, networks, and programs from cyber attacks to access, change, or destroy sensitive information, extort money, or disrupt normal processes.

Helping Jack learn how to protect networks from such attacks is the “red vs blue” simulated cyber attacks he participates in during his course. His class gets divided into two, and one team (red) attacks a network using hacking tools while the blue team defends it.

“By replicating the type of attacks that are prevalent in the real world and using the same tools that industry is using, TAFE is preparing us to defend against malicious and sustained attacks on Australian technology infrastructure," he explained.

Studying towards his dream career has been made even more achievable by the Federal and State Governments’ JobTrainer funding. The program assists eligible school leavers, young people and job seekers in entering high priority skills areas, like cyber security, by enabling them to complete selected qualifications at no or low cost.

“When I found out I could study using JobTrainer funding I was over the moon because I was able to keep working and didn't have to empty my bank account. It was actually a big reason why I decided to go ahead with the course,” explained Jack

Also helping to prepare Jack to succeed in the ever-evolving sector are TAFE Queensland’s industry-experienced teachers.

“I’ve received skilled teaching and patient guidance from passionate teachers who are from the industry – and early on, I knew I was on the right track,” continued Jack.

“Cyber security is a huge area for every industry, from the private sector to government and even the armed forces, and this qualification will put me in the best position to find my way into a specialist role.”

With the global demand for qualified cyber security professionals, there has never been a better time to launch a career in this field.

“Cyber security work is fascinating and cutting edge. Private companies and government organisations can’t afford to fall behind where the bad guys are, so they need people on the front line now that they know what they are doing.”

“I feel very confident taking what I’ve learned through TAFE Queensland and putting it into practice,” concluded Jack.

The demand for technology workers is expected to grow by 100,000 before 2024, increasing to 792,000 workers according to the Australian Government's JobOutlook service.