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Learning how to fight cyber crime

An interest in computers and a desire for an exciting career offering flexibility and future job growth drew Amanda Edmonds to enrol in cyber security training.

Our reliance on the internet has resulted in information security becoming crucial. Now more than ever, cyber security experts are in demand in Australia, with close to 17,000 more specialists needed by 2026. The industry's strong job prospects drove Amanda Edmonds to enrol in a Certificate IV in Cyber Security (22334VIC).

"I was studying a Bachelor of Languages at university but that career path has limited job outcomes. I also came to realise that it wasn’t the only thing I wanted to do with my life," Amanda said.

"My partner and I were interested in studying together and we started looking at our options, aiming to find something that offered career progression."

"We have both always been interested in computers but to be honest, neither of us thought we were smart enough to study cyber security," Amanda continued.

"We thought that we would need prior experience in programming and coding, but we didn't need to know any of that beforehand as it's all covered in the course."

Cyber security expert Sam Elgawady teaches his students how to identify cyber security breaches and protect data and digital assets from attacks. Sam is an information technology, computer engineering and online security specialist who has more than 30 years of industry experience working across Australia, the Middle East, Africa and Asia. Sam said cyber security professionals enjoy a lot of job satisfaction.

"Cyber security is a career that can take you anywhere. You can work from your home or in an office from anywhere in the world, across a wide range of industries," Sam said.

"Best of all cyber security is a dynamic field; you'll never be bored, you'll learn something new every day and salaries can be high."

Amanda said Sam had lifted the lid on the industry by combining theory with hands-on learning.

"Compared to university, my TAFE Queensland assessments are more hands-on and practical, they’re less theory-based," Amanda said.

"I've learned so much about the Linux and Windows operating systems, I've made virtual machines and run programs in them, I've learned about policy writing, as well as copyright and ethics."

"Learning about scripting has been really interesting and interactive. I've been using Lightbox which is a game - I never thought I'd be playing games to learn."

Amanda said she liked the pace and structure of her TAFE Queensland training.

"It’s not a rushed, high-pressure learning environment. You have time to prepare, come back and try again if you don’t understand something or if you just want to revise. You also get a lot of good quality time with your teacher," Amanda said.

"Due to COVID, my studies were shifted online and I did wonder what my motivation level would be like throughout my training. But I found that I was starting my assessments early because I was really engaged and keen to get started."

Amanda said she was excited about her future in cyber security.

"Sam continuously mentions that there are a lot of possible options when it comes to working in cyber security and that I will never struggle to get employment," Amanda said.

"My partner and I could start our own cyber security business from home or because of the flexibility of the industry, either one of us could work from home when we eventually start a family."