Coder Academy consults with PwC on Cyber Security + Big Data needs


It is no secret that Big Data and Cyber Security = Big News.

Since September 2018, our team of educators at Coder Academy have been engaging with PwC’s Skills for Australia Cross-Sector projects on Big Data and Cyber Security to shape the future of vocational education and training (VET) in Australia. Skills for Australia is the Skills Service Organisation (SSO) responsible for revising VET packages, qualifications and units. The modernisation of the VET sector will provide a framework to upskill Australians for roles across a variety of industries including Information Technology, Business Services, and Finance. 

The noise surrounding Big Data and Cyber Security is getting louder by the minute, and Australia is at a turning point in terms of embracing new technologies in these important areas. As more business transactions are taking place over the internet and the artificial intelligence (AI) market forecasted to reach a total of $1.2 trillion by the end of 2018, industries are finally feeling the impact of a lack of trained cyber security professionals coupled with the acute shortage of data literacy skills necessary to create AI technologies and insights from Big Data. As many predicted, the demands for the workforce of today are changing and the future of tomorrow is waiting for no one.

From a global perspective, the 2018 edition of the AI Index not only highlighted a further acceleration in the performance of AI systems and increased need for investment in the sector, but also a boom in demand for the relevant skills necessary to manage such technologies. Similarly, reports of cyber attacks are commonplace across worldwide news outlets as an increasing number of businesses and individuals fall victim to fraud, malware and data breaches. Data breaches are leading to millions of dollars in damages and putting the privacy of millions of people at risk. Two recent examples include the food company Mondelez and the popular hotel group Marriott.

Only an innovative, agile and engaged education sector can meet the needs of industry in the long term, rendering up to date VET qualifications in Cyber Security and Big Data essential for all current and future workers. As part of our contributions to PwC’s Skills for Australia, our team has been making submissions and participating in round-tables arguing for the creation of a set of micro-credentials to give learners flexible pathways and opportunities so that they can become the Cyber Security and Big Data professionals industries require.

Overview of Recommendations

For Cyber Security, we acknowledged both the complexity of the field as well as the crucial need for advanced skill training for both technical and non-technical staff across various industries. We recommended that all sectors should have an awareness of information security practices and that organisations demonstrate a willingness to train existing and new staff in technical cyber security skills relevant to their job roles. In addition, organisations should highlight the need for more industry specific and soft skill training for technical staff to enable them to promote and model best practice within their workplaces. That said, both technical and non-technical staff must learn to work together to effectively implement ‘safe’ security systems and accurately assess risk.

For Big Data, our recommendations focused on the opportunity for the VET sector to foster the skills and knowledge to create Big Data capabilities for their organisations, encouraging a cross-sector focus of Big Data units to render employees versatile across industries, and highlighting the importance of developing key business skills like communication and problem solving to create productive teams. We also expressed our belief that organisations should invest in their workforce to enable an understanding of technical terminology and skills required to build these capabilities.

Why Coder Academy Cares

The opportunity to engage with PwC has allowed us to address issues that are deeply aligned to the overall mission of Coder Academy. The aim of our programs has always been to empower and enable the workforce of today and tomorrow through high quality tech training. We expose our students to a world of opportunities, a breadth of in-demand technologies, and get them to solve real-world problems that ensure they’re an asset to any team, inside every industry.

As PwC continues their work on the Skills for Australia initiative, we at Coder Academy will be working towards incorporating multi-disciplinary vocational training within our own cyber security, data science and analytics programs throughout 2019 - and we could not be more thrilled about it!

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