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Why the next wave of cyber crime fighters could come from Ipswich

Not all crime fighters wear badges or capes. And the next wave of cyber crime fighting experts could well come from Ipswich.

The University of Southern Queensland (USQ) has launched a specialist master’s degree for those who want to fight cyber attacks.

Cyber crime is one of the fastest-growing and most prolific types of crime in the country, but the sector faces a critical skills shortage, with 18,000 more cyber security professionals needed by 2026, according to the Australian Cyber Security Growth Network.

USQ’s new Master of Cyber Security provides students practical training in cyber protection and security, as well as transferable skills that can be applied to multiple professions.

Program Coordinator of Information Systems Professor Raj Gururajan said it was a great time to embark on a dynamic and global career in cyber security.

“The more we use and rely on technology, the more crucial it is for governments, businesses and individuals to protect themselves against rising cyber security risks,” Professor Gururajan said.

“This has opened the door for countless new opportunities for those keen to forge a career in the rapidly-growing and evolving industry. You could work in ethical hacking or computer forensic, or become an IT security consultant, software developer or cryptographer.

“Our new cyber security program not only provides students the ability to better understand, prevent and combat cyber risks within an organisation, but it can also lead to a range of careers that don’t have a technical focus in areas such as policy, legal, risk management or education.”

Professor Gururajan said students in the new course would gain experience investigating and solving real-life cyber security challenges, and the chance to pursue a capstone project in collaboration with an industry partner.

“At USQ, our goal is to ensure graduates enter the workforce with the skills and abilities needed to succeed right out of the gate,” he said.

“That’s why our IT graduates are well sought-after, both domestically and globally, with commanding starting salaries, as evidenced by the 2018 QILT (Quality Indicators for Learning and Teaching) Graduate Outcomes Survey.”

The Master of Cyber Security is one of two new master’s programs offered at USQ from Semester 2, July 2019.

The other is IT Innovation for students wanting to develop advanced skills in Big Data analytics, user-centred design of interfaces, cyber security, blockchain principles and cloud computing.

Both programs offer students the opportunity to study on-campus at USQ’s Toowoomba and Springfield campuses, or online.

Learn more about USQ’s Master of Cyber Security at www.usq.edu.au/cyber-security

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