New diploma helps counter cyber security threats

  • Hon Chris Hipkins
  • Hon Kris Faafoi
Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media Education

Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media Minister, Kris Faafoi, and the Minister of Education, Chris Hipkins, have welcomed a new cyber security qualification as a step towards countering cyber threats and keeping New Zealanders safe.

Attending the launch of the new Level 6 Diploma of Cyber Security at Auckland’s Unitec Institute of Technology, Minister Faafoi said the diploma was an important step towards investing in the future of New Zealand’s cyber security capabilities and addressing the shortage of workers with skills in this area.

“Modern life depends on safe and secure access to the internet, and we need more people trained to work in this field of cyber security,” Kris Faafoi said.

Cyber security workforce research by ISC2, the world’s largest not-for-profit association of cyber security professionals, estimates a worldwide skills gap of over four million. In order to meet the demand, the global workforce will need to grow by 145%.[1]

“With ever-growing numbers of cyber security threats, and a substantial gap in the global cyber security workforce, it is essential we provide the necessary skills and training to keep New Zealand safe.

“The Government is committed to ensuring we have the workforce to support our digital economy and enable all New Zealanders to thrive online,” Mr Faafoi said.

The Diploma of Cyber Security is the result of collaboration between Unitec and New Zealand’s largest tech company, Datacom, with support from the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA).

“One of the key principles of New Zealand’s Cyber Security Strategy is that partnerships are crucial, and the partnership of Datacom and Unitec is great example of that,” Mr Faafoi said. 

Education Minister Chris Hipkins has welcomed this cyber security qualification as a great example of the way vocational education in New Zealand is heading.

“It’s responding to a very real need, based on collaboration between training providers and industry, and it’s enabling students to train on the job as they study,” Chris Hipkins said.

“These are many of the principles you’ll see in the Government’s current review of vocational education, which aims to keep New Zealand at the forefront in the quickly-changing world of work,” Mr Hipkins said.

The Unitec Cyber Security diploma programme can be completed in one year (full-time) or over 18 months to four years (part-time).

Datacom has signed up to host 10 students at its Security Operations Centre in Auckland for practical on the job training, with Spark hosting six and Computer Concepts Ltd (CCL) hosting an additional 10.

Both Ministers wished the students enrolled in the diploma all the best for their studies and future endeavours in the cyber security workforce.

[1] (ISC)2,Cybersecurity Workforce Study, 2019.