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Cyber security: Not just for IT experts

The Australian Government’s Information Technology (IT) sector is buzzing. The sector will experience massive growth in the next decade and that means jobs, jobs, jobs.

But are all those jobs just for IT experts?

The answer is no.

Indeed, one of the biggest misconceptions about a career in cyber security is that it requires an IT background.

While IT experts are essential, cyber security is a broad sector that encompasses many roles, including policy, risk management, marketing, and engagement. So, if you have these types of skills and want to work in this exciting and growing industry, read on …

Why this mega push?

The Australian Government is investing $1.67 billion over 10 years in cyber security, $1.35 billion of this on the Cyber Enhanced Situational Awareness and Response (CESAR) Program. Part of the investment is for an additional 500 intelligence and cyber security personnel at a cost of close to $470 million.

This mega cyber security push is happening for many reasons.

While shifting more government services online is making the lives of Australians easier, it’s essential that data is safe. Australia also wants to hold cyber criminals and malicious actors to account. And Australia wants to remain a world leader in developing new and innovative approaches so new technology can be securely adopted and the benefits of the digital economy accessed.

Technical IT background isn’t a pre-requisite

Roles in cyber security are diverse and rewarding. As the Australian Cyber Security Growth Network (AustCyber) states on its website: “A technical background is not a pre-requisite for a career in cyber security.”

If you have the other types of skills this fast-growing sector is looking for, you might want to explore what can be an exciting career.

You can also look at other skills you have that could be easily transferred to the sector.

Confused about transferrable skills? Read how they are more important than ever.

Also think about how your soft skills might be relevant to a career in cyber security.

Qualities employers look for in cyber security workers

AustCyber says a career in cyber security can take you anywhere. The AustCyber website lists these qualities employers look for in cyber security workers:

Continuous learner

The cyber security landscape is evolving continuously and rapidly, so employers need people who can do the same—people with natural curiosity who enjoy learning throughout their lives.


In the cyber security sector, the problems people face are ever-changing and complex, so persistence and an ability to problem solve are key.


A good cyber security professional needs to see problems from all sides. They need to be in the mindset of the employer, thinking of what they want to protect. They also have to see through the lens of an external threat and perceive weaknesses or places to attack. The ability to think like a ‘bad guy’ enables security professionals to anticipate what hackers might try and to identify weak points in system defences. Being perceptive will make it easier to build a strategy to defend against external threats.


People who work in cyber security often like to understand how things work and how they were designed.


The ability to communicate issues in non-technical terms is very important. This skill is needed if you want to become a leader in the field, but is increasingly valued by employers at all levels.

Is a career in cyber security for you?

Take the test. Check out the Cyber Security Dashboard to get some ideas and determine your fit.

What cyber security courses can I take?

Courses relating to cyber security are available in every state and territory, with more than 850 available Australia-wide.

What else can I do to pursue a career in cyber security?

Register with a recruitment company

It’s smart to register with a recruitment company. Some, like face2face, have dedicated IT arms that focus solely on filling positions in IT, including cyber security. Some jobs are filled before they’re advertised, so if you’re not registered you could be missing out.

It’s quick and easy to register with us.

Get resume ready

An expert recruiter will help refine your resume so it emphasises the skills sought after in the sector.

Use a free template so you’re resume looks schmick.

Get yourself ‘resume ready’.

Learn more about switching careers

If switching careers, get up to speed on how to do this efficiently, including with these articles:

How to start a new career you love

Time to dive into a career change?

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