ECU and CRC collaborate to increase number of women in cyber security
The Cyber Security Cooperative (CRC) will be awarding scholarships to two female students to increase their participation in the growing domestic cyber security sector through the establishment of the CRC Centre Scholarship at Edith Cowan University (ECU).
The scholarships will be offered to female students in their first year of the Bachelor of Science (Cyber Security) programme at ECU.
The scholarships aim to provide financial support to deserving female students and to encourage more women to develop their skills in cyber security.
Students who qualify for the scholarship will receive $5000 per semester in the first year of study.
ECU will also provide a 20% fee reduction to the successful applicants for the first year.
The scholarship will be offered for the first time in semester one 2020 and will be available for one year.
CEO of Cyber Security CRC, Rachael Falk says improving gender equity in the cyber security sector is crucial to its growth.
Falk added that CRC’s partnership with ECU will help unlock more opportunities for female students who otherwise may not have the financial means to obtain a university degree programme.
She added that the scholarships will create the path for greater female representation in the sector in the future.
The cyber security sector is experiencing a significant skill shortage: The Cyber Security Growth Centre, known as AustCyber, has identified a critical shortage of skilled cyber security graduates.
It estimates that Australia will need at least 11,000 additional workers over the next decade to meet the existing demand for this skill.
Australia’s external spending on cyber security products and services grew to $3.9 billion in 2018, and the global market is projected to be worth almost US$250 billion by 2026, so there’s a need for more Australians to get involved in this thriving sector, particularly women,” said Falk.
Vice-chancellor and president of ECU, Steve Chapman, said the scholarships are a first for the university’s successful cyber security programme.
Chapman added, “We all have an obligation to ensure Australia remains innovative and globally competitive, as a result, we need to continue to support our best scientists, researchers, and innovators, both female and male.”
Federal Minister for Industry, Science and Technology, Karen Andrews said that the new partnership is part of a broader push for the research sector to increase women representation in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields.
Andrews added that the government is committed to ensuring that there is a greater representation of women across STEM, including within the cyber security sector.