In a move to keep up with the rapidly changing landscape of technology, Ara Institute of Canterbury will be offering students a cybersecurity course under the umbrella of its Enterprise and Digital Innovation Department.
Developed in conjunction with Unitec, CCL, and Datacom, the course will be classed as a Level 6 ‘New Zealand Diploma in Cybersecurity’. It will be the first pre-degree ‘cyber-qualification’ available in the South Island.
For the uninitiated, Unitec says they define ‘cybersecurity’ as “the term given for systems designed to protect networks, computers, programs and data from attack or unauthorised access.” In essence, this means the ability to protect an organisation’s network from attack, to prevent the theft of sensitive personal, government, or commercial data. With data becoming the top commodity around the world, cybersecurity professionals are in hot demand.
Cybersecurity is a fast-moving target, so the cybersecurity programme will give students the full suite of up to date skills to identify threats and weaknesses in existing systems, as well as emergent technologies.
What makes Ara’s cybersecurity course unique, however, is its support from leading industry partners.
“We’re delighted to be further extending the reach of our Cybersecurity qualification at a time when there’s a real need for skills in this area,” said Dila Beisembayeva, Lead, Centre for Digital Innovation and Skills at Unitec. “We highly value our partnership with Datacom, which is expanding to help provide employment opportunities for students throughout the country.”
Support partner Unitec is New Zealand’s largest cybersecurity services provider and saw the opportunity to help train potential future employees — even going so far as offering internships and employment for students.
Nicoleta Croitoru, head of Datacom’s South Island Cybersecurity Business adds, “From Datacom’s perspective, this is a win-win. The pool of qualified cyber-security experts that are available to us locally will grow significantly, and just as we’re able to help students taking the course to develop top-flight professional skills, graduates will hopefully help us to grow our team of talent.”
Nigel Young, Head of Ara’s Enterprise, Digital and Innovation Department summed up the benefits well.
“There’s a clear and urgent need for more qualified professionals in this sector, and we’re proud to be offering South Island students a strong platform from which to access the immense opportunities in cybersecurity. This offering also complements our other programmes with a focus on work-based learning as part of the suite of technology-based qualifications that we offer.”