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  • Writer's pictureJudith Graham

Cyberpowers Industry Immersion

Monash Tech School, in partnership with RMIT's School of Science, welcomed 46 girls from Years 8, 9 and 10 to our pilot Cyberpowers Industry Immersion.

We all know the importance of Cybersecurity but what we don't always consider is that Cybersecurity first and foremost, is a humanitarian profession. The fundamental purpose of Cybersecurity is to protect: systems, assets, services and most importantly; people. We also know women make up 17% of the Australian Cybersecurity workforce and there are complex reasons for this under-representation. But, quite simply, it's not good for the industry and it's not good for society.

Girls and students who identify as female, bring a different set of skills and perspectives to Cybersecurity professions. 

Our partnership called these skills 'cyberpowers', hence the name of our Industry Immersion. Cyberpowers has created a safe, supportive space for girls to explore the humanitarian skills and aptitudes required in many Cybersecurity professions. The girls worked through rotations that explored communication, attention to detail, teamwork, creativity, curiosity and empathy.

Rotations also unpacked technical powers and used platforms to test password security, scam detection, social media, Open Source Intelligence. MTS custom built technology immersed students in an experience that allowed them to be the detectors and protectors of a community pool at risk of a serious cyber attack.

But like veggies in the spaghetti bolognese, Cyberpowers weaved into rotations the everyday Maths powers that are integral to successful Cybersecurity protectors. Risk management, probability, coding and pattern recognition are integral maths competencies required but without the humanitarian powers cyber professionals are only doing half the job. RMIT School of Science academics Dr Joanne Hall, Professor Asha Rao and Dr Amy Coran co-designed the program with MTS and were also on the floor to support students on the day. Asha, Amy and PhD candidate Tracy Tam provided clear pathways info so students knew about "where to from here".

Students received a co-branded digital badge to reflect powers obtained. The survey data was compelling: 95% learned something new, 94% used technology to learn something new, and 74% were now more likely to study a STEM course post secondary school.

We can't wait to inspire the next generation of Humanitarian Cyberprotectors via Cyberpowers Industry Immersion and the RMIT School of Science.

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