Kordia is launching its second annual Kordia Cyber Academy, which looks to bring more people into Aotearoa's cybersecurity sector and address the growing skills shortage.
The company says its Cyber Academy initiative is an active measure set to bolster New Zealand's cybersecurity sector and further nurture Kiwi talent.
This comes off the news that 3.5 million positions in the cybersecurity sector became available in 2021, sparking a need to foster talent within the profession.
Kordia says that the six-week intensive course will provide New Zealanders looking to enter the industry with practical, hands-on training in cybersecurity, with teaching delivered by some of the country's top cybersecurity professionals.
"Students will learn best-practice from our experts, who detect and respond to actual cybersecurity alerts and events every day," says Shaun Rendell, CEO, Kordia Group.
"The academy is an excellent foundation for those wanting real insight into the cybersecurity industry. Gaining exposure to the operations that keep businesses safe from digital threats is excellent preparation for those looking to enter the workforce."
Cybercrime is a significant concern in Aotearoa currently. The Reserve Bank used data from banks and the insurance sector to estimate the cost of cybercrime in New Zealand to be between $80-$140 million each year.
Rendell says Kordia will continue to play an active role in fostering talent and promoting a safer Aotearoa as new threats emerge.
"As one of the country's leading cybersecurity providers, Kordia has a responsibility to play an active role in developing cyber talent," he says.
"Our ambition with the academy is to develop talented individuals, who can help build a more cyber resilient New Zealand."
Rendell also says the previous cohort included a diverse range of students, with a nearly even split of women and men coming into the academy from a variety of different backgrounds. He says he hopes that this year's programme will attract an even more diverse group of applicants.
"The technology industry faces challenges around diversity, particularly gender balance. At Kordia, we know that diversity is a strength when it comes to building high performing teams. This is very true of the cybersecurity industry, where the ability to think differently is key when developing defensive strategies. We hope the academy will continue to bring a range of people from all walks of life into the industry."
Applications are encouraged from anyone, from students to mature learners, and those looking to change careers can also apply.
"Many of Kordias cyber specialists have entered the industry from other careers; we have engineers, a former police officer, and even a chef within our ranks," says Rendell.
Graduate Noah Bonneaud remarks that industry context was a vital benefit of the program, and having practical experience was the best way to learn new skills. He is now a Vulnerability Management Specialist at Kordia.
"Getting exposure into the working environment was a great experience, and I learned a lot compared to the academic content covered at university," he says. "It allowed me to improve my skills and knowledge base."
The academy will be conducted face-to-face in central Auckland, structured as 18 hours, three days a week.
Selection for the program involves an online application and a one-on-one interview. Successful applicants will receive a scholarship offer along with further details on the course and timings.