Julian Walker has always wanted to work in cybersecurity. But with so many avenues in the sector, he was unsure of which path to take. After much thought, Julian joined PwC as a graduate, which led him to take part in PwC’s Global Cyber Academy – a PwC initiative to address the severe shortage of job-ready cybersecurity professionals. Australian Cyber Security Growth Network suggests that Australia alone could require nearly 17,000 additional cybersecurity workers by 2026. Despite the demand, companies can’t find the right talents.
While completing his training, Julian became a cybersecurity and digital trust consultant. His job is to support managers, develop framework processes and engage with clients to mitigate new risks and better secure their IT infrastructure. He explains that consulting is the right place for graduates because it offers the opportunity to discover the many different pathways within cybersecurity.
PwC is heavily investing in the necessary tools for graduates to succeed. Its Learning and Development program – Global Cyber Academy – provides workers with access to on-demand virtual courses, digital content, and certification prep materials.
The program also offers cybersecurity training resources from leading content providers such as A Cloud Guru, LinuxAcademy and SANS. Additionally, it provides several upskilling pathways, including Cloud Security and DevOps, Cyber Strategy & Transformation, OT Security, Defensive Security and ServiceNow.
As well as deep tech expertise, diversity of thinking is critical in solving cybersecurity problems - and that puts a spotlight on a challenge in the industry that PwC is helping overcome. Women only hold “10 percent of all cybersecurity roles across the Asia Pacific region,” says Corinne Best, who leads PwC Australia’s trust and risk business.
In a recent Sydney Morning Herald interview, Corinne says there is a “burning platform for more women in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) and increasing participation is not only ethically and morally the right thing to do, but also economically beneficial.”
To bolster women representation in cybersecurity and support graduates, PwC introduced team leaders. The new role created a direct relationship for all PwC people to offer support, guidance and career development.
“Cybersecurity may be a challenging field for women to pursue, but the shortage of qualified professionals in the field is a great opportunity for women to get ahead,” Corinne tells the Sydney Morning Herald.
A partner at the firm, Ryan Ettridge, says that what makes the company different from other security vendors is its non-linear way of thinking and focus on professional development. PwC aims to offer more than education and training; it provides a personalised and authentic approach to help graduates become the best versions of themselves. “PwC is an evolving, modern workforce that operates to ‘the speed of now’, creating people that can calmly lead through the increasingly challenging future we face,” Ryan says.
The cybersecurity landscape is continuously shifting, and adversaries are always on the attack. Ryan further says that there is no single solution to stop cybersecurity threats. Instead, PwC is working to determine the root cause of these attacks by examining the relationship between cyber challenges and global issues, whether that’s inequality or lack of trust , among others.
Addressing the future of cybersecurity, Ryan says that PwC will continue to invest in new technologies and smart automation, including artificial intelligence and robotics. Simultaneously, the firm will continue to ensure that it offers an environment of discovery, specialist learning, and enablement.
Looking to the future, Julian says his five-year goal is to continue solving crime in cyberspace at PwC while upskilling to one day be in a managerial role.
In terms of advice for graduates uncertain whether to join PwC, Julian says it’s important to have an open mind and be willing to learn. “PwC will not throw you in the deep end. They provide mentorship, upskilling opportunities, a great support network, and experienced consultants that will guide you.”