Twelve top college coders have “raised the bar” for other young Australians according to the Minister for Education and Training Simon Birmingham, as demand for cyber security skills booms.

Minister Birmingham said that along with the Turnbull Government’s National Innovation and Science Agenda, the Cyber Security Challenge promoted a greater focus on science, technology, engineering and mathematics skills for students.

“Our economy is transitioning from an economy reliant on mines to one focused on minds which is why we’re committed to supporting people interested in careers in STEM and by extension, cyber security,” Minister Birmingham said.

“With the number of advertised cyber security roles rising by more than 60 per cent across 2015, there is a demand for experts in this space. The Cyber Security Challenge and the National Innovation and Science Agenda are just some of the ways the Turnbull Government is helping Australia transition to the new economy and supporting the jobs of the future.”

An alliance of Australian Government, business and academic professionals have run the Cyber Security Challenge since 2012, which tests students’ technical skills through a competition that lasts for 24 hours.

“The future of cyber security in Australia is looking bright with a record 261 students from 23 universities and TAFEs competing in the latest Challenge, including the first ever all-female team,” Minister Birmingham said.

“We need to continue to develop these talented young cyber savvy people to promote industry and individuals to confidently go about their business online.”  

Minister Birmingham said the Turnbull Government would soon release a Cyber Security Strategy with practical initiatives to address cyber threats and take advantage of the opportunities offered by a secure cyberspace.

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Cyber Security Challenge 2015 partners included Cisco Systems Australia and New Zealand, the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Facebook, HackLabs, Microsoft, PwC and Telstra