Why tech and cyber careers are hot

Tech and cyber
Chaos engineer and Girl Geek Academy co-founder Tammy Butow has used her QUT degree in IT and education to build an inspiring career.

With industries hungry for star coders, there’s a goldmine of career opportunities in tech and cyber 

Tech careers are growing so rapidly that we need around 60,000 workers each year to keep up with demand. QUT is leading the way in building tomorrow’s tech workforce, hosting the largest number of students studying information technology degrees in Queensland. QUT graduates also enjoy the highest average starting salaries in the state and leave uni with the skills they need to make their mark in the world.

 Just look at Tanda, a tech company that builds software to help organisations manage their employees’ timetables. The startup was founded by four QUT students during their final year of uni in 2013. Now, over 10,000 businesses in Australia use Tanda’s software. Another startup making an impact is Girl Geek Academy, which was co-founded by a group of women, including three ex-QUT students to get more girls into tech through workshops, courses and hackathons. In just seven years, Girl Geek Academy has taught tech and coding skills to 12,000 kids and 1000 teachers.

Code your own path

 Whether your dream is to create tomorrow’s hottest tech startup or develop smart solutions at big companies Google or Microsoft, QUT can give you the knowledge and hands-on skills to build a successful career in tech and cyber.

Bachelor of Information Technology students major in Information Systems or Computer Science in their second year and can add a second major in computational and simulation science or data science. Final year students dive into a group project with a real-world client which they present to peers, staff and industry partners at the IT and Games Showcase held at the end of the year.

 QUT is also one of five universities in Australia offering Westpac Young Technologists Scholarships to school leavers who are passionate about using tech to create positive change. Over three years, students take part in exciting paid internships, connect with mentors and learn the essentials of leadership through the Disruptive Leaders Program, which includes a five-day trip to Asia! Scholarship holders also get a lifelong membership to the Westpac 100 Scholars Network where they can build connections with other young tech enthusiasts.

 There are also plenty of opportunities for women who want to kickstart a career in tech and cyber, with the Women in Information Technology scholarship supporting high-achieving first-year students. The Women in Technology at QUT group is also a great place for students to meet like minded people and connect with mentors with industry leaders. – Gemma Conroy

 Fight cyber crime

 Some superheroes wear capes, others use their tech skills to keep attackers out of our computer systems. These superheroes work in cyber security, one of the fastest-growing industries of today. By 2024, a whopping 7000 cyber security jobs will be added to Australia’s economy, creating plenty of exciting career opportunities if your mission is to fight cybercrime and keep people safe online.

 Cyber security professionals are found testing, breaking and hack-proofing systems in almost every industry: 

  • Penetration testers and ethical hackers break into systems to catch security vulnerabilities before real intruders. 
  • Computer forensics analysts work like digital detectives to uncover hidden, encrypted, or deleted information related to cybercrimes. 
  • Security architects prevent attacks from happening in the first place by designing, building, testing and installing security systems and networks. 

 QUT’s School of Computer Science is a partner in the Cyber Security Cooperative Research Centre (CSCR), a national collaboration between universities, government and industry focussed on keeping Australia safe in the cyber world. Some of CSCR’s solutions include artificial intelligence (AI) that tricks and traps intruders when they break into a system and machine learning algorithms that detect dodgy emails and websites.

 The Bachelor of Information Technology (Information Systems) is a great entry point into this exciting new field. Once you’ve picked your major, you can mix and match your interests by adding two minor subjects. The networks and security minor gets you started on the essentials of cyber security, the building blocks of networking technologies and how to safeguard information against threats.  

 If you want to take your cyber security know-how to the next level, you can study a Master of Information Technology (Cyber Security and Networks) once you’ve finished your undergraduate degree. Over 18 months, you’ll learn how to protect data with cryptographic techniques, build secure networks and manage cyber security projects for organisations.  – Gemma Conroy

The 5 most-wanted coding languages

#1 JavaScript The most common programming language, JavaScript is essential for developing web pages, web servers, games and mobile apps. You can create fun elements like animated graphics, interactive maps, clickable buttons, and much more! 

#2 Python Easy to learn and versatile, it’s no wonder Python is among the most popular programming languages. Use it to build apps, develop software and dive into big data. Many of the platforms we use today, like Google Search and YouTube, were built using this handy coding language. 

#3 HTML If you dream of building beautiful and functional websites, you need HTML in your toolbox. You can use it to create, format and maintain web pages, and turn boring walls of text into cool sections, headings and paragraphs with links.

#4 CSS Another handy language for websites, CSS is HTML’s trusty sidekick. While HTML is used to organise text, call upon CSS to make your website pop. You can use it to change the size, colour and position of any page element. 

#5 Java Imagine writing code that can run on any operating system. That’s exactly how Java works, making it one of the most in-demand languages of today. This easy-to-learn language is popular in e-commerce and finance, and is often used in banking, billing and the stock market.

Start your career here

Tech & Cyber study

Tech & Cyber jobs

  • Cyber security analyst: $53K–$114K
  • Software engineer: $56K–$118K
  • Site reliability engineer: $71K–$180K
  • Cloud solutions architect: $99K–$210K
  • Development operations (DevOps) engineer: $66K–$137K

*Source: salaries according to payscale.com

This article was created in partnership with QUT and originally appears in the QUT STEM Guide 2022.

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Gemma Conroy

Author: Gemma Conroy

Gemma is a freelance journalist with a passion for making science accessible to everyone. Gemma has a degree in biology from Macquarie University and loves sharing amazing discoveries with the world.

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