The projected global cybersecurity skills gap is estimated at 2.72 million, according to the Fortinet 2022 Cybersecurity Skills Gap report.
As a bank in need of these skills, Absa Group has partnered with the Maharishi Invincibility Institute, to encourage more young South Africans to develop their skills at the Absa Cybersecurity Academy.
The academy recently announced that its first cohort of 20 students had graduated.
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The full academic program of the academy spans three years. Each year includes formal technical learning, hands-on and experiential learning, as well as intensive, personalized personal mastery and soft skills.
The academy was launched in 2019 to address the global skills shortage at the local level through a fully immersed educational experience.
Bridging the Cybersecurity Skills Gap in South Africa
Ina Steyn, Head of Security Education and Awareness, Absa Converged Security Office said the awarding of diplomas to the students is an official step to close this cybersecurity skills gap in South Africa.
“It also reflects the growth of equal educational and upskilling opportunities for young women in the tech sector.
“As the country transitions to a more digital economy, we hope each of the graduates will leverage their skills in innovative ways while empowering their communities,” he said.
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Based in Johannesburg and Cape Town, the academy encourages conscious learning, focuses on technical awareness and education, and also creates social awareness of cyber threats that exist not only in the formal and public sectors, but also in the informal and private sectors.
Students who completed their qualifications also received internship letters to start their cyber careers at Absa on October 1, 2022.
Wilhelm Krige, Acting Director of Information and Technology at Absa Group, said: “We understand that the economic well-being of our country depends on education. It is the foundation of economic efficiency and social cohesion, and through initiatives like this, Absa has the ability to introduce and invest in industry-led initiatives that can promote careers in cybersecurity.