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Building talent through partnership

  • datacom

Tim Chu is Cybersecurity Operations Centre Manager at Datacom - Australasia’s biggest tech services provider. He says Unitec’s New Zealand Diploma in Cybersecurity is making inroads toward building a broader base of Cybersecurity talent in Aoteoroa.

Datacom provides IT services and expertise to some of New Zealand’s most successful companies. Its Cybersecurity division is formed mostly by two key areas: Managed Cybersecurity Solutions and Cybersecurity Advisory. Tim helps manage the former; working with Datacom’s existing customers to help them develop optimal Cybersecurity environments. 

“Our team of Cybersecurity engineers and analysts monitors customers’ Cybersecurity, analyses and investigates security events, and raises security incidents. Because of the unique skill set required for the job, we often struggle to find people to fill our roles - recruiting can take forever! That’s where Unitec is starting to make a real difference.”

Unitec’s New Zealand Diploma in Cyber Security completed its first year in 2020. A one-year, full-time course, it focuses on equipping students with the core cybersecurity and technical skills required to protect information and manage systems security.

“Unitec’s course is unique in that it’s a full diploma,” says Tim. “Having a whole year of focused study means students can really drill down into the skills required for a Cybersecurity career. The Diploma’s internship component also makes a big difference, as students get real-world experience in an actual work environment. It gives them an understanding of what Cybersecurity is all about.”

Cybersecurity students at Unitec in 2021

Tim and Datacom have worked closely with Unitec on the Diploma, and he says the partnership has made a real difference to the relevance of the course to the market.

“We’ve made recommendations to Unitec around course content and the technical tools students learn during their studies. Having this input is invaluable - it allows Datacom to make sure the course is meeting our requirements in terms of the skills we’re looking for. We’ve also been involved in Unitec’s Career Expos, and occasionally guest lecturing for the Diploma - in fact, one of our team members is a permanent lecturer there. All of this means we have direct input into what students are learning, and are able to give them an insight into what’s going on in the market right now.”

Earlier this year, Datacom hired their first graduate from the Unitec Diploma in Cybersecurity. Liam Elliot joined as a Cybersecurity graduate analyst and now works in the Managed Cybersecurity Solutions team.

“We’re looking for people with a keenness for Cybersecurity supplemented with the actual technical skills required for the role - and Liam certainly fits the bill.

“For us, the great thing is that by partnering with Unitec on the Cybersecurity Diploma, we’re helping to build up the number of Kiwis with Cybersecurity skills. So far, the course seems to be directly meeting our needs, and we’re looking forward to seeing more talent come through as it progresses.”

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