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Unitec becomes first member to join NZ Palo Alto Networks Cybersecurity Academy

By Shannon Williams, Mon 7 Dec 2020

Unitec Institute of Technology has announced it has become the the first member to join the New Zealand arm of the Palo Alto Networks Cybersecurity Academy. 

The academy has been set up to provide technology and resources to help equip students with the next-generation cybersecurity knowledge and skills they will need to succeed in the rapidly changing cyber-threat landscape.

At a global level, 70% of cybersecurity professionals claim that their organisation is impacted by the cybersecurity skills shortage, which is showing a general lack of improvement in recent years and reflects an increasing workload on existing cybersecurity staff, long-standing open jobs, an increase in hiring and training junior personnel, and an inability to learn or utilise security technologies to their full potential.

“The cybersecurity challenges posed by today’s digital society mean we have an ever-increasing need for advanced skills in this area," says Misti Landtroop, managing director for Palo Alto Networks New Zealand.

"Teaming up with Unitec will help develop the next generation of cybersecurity talent and bridge the skills gap in New Zealand.

"At Palo Alto Networks, our vision is a world where each day is safer and more secure than the one before. We hope this initiative helps enable cybersecurity enthusiasts to continue studying, learning and expanding their knowledge, contributing towards a future career." 
 
The Palo Alto Networks Cybersecurity Academy provides students with the knowledge and skills to be prepared for a successful career in cybersecurity. It offers faculty training, hands-on labs, modularised curricula and virtual firewalls for use in Unitec's New Zealand’s Diploma in Cybersecurity (Level 6), and will supply content for micro credential courses that will upskill and reskill full time workers through a series of short courses.

In addition, upon completing the course, each student will be eligible as either a Palo Alto Networks Certified Cybersecurity Entry-Level Technician or a Certified Network Security Administrator. 

“As the workforce grapples with immense change this year, Unitec remains heavily focused on strategic industry collaborations that equip our students with the most up-to-date real-world intelligence, as well as the hardware and tools to support knowledge development,” says Dila Beisembayeva, Lead of Unitec’s Centre for Digital Innovation and Skills.

“We’re honoured to be the first educational institute to join the Academy and look forward to the benefits it can provide to students throughout the network of ITP subsidiaries.”

Since Palo Alto Networks launched the Cybersecurity Academy programme in 2014, it has grown to include more than 1100 partner institutions in over 70 countries worldwide. 

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