South Metropolitan TAFE offers Fortinet Security Academy Program to bolster students’ cyber security skills


South Metropolitan TAFE is partnering with Fortinet in Australia to offer students hands-on and real-life cyber security skills through the Fortinet Security Academy Program, part of the NSE Training Institute and an initiative of Fortinet’s Training Advancement Agenda (TAA). The Fortinet Security Academy curriculum is embedded within the TAFE courses, including cyber security and networking courses. This means students graduate with the ability to become certified.

Denis Coldham, Head of Programs IT, South Metropolitan TAFE, said, “Cyber security is a huge growth area with more organisations realising how important it is to be cyber safe. Student numbers in the cyber security course have increased each semester. The course itself is challenging, and South Metropolitan graduates compare nationally with the best in the nation. Having the resources of Fortinet’s Security Academy is hugely beneficial for the students in supporting their learning.”

Australian educational institutions like South Metropolitan TAFE are on the cutting edge of addressing the nation’s skills gap when it comes to cyber security. South Metropolitan TAFE offers a Certificate III in Information Technology (Cyber Focus), and a Certificate IV and Advanced Diploma in Cyber Security, leveraging specialist cyber security facilities at its Murdoch campus. Students can get hands-on with the latest technologies at the Training Cyber Security Operations Centre at the Murdoch campus, or they can also attend the Rockingham or Thornlie campuses.

Denis Coldham said, “Before we were a Fortinet Security Academy partner, South Metropolitan TAFE was a Fortinet user. It was important to add the Fortinet content to our cyber security courses to avoid students becoming reliant on just one technology platform. We have built our security project centred around a FortiGate firewall.”

Jon McGettigan, regional director Australia, New Zealand, and the Pacific Islands, Fortinet, said, “Fortinet has created training materials and resources like the Fortinet Security Academy specifically to help higher education institutions play their part in reducing the cyber security skills gap. The future workforce must be cyber-savvy and, to effectively emerge from the economic challenges of the pandemic, organisations must be able to rely on their cyber defences.”

The Fortinet Security Academy is part of the NSE Training Institute’s work to advance Fortinet’s TAA, which focuses on reducing the skills gap by introducing more diversity and education to the industry. Through the TAA, Fortinet invests heavily in training and education. Since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, Fortinet opened up all its self-paced training courses available to anyone for free, which amounts to more than 350 hours of free training available. The self-paced courses cover topics including cloud security and secure software-defined wide-area networks (SD-WAN), both of which are emerging as indispensable and growing areas.

Jon McGettigan said, “Right now, there is a huge opportunity for young people leaving school or older people looking to reskill to pursue a career in cyber security. People can take advantage of the Fortinet free training to upskill, reskill, and move towards certifications. Courses like those offered at South Metropolitan TAFE will play a huge role in ensuring those people are job-ready when they leave TAFE.”