This key (and potentially surprising) takeaway was only a few of the words of wisdom we gleaned from our chat with Cyber Revolution CEO, Adam Hewitt.
Cyber Revolution, Australia’s only dedicated cyber security training and placement company, was born out of a place of disillusionment and takes on the immense skills shortage in the space by providing genuine support for its students. Read on for the key insights from our conversation, where Hewitt discusses why cyber security is a critical field in Australia, the gender gap, Cyber Revolution’s global goals and the best place to start if you’re curious about cyber.
Born out of disillusionment
We sat down with Cyber Revolution CEO, Adam Hewitt, who originally had aspirations to become a teacher. Upon entering the space post-university, reality set in. Reality, in this case, included no permanent roles and serving as a glorified babysitter, bouncing around from school to school teaching a range of subjects he wasn’t interested in.
After realising he’d been a victim of an education system that was inviting students to spend big time and money on subjects that had no jobs at the end, he looked for a viable new career choice, and in some way he sought redemption. Roughly a decade later, the emerging field of “cyber security” and its skills shortage caught Hewitt’s attention. The rest is history - or in this case, turns into a startup founding story. Cyber Revolution was started to specialise in one industry with a heavy focus on outcomes - helping students finding jobs and opportunities, outcomes that weren’t afforded to Hewitt.
We need 51k new cyber security pros in the next 3 years
When we talk about startups, Product Market Fit is everything. Cyber Revolution and Hewitt are positioned to respond to Australia’s national skills shortage to supply the 51,000 new cyber professionals required to enter the industry by 2026.
Why the shortage? Australia, as a country, is unfortunately behind the global curve when it comes to cyber security resilience. Hewitt is bullish about wheels being set in motion to solve this problem both from the likes of Claire O’Neill, Minister for Cyber Security, as well as the students that go through Cyber Revolution’s program.
Not a recruitment company
Australia needs more cyber security professionals, that much is clear. Cyber Revolution is the answer to the question of how by bridging the gap and creating more cyber professionals and then giving the industry this talent for free. We’ll repeat that for the people in the back - giving the industry this talent for free. Cyber Revolution doesn't charge for the placement of its students, this service is built into the program. The business does this by working with employers of choice to help Cyber Revolution students earn roles in the industry. A support-centric service business - helping the individuals, the industry, and Australia by making the country’s data safer. That feels like a win-win-win to us.
“We don't charge placement fees, because we're not a recruitment company. We are a training company that genuinely helps our students get placed.”
Keys to closing the skill gap
It’s clear that Hewitt is dedicated to solving this problem and to the students in the program. He knows these students and the career changers are the key to closing the skills gap. Cyber Revolution is working to do this by helping people get their first job in cyber security. Their three part program is outlined below.
Online training - a mixture of self paced and live training - which results in globally and industry recognized certifications through CompTIA Certifications
Job Ready Program - access to a 1:1 career advisor, live workshops tailored towards LinkedIn, CVs and interviews
Job placement pathways - Cyber Revolution partners with companies across Australia and sends out their talent to these organisations
The guarantee for Cyber Revolution students lies in opportunities offered and preparation every step of the way.
Hewitt’s a proponent of combating this particular statistic partially through breaking down the misconception that cyber security is a ‘boy’s club’ only accessible to men. Hewitt believes diversity is important in any industry and more people of all genders working in cyber security will only allow for more problems to be solved.
“I think the best person for that role should get the job, period. The key here that we need to break down is the misconception that cyber security is a male dominated industry, because that's only what it's been in the past.”
Let’s talk about revolutions
Startups are traditionally disruptors and have brought on industry revolutions. Would Hewitt love to see a revolution in the education industry? Sure, that’d be great, but the type of systemic changes Hewitt is a proponent of may take some time. One win for the ‘cyber revolution’ is that we’re seeing a change in perception of career changers being able to become cyber professionals.
“What I want to continue to see is the acceptance of newbies into the industry, career changes, and organisations being willing to invest in potential rather than their experience.”
Leading by example
Cyber Revolution’s mission is to make Australia a safer place. Zooming in, what guides Cyber Revolution’s mission are the core values the team lives day in and out. Hewitt believes, as many impressive leaders agree, that starts at the top.
One such core value is delivering on their promise. Hewitt embodies that value and leads by example through the smallest and most integral of touch points; always doing what he says he’s going to do. It goes in the calendar and it gets done. This example of keeping your promises permeates Cyber Revolution’s culture internally and extends to their students.
A company trajectory which includes 500% growth year on year and having upskilled more than 1,000 people is nothing to scoff at.
What’s next for Cyber Revolution?
Cementing themselves as the leading cyber security training company in Australia
Wrestling with exploring a B2B model in addition to their existing B2C model versus doubling down on what they know
Taking the revolution global (though Hewitt was tight lipped on current international expansion prospects)
The ultimate goal remains a constant according to the CEO; always providing a better product or service.
Advice to the cyber security curious?
It should come as no surprise that someone passionate about education has advice centred around learning. Hewitt’s first recommendation is just that. Do your research and talk to as many people as possible within the industry. Listen to podcasts about it. Upskill yourself. Go to networking events.
According to Hewitt, a mistake a lot of people make is to say “I want to get into an industry” and commit all their time to training and certifications without knowing much about the outcome of that investment. Go meet people face to face to get to know what it's like before you decide to make the leap.
Cyber is sexy!
When prompted why new grads, women and non-binary people should go into the cyber sector, as opposed to maybe a ‘sexier’ sector in tech, Hewitt excitedly exclaimed;
“I think cyber security is pretty sexy!”
In an industry that often conjures the image of a faceless man wearing a hoodie in a dark room programming, Hewitt insists that’s just one small area of a huge, exciting booming space that is, in fact, really desirable. He doubles down saying while if you’re motivated by working alone you can do that in cyber, but the industry also allows for consulting. The industry boasts client facing relationship building roles and allows professionals to speak to massive boards to help companies with their cyber vulnerabilities.
A sexy industry, yes. A broad industry, also yes. Most importantly, an industry that needs smart, motivated people to plug the skill and gender gap. Are you ready to join the revolution?
Interested in joining the Cyber Revolution, making a change or just interested in learning more? Follow this link to start your revolution.
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