In the mid 90’s when I was in my later years of school in Victoria, my peers and I were all given a thick book from our careers adviser called a VTAC Guide (Victorian Tertiary Admissions Centre). Each university and TAFE course had a place in the book - title, description, what skills would be gleaned and then a host of ‘real world’ vocations that you could take on once you had your qualification in your hot little hand.
I loved this book – it was full of hope. I recall first seeing the book when one of my sisters brought it home….a few years before I would need it… and marvelling at the options that lay ahead of her. Interestingly, she chose a hospitality qualification, only to then become an Office Manager and now a well-respected Marketing Manager. The book didn’t mention that process could happen – that your study choices when you’re 18 may bear no resemblance to your career in your 40’s. This seems obvious now…but not then.
My career path was a little more linear. Having dismissed a career as a police woman for many reasons (which is a whole other blog), I took to the VTAC guide and found myself a course - Police Studies. This course led me on what has been quite a ride - a 15-year career in security and compliance roles. The book was a little more accurate when it came to me. The good and challenging part of these guides is that many degrees don’t lead you to where you thought they would. In fact, the stats suggest that around 50% of graduates aren’t working in their field of study*.
If you are one of the 50%, you might be someone who went from an HR qualification to a security awareness role. Or from the Army to a cyber security leadership position. Or from auditing to managing a security operations department. There are many security roles (new titles pop up every day) and many paths to get there – not just through tertiary studies either. These paths are fascinating and a great bunch of security professionals have started to document these as part of a new initiative – The Security Job Profile Project. No two profiles are the same and it’s a great platform to understand what roles are out there and how people gravitated towards this exciting industry. If you are a security professional or even if just part of your role is security focussed, please add your profile. For those emerging from university or for those looking for a career change, the rich stories on this platform provide role models and thought provoking content for you to mull over. Supported by the Australian Women in Security Network, they invite all those working in security of any age, gender or demographic to become involved and spread the word.
Many careers take twists and turns and some of the best operators come from the most unlikely backgrounds. Understanding that what you are doing now or what you chose today may not be where you end up in 5 years’ time is both exciting and daunting. Could you find some time to jot down your journey to help others who might need inspiration or encouragement to begin a career in security?
For more details about the AWSN, visit https://www.auswomeninsecurity.net