The Australian Signals Directorate (ASD) provides opportunities for primary, secondary and tertiary students to extend their knowledge and skills in ICT and cyber security, and more broadly science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).
Primary and high school student opportunities
Girls' Programming Network
Are you a girl interested in computers and technology? Would you like to meet other girls with similar interests to you? Then the Girls' Programming Network (GPN) might be for you.
The GPN is an extra-curricular program run by girls for girls, to inspire and support girls interested in computers and technology, and is designed for Year 4–12 girls of all programming abilities. You will be encouraged by dedicated female tutors from university, industry and government who specialise in software development and cyber security.
The Canberra GPN is delivered in partnership with the University of Sydney's National Computer Science School and Data 61, and the support of exceptional volunteers.
In support of the National Computer Science School (NCSS) Summer School, ASD has developed an ICT Masterclass focused on cyber security. You can take this class as part of the NCSS Summer School or through your high school IT teacher can request that we bring the program to you.
You will be exposed to a range of cyber security challenges to develop your interest, skills and knowledge in cyber security. This program is aimed at Year 11–12 IT students.
Maths Appreciation Days
Do you enjoy the challenge of solving problems? Are you thinking about a career in maths? ASD, in partnership with the Defence Science and Technology Group, conduct Maths Appreciation Days to inspire Year 10–12 students into further studies in maths.
The day consists of a number of challenges that require you to apply your maths skills to unique and unusual problems. The day also provides you with the opportunity to discuss careers in maths with seasoned professionals and the pathway through high school and university that you could follow to achieve one of these careers.
ASD offers work experience placements for Year 10–12 students at the Australian Cyber Security Centre. The program is focused on students who are considering further studies in a STEM-related field.
The week-long scenario-based program offers you an opportunity to extend your knowledge and skills through challenges ranging from:
- identifying security intrusions on a computer system
- learning how to identify email compromises
- learning to monitor network traffic to detect exploits
- learning how to conduct forensic examinations of hard drives
- learning about web application vulnerabilities
- learning modern encryption methods
- learning about different types of encryption and how they are used to protect data
- using open-source software to recover keys and encrypt and decrypt data
- learning about geospatial analysis and how to use geospatial tools for imagery analysis
- engineering hardware and software solutions for security problems
- robotics programming using Arduinos
- construction of Arduino electrical circuits.
Apply now for Cyber Security and Robotics work experience on one of the following dates:
- 2–6 July 2018
- 16–20 July 2018
- 24–28 September 2018
- 8–12 October 2018
- 3–7 December 2018.
You are mentored by experienced ICT professionals working in the industry who have a high level of expertise in their field.
Students with an aptitude for discovering how technology works rather than the use of technology will be considered favourably.
All placements are in Canberra. Students from interstate are welcome to participate but are responsible for their own travel and accommodation.
ASD participates in the Australian Government Digital Apprenticeship Program.
As an apprentice at ASD, your work will be varied and directly support Australia’s national security. You will be provided mentorship from an ICT technical expert for the duration of your apprenticeship. By the end of the program you will be part of a great team delivering critical ICT support to ASD’s mission.
This program is for students who are currently completing their Year 12 Certificate, or people with a passion for ICT who are looking for a new and exciting career change.
You will work the equivalent of four days per week with the remainder of your time dedicated to completing a Certificate IV (two years) or a Diploma (three years). You will be paid for your studies as well as your work under a competitive remuneration package.
In addition to Canberra Institute of Technology (CIT) studies, ASD apprentices undertake an extensive training package where you can obtain nationally-recognised ICT training qualifications.
Defence Civilian Undergraduate Sponsorship for Year 12 students
Thinking of studying computer science and cyber security at university?
ASD sponsors Defence Civilian Undergraduate Sponsorship program students in computer science and cyber security at the University of NSW, Canberra, at the Australian Defence Force Academy. This sponsorship will provide a financial contribution towards your studies and exposure to ASD through work placements.
This program is aimed at Year 12 students moving into university studies.
Tertiary student opportunities
ASD Cadetship Program
Apply now for Australian Government Digital Apprenticeship Program at ASD
ASD is a member of the Australian Government Digital Cadetship Program managed by the Digital Transformation Agency. As a cadet at ASD, you are given the opportunity to move through a range of roles to find the one that you’re passionate about. You will work with other cadets under the supervision of ASD mentors and supervisors. Cadets at ASD are able to work on a wide range of projects, directly contributing to Australia’s national security. You will also have the opportunity to undertake training to further improve your skills, and you will get the real-world experience that won’t get at university.
The program is designed for current university students who have completed their first year (full-time equivalent) of any of the listed degrees before commencing the program.
Cadets receive an academic allowance paid by the employing agency - $800 per subject (capped at four subjects per semester). This is paid at the end of each semester on successful completion of subjects. Moreover, you will be provided with opportunities for training (e.g. Red Hat, SANS etc), travel opportunities for external training and conferences, and other benefits such as free gym and parking and discounts with retailers.
In order to work productively and deliver meaningful work for ASD, cadets will work in a fast-paced, Agile development environment and be issued MacBook Pros for work purposes. A range of tools such as Amazon Web Services, Office 365 and the Atlassian suite will also be accessible.
As a cadet, you will be employed at the APS 2 level and work on a part-time basis for a minimum of 2 days per week with ASD at a cadet-dedicated space in Canberra. This may be increased at agency or cadet discretion; the remainder of your time will be dedicated to finishing your university study. After successfully completing the ASD Cadetship Program, you will be offered a permanent APS 4 position.
What will I do?
You will work as part of a cadet team in an ICT-related area with the flexibility to work in a large variety of areas including:
- infrastructure support
- applications development
- web development
- systems testing
- systems analysis and design
- systems management
- project management
- business analysis.
How do I apply?
Apply by 2 July 2018 for the Australian Government Digital Cadetship Program.
- You must be an Australian citizen.
- You must be prepared to undergo a comprehensive security assessment covering the past 10 years or for the years since your 16th birthday, whichever is greater.
- You must have completed the first year (full-time equivalent) of your undergraduate degree.
Overview of security assessment
- A comprehensive security assessment is a prerequisite for all ASD staff.
- Security assessments measure your personal integrity and suitability to work in a high-security environment.
- Security assessments involve a background check and a psychological assessment.
- Both parts include a questionnaire and an interview.
- The background check will review your personal, social, residential, employment, financial and criminal history.
- The psychological assessment determines whether you have the professional capacity to work in a high-security environment. No feedback will be provided on the outcome of the psychological assessment process.
- Security assessments may take some time to complete; successful applicants will be provided with further information at later stages of the selection process.
This security assessment is only applicable to those wanting to join ASD and does not exclude anyone from joining the Digital Cadetship Program with another organisation.
Apply now for the ASD Internship Program
Are you interested in furthering your knowledge of cyber security, information security, cryptography or data science while gaining valuable workplace experience?
The Australian Signals Directorate (ASD) sponsors an Internship Program for tertiary students studying ICT, cyber or information security, engineering, mathematics or other STEM fields. Internships are undertaken during university summer holidays.
You are provided with the opportunity to complete a supervised project based on ASD’s operational needs, such as malware analysis, vulnerability research or penetration testing.
Internships are project-based, relating to current programs or future initiatives such as:
- researching, developing, designing or testing tools or programs for cyber security analysis, development and exploitation
- software vulnerability analysis and auditing, including code analysis, static analysis, fuzzing, reverse engineering and vulnerability research
- contributing to, reviewing and testing current and new information security policies, eg, develop guidance on integrating security into a container-based DevOps software development approach (SecDevOps)
- investigating new directions in cryptography
- performing malware analysis, including static and dynamic binary code review, and web shell analysis
- data science and analytics, including predictive and prescriptive analytics and machine learning.
Students will be engaged on a non-ongoing short-term intermittent contract for 3 months at an APS 2-level salary (PDF) from November to February.
The Internship Program is run from the Australian Cyber Security Centre.
Eligibility and selection criteria
To apply for an internship you must meet ALL the following eligibility and application criteria:
- be a full-time tertiary student who will be continuing full-time tertiary studies in the forthcoming year
- be studying ICT, cyber or information security, engineering, mathematics or other STEM fields
- have completed two years of tertiary study before commencing the Internship Program
- obtain a recommendation and endorsement from their course convener
- be an Australian citizen
- successfully obtain a Defence BASELINE security clearance
- Describe a technical project or challenge you have undertaken that demonstrates your technical ability, research skills and critical thinking (up to 400 words).
- Provide details about relevant experience acquired through course-related industry placements, other relevant industry experience or self-initiated development (up to 250 words).
- Describe the contribution that your engagement in this program could make and the expectations you have in the program (up to 250 words)
- And attach
- Provide a current academic transcript and curriculum vitae