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Apprenticeships, cadetships and internships

ASD apprenticeships

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 or have finished their Year 12 Certificate, people already studying at CIT or a TAFE, or anyone with a passion for ICT who is looking for a new and exciting career.

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.

Some examples of qualifications offered are:

  • Certificate 4 in Cyber Security
  • Certificate 4 in Information Technology – Application Development
  • Certificate 4 in Information Technology – Infrastructure Support
  • Certificate 4 in Information Technology – Networking
  • Certificate 4 in Information Technology – Programming
  • Certificate 4 in Information Technology – System Analysis and Design
  • Certificate 4 in Information Technology – Technology Testing
  • Diploma – Application Development
  • Diploma – Information Technology Networking
  • Diploma – Infrastructure Support
  • Diploma – Software Development

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.

What will I do?

You will work as part of a team in an ICT-related area with the flexibility to work in a large variety of areas including:

  • applications development
  • big data
  • cyber security
  • data analytics
  • help desk
  • infrastructure support
  • interactive media
  • networking
  • programming
  • software engineering
  • systems analysis and design
  • systems testing
  • user research
  • web development

How do I apply?

Applications for the 2020 Australian Government Digital Apprentice Program were open May-June 2019.

Eligibility

  • You must be an Australian citizen.

  • You must be prepared to undergo a comprehensive security assessment.

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 Apprentice Program with another organisation.

ASD Cadetship Program

ASD is a member of the Australian Government Digital Cadetship Program managed by the Digital Transformation Agency. As a cadet at ASD, you will work with other cadets under the supervision of ASD mentors and supervisors. Cadets work on a wide range of projects, directly contributing to Australia’s national security. You will also have the opportunity to undertake training to improve your skills, and you will get 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. You will be provided with opportunities for training (e.g. Red Hat, SANS etc).

In order to work productively and deliver meaningful work for ASD, cadets will work in a fast-paced, agile environment. You will have access to a range of tools such as Amazon Web Services, Office 365 and the Atlassian suite.

As a cadet, you will be employed at the ASD 2 level. You will work on a part-time basis for a minimum of 2 days per week 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 ASD 4 position.

What will I do?

You will work as part of a team in an ICT-related area with the flexibility to work in a large variety of areas including:

  • applications development
  • business analysis.
  • infrastructure support
  • networking
  • programming
  • project management
  • systems analysis and design
  • systems management
  • systems testing
  • web development

How do I apply?

Applications for the 2020 Australian Government Digital Cadetship Program were open May-June 2019.

Eligibility

  • You must be an Australian citizen.
  • You must be prepared to undergo a comprehensive security assessment.
  • 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.

Anita, 21, is able to flexibly complete her Bachelor of Software Engineering degree while gaining real-world experience:

“I always sat in university lectures wondering how the concepts and theory I was learning could be applied practically and this cadetship has allowed me to apply that knowledge in a real-world setting while simultaneously strengthening my studies with skills learned at work. Working part-time and studying a full-time load at university can be challenging, but I am able to work my hours around my university timetable and I always have support from my mentors, supervisor and fellow cadets so that my time in the cadetship is spent doing what I enjoy and with minimum stress.”

Michael, 20, is discovering his interests and strengths in a variety of areas:

“The cadetship program has given me some great experience working in a real dev team, giving me the opportunity to contribute to ASD's software projects. The flexible working arrangement allows me to keep a good balance between work, life and university. Through the program, I'm able to try a wide range of roles such as software development, user experience design and business analysis. This has been a great start to my career in the ICT industry and I'm excited to discover the opportunities available to me in the future as part of ASD.”

Kieran, 23, is a cadet graduate working in data science:

“The cadetship has been an invaluable experience to kick-starting my career. It exposed me to numerous technologies and methodologies that are used across the industry which had not been covered in university. Best of all, I was able to work on real-world problems in a professional work environment and try a variety of different roles such as programming and UI/UX, all while still at university.”

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 ASD 2-level salary 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:

Eligibility

  • 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

Criteria

  • 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

Application process

Applications for the 2019–20 Internship Program were open May–June 2019.

I had a blast during my internship and enjoyed the work and the culture of the workplace. I decided I would love to work for ASD. Nico, 2017

I definitely enjoyed my experience and it had everything it needed for someone who didn't have any prior cyber security experience. Jacqui, 2017

Honestly, I had a really fantastic time at the ASD DISH and there are very few things I could say that would improve the experience. Other than perhaps more time but that's impossible because I have to go back to university! Sam, 2016

My expectations of this program were average. The experience was fantastic. I now intend to apply for a career at ASD! Kath, 2015