Starting your career

We provide opportunities to students from primary school all the way to university. We aim to share our knowledge and skills in ICT, cyber security and science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) through the programs we support. We also offer a range of entry-level programs giving school-leavers opportunities to enter the workforce.

Entry-level programs

Graduate opportunities

The ASD Graduate Program is part of the Defence Graduate Program Intelligence Pathway. It runs for 12 months, and you will complete three four-month placements. You will have a permanent role upon successful completion of the program.

The 2024 graduate intake applications will open in February 2023.

You will receive training in our systems and enjoy working in multidisciplinary teams. You will be encouraged and supported to continually develop your skills to keep pace with evolving priorities and technologies. We are committed to the growth of our most important resource – our staff.

Diversity powers our mission. Our work is challenging, and our history shows that the best teams contain a diverse range of people. To achieve our mission, we require people with strong integrity and a mix of specialist skills, adaptability, resilience and creativity.

Career paths for all disciplines

We are looking for graduates from almost every discipline to work in analyst, corporate or technologist roles.

As an analyst, you’ll undertake a range of complex tasks. Your work will vary, depending on your skills and the role of your team. Your work will directly support our mission with a focus on foreign intelligence, cyber security or offensive cyber operations.

In corporate roles, you will have the opportunity to develop and shape ASD’s future. We have roles in business management, communications, governance, finance, people management, policy, security and recruitment, just to name a few.

As a technologist, you’ll work in diverse areas from software development to cyber security roles. You could build and maintain super-computers or develop tools to enable our offensive cyber operations.

ASD Cadetships

ASD is a member of the Australian Government Digital Cadetship Program, managed by the Australian Public Service Commission (APSC). As a cadet, you will work with other cadets supported by ASD mentors and supervisors.

You’ll work on a range of projects that contribute to Australia’s national security. You will also undertake training to improve your skills, and get real-world experience that you won’t get at university.

A cadetship is for university students who have completed their first year (full-time equivalent) of any of the listed undergraduate and postgraduate degrees before starting the program.

You’ll receive an academic allowance of $800 per subject (capped at four subjects per semester). This is paid at the end of each semester on successful completion of subjects. We also provide opportunities for additional training (e.g. Red Hat, SANS etc).

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

Cadets will work on a part-time basis working for a minimum of 2 days a week. 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 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?

Learn more and apply now for the Australian Government Digital Cadetship Program. Applications close 27 June 2022.

Eligibility

  • You must be an Australian citizen.
  • You must have completed the first year (full-time equivalent) of your undergraduate degree.
  • You must be prepared to undergo a comprehensive security assessment.

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.”

ASD Apprenticeships

ASD participates in the Australian Government Digital Apprenticeship Program managed by the Australian Public Service Commission (APSC).

As an apprentice at ASD, your work will support Australia’s national security. We provide an ICT technical expert to mentor you through 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 anyone with a passion for ICT who is looking for a new and exciting career. Whether you are a school leaver or looking for a career change, if you have a passion for ICT, we encourage you to apply.

You will work four days per week with the rest of your time dedicated to completing a Certificate IV (two years) or a Diploma (three years). ASD will pay for your studies as well as your work under a competitive remuneration package.

In addition to your formal studies, you’ll undertake an extensive internal training package where you can obtain nationally-recognised ICT 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?

Learn more and apply now for the Australian Government Digital Apprenticeship Program. Applications close 27 June 2022.

Eligibility

  • You must be an Australian citizen.
  • You must have a Year 12 certificate or equivalent.
  • You must be prepared to undergo a comprehensive security assessment. This is a requirement to work in ASD on top of the apprenticeship requirements.

 

ASD Internship Program

We offer a 3-month internship for tertiary students. The internship is during university summer holidays (November to February). The program is run from the Australian Cyber Security Centre with placements in other ASD locations considered. Students are engaged on a non-ongoing short-term contract at an ASD 2-level salary.

We are interested in people who want to further their knowledge in practical roles. Your work will vary, depending on your skills and the role of your team.

As a Business Specialist, you will contribute to our future and support the day-to-day activities that enable our mission. Depending on your field of study you may:

  • develop and design education and training materials, which could include communications to increase workforce engagement, improve awareness and change behaviour
  • research and develop cyber security guidance for small businesses and home users
  • work with stakeholders to deliver cyber security outcomes for small business and home users
  • apply project management and problem-solving skills to support the delivery of complex cyber security capabilities
  • conduct asset and financial management activities, developing strong data management skills
  • perform service management and general business support functions across a breadth of challenges.

As an Analyst and Technologist, you will directly contribute to the day-to-day operations of the Australian Cyber Security Centre. You will complete a supervised project relating to a current program or future initiative. You might have the opportunity to:

  • research, develop, design or test tools or programs used in cyber security analysis, development and exploitation
  • perform software vulnerability analysis and auditing, which could include code analysis, static analysis, fuzzing, reverse engineering and vulnerability research
  • contribute to, review and test current and new information security policies
  • investigate new directions in cryptography
  • perform malware analysis, including static and dynamic binary code review, and web shell analysis
  • use your data science and analytical skills to implement predictive and prescriptive analytics and machine learning.

Eligibility and selection criteria

To apply for an internship, you must meet ALL the following eligibility and application criteria:

  • be an Australian citizen
  • be a full-time tertiary student
  • have completed or will complete a minimum of 2 years full-time equivalent tertiary study before commencing the program
  • have a minimum of 12 months study remaining in your degree
  • be studying a relevant STEM field or business specialisation (including international studies)
  • receive a letter of recommendation and endorsement from a current course teacher or employer
  • provide your current academic transcript
  • provide your current résumé
  • successfully obtain a Defence BASELINE security clearance. We will work with successful applicants to meet this requirement.

Application process

Applications for the ASD Internship Program are open between April and May each year.

“I found myself surrounded by mentors who were dedicated to helping me succeed. I worked on meaningful projects and had the opportunity to achieve personal goals, including developing skills relevant to my degree and networking with fellow interns and ASD employees.” Max

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

“Compared to other internships, ASD have by far the best work place culture I’ve ever experienced, and I’m grateful for all the wonderful people I got to interact with.” Sam

One thing that was quite unexpected was how much of an impact this project had to my team. I expected to walk into the internship doing some inconsequential tasks, but to have realised the significance of my project really kept me motivated throughout the internship.” Clarice

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

ASD cyber security and robotics work experience program

The ASD work experience program is for Year 11–12 (and high-achieving Year 10) students at the Australian Cyber Security Centre. The program focuses on students who are considering further studies in a STEM-related field.

The week-long program offers you an opportunity to extend your knowledge and skills through practical challenges. Scenarios could include:

  • 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 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.

Students who enjoy discovering how technology works are considered favourably over those who use technology.

All placements are in Canberra. Students from interstate are encouraged to apply. Interstate students are responsible for their own travel and accommodation.

2022 work experience program dates

  • 4–8 July 2022
  • 11–15 July 2022
  • 19–23 September 2022
  • 26–30 September 2022

Apply now for ASD work experience!

  • Applications for July work experience programs close on 22 May.
  • Applications for September work experience programs close on 7 August.

“The program was excellent. It gave me the opportunity to experience working at ASD in real time. The challenges and tasks set were based on real life operations and really fostered my interest in cyber security. The staff and ASD mentors were fantastic.  To be selected for the placement was a huge honour and I would encourage any students keen on working in this field to look into the program.” – Fletcher, Queensland

Preparing for your career

ASD CyberEXP

ASD CyberEXP is an interactive online program for high school and university students. This program exposes students to a cyber security incident response operation.

The program uses real-life scenarios and shows what it is like on the front lines of cyber security. ASD CyberEXP is a free, self-paced online course available at any time. Register and log in to the ASD CyberEXP program.

Defence Civilian Undergraduate Sponsorship for Year 12 students

Thinking of studying computer science and cyber security at university?

We sponsor computer science or cyber security degrees through the Defence Civilian Undergraduate Sponsorship program. The program is in partnership with the University of NSW, Canberra, at the Australian Defence Force Academy. The sponsorship provides financial contributions towards your studies, and work placements at ASD.

This program is for Year 12 students moving into university studies. Find out how to apply.

Girls' Programming Network

Are you interested in computers and technology? Would you like to meet other girls with similar interests? Then the Girls' Programming Network (GPN) might be for you.

The GPN is an extra-curricular program run by girls for girls. It inspires and supports girls interested in computers and technology. It's designed for girls in Year 4–12 of all programming abilities. Dedicated female tutors from university, industry and government specialising in software development and cyber security run each session. Find out about a GPN node near you.