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Career overviews

ASD operates in incredibly challenging and dynamic technical and operational environments. As such it requires staff with a rare mix of specialist skills, adaptability and imagination, including:

  • cyber specialists
  • analysts
  • foreign language analysts
  • technical staff
  • psychologists
  • corporate staff.

If you want to work with other smart, skilled people, consider ASD. If you consider yourself one of the best, then we are interested in you.

Cyber specialist careers

Can you help meet the challenge to defend Australian networks from sophisticated cyber threats? Can you develop diverse offensive cyber capabilities to deter and respond to cyber attacks against Australia?

Cyber specialists at ASD (incorporating the Australian Cyber Security Centre) collect and analyse foreign signals intelligence, and provide advice and assistance on cyber and information security. We help defend Australian networks from sophisticated cyber threats, and develop offensive cyber capabilities to deter and respond to cyber attacks against Australia.

You will receive training in using our specialised systems and enjoy working in multidisciplinary teams. You may have opportunities to travel domestically and internationally. You will be encouraged to develop and redevelop your skills to keep pace with evolving priorities. We are committed to the growth of our most important resource – our staff.

You may have expertise in:

  • software design, development or support
  • network and system engineering
  • conducting, supporting and managing defensive and offensive cyber operations
  • computer and information security
  • cyber security vulnerability research
  • cyber security assessments
  • cyber security incident response
  • malware analysis and penetration testing.

You can learn more about the roles and skills required in the ASD Cyber Skills Framework.

Your work will directly support the Australian Defence Force and Australian Government.

Accommodating the spectrum

I have autism spectrum disorder and bipolar disorder. I applied for ASD’s graduate program in 2016. It took me a long time to reach a stage where I could handle an assessment centre situation. The main reason I did post-graduate studies at university is because I wasn't ready for the real world yet. (The second reason was that science is fun, which is also a good reason.) And even after this self-imposed delay I still found myself continuously outside my comfort zone during the assessment and interviews. You could argue that if I can't handle an assessment centre, I can't handle the job, but I'd argue my work history, ability to balance work and study, and academic results say otherwise. 
I have certainly found ASD to be an environment that is more accommodating and comfortable for people on the spectrum than many government organisations - or other large organisations for that matter. I think ASD offers some unique types of work, being highly cognitive and not always relying on natural social skills, to achieve great outcomes. Many neural-diverse people gravitate towards and excel in that kind of work.

Female staff member

Analyst careers

Do you have strong critical thinking and research skills, and the ability to present and reason your analysis in diverse forums?

At ASD you will enjoy working in multidisciplinary teams and receive training in using our specialised systems. You may have opportunities to travel domestically and internationally, and will be encouraged to develop and redevelop your skills to keep pace with evolving priorities.

You will receive comprehensive, specialised training to develop the technical capabilities that allow you to work in multi-disciplinary teams to solve problems that others cannot solve. You will undertake sophisticated intelligence or technical analysis, producing vital intelligence and security information for the Australian Government.

As an analyst, you may be involved in:

  • analysis of communication systems
  • analysis of foreign signals intelligence
  • developing capabilities to perform your analysis using software development skills
  • developing new methods of analysing and exploiting data for intelligence or information security purposes
  • investigating large and complex data sets
  • offensive cyber operations
  • preparation of short-term or long-term information reports to government
  • solving cryptological problems using advanced mathematical concepts
  • translating foreign language material.

ASD is seeking recent and past graduates and final-year students with strong academic records in a diverse range of disciplines, including but not limited to:

  • arts
  • commerce
  • communications
  • criminology
  • cryptography
  • data mining
  • data science
  • economics
  • humanities
  • informatics
  • international studies

I get to work on interesting problems with smart colleagues

I studied a double degree of software engineering and neuroscience at university. Originally I wanted to be a scientist and just wanted to learn some programming for fun. Growing up, I loved video games and computers. Somewhere during the 5 years I spent studying, I realised I actually enjoy software development a lot so I changed my mind about the kind of job I wanted. While I was studying I worked at my university's IT help desk. After graduating I joined ASD as part of its graduate program, and have been working as a software developer here since. I do Windows development and work mostly with C and Python. I enjoy my job because I get to work on interesting problems with smart colleagues. I've had the opportunity to learn a lot of new skills, both through formal training courses and on-the-job learning. I like the flexible hours provided and the emphasis on work-life balance. I get to work on hard problems while at work, but still have the time to enjoy my hobbies outside of work. 

Female software developer

Foreign language analyst careers

Do you have skills in languages other than English and an interest in working with others on challenging problems that really make a difference?

The ability to understand languages other than English (LOTE) is core to the motto of ASD, Reveal their secrets. Protect our own. Foreign language analysts in ASD directly support Australian Defence Force operations, counter-terrorism efforts, the security of Australian government networks and the decision-making of our intelligence assessment and policy customers.

We are looking for people who have skills in the languages of the Asia-Pacific, Middle Eastern or North African regions and wish to use those skills as a member of a committed team solving difficult problems. You may be a native or heritage speaker or you may have gained your skills through formal studies. Formal language qualifications are not essential, but you will need to demonstrate your ability to translate and interpret from the LOTE into English.

A role as a foreign language analyst involves much more than translating or interpreting; we are looking to develop you into an analyst who can make sound judgements about the material you are dealing with, conduct follow-up research, synthesise material from different sources, add value and provide context. You may combine your LOTE skills with other areas of expertise to enrich your work. You may be working with a broad range of LOTE materials, from complex and technical to highly informal.

Of course we don't expect you to do all of that from Day 1. You will receive training on the what, why and how of your role, as well as more technical training on a range of specialised IT systems and tools. You will be given opportunities to extend your language skills and may have opportunities to learn other languages. You will also have the opportunity to grow and develop throughout your career, including opportunities to develop your skills in other areas you could not imagine.

A vital mission

I've always had an interest in programming; as a primary school student I typed out hundreds of lines of code from a magazine in order to create a game. Unfortunately I made a typo at some point and had no idea how to interpret an unintelligible error message to find the problem and make the game work. 
Despite that setback, my interest in computers didn't wane, and my studies at university before coming to ASD were focused on programming, networking and security. I initially worked in a role overseeing the accreditation of network security from a policy and technical standpoint, before working in a job that is primarily programming. I work directly with customers on both long-term projects and writing tools to be used on the same day they are finished. Whether coding in C or writing Python scripts, debugging or researching obscure software behaviour, or looking at packet captures and examining security measures, there's always something new and interesting to work on. 
It's great to see my work being used for something more than profit on a company's balance sheet, and the ability to work extra hours one week so I can knock off early or take a whole day off the next is a definite bonus. That's excellent for me in winter as I'll take a long weekend to hit the slopes on a snowboard! Ditch your image of the stereotypical geek - you're likely to see me or my workmates on the sports field, at the pub, or chewing the fat over the latest Game of Thrones episode, we just happen to like coding and computers as well.

Male software developer

Technical careers

Can you develop a broad range of hardware and software, and build and maintain everything from simple electronics to high-end supercomputers?

ASD operates some of the most powerful, leading-edge technologies in a dynamic environment to support its objectives. The work we do is unique, critical and incredibly rewarding.

The following are a few of the areas within ASD where you could apply your technical expertise.

Capability assurance

  • Build and run high-performance super-computers
  • Create and administer complex networks, systems and databases
  • Engineer and maintain international communication networks
  • Strengthen computer and network security

Computer network operations and access

  • Carry out computer forensics
  • Collect and exploit target communications
  • Network design and risk management
  • Offensive cyber operations
  • Respond to incidents on critical networks
  • Reverse engineering
  • Vulnerability analysis

Information security

  • Cryptographic services
  • Incident response
  • Penetration testing
  • Perform vulnerability analysis
  • Provide IT security threat assessments, policy and advice

IT systems development

  • Communications: digital and analogue, fixed and mobile wireless, satellite, antenna design
  • Design and program software solutions using C/C++ or Java to solve unique problems
  • Microelectronics: VHDL, FPGA, microelectronic manufacturing and testing (MCM, SOC) electronic packaging, VLSI
  • Network engineering: design and analysis of LANs/WANs, routers, switches, firewalls, protocols
  • Perform testing, systems integrations and deploy mission-critical systems
  • Software engineering: Java, C++, Perl, XML, HTML, web applications, object-oriented analysis and design, rapid prototyping, algorithm development

Project management systems engineering

  • Communicate closely with customers and provide systems engineering expertise to complex and critical projects
  • Provide project management support by managing requirements, risks and schedules
  • Systems engineering: end-to-end real-time operating systems, signals processing, VHDL/hardware development

Psychology careers

Can you perform complex psychological assessments and identify, anticipate and respond to people's needs?

ASD is looking for people to perform complex and rewarding psychology work for our most important asset – our people. We want people who can identify, anticipate and respond to people's needs and also contribute towards ongoing self-improvement and professional development.

Corporate careers

Can you communicate clearly, work with diverse teams and manage projects in a broad range of corporate and business areas?

ASD is looking for people to undertake a broad range of work in our corporate and business areas in support of ASD’s mission.

As a corporate professional at ASD, you will play a critical role in supporting the internal infrastructure of one of the largest organisations within the Australian Intelligence Community. You will receive comprehensive, specialised training to develop the capabilities that allow you to work independently or in multi-disciplinary teams. You will have the opportunity to deliver strategic and operational support across the organisation in areas such as:

  • budgeting, accounting and financial management
  • business analysis
  • business relationship management
  • compliance and risk management
  • contract management
  • corporate policy, communications and governance activities
  • human resources
  • information systems
  • learning and development
  • marketing and public relations
  • project management
  • security and risk management.