I have always had an interest in technology, it was always a question of what area I wanted to work in. I visited many Universities for Computer Science and Software Engineering, but Cardiff Met appealed to me the most with the BSc (Hons) Software Engineering course.
During my second year on the course, I began studying a Networking module which included dabbling into Cyber Security. This was the most appealing module to me. What started as two hours a week quickly turned into many more. My personal learning in this subject area was kicked off and it became clear that this is where I wanted to take my career after Uni.
In third year, the Networking module was extended to Network and Internet Security and once I found out about this, I was very excited. As part of this module, the University paid for each student to participate in the Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) certification. Taking on this certification helped to accelerate my learning and my career, equipping me with the knowledge required for this field.
A great piece of advice given to me by my elders was to seek work experience. I did this in-between my 2nd and 3rd year, and discovered that working in industry is very different from what you would expect. It really helped me to understand the industry I was interested in better, and to build confidence in what I was learning.
Fortunately enough, I was given a job offer (providing I got a 2:1 or above) following graduation by the same company where I did my internship. I was also offered a bursary. This relieved a lot of stress, both financially from the bursary and from job hunting whilst finalising my assignments at the end of third year.
Once I graduated, I went to work with the company for a year. I developed my skills and learnt a lot about the real working world. I also felt motivated to progress my learning further, so I studied towards the Network+ certification in my free time (I never would have considered this had it not been for the CEH certification). This assisted massively in progressing my career even further.
Unfortunately, the job I took was in an area of the country where I had never been before and I could not settle. Whilst I would have liked to stay at the company, I made the choice to move to Bristol, which was more familiar to me. This led me on a job hunt and I was lucky enough to be offered a job with Capita as an Information Security Analyst.
In my role I support a robust programme of security assurance activity. I ensure that security incidents are identified, reported, and addressed, and run audits on business units to ensure information security policies and procedures are adhered to. My job also involves providing training on Information Security topics, and producing detailed reports on risk and information security metrics for clients.
I would not be in this position had it not been for the knowledge learnt at the University, the certifications I worked towards and my developed interest in Information Security. It’s not easy to know what you want to do with your life, but University will equip you with the tools you need both in your life and in a career. From my experience, I could not recommend enough that you study towards something you have an interest in, and take work experience to help you along the way.