Students get top careers advice from cyber security experts

Cyber security professionals from BT, Leicestershire Police’s cybercrime unit and digital forensics provider CYFOR came together to kick-start #DMUCyberWeek.

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Joined by successful De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) graduates, work placement students and DMU experts, they gave current students unrivalled insight into the industry and valuable careers advice.

Students were encouraged to hear that the national cyber security skills shortage, coupled with the fact that people are statistically more likely to become victims of cybercrime than ‘real-life’ crime, has led to a wide range of graduate job opportunities.

They were advised to stay on top of the rapidly-changing cyber security landscape - enhancing both their employability and progression - as well as to continue to practice and advance their problem-solving skills.

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Second-year Computer Science student Tennessee Renvoize said: “It was really interesting to hear how gaining additional cyber certifications not only gives you an advantage when applying for jobs, but that they can also help you to progress in the workplace.

"I've had a few disappointing placement rejections recently, but today has really inspired me and I feel confident about applying for more."

Co-ordinated with help from #DMUworks – the university’s careers programme – the day also included plenty of practical advice on researching potential employers, tailoring CVs and impressing at interviews.

Panellist Peter Clarke, a cyber security expert working at BT, said: “We have a national cyber security skills shortage and being skilled is one thing, but curiosity, diligence, persistence and willingness to learn go a long way when applying for jobs.

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“You don’t have to be a programmer or coder to work in the industry. I see people from so many different areas getting into cyber security and alongside experience or a relevant degree, employers really value life skills because cybercrime is still very much a human condition.”

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Students also heard from Cyber Security MSc graduate Umera Saddiq, who completed her studies at DMU while working full-time in a high-pressured job at a law firm. 

Since graduating last January she has worked for Rolls-Royce and Paragon Bank, before securing her current role as a vulnerability management analyst at Thomson Reuters.

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She said: “Going into the industry I had no previous experience, which shows how much value my MSc holds. It was challenging, but very rewarding and definitely the best decision I’ve ever made.

“Knowing that what I do every day makes a difference gives me a big sense of satisfaction. The best thing is that being a woman in cyber security is a real advantage as there’s a shortage of us in the industry and our contributions are very much sought-after.”

Bolivian Cyber Security MSc student Ruben Suxo added: “The day has been very useful, especially for anyone new to this field. When I first started out, my ideas of cyber security were formed by what I saw in movies, but reality is very different.

“It’s been valuable to share information in this way and to learn from experts with more experience and knowledge than me.”

Co-ordinated by DMU's Cyber Technology Institute (CTI), #DMUCyberWeek is an annual event packed with insightful talks and practical challenges.

Posted on Tuesday 26th February 2019

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