Gaining an edge in a fast-growing field with MSc Cyber Security
Product designer Max believes an MSc in Cyber Security from the University of London will give him the expertise he needs to progress in his career.
Originally from Russia but based in Dubai, Max has worked in cyber security for around eight years in various companies, creating tools for cyber security specialists. After obtaining his bachelor’s degree in interaction design, his plan was always to gain experience and work his way up to a senior level. “Now I need to push myself even further and get a master’s.”
He feels a specialist degree will give him an edge in a competitive field: “I need more knowledge about cyber security in general, because if I’m working for these guys, I need to understand what they do.”
When researching postgraduate degrees, Max wanted a qualification that would be recognised internationally. That’s why the University of London felt like the right fit: “My main reasons were its diverse community and courses suited for working in the international market.”
Max had used Coursera before, completing courses in user experience and Python development, among others, but the MSc is his first online course led by a university. He sees the opportunity to connect and network with fellow students around the world as a benefit.
We have a kind of community – if I have a question, I can discuss it with them.
The programme’s flexible online format allows students to fit their studies around their work and other commitments. Max notes that this is not without its challenges, though, and advises prospective students to be prepared to work hard – “but come on, it’s university. It’s supposed to take time and effort.”
Having completed the foundational module in cyber security, which he says expanded his general understanding, Max is enjoying learning about new areas of the discipline. He found the cryptography module particularly interesting: “I didn’t know much about it before, so that was really helpful.” He’s now looking forward to progressing with the course and being able to apply his learning to his work.
Looking to the future, Max feels the degree will open doors in other sectors. “Cyber security isn’t just for cyber security companies – banks and fintech companies depend on it, for example. They need people who know how to protect against hardware attacks and malware, because it's usually not the developers’ first priority. So, if I have that cyber security knowledge, I can apply for many kinds of job in that area.”