MSc Cyber Security: 'My doorway to management or research'
For Philadelphia-based IT engineer Michael, enrolling on the University of London’s MSc in Cyber Security is about embracing potential new opportunities.
For Philadelphia-based IT engineer Michael, enrolling in the University of London’s MSc in Cyber Security is about embracing potential new opportunities.
"I’m over 40 and I think I might want to change my career. I still want to work in cyber security. I've done it for a long time, but I see the master’s programme from the University of London as a doorway to moving into either management or research and shifting my career to something that is not as stressful as dealing with live, active intrusions," he says.
Michael, whose current role involves working with small government clients and banks, says a postgraduate degree in cyber security could enhance his earning potential and career prospects in the industry.
I might even want to get a PhD eventually, but I'm starting off with the master’s programme online because it can be done in my own time and the University of London is a great school. It's very reputable, and it's also very affordable.
Researching online degrees, one of the main draws was being able to study via Coursera. Michael had previously studied courses on the platform including a certificate in the field of positive psychology, offered by the University of Pennsylvania, which he says might be useful in his sector.
"I got interested in in the psychology of it, and it's not a bad direction to go if I wanted to move to the leadership in cyber security, to have a little bit of a psychology background. I did complete the course on Coursera.
"I’m pretty proud of that, even though it’s just a certificate."
These days, he spends around 12 hours a week on his MSc in Cyber Security and plans to take some time off in the summer. "I cram a lot of it into Saturdays because I just have more time on Saturdays, and I like to have a day of rest on Sunday.
"I also do it early in the morning – right now it's 7 o'clock in the morning here, and this is also a very good time to work."
But for prospective students considering the MSc, it is important to appreciate how vital it is to remain self-motivated throughout their online studies, he adds.
"It's a good programme, but what I learned from talking to one of the professors is that you have to be self-motivated and hardworking. You can't wait for somebody to do it for you. You’ve got to do it yourself."