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The only Cyber Security course that ticked all the boxes

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Eager to pursue a master’s degree in Cyber Security but unable to relocate, Mirjana found the perfect programme to meet her academic needs and complement her job in the field.

Mirjana Bijelic portrait on plain background

After completing a bachelor’s in Software and Data Engineering and securing a job in cyber security, Mirjana decided to pursue a master’s to deepen her theoretical knowledge. She explained that once you’re in the work environment, you learn on the job, but sometimes lack the academic knowledge. 

Mirjana had several criteria in mind when searching the right course. Based in Belgrade, Serbia, and employed full-time, she couldn’t relocate. So the programme had to be taught online, fit her budget, and come from a recognised institution while providing a “nice balance of theory and practice”. 

Having narrowed it down to around a dozen programmes, Mirjana realised that the University of London master’s in Cybersecurity delivered via Coursera was the only course that ticked all the boxes. According to Mirjana, it didn’t disappoint her. 

This is the first time where the whole course, everything I am studying, is interesting.

Mirjana says that while the course requires significant work and time, she doesn’t find the studying process stressful. “In Coursera, you have everything in one place; you can save notes during a professor's lecture, or the discussion between students or teaching staff, Q&A sessions, everything is in one place and is easy to coordinate.” 

Mirjana adds that another benefit of studying via the Coursera platform is access to transcripts. “This is a multicultural University, and it's possible that you don't understand some word or the context,” she points out, referring to many students being non-native English speakers and how helpful it can be able to look back through the transcript. 

Additionally, students are encouraged to share their study strategies with their peers at the start of the course. “I picked up a few things, like creating a roadmap for your reading, because there is a lot to learn, and you can lose track of where you’ve read something.” Speaking about her personal strategy, Mirjana said that most of her study sessions took place over the weekends, with some reading and revision done while commuting. 

The degree has already given Mirjana an edge in her current role. “I found myself having a discussion with my manager. Even as a junior with two years of experience, I came up with good arguments for creating a positive cyber security culture”.  

Most organisations approach this topic from a place of fear, she explained. “If you click on this malicious link, you will, you know, get fired or get a pay cut.” Mirjana was able to explain to her manager why this method was suboptimal and why companies should view cyber security as an investment that will benefit them in the long run.  

That is something I learned doing my master’s. I didn’t know about these strategies before. But now I’m able to come up with good arguments, and I think this is the biggest thing that will help me going forward; how to talk to senior managers about this.

Find out more about the University of London’s MSc in Cyber Security.