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Climbing the cyber security career ladder: Juggling work and my degree

An IT engineer at Amazon, Vashish is confident his MSc in Cyber Security from the University of London will give him the tools he needs to work his way up at the Fortune 500 company. 

Vashish Imrith
Pictured: Vashish aspires to secure a role as a network and security engineer

Vashish, who first developed an interest in the subject during his undergraduate studies, aspires to secure a role internally as a network and security engineer, a career trajectory he says requires a specialist postgraduate degree.  

The last few months have been particularly busy for the online student, who moved to the Czech Republic from his native Mauritius to join the online giant after enrolling in the course. 

Vashish, who mentioned his MSc while interviewing with Amazon for his current role, says the University of London brand speaks for itself. “Also, cyber security is tough, so it really helps you get a quality job.” 

When researching postgraduate degrees, flexibility and a high standard of learning were key requirements. “Since I don’t know Czech, I can’t really get into a university here, so I needed something very flexible. I needed something of high quality.” 

The University of London’s MSc in Cyber Security, delivered on the Coursera online learning platform with academic direction from Royal Holloway, offers him “the flexibility I really wanted.” 

“I still have time to go running, play football with expats here, and visit Prague,” he says. The online format enables Vashish to manage his time more effectively. "The nicest part for me is about it being online,” he says, adding he previously dropped out of an on-campus master’s degree back in Mauritius because he struggled to juggle both work and in-person studying. “This is so nice. You can cook your food and listen to lectures at the same time.” 

Vashish, who hopes to graduate after two years, divides his time between working four days a week, visiting Prague and studying, but says the workload is manageable. “I take one or two hours every day just to keep up with my studies during my lunch break, in the morning before going to work, or after work. 

“The flow of the content is really interesting. You start with the basics, and it gets more difficult.” 

Another draw is the support on offer. Vashish enjoys learning independently, but as the syllabus becomes progressively more challenging, “I’m going to reach out to lecturers and people around if I need help. You get a lot of help. The people are available here, they are fast responders on the discussion groups.” 

Any word of advice for potential applicants?

I would tell them that you’re getting such flexibility from a very well-known university for this kind of high-quality education. I would say you’re getting the best value for money.

And, he adds, don’t be in a rush to complete the programme. "You can just take one module at a time until you really get into it, but if you are very deep in the modules already, just go ahead and graduate."

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