Oxana Sereda went through the ICT skills conversion programme in conjunction with Springboard+ after deciding she wanted a career change. Here, she details the course she took, the career opportunities that have risen as a result of it and what advice she would give to anyone thinking of doing something similar.
“I started my education at the Institute of Technology, Blanchardstown, as a mature student, on the MSc in Computing (Information Security and Digital forensics) with Springboard+ and the ICT Skills Conversion Programme. I was at a stage in my life where I wanted to change careers and decided on venturing into the exciting world of cyber security. This was a life-changing decision for me, taken during a difficult time; I became a full-time student while also being a mother to two children – I had plenty to keep me occupied!
The course itself was absolutely fantastic and I met people who have now become my very close friends. Throughout the course, the support provided by those who worked there – from the administrative staff on my first day, to the librarians and the lecturers and Head of School of Informatics & Engineering - was matched next to none. Everyone was always so easy to approach, always willing to help and they created a friendly and welcoming atmosphere which put you at ease.
I completed the course with a first class honours, something I couldn’t have done without the help from everyone I met along the way. Upon graduating I had the opportunity to join the team of BH Consulting, the internationally recognised cyber security firm, where I got to enhance my knowledge and skills further, and I have just recently moved jobs to Paddy Power Betfair.
I would like to say a huge thank you to all my lecturers and project supervisors, especially to Marie Brennan, Michael Hegarty, Mark Cummins, Brian Nolan, Christina Thorpe and the many other wonderful academic staff that I met during the course. I can’t thank them enough and I will certainly never forget their help, motivation and dedication – without them I wouldn’t be where I am now. I achieved my desired goal and I have a job that I love, with great career prospects.
The advice I would give to someone who is at a stage in their life where they realise that they actually want to work in a completely different field, they’ve lost their job for some reason or they simply just want to achieve additional skills and obtain a second degree, is to just go for it! Don't be afraid to return to education and change your life for the better and achieve your dreams.
I highly recommend the Institute of Technology, Blanchardstown, and the cyber security course to anyone who has an interest in the information security industry. You won’t be on your own and you will acquire new skills that will be beneficial to your career and enhance your growth further. You’ll also enjoy the great atmosphere around the college and the positive vibe of student life.”
MSc in Computing (Information Security and Digital forensics)
Paddy Power Betfair