I did my undergrad at CSU at Bathurst some time ago, so it was a logical choice and ITM-CSU have long had a great reputation for online – even since the early 2000s.
After finishing I applied for a project manager’s job for a large travel company, and instead they offered me a better role managing their websites as I had the qualification.
The content – I didn’t realise how much I’d enjoy until I got into it. I only went into it to do a Grad Cert and enjoyed the content so much I kept on going. MGI535 Search Marketing was excellent – he would show us actual WIP and the practicality was really useful, especially as I had not done it before.
Flexible working also meant flexible studying. Hybrid working conditions helped. You have to get out, walk, exercise and freshen your mind. The structure itself was great too – it’s not too long – three semesters gives you opportunity to continue and also have a break.
Really awesome people – the mentors are very skilled and disciplined. I always had great confidence in the fact that they were all right on top of their fields.
I really liked the short courses too – they are a great way to get back into the swing of study that has a measurable benefit – it’s the same people that teach the main subjects and you get credit for doing three of them.
Don’t overwhelm yourself by thinking you have to do it all right now. I just started with two subjects and set mini goals for each section, then the next bit and so on. I was scarred from doing a 6-year undergraduate course and needed to work with it in smaller chunks this time around.
What appealed to me was that it is all designed for busy professionals with flexible settings – that’s unusual for a university postgraduate course. I had a colleague complete the ITM-CSU Master of Business Administration (Computing) and he recommended it highly.
It really taught me to critically think – I thought I was a good critical thinker before this, and it stretched and challenged my perceptions. Good managers make decisions above all else – and the course empowered me to make better ones.
If you have aspirations for upper management, then people management skills are the really useful ones beyond technical capability. MGI521 Professional Communications was a game changer for me. I’d like to have that taught to everyone in my company.
I feel like I had the same people to talk to the whole time – Leif from ITM and Rebecca at CSU were there for my whole journey. The admin side of things felt effortless. People would get back to me and explain what I needed to know, and coach me through it, offering options that worked for me.
Coming up against the tougher mentors and subjects. Brenton Burchmore – I had really looked forward to working with him as I had seen some of his lectures already, but then when he was my lecturer, he was a hard taskmaster. He demanded a lot from me, and I had to lift my game. “Dig deeper – this is post graduate, you need to tell me why and how” was what he asked after my first assignment. I may not have done quite as well in that subject as others, but it was the most rewarding.
Spend your study time wisely. Often the hardest thing when you start a course is to understand what you are being asked to do. If you can understand that and complete it with focus, it gives you more time to be at home. It stops you spinning your wheels or going down rabbit holes.
I’d been looking for a Master’s for a few years that wasn’t only an MBA or primarily technical – I wanted one that was mostly about the management of IT. A few years ago I completed a free short course at ITM-CSU and then kept looking until I found the mix I was after. I was really pleased when I saw the Master of Management (Information Technology) and jumped on it straightaway.
Nearly everything was directly applicable to my job. As an example, my final project has formed the basis of an IoT project that I am currently undertaking at work.
The real world experience the IT Masters mentors brought to each subject from their many years’ experience of work in their sectors made their subjects tangible and relatable.
The love of learning kept me going. I wanted the Master’s to give me the confidence and help to get me into management, and that is exactly what this course has done.
My son was two when I started and I didn’t want my studies to impact on my family time – so I just did it all at night. I’d read the texts before bed and made sure I had Friday and Saturday nights off each week. Organising time to myself to complete assignments was critical, and having that family support was crucial.
Management roles look for higher degrees and not necessarily technical certification – without an academic degree, you are sometimes not even considered, despite certification being the norm in IT. Especially in government, the only way to get ahead is with a higher degree.
I knew people who had studied at ITM-CSU and it really aligned with what I needed in my job. I’d moved into IT and my manager told me I needed a qualification if I wanted to get ahead. It was the only good option for me.
Yes, I completed three and that gave me a credit towards a subject. I’m doing a fourth one now post finishing my Master’s.
When I first started, I also did the ACS Professional accreditation as a way of being recognised for my skills and experience. It gave me two subject credits in the course and that helped with finances also.
Getting credits for industry courses or the ACS really helps you plan out your study journey – I would have taken at least another 6 months without it. I may not even have joined ACS without the prompting of the course, and their professional development requirements and opportunity to network are great – they are big added bonuses.
What impressed me was that I have really done a lot that applies directly to my day-to-day work. I made sure that I selected subjects that worked that way, my work was supporting me to do the course and it felt like a good way to help repay them.
When I finished the Graduate Certificate, I thought I might do some industry courses then come back, but then paused over the break and thought that now was the time while I was in the swing of study. I had really enjoyed the Grad Cert and wanted to do the Master’s. I had never expected to get a Master’s in my life as I had never had any undergraduate qualifications, and I found it very satisfying.
It’s important to be organised at the start of each subject – with whatever might work for you – for me it was doing printouts, so that when the course starts, you’re ready to learn and not scrambling to keep up.
Focus on the assessments too. Think about that early and it alleviates some of the anxiety of submitting assignments on time. Make sure that you answer what you need to. If you are unsure ask, do not wait until it’s too late. Ask early – it’s not embarrassing.
I always had ambition to complete a Masters but originally committed to the Graduate Certificate of Cyber Security, a focus that was quite different to my role in software development at the time but an area of interest none the less, after completing the GC I decided to transfer my units over to the new and innovative Masters of Cloud Computing and Virtualisation which was an area I was actively engaged with professionally and the concept of undertaking such a pioneering Masters really excited me.
I had such an incredible experience throughout my postgraduate studies with CSU and ITM. The administrative support for all student experience related questions through the application process, transfer of courses from GC to Masters and through my studies was always concise, genuine and timely.
This administrative support and the online learning portal were the highlight of my studies, each subject was excellent but the ease of use of the portal and ongoing support, which is so critical for online learning, was key for me.
My best tip for anyone within IT who is looking to take on some postgrad studies is to not be too focussed on the name of the award but to look into each of the courses offered and find one with subjects which you find interesting, exciting or maybe something challenging to deepen your skills or build new skills. This is critical in such a dynamic and rapidly evolving industry and will hold you in good stead for the future, it’s not the name but how you articulate your experiences in learning new things and technologies that matter.
I wasn’t sure what I wanted to gain my postgrad studies in so I thought I’d try a number of the short courses on offer – I found that I really enjoyed the Cyber Security subjects and completed a number of short courses with CSU/IT Masters.
The short courses really helped me gain an understanding into some of the subjects that sparked my interest. I enjoyed them so much that I wanted to pursue them into Grad Cert study.
The course layout, the topics covered in the subjects were all relevant in today’s evolving job market and industries. The tutors were renowned subject matter experts and I wanted to learn from some of the best. The subjects were easily accessible and available online which made it that more attainable and possible to complete the courses. I was surprised that even for a short course, there was an abundance of resources and study guides available and on hand for support.
I’d initially went with another course provider and found the subjects on offer were limited and were a set prescription of subjects. I found I was struggling in a number of subjects and didn’t enjoy the course.
I did a bit more research and stumbled across CSU/IT Masters free short courses and it was like a lightbulb went on in my head. The subjects were what I was after and I signed on to see if it confirmed my idea. That was the best thing I did. The following study session, I found myself eligible for a subject credit and undertaking the Grad Cert program. IT Masters staff have been so supportive and helpful that the transition over was surprisingly easy!
It was everything I wanted and more. IT Masters & CSU have made it a very positive experience and the teaching staff have been supportive and knowledgeable. I wanted to be part of an emerging and growing industry and I certainly feel that CSU/IT Masters have definitely helped with that! While my initial postgrad study experience with another institute was a blow to my confidence, I’ve definitely regained it with CSU/IT Masters – thanks so much guys!
My work has been great and I have learned so much at my job. It’s really unbelievable once you get into working as a cyber security analyst and consultant and you apply what you have studied, it’s a totally different world. I am enjoying every second of my work. Juggling studies with full time work has been a hassle for sure but I try my level best to manage as best as I can.
I always wanted to get my Masters’ degree and I was always doing short courses with CSU. One day I got this scholarship offer for one of the Masters’ subjects and the reason I wanted to do my Masters. I filled out the form and sent it and to my great surprise I got approved. It was surely a dream come true as I really wanted to get my Masters’ degree.
The mentors, the online chats and discussions, lots and lots of reading and following cyber security blogs and people on social media. Researching for my assessments also helped a great deal.
One of my best memories is going to give exams at the nominated exam centre as it had been a while since I gave written exams as there has been a huge gap since I completed my Bachelor degree so it felt great to be a student again.
Also attending the live lectures and seeing my results for assignments and exams. (If I do well)
Go through lots of cyber security blogs, reading material, YouTube videos, do short courses as there is lots of free material available online to get knowledge and most importantly have a passion for it.
I originally entered the workforce via a traineeship program, involving a tertiary qualification from a technical college, so when I decided to gain further qualifications after many years of work, I was in the position of not having a bachelor’s degree. I did originally look at completing a Bachelor’s degree in IT, part time, but I found the initial content too basic and the time required to complete it too long.
The IT Masters courses were the only ones I found that were at a suitable level of difficulty for someone with my amount of job experience, and that provided a good qualification in an achievable time frame.
For me the biggest challenge was the time required for study. Having a full time job, sometimes involving travel and weekend work, as well as a young family, meant that finding time to complete all of the study and work required for each subject was not easy. However I managed it by trying to do most of my work for the course later in the evening after the kids were in bed, and while on the way to/from work on the tram (a long commute by tram sometimes has its advantages).
The other approach I took was to only tackle one subject at a time, but over all three terms within the year. This allowed me to complete my Masters degree after four years of part time study, while allowing me to better balance my work, family and study time.
Completing a Masters degree is not something I do every day. Given the amount of time and cost involved, and the value that a degree provides, I intended to put in a proper amount of effort.
I think that another factor was that I had a great deal of interest in a lot of the material covered in the various subjects – after many years of learning I still enjoy it if I have an interest in the subject, as I do with IT.
I found ITC506 Topics in Information Technology Ethics particularly interesting and rewarding. Ethics is an area that I had never studied before, and I found it to be a very interesting and thought provoking area. It is certainly something that I believe should be included in these courses, in fact in all courses in some shape or form.
A work colleague was looking at the IT Masters courses and they sounded like they would be a good option me, having not completed any university previously the idea of getting a Masters with a few years study was very appealing, and it seemed to recognise my experience in the industry better than other options.
My goal in completing the course was to show on my CV that I have not only the on job experience but also the technical knowledge and theory behind it. This was not to further my career but to ensure if I do change roles or look for advancement that my CV was more complete.
Time, this was by far the hardest part of studying and working full-time. Finding the time to complete the hours of study required. The time is always there, but there are so many things fighting for your time, and many of them are far more attractive that sitting down to study, you need to be strict with yourself and designate dedicated study time.
I found ITC597 “Digital Forensics” to be the most rewarding subject, mainly due to the fact that it was far removed from my day to day work and that it shed some light on some of the ways used to recover and find data.
CSU offered a flexible way for me to attain higher education tertiary qualifications (through the graduate certificate pathway) that otherwise wouldn’t have been possible as I never did an undergraduate degree. My Masters now augments my years of experience in the IT/Corporate environment.
Absolutely, I am much more self aware in my communication. I am also confident in the ‘hard’ skills that I now possess in project management, for example: earned value, critical path analysis, probability, cause and effect, improvement curve, NPV, IRR, Payback, advanced scheduling and network analysis, resource levelling etc.
I now feel that I am much better placed to advance my career (if/when I choose to do so). It’s always nice to know that with the additional skills and knowledge (and qualification) that I now have, I would be better positioned for opportunities and/or to take on new challenges in the future.
My Masters unit ”Project Management Communications” was really valuable in providing me with additional knowledge, tools and techniques. The tutor (Brenton Burchmore) for this unit was exceptionally good in his delivery of the course, a lot of his quotes are tattooed in my memory, for example: “Deliver information that creates understanding that inspires action” I am now very conscious of the above when I communicate.
Whilst I was quite confident in my communication ability prior to the subject, I felt that the subject nicely consolidated what I already knew and gave me new and different perspectives that took my communication capability to the next level. This is now paying dividends in both my professional and personal life.
Prior to the course I was only Cisco certified and now I’m Microsoft certified as well. I’m competent both in Networking and System Administration paths. This is a solid foundation for job security and opens more career opportunities.
Dedication is the key to achieving my outstanding results. I thoroughly believe that if someone dedicates to what they do, they can achieve any target within the required time frame.
ITC506 IT Ethics is the most rewarding subject for me. It goes beyond technical skills. This subject taught me to work as a real professional.
I am addressing the question ‘How do you provide a cost effective infrastructure, to meet business growth and demands?’. This is a problem facing our company and all organisations that are aggressively growing.
I had just graduated from my undergraduate degree and was looking for new challenges. The course profile contained subjects that seemed very relevant to the work I was doing as a Regional Network Administrator so I took the plunge and applied.
The Microsoft certification subjects were extremely relevant to my work, as was the Cisco component and they have helped me to do my job better. I’ve also developed better time management and self-motivation skills.
Currently we are in an arms race with the attackers and countermeasure we put in place are quickly bypassed by smarter, more dangerous attacks. As with any arms race there can never be a long term winner. I hope to discover better mechanisms to either predict or mitigate emerging threats before they are seen in the wild.
One of the most important factors in choosing a CSU course was that it had to work around my schedule. I remember rushing to finish an assignment from a hotel room in San Diego. When I finally did send it to my lecturer, two days late, he was more than understanding and told me to take some time off and visit the zoo. If you ever get to San Diego, I highly recommend you go!
Prior to the course I was in a position of having heaps of industry experience but few formal qualifications. I am now in a position that I have to hire staff and I will be targeting CSU graduates for their relevant and uncommon knowledge.
Receiving my graduation certificate in the mail. Having spent two hard years studying, it often felt like there was no end in sight. I would often study in the middle of the night when my baby daughter would wake up and demand to be changed or fed. She would sit on my knee and stare up at me as I would discuss encryption protocols or risk management theories with her. Graduating from the CSU course required a great deal of effort and, as a result, was hugely rewarding.
The research skills I have developed during this course have allowed me to undertake critical projects within my current employment. This exposes me to senior management and is allowing me to advance my career.
Delivering a presentation of my research proposal to lecturers and other postgraduate students. Presenting my first published paper to the ICITA 2007 conference in Harbin China.
Pursuing postgraduate study via distance education with CSU is a pleasure. The course has been structured to ensure success and the lecturers and supervisors are more than willing and able to help with any problems you may encounter.
I wanted to further myself – not for career purposes exactly but more to keep learning. I grew up in a family that ran their own business and have mostly been self-employed but everything has been self-taught. I already had the Microsoft Certifications so wanted to learn more on the business side of things.
The course made me look more at the way that I was running the business and how to ensure that the available resources (time and money) were best used. The nature of the course meant that not only did I learn from the content but also I needed to change my habits to ensure that I could complete the required courseware.
Time – a lot of my role involves traveling (both domestically and internationally) and this means that I am on the road a lot – which means that in between engagements I had to try and work in keeping up with the course.
During the time that I was completing the course, we also welcomed to the world 2 children – I remember completing a final assignment while in a chair next to my wife after the birth of our first child – wrangling my role as father, husband and business owner into the available time was the biggest challenge! On the flip side – my family have also been my biggest supporters as well – the cheer from my 3 year old daughter when I graduated was enough to make the Chancellor pause!
Determination to finish and not to have wasted the time that I had away from my family. I also wanted to prove something to myself – that a mature aged student, with a family and a business could complete the course! The support from the university and from the IT Masters staff helped me through some of the hard yards!