Back in January of this year, we offered Kickstart Scholarships for the first subject of our MBA (Computing with specialisations), starting in March. We received hundreds of seriously great applications, so much so that we awarded six scholarships instead of the initial five that were planned.
Now that they’ve completed their first subject, we caught up with four of the winners to see how they’re getting on.
Imran Hussain, who works in the University of Sydney’s ICT department, had already completed a Graduate Certificate in Information Systems Security and the Kickstart Scholarship was the boost he needed to continue onto a Masters. “My current position is in an IT role that has cybersecurity elements. I would ideally like to move into a purely cyber role either with an operational or governance focus” he said, adding that with the constant changes and advances in IT “I think it is important to be a lifelong learner.”
Martin Schlatter, the COO at Australian-owned information security software company, Salt Group, was attracted to the “combination of IT Masters’ industry subjects and the more academically focussed CSU subject choices in a single course.” He added, “I think this kind of knowledge allows anyone to be bolder in the decisions they make and more calculated in the risks they take”.
Ruban Bajracharya, an Employees Technology Support Specialist at Morningstar Australasia, had completed a Bachelors in IT 3 years ago, and developed an interest in management and operations. The MBA offering with a cybersecurity specialisation was appealing as he says cyber is “where all the technology and organisations are heading to and in high demand.” After completing the IT Governance subject, Ruban shared “The learning experience in this course has been very exciting and valuable” and is especially enjoying the “opportunity to learn from and with the industry experts as well as industry subjects”.
Tech Lead Cameron McGuffie (pictured) had thought about study for many years. Using previous IT work experience to qualify through the Graduate Certificate pathway, he found his first subject both challenging and interesting, stating “it has also been way easier than I thought University would be, I think people see University as a scary and hard thing but with the correct work/study/life balance it is definitely manageable”.
All four students chose to start with a single subject to ease into the course workload and build their confidence. “I join the online class one day a week and separate some time in my calendar during the weekend for revision and assessments,” says Ruban, who is also utilising subject credits for professional certifications and work experience to finish his degree faster.
Imran, who achieved a High Distinction with an amazing mark of 96% for his first subject, spent considerable time researching for assessments and “gained an ocean of knowledge”. When asked how, he shared “Managing my work/home/study commitments effectively took some adjustment but was not difficult. A lot of my study time was spent on the train during my afternoon commute.”
Martin found that setting and sticking to “a study plan with routine days and hours per day certainly helps maintaining the work/life balance” adding “the pace hasn’t been too demanding”.
To finish up, we asked for advice to anyone considering online postgraduate study – we think Cameron put it best. “Do it. Don’t wait, in the time you spend procrastinating and deciding if you should do a degree, or if you have time, you could already be working toward your first subject. You can fully tailor the amount of time and the amount of study to what you can achieve to make it work for you. If I had known this earlier I would have been studying a subject every few months and had my degree much sooner.”