From Retail Management to Cyber Security Analyst, this is how Bradley Cundasamy made a successful career change in 2021

In May 2021, Bradley Cundasamy took a leap of faith towards his IT career interests and started our Cyber Security part-time program with the University of Technology in Sydney. Before even completing the program, he was able to successfully secure a Cyber Security Analyst role with Avertro through the technical and interpersonal skills he was learning from the program.

Bradley comes from a creative graphic design and retail management background. Having little IT experience but great interests in the area, he wanted to take advantage of the IT tech wave in the job market and transition his career. He took a strong interest in Cyber Security and programming, seeking innovative ways of combining his knowledge and successfully completing a Capstone Project in the area. He worked closely with our professional training team and expert job outcomes coaching in order to be job-ready.

Learn more about Bradley Cundasamy’s learning journey with us here:

Can you describe your career experience before making the change to cyber security?

“I began my professional career as a graphic designer, having completed my Bachelor of Visual Arts and Design at Australian Catholic University. Whilst working as a retail assistant at a supermarket I was told I had the skills that would make a good leader and I began training and making my way up the management ladder. I’ve been the Store Manager at that supermarket for 4 years.“

How did you transfer and apply your previous work experiences to prepare you to study cyber security?

“Holding the most senior position in-store meant I was quite good at balancing multiple tasks. I led multiple projects in my role as Store Manager and I’ve gained some really great time and project management skills from it.”

Why did you choose to join the part-time program in particular? What appealed to you?

“Having the flexibility to learn at a slower pace allowed me to focus on developing other skill sets. Having done the pre-work for the Cyber Security program, I was very interested in Python and going the part-time route allowed me to develop this skill set further in conjunction with learning Cyber.”

What did you enjoy the most about the program? 

“I enjoyed the practical lab work and having our trainer arrange sessions with people in the industry. It gave us all valuable insights into what it was like being a Cyber Security professional.”

You were able to secure a Cyber Security Solutions Analyst role with Avertro before graduating  – Congratulations! How did you manage to land a new role before graduating from the program?

“Taking advantage of the connections that your trainer has is vital. Networking plays a huge part in the industry. We had the CEO of Avertro come to one of our sessions to present their product and with that fresh in mind, I saw an opportunity to apply for an opening they had. Having great feedback from your trainer helps as well! Make sure to be engaged in sessions and make the most of it.“

What guidance would you give someone applying for jobs during and/or after upskilling?

“I was fortunate enough to secure a position whilst still in the program. From prior experience, searching for an opportunity is a job in itself. Keep your resume and cover letter updated. Opportunities arise every day. Be sure to utilise the job outcomes team at Institute of Data as it is a very valuable resource.”

Can you describe when you knew that Cyber was the right career path for you?

“I think I always knew a career in tech was something I wanted to pursue. I’ve always been interested from a very young age but instead decided to pursue a creative career which eventuated into a role in retail management. My interest never left me though. After being the ‘go to guy’ for tech issues in the family for several years, I thought it was time to leverage the communication and leadership skills I gained from management and find the right tech industry to pivot to. That was Cyber.”

Tell us about your capstone project! How did you come up with your topic?

“For my Capstone Project, I wanted to explore Python and its uses in Cyber. I created a script that scans the recycle bin directory on a windows machine and outputs deleted files along with the time and date of deletion as well as the user that did so. To complement this I also wanted to show what I had learnt in vulnerability testing during the practical labs so I wrote two more scripts – one that runs an ARP spoofing attack and one that detects ARP spoofing attacks.” 

How did you find the process of completing your final Capstone project during the course? What did it teach you?

“I found it to be a great learning experience. At first, it felt a little overwhelming as there was so much I wanted to explore for my Capstone project. I recalled the pre-work and having a real fascination with Python, so I decided to utilise this in my Capstone to complement my Cyber Security learning. It was the perfect opportunity. Doing so gave me more skills that I’m able to utilise in industry.“

In your opinion, how did the program change your perspective on the importance of soft skills in a cyber security role?

“It really shifted my view as I thought it was going to be a role or industry that heavily relied on technical skills. Having numerous one on one sessions with my trainer really helped to change that mentality. My eyes were opened to what I could actually bring to industry with the professional experiences I already had. A big huge shout out to Michael and Ez for showing me the skills I had were those that could allow me to make a successful entry into the industry.” 

What guidance would you give someone from a non-IT background that wants to upskill in cyber security?

“The biggest piece of advice I’d have is to not be afraid to make the pivot into the industry, it’s growing at a rapid pace and coupled with a skills shortage; there is a role out there for you. The program at IOD also allows you to experience a broad scope of Cyber and you’ll be able to identify an area that you gravitate towards and one that will allow you to lean on prior skills you have.”

Connect with Bradley on LinkedIn here.

If you are interested in up-skilling or transitioning to cyber security, schedule a consultation with a Data Industry Career Consultant today.

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