From IT Support to Cyber Security Engineer – How Kim Upskilled and Landed a New Cyber Job in 2021

From IT Support to Cyber Security Engineer – How Kim Upskilled and Landed a New Cyber Job in 2021

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After spending 2 years working in the IT helpdesk space, Kim Nguyen was ready to take her career to the next level and land a new cyber job in the high growth cyber security industry. Kim was focused on making this career change in 2021 and so she advanced her career by upskilling through our job-focused Cyber Security Training Program with the University of Technology Sydney (UTS).

As a result of being trained by cyber experts in real-time during the course and through her hard work and passion for the cyber industry, Kim was able to build her practical cyber skills and make a fast career change. Kim now works as a Junior Cyber Security Engineer – utilising the practical cyber skills she learned during the course, on the job. Learn more about her career and learning journey so far:

Can you describe your career experience before making the change to Cyber Security?

“Before making a change to cyber security I had two years of experience in the IT industry. My role as an IT Helpdesk involved answering IT tickets and resolving trivial problems. After two years in the role, I thought it was time to advance my career, and realising the cyber security industry needs for skilled professionals got me interested.”

Why did you choose to join the Part-Time Program in particular?

“I chose the part-time cyber security program because it allowed me to keep working full time and also revise what was being taught during the week.

You’re now working as a Junior Cyber Security Engineer – Congratulations! How did you land a new cyber job in the industry after completing your training and what guidance would you give someone applying for jobs after upskilling?

“It was quite challenging at first. For a few months, I would not get any interviews. After revising my resume many many times I finally got a few interviews and landed a job offer.

For someone without any cyber security experience, it is important to show you’re passionate about cyber security. Your passion should shine through your resume. On my resume, I included all my Cyber Security-related projects from the course with a GitHub link, any Capture-the-Flag (CTF) challenges I participated in and also my virtual internship.”

How do you prepare for a cyber security interview? What are the most important things to bring along and discuss with a potential employer?

“It is important to have a good understanding of the job description and the company you applied for. Think about how your goals align with what is expected in the role. In addition to that, you need to show your passion for Cyber Security. This can be achieved by letting the interviewer know you keep up to date with the latest news, you are constantly learning, and be sure to ask them questions.

For the technical interview, the employer will test your foundational skills. I prepared for this by studying over 100 Cyber Security interview questions that can be found on Google.”

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

“My capstone project tries to tackle one of the most common cyber attacks – phishing. I decided on this topic because I’ve known people who have fallen victim to phishing. I created a web application that can determine whether a URL is legitimate using machine learning. My existing technical skills do help with creating the application a bit easier.

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

“The process was surprisingly very fun. I read through a whole lot of journal articles concerning phishing and machine learning. I was able to see the complexity and effort an attacker will go through to fool a victim. With something as simple as a web address there’s a great deal of study and URL manipulation to deceive a web user.”

What are some tips you would give someone preparing to present their Capstone project during the program?

“Presenting is one of my weaknesses as I do stutter and get nervous when speaking. But my capstone project presentation was successful because I practised presenting and went over my speech many times.

I would break my presentation down into parts. First, defining the problem, then outline the solution, next is how the solution is implemented, and finally a demonstration of the project. I would highlight the key points and not overwhelm the audience with too much information.”

With your previous career experience, how did you transfer and apply your prior skills to prepare you for this Cyber Security program?

“I would like to focus on being part of the team blue in cyber security. Which is being on the defence side doing incident response and monitoring security events. I’m excited to finally have real industry experience on certain tools such as Splunk. As well as gain experience in cloud security as I see more organisations are making a shift towards cloud services.”

What kind of professionals would be suited to this type of accelerated training program?

“For this training program, anyone with any background or experience can do it. The training program lays the foundation for cyber security and does not necessarily require any prior skills. I think this is a great starting point for anyone wanting a taste of what cyber security is.”

What do you enjoy the most about learning cyber security?

“What I’ve enjoyed most about learning cyber security is the technical aspect of it. It is exciting to follow a hacker’s track and try to understand how they exploit a system. Their process and their way of thinking fascinates me and allows me to exercise my brain a lot.

Connect with Kim on LinkedIn here.

If you are interested in upskilling and landing a new cyber job in the high growth Cyber Security industry, book a consultation with a Data Industry Career Consultant today.

Read: How Rusha upskilled to cyber security from a non-technical background and landed a senior cyber security position at KPMG

Read: How Ez upskilled to cyber security from a non-IT background and transformed his career

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