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Elizabeth van Deventer

Cyber Security MSc
Elizabeth van Deventer

Elizabeth is studying the MSc in Cyber Security. This course will enable her to fulfil her ambition to make the online world a safer place.

Your motivations, drivers and challenges

What was your main motivation to undertake postgraduate study?

I wanted to change my career and become involved in a field like Cyber Security that has the potential to make such a big difference in the future.

What were the factors that influenced your decision making when considering postgraduate study?

The location, graduate employability, university reputation and course content were on top of my list when thinking about returning to study.

What were, if any, the main challenges that affected your decision about postgraduate study? How did you overcome them?

There were some challenges for sure. Financially speaking, it wasn’t easy leaving a steady income to take up full-time study and also university costs were something to consider.

Additionally, moving to a different country, with a different culture, weather, environment can be tough.

Putting your life on hold to pursue a dream is a challenge in itself but, in the end, you have to look at the rewards and what you want to achieve. If you weigh up the pros and cons, then the decision was an easy one.

Why did you choose City? What made you decide City was the right university for you?

I flew over from South Africa to attend an Open Evening, where I spent some time with one of the academics from this course. He gave me an overview of the course and what career paths it could lead to. On top of that, I did a lot of online research on different courses at different universities and City came out on top of the chart.

Your student experience

What has been your student experience at City so far?

So far it has been a very interesting experience. There have been ups and downs, but with a busy coursework schedule, I haven't been particularly involved in the student experience other than focussing on my coursework, modules and exams.

How studying a postgraduate degree has helped you develop personally and professionally?

It gives you exposure to a different way of thinking. When you are working, the end result is the most important. Studying this course has taught me to investigate the intricate details further and to do a lot more research into things.

What skills and knowledge do you think the course has helped you develop?

It has definitely improved my communication skills through the interaction with my fellow students and academics. It has also exposed me to the diversity of people and cultures.

The academic side of the course has been also quite important: I have learnt so much already about IT risks, cryptography, and how to engage a lot more with IT security.

What opportunities and experiences City has offered you during your course?

There have been a number of guest speaker talks that have given me a lot more insight into what companies are looking for and what to expect when going back into the job market.

What advice would you give to people thinking about postgraduate study? What would you have liked to know then that you know now?

I would definitely encourage anyone considering postgraduate study to pursue it. You’ll gain a whole different way of thinking and meet so many interesting people from all over the world.

My advice would be to tackle this with an open mind, an open heart, and to always start studying from day one!

Your future

What are your career plans once you have completed your postgraduate degree?

I would like to move into the field of Cyber Security, and hopefully make a little contribution to make the online world a bit of a safe place.

How do you think City has equipped you for the next stage in your career journey?

There’s a lot of help and guidance from the student centre and career services, they have been always friendly and helpful.