Learning cryptography was highlight of my computing course

Student hands on laptop

Robert Lucas attended Blackwood Comprehensive before coming to USW to study Computer Security.

"My previous computing course, a BTEC National Diploma in Computing, contained a module on security. This piqued my interest and gave some understanding of the needs for security with regards to computing.

USW was a perfect first choice, not only due to its location but because of its dedicated cyber department which allows for a stronger focus on security. The work the University does with GCHQ was another big factor.

The most valuable aspects of the Computer Security course have been developing professional skills such as how to do presentations or deal with clients, write reports and work on projects. This has helped me to understand the needs of a professional company and build my confidence when approaching employers.

Learning cryptography has been a highlight of the course and I have enjoyed learning how ciphers can be used to ensure digital encryption. Programming has been another highlight and while it can be difficult figuring out the right approach/solution, it is gratifying when you see the final result.

The most enjoyable project so far has been developing a game in command line in C++. This project allowed me to develop my problem solving and build my programming skills. Despite initially not enjoying programming, over the course of the project I came to really enjoy it.

I am currently searching for a summer placement for next year. There are many opportunities for internships with companies such as Alert Logic, Lexus Nexus and South Wales Police so I should have no problem finding one I enjoy.

My eventual aim is to seek employment in the cyber security industry, ideally with a penetration testing company. The course has helped develop my skills in this area and going forward, should help me develop my understanding and knowledge.

I would recommend the computing course to those who have a real passion for computer security. I believe that those with an eye on working in network administration or developing security systems would benefit the most."