Computing course giving me vast amounts of theoretical and practical knowledge

James Stevenson, Computer Security student

James Stevenson is studying the Computer Security degree. Alongside this, James runs www.hackinginsider.com which offers computing news and tutorials.

"My ambition is to work in the computer security industry. The Computer Security degree is giving me vast amounts of theoretical and practical knowledge, which I hope to implement in the work place.

"The course is enjoyable. It mixes the ability to be tough and strenuous with enjoyable payoffs like the Deloitte Capture the Flag Challenge which we were involved in earlier this year. We also routinely have industry professionals come in to give talks so we get a taste of life outside the bubble of university.

"In my third year, I applied for a year-long paid internship at Alert Logic, a Security-As-A-Service provider. After two interviews (competency and technical interview) I was offered the role.

"The placement allowed me understand how working in an organisation differs from university life. I was lucky to be placed in two energetic and experienced teams - the Security Operation Centre, working on security incidents; and in their On-boarding Team, taking customers through the on-boarding lifecycle.

"It would be impossible to name every skill I learnt during the placement however my business awareness skills have increased tenfold as a result. What’s more, I took part in the ESTnet Scheme, which provides students with coaching and leadership training.

"As a result, I gained a Level 3 ILM Leadership and Management qualification, which will be a huge boost for my CV. My five-year plan is to enter front-line management so the ILM should help me get a foot in the door."