Lecturer, Emma Derbi, explains more about the sessions:
“To prepare the students for the daily world of work and give them skills such as such as professionalism, communication, and organization skills, we run sessions that we like to call 'Lunch and Learns'. These are led by businesses who give talks around topics that are relevant for cybersecurity today. The sessions are designed to give real-world industry context to the taught content of the course ensuring the students’ knowledge is always up to date for the modern workplace. Following the sessions, the students have the opportunity to engage in open discussion with the employer.”
Second-year student, Gareth George, has attended ‘Lunch and Learn’ sessions and says:
“Whilst watching a Lunch and Learn from Bridewell Consulting it was mentioned that they were hiring for security operations interns. This sparked an interest in gaining real-world experience before entering my third year. I decided to apply for the year-long internship which was followed by an interview. The material I was taught at the National Cyber Security Academy at USW proved vital in securing this role as a security operations intern with technical questions being asked which were covered within the course. I look forward to putting these new skills to work in my role as a security operations intern and returning to finish off my degree in the third year at the NCSA.”
Another aspect that helps to ensure students are work-ready is that each year students on the course work with an employer on a live industry project. This gives our students an understanding of how their learning lends itself to real-life work and to the business who can see how the students could fit within their organisation. Emma Derbi explains further:
“By engaging directly with the students, organisations are able to evaluate their suitability for future employment and this has led to some students being employed with these organisations before they graduate by gaining either full-time work or placements.
Engaging with the students on campus allows an organisation to evaluate the capabilities of the cohort whilst taking away the need for the administrative overhead of directly employing them. Initially, businesses were a little wary of the concept and not sure what we could offer them, but increasingly more and more organisations are getting involved as they see the benefits they gain.
The team is committed to opening up opportunities for all students and we are particularly keen to encourage more girls into the subject area. As an all-female team, we hope we provide inspiration to others.”