Meet our Optus Cybersecurity Scholars – could you be next?

Meet our Optus Cybersecurity Scholars – could you be next?

It’s a career for someone who wants to change the world.”

Professor Jill Slay, AM, La Trobe Optus Cybersecurity Chair

It’s the in-demand skillset at the heart of a growing global industry. Now is the time to launch a career in cybersecurity.

We all have a digital footprint, and as we’ve seen with major digital data breaches in recent years, there’s no shortage of criminals waiting to exploit our digital identities for their own gain and gain access to our most tightly-held information.

So what do the career in cybersecurity look like?

Security analysts, engineers, architects, administrators, software developers and consultants are in hot demand, as well as cryptographers, cryptanalysts, cyber law experts and cyber warriors, reveals La Trobe Optus Chair of Cybersecurity, Professor Jill Slay AM.

“Australia has somewhere between 15,000 and 20,000 job vacancies in cyber,” said Professor Slay. “These are interesting jobs with a cross-disciplinary flavour. It’s a career for someone who wants to change the world.”

As part of La Trobe’s commitment to equipping the next generation of cybersecurity experts, the University has partnered with Optus to offer postgraduate and undergraduate scholarships to students studying cybersecurity degrees. These scholarships give financial support to the best and brightest future leaders in the world of cybersecurity.

Students are supported in their studies each year with a $5,000 scholarship. But there’s more to this scholarship than its monetary value. Students are invited to attend Optus and La Trobe events as guest panelists and gain a deep knowledge from within the industry. Scholars may also have the potential opportunity to work with Optus upon graduation.

Meet post-graduate Cybersecurity scholar Daniel

Master of Cybersecurity (Computer Science) student Daniel Plowright left a career in teaching to pursue the exciting future of cybersecurity. He’s interested in discovering what makes cyber criminals tick.

Daniel Plowright spent four years serving in the Middle East with the Australian Army, before becoming a teacher. Now, he’s studying post-grad cybersecurity.

Daniel hopes to future-proof his career by becoming a cybersecurity analyst. A role in cybersecurity defence isn’t a huge stretch for Daniel, once you understand his past. Before becoming a teacher, he served with the Australian Army for four years, including spending time in the Middle East.

“Applying for the Optus scholarship was a no-brainer, as being a recipient of a scholarship from a renowned company will provide a substantial point of difference when applying for positions in the future.”

Read Daniel’s story here.

Meet undergraduate Cybersecurity scholar Vadhana

Bundoora Campus student Vadhana Anil Ram knows the value of humanity in cybersecurity. She’s undertaking a double degree in cybersecurity and psychological sciences, exploring the connections between the two disciplines.

Vadhana with fellow scholarship recipients at the Chancellor’s Circle event.

Vadhana is particularly interested in social engineering. “Looking at the ways in which hackers work to manipulate citizens within daily life also brings on the psychological aspects of my second degree.

Read Vadhana’s story here.

Meet undergraduate Cybersecurity scholar Alec

Bachelor of Cybersecurity student Alec Watt has big plans for a global career. He’s combining his cybersecurity studies with a Diploma of Languages (Chinese) to pave the way for a future working in Asia.

Alec hopes to use his degree to launch a global career.

Hoping to capitalise on his Mandarin Chinese language skills, Alec plans to investigate areas of cybersecurity such as penetration testing, security consultancy (commercial or government) and defence/intelligence.

He’s not waiting until he finishes his degree to start building his experience in Asia, either. Alec plans to undertake a semester exchange in Taiwan.

Read Alec’s story here.

Current La Trobe Cybersecurity scholarships

Be quick to apply for these Optus Postgraduate Cybersecurity Scholarships and Optus Undergraduate Cybersecurity Scholarships. Applications for both close July 28, 2019.

The Women in Cybersecurity Scholarship has three places on offer for study at Bundoora Campus. Applications close January 29, 2020.

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