Being a veteran in the field of information security, I knew it was high time for me to formalize my learning and broaden my understanding of cybersecurity. While I possessed the theoretical knowledge about the field, I was looking for a program that will helped me build on my knowledge and to provide me the practical proficiency in the field of cybersecurity that every leader needs.
During my research, I noticed that most universities and/or institutions in Asia (especially in Philippines & Hong Kong) did not offer a program focused on cyber security. I was slightly surprised given the need of cybersecurity awareness is increasing with each passing day. Nevertheless, I came across ECCU and its MSCS program during my research, and could immediately relate to the outline of the program. It has a strong emphasis on cybersecurity, organizational structure and behavioral research. There is a lot of emphasis on technical writing, and that was exactly what I needed in my course. Seeing the course covering all the bases, right from governance, legal, regulatory framework and the technical nitty gritty of the cyber security profession like penetration testing, forensics, etc., I knew I was making the right choice.
Also, because the entire postgraduate program was delivered as a “hands-on” online course, it gave me the flexibility to manage my commitment at work and have a work-study balance.
Within the rest few days of signing up, I realised that it is just not any other program. It grills you, tests you, and evaluates you at every step. Their expectation is very high and they have a live online cyber range that they use to ensure that you acquire hands-on cyber skills. I have always believed that anything that is easy to pursue does not benefit a professional in the long run. I was pleasantly surprised to see the intensity of the course and the way it thoroughly tested me. The weekly assignments, healthy class discussions, and preparation of research papers helped me learn and observe what it takes to be a global cybersecurity professional.
Apart from providing great knowledge about cybersecurity, the program also exposes you to real-world scenarios and teaches you to deal with them. All of this delivered by a world-class faculty that all have been cybersecurity practitioners for global organizations themselves. I remember performing security scanning, complicated vulnerability assessments, advanced penetration tests, and, then, coming up with a report on the outcome. While these tasks made me burn the midnight oil, it provided me the competence to understand how important penetration testing and vulnerability scanning is for a cybersecurity leader.
I was also impressed on how the exams were designed, each of them having its own unique focus area. While some focussed on theory, some evaluated the skills and the temperament of a professional in a difficult but practical situation. Also, passing the MSCS is not a cakewalk since one must pass multiple courses to complete the program. My advice to students would be to meet their commitments and implement time-management while pursuing the exam, or else get ready to flunk the course.
It goes without saying that my experience with MSCS program was great. Thanks to this program and EC-Council University, I have taken up a regional role in my organization and I am now able to spread my knowledge about cybersecurity through newsletters and articles in my community. Above all, it has made my family and friends feel proud of my achievements. I definitely recommend this program to everyone.