College is a big change in anyone’s life. However, returning to college as a mature student was hugely daunting. Having worked since leaving school I was about to embark on something other people did at 18 years old or so I thought!
In September 2009 I began as a student on the Computer Security & Digital Forensics course. I was nervous and excited and really didn’t know what to expect. I should not have worried though. The student population has changed greatly in recent years and there were people of every age and background in my classes. Everyone meshed together well, helping each other out and helping find new ways of doing and learning. There was no problems in being a mature student. The course offered plenty of challenges and opportunities for learning and covers some really fascinating subjects, many of which I use in my job today.
The college itself has a great staff base and facilities. The lecturers are approachable and fair and many go over and above when it comes to facilitating the learning and growth of their students. There was never a hesitation when asked for advice and they showed great interest in all their students. They are a great asset to the college. The support staff are great and are always there to help. The facilities offered by the college are second to none. They don’t just cater for the educational wellbeing of the students, they have created a centre where all student needs are met.
During my 4 years in LYIT I learned so much but it was the other opportunities I was afforded that made a lasting impression. I was chosen for a summer placement, doing something that ultimately became my first job after I left college, I got to teach Java to boys in the local secondary school for a few months, I got to take part in competitions and go to seminars outside of Ireland. I made some great and lasting friendships. I learned that hard work pays off.
Going back to college in LYIT as a mature student was the best thing I ever did. I left there with a well-rounded education in security and forensics and have gone on to become the Application Security Analyst in Realex Payments in Dublin. I am living my dream.
After finishing school at age 17 I was unsure what to study but fortunately I chose Computing. I chose the BSc in Computer Security and Digital Forensic as I thought it would be an interesting course. I’m the type of person who likes to get stuck in and Digital Forensics in particular felt like it would suit me. It all worked out very well and I’m currently a Security Engineering with a major multi-national, Pramerica Systems Ireland.
Once I completed my BSc course I got an internship at Pramerica Systems Ireland. It was great experience, when you are doing the course you’re sometimes unsure what your actual day to day job might be but doing the internship really gave me a great idea what my career options were. After the internship I got an offer to stay on as a full-time employee. I was over the moon especially since I was only 20 at the time plus we got to the offer of assistance in completing our Honours Degree in Computer Security and Digital Forensics as part-time students.
My overall experience at LYIT was great and the lectures go over and beyond their obligations to help you as much as they can. For example one of my lecturers gave me lots of help and guidance seeking a really good internship and he also gave great advice about doing interviews and so on. Computer Security is a rapidly growing area in the IT industry and it will continue to grow. If you are considering this course I would advise you to do it especially if you’re a woman. IT companies are really trying to encourage more women to do IT.
Fergal Coll – Application Security Engineer - Pramerica
In 2007 I began my journey with the LYIT’s Department of Computing and graduated with a Bachelor of Science (Hons) in Computing with Computer Security and Digital Forensics in 2011.
The course had plenty of challenges and opportunities. Computing covers a wide variety of fascinating subjects taught by world class researchers in areas such as digital forensics, cryptography and security threats/countermeasures. All staff and students have an encouraging, approachable and friendly demeanour and are always keen to ensure that the material is well understood. The LYIT itself has a very friendly ethos with a variety of clubs and societies in a lively social scene.
Given the excellent training I received at LYIT I was recruited by one of the largest and fastest growing IT firms in the North-West as an application security engineer/ethical hacker. I would welcome any student to study at LYIT’s Department of Computing because of the competitive edge gained in today’s difficult marketplace in areas such as the IT Security/ Digital Forensics sector with jobs both locally and internationally.
After being self-employed in the retail sector for a number of years I decided in 2009 to follow my heart and enroll in LyIT as a full time mature student with the aim of gaining employment in the IT industry. The course I chose was a BSc. (Hons) Degree in Computer Security and Digital Forensics. The course itself was well designed, comfortably introducing students to general computing modules coupled with in-depth security and forensics.
During the summer of 2012 I worked as a placement student with the Application Security team in Pramerica Systems Ireland as an Ethical Hacker. This role provided me with invaluable experience and a great insight into life working in a modern IT environment. The summer placement was organised by the LyIT and a recognised minor award in Industry Studies was awarded by the institute on completion.
The final year (2013) included a project where each student designed and built a software artifact of their choice. This aspect of the course was extremely rewarding as each student got to showcase skills and knowledge learned over the entirety of the course. It also provided a topic of conversation and reference during future job interviews.
My overall experience in LyIT was excellent. The facilities and technology provided to students in the campus were second to none. The most striking quality from a personal viewpoint was the attitude and personal interest shown by the lecturers. They were very approachable and only too willing to provide one to one advice when required. The student’s union staff also provided a great service to all students and have to be commended for their dedication to student welfare and social activity.
Computer security is now recognised as an essential component of modern industry and a highly sought after quality in a potential employee. Various employers came to the LyIT in my final year to promote their company to students. I was interviewed and offered a conditional contract with my present employer three months before I actually completed my course, such is the demand for qualified graduates. My time at LyIT has been genuinely life changing and I have no hesitation in recommending this course or similar to any prospective student.