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IT Masters News

Celebrating Graduation
14 January 2014

Hi,

In December the IT Masters team travelled up to the Wagga Campus to celebrate Graduation with our students and marked another great year in partnership with Charles Sturt University. 

We had the opportunity to speak to many of the Graduates at the event and loved hearing about their stories and experiences in studying with us. It was a great chance to find out how dedicated they were, often juggling study with the challenges of full-time work and family life. Notably, it seemed to be a very popular decision to start a Masters and a family simultaneously – we had plenty of toddlers joining in the celebrations!

Cheers,

Martin Hale
Adjunct Senior Lecturer – Charles Sturt University
Chief Executive Officer – IT Masters Pty Ltd

In this edition:

  1. Celebrating Graduation
  2. Winner of the Graduation Prize for Database Design and Management
  3. Winner of the Graduation Prize for Networking and Systems Administration
  4. The Graduate Certificate Pathway
  5. Free Short Course: Network Security Administrator
  6. Can I Get Credit? Am I Eligible?

Celebrating Graduation 

Andrew Brown (Master of Information Systems Security) winner of the  IT Masters Graduation Prize for Information Systems Security, spoke at Graduation about the support of not only the IT Masters staff on a professional level but also the personal support and patience provided to him by his family. The evening was the perfect time for the Graduates to pass on their thanks to their very proud families:

“I trust that I speak for all of the graduates when I say that, having had so many others invest in our studies, it is now time for us to begin to return that investment. It is time for us to apply our skills and experience in ways that will not only benefit our families, our friends, our supporters and our communities, but also the countries in which we live and work; and, ultimately, our world as a whole.”  

You can read more about Andrew’s studies here.

We often hear that the biggest challenge facing students is effectively balancing their time. Udaya Govinna (Master of Networking and Systems Administration) achieved outstanding results throughout his Masters by dedicating himself to his studies and challenging himself to obtain a Microsoft certification despite having a more in-depth prior knowledge of Cisco.

“As a full-time employee and a family person, I have very little time left during the day for my studies. So I overcame this issue by waking up every day at 3:00am in the morning. The distance education perfectly suited my lifestyle”

Taking a different approach by choosing to stretch out his studies over a longer time was Kyle Rosenthal (Master of Management (IT)). Kyle has been a student with IT Masters since 2006 and we were very glad to see him complete his Masters this year!

“During the time that I was completing the course, we also welcomed to the world 2 children – I remember completing a final assignment while in a chair next to my wife after the birth of our first child – wrangling my role as father, husband and business owner into the available time was the biggest challenge! On the flip side – my family have also been my biggest supporters as well – the cheer from my 3 year old daughter when I graduated was enough to make the Chancellor pause!”

Udaya and Kyle answered several more questions about their experiences.

Winner of the Graduation Prize for Database Design and Management – Victor Ekpoke 

Travelling by far the greatest distance to attend graduation, Victor Ekpoke (Master of Database Design and Management) came to visit us all the way from South Africa and was awarded the IT Masters Graduation Prize for Database Design and Management due to his excellent results. 

Q: Can you give a description of your current job?

I am responsible for decisions and hands on regarding strategic database development projects within the entire business intelligence environment and across the group, which includes databases development, enhancement and  Maintenance, Dimensional modelling, ETL, Data  Mapping, Data Integration and Data Warehousing.

Q: Has the course had any effect on your career path?

Yes, immediately I completed my Master’s degree,  I became so vast and knowledgeable in my place of work that it positively affected the way I worked, and  I had a raise in salary and moved from been Data Warehouse developer to become the Data warehouse Manager.

Q: What was the biggest challenge you faced in completing your study?

Studying from South Africa was a bit challenging as the time zones were significantly different. Sometimes you might be required to take a test almost at the same time with other student. However, with the help of the flexibility of some lecturers and the friendliness of other international students made it more worth it as I became more aware that I am not the only international student, as there are other students studying one subject or the other with me from around the world.

Q: Which subject did you find the most rewarding?

IT Management issues and Topics in IT Ethics. It was so rich in content that I could speak or make arguments with a couple of my friends that had MBA’s from world class universities. The course affected the way I reasoned as a professional and as a human being.  Overall, I love the way Charles Sturt and IT Masters structured their course as it combines different aspects of ICT issues. I might have done 12 subjects; moreover, they are so diverse.

Winner of the Graduation Prize for Networking and Systems Administration – Beau Dwyer

 

Beau Dwyer (Master of Networking and Systems Administration) was the very deserving winner of the IT Masters Graduation Prize for Networking and Systems Administration.

Q: What prompted you to decide to study at CSU?

A work colleague was looking at the IT Masters courses and they sounded like they would be a good option me, having not completed any Uni previously the idea of getting a Masters with a few years study was very appealing, and it seemed to recognise my experience in the industry better than other options.

Q: Can you give a description of your current job?

My title is Senior Network\System Analyst. Myself and another Network\Systems Analyst take care of approximately 40 Network devices and 60 Servers. As the senior staff member I am also in charge of projects and future planning.

Q: Has the course had any effect on your career path?

Not really, as you can see from my job title and the course name I do work in a related role. My goal in completing the course was to show on my CV that I have not only the on job experience but also the technical knowledge and theory behind it. This was not to further my career but to ensure if I do change roles or look for advancement that my CV was more complete.

Q: What was the biggest challenge you faced in completing your study?

Time, this was by far the hardest part of studying and working full-time. Finding the time to complete the hours of study required. The time is always there, but there are so many things fighting for your time, and many of them are far more attractive that sitting down to study, you need to be strict with yourself and designate dedicated study time if you want to achieve good results. 

Q: What drove you to achieve such outstanding results?

I have found as a mature aged student I was more driven than when I last studied, it had been more than a decade since I completed study at school and Uni and I really didn’t know what to expect from myself at the start. Some good results in the first couple of subjects did help set the bar a bit higher than I might have expected, and so I was striving to keep it there, managing to even improve as the course went on.

Q: Which subject did you find the most rewarding?

I found ITC-597 “Digital Forensics” to be the most rewarding subject, mainly due to the fact that it was far removed from my day to day work and that it shed some light on some of the ways used to recover and find data. 

The Graduate Certificate Pathway 

Brian Cannell graduated from a Master of Project Management with CSU via the Graduate Certificate pathway.  His years of experience in IT and the Corporate Environment meant that despite not having an undergraduate degree he was still eligible to attain a Masters. This is a common pathway for many of our students wanting to work towards gaining their Master’s Degree without completing any additional subjects.

Q: Can you give a description of your current  job?

As a Senior Project Manager at Geoscience Australia I am responsible for establishing the tactical plan for delivery of projects including the transition in to ‘business as usual’ operation once they are completed. This involves stakeholder management, risk management, scheduling, budget management, reporting and generally just ensuring that the outputs are delivered to an agreed scope and quality standard.  A large part of this involves ‘people management’ and managing teams. 

Q: Has the course had any effect on your career path?

Absolutely, I am much more self aware in my communication. I am also confident in the ‘hard’ skills that I now posses in project management, for example: earned value, critical path analysis, probability, cause and effect, improvement curve, NPV, IRR, Payback, advanced scheduling and network analysis, resource levelling etc.

I now feel that I am much better placed to advance my career (if/when I choose to do so). At the present time I am very happy doing what I do at Geoscience but it is always nice to know that with the additional skills and knowledge (and qualification) that I now have,  I would be better positioned for opportunities and/or to take on new challenges in the future.

Q: What was the biggest challenge you faced in completing your study?

It wasn’t easy. I was balancing full-time work, family (when I started the degree we had just had our first child and 18 months later had a second). I really had to be disciplined and there was virtually no time for recreational activities such as family, gym and music – the three things I am most passionate about. I found a couple of the units quite difficult as I was completely unfamiliar with the concepts so went in cold – for example Managerial Finance to me was the hardest unit – my advice to people doing that unit – don’t cram, you may get away with that for other units but for finance (if you have never done it before) it is better to build your knowledge over time and practice the exercises over and over! I must say I was very relieved when I passed that unit, although at the time it was very stressful for me. 

Q: Which subject did you find the most rewarding?

My Masters unit ”Project Management Communications” was really valuable in providing me with additional knowledge, tools and techniques. The tutor (Brenton Burchmore) for this unit was exceptionally good in his delivery of the course, a lot of his quotes are tattooed in my memory, for example: 

“Deliver information that creates understanding that inspires action” 

I am now very conscious of the above when I communicate. For example if I send an email, I ask myself is it consistent with the above? Have I delivered information that creates understanding that inspires action? Whilst something as simple as the above quote may seem obvious, it is surprising how often these principles are not followed in everyday communication. This is just one quote of many and a tiny part of the overall unit, but it definitely has stuck with me.

Since applying the principles of what I learned in this unit at work, I have noticed a boost in my career; the relationships I have and my overall communication effectiveness to the point where last month my Division Chief presented me with the ”Performer of the month award” at our end of year Divisional briefing. I attribute this partially to some of the skills I learned in communication/stakeholder management from the subject. Whilst I was quite confident in my communication ability prior to the subject, I felt that the subject nicely consolidated what I already knew and gave me new and different perspectives that took my communication capability to the next level. This is now paying dividends in both my professional and personal life. I have a side business writing and producing music for recreational and commercial purposes. I often find that some musicians can be ‘unique’ to communicate and/or establish productive relationships with. The communications skills I learned in this subject are quite transferable to this situation.

Free Short Course: Network Security Administrator

This short course is designed to partially prepare you for certification as an EC-Council Network Security Administrator (ENSA). The ENSA certification program looks at network security from a defensive view. It is designed to provide fundamental skills needed to analyze the internal and external security threats against a network, and to develop security policies that will protect an organization’s information.

You can find out more or register for this course here.

Can I Get Credit? Am I Eligible?

To find out if you can get credit for any qualifications that you have already completed please fill out our Eligibility Form.

By qualifying for credits you may be able to significantly reduce the length of your Masters.

If you are unsure about whether or not you are eligible to study with IT Masters please fill out our Am I Eligible form.