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IT Masters News

New Objectives and Professional Communication
24 April 2014

IT Masters Session 1 Newsletter

2014 has seen some big changes with a significant redesign of CSU’s IT Masters degrees. This has resulted in a significant improvement to student outcomes upon completion of newly redesigned subjects. One example is:

Subject: ITE513 Forensic Investigation – pre 2014 objectives

  • be able to summarize the History of Forensics
  • be able to explain the importance of securing computer evidence
  • be able to define Electronic Evidence
  • be able to List down the equipment required in a Forensics Lab

Subject ITE513 Forensic Investigation – new objectives

  • be able to design and develop a final investigation report;
  • be able to critically evaluate and secure a digital crime scene;
  • be able to define and justify the international principles for computer evidence
  • be able to collect and secure evidence in a forensically sound manner;

Sure, the new objectives are more challenging but which ones would you rather achieve? 

Cheers,

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

In this edition

  1. Professional Communications is now a core subject
  2. Feedback about our Instructors
  3. ACS’s Big Day In
  4. Subscribe to our Blog: ITM Insight
  5. 2013 Prizewinner: Master of Information Systems Security
  6. ITResearch@CSU
  7. How much credit would I be eligible for? 

Professional Communications is now a core subject

CSU have recognised the critical role that effective interpersonal communications play in the IT industry by introducing Professional Communications as a core subject in every IT Masters Degree delivered by ITM for CSU.
 
Poor communication is the number one reason that projects fail, why companies have a poor perception of their internal IT support groups and why those outside the industry struggle to relate to the IT professional in the real world.
 
Justin Warren from itews.com.au reiterates the importance of an internal IT team being able to effectively sell itself to its customer, the business:
 
“IT doesn’t tend to spend enough time developing a relationship with their customers. They don’t systematically research customer attitudes. They ignore the wider competitive environment of their company, and they ignore the humans involved in making the decisions, with all their biases and flaws,” says Justin.
 
“If your board is signing off on IT outsourcing and cloud computing deals, it might suggest an uncomfortable truth: your internal IT doesn’t know how to sell itself.”
 
This subject is not simply theory – it also incorporates training to ensure students embed the best-practice communications theory that they have learnt into their business communications. The subject culminates in a final recorded presentation assessment, adopting the roles of key players in a fictional business scenario.
 
In March Brenton Burchmore presented a Free Short Course taster of our Professional Communications subject and had a great response from over 1750 students. “The exciting thing is that it is not difficult to improve your communication skills – it just takes a structured development program like this and then the motivation to practice what you have learnt.  

Feedback About Our Instructors 

Each session CSU asks for feedback from our students about how our mentors have performed in their subjects. In Session 3 we were thrilled to see that we had some excellent feedback for both Jeremy Koster and the very busy Brenton Burchmore.
 
Jeremy led students in the subject ITE513 Forensic Investigation as part of the Master of Information Systems Security. Jeremy has been a certified CISSP for 7 years and has a range of security qualifications such as PCIP, SANS GCIH, SANS GPEN, CEH and CHFI. He completed his Masters of Information System Security in 2006. In August this year Jeremy will be running our Handling Security Incidents Free Short Course, with details to be released in the coming months.
 
Brenton has had a leading role in the redesign of many of our subjects, particularly MGI521 Professional Communications and delivered ITE518, MGI511, MGI514 and MGI518 in Session Three.
 
We’re very happy to have both lecturers on board and appreciate the great efforts all our mentors go to in order to deliver engaging webinars.

ACS’s Big Day In

The Big Day In Event is an initiative by the ACS to connect secondary and tertiary students with IT organisations. The aim is to excite students about a potential career in IT and provide networking opportunities for jobs and internships. The event kicked off in Sydney in March and has several more dates scheduled around the country for April and May. The organisers are pleased to report that over 40% of the attendees are female, and it is great to see a more balanced audience expressing interest in a future in IT.
 
The CSU team is looking forward to catching up with the ACS team in Bathurst. If you or your organisation would like to get involved there are some great exhibition and presentation opportunities to be found on their website.  

Subscribe to our Blog: ITM Insight

In April we launched our new ITM Insight blog on the IT Masters website.  The blog will cover topics related to current and future trends in the IT Industry and discuss ways in which you can future-proof your skills.
 
The blog will be updated on a weekly basis and so far we’ve discussed the role of the CIO in today’s corporate climate and how to make complex ideas more accessible. Keep an eye out for next week’s article that addresses the importance of communication skills as you progress from an IT professional into IT Management and suddenly it becomes “not all about the technology anymore.”

2013 Prizewinner: Master of Information Systems Security

In our Session 3 Newsletter we mistakenly reported Andrew Brown as the IT Masters Graduation Prizewinner for Information Systems Security. While Andrew achieved some outstanding results in his time at CSU, the rightful winner of the prize was Jack Coleman. Jack answered some of our questions about his postgrad experience:
 
Q: What prompted you to decide to study at CSU?
 
Balancing work, family and study commitments, the fact that I could study for the Masters online at CSU as opposed to having to attend a campus was attractive. Additionally, I liked the fact that the course consisted of a mix of academic subjects and industry certifications. I had intended doing some of the certifications anyway, so combining them with a Masters in Info Systems Security seemed the logical way to go.
 
Q: Can you give a description of your current job?
 
I work in the Information Security field for the Federal Government.
 
Q: Has the course had any effect on your career path?
 
Yes, I have been able to demonstrate the skills and knowledge gained from the course. This in turn has led to increased responsibilities and more opportunities.
 
Q: What was the biggest challenge you faced in completing your study?
 
Fitting in the study with work commitments and raising a young family was definitely the biggest challenge. This seemed to be a common theme for most students. There were many late nights at the kitchen table finishing assignments, or trying to concentrate in online lectures that were scheduled at dinner and bath time for the kids. I also found it challenging to find the appropriate amount of time to spend on assignments and studying for the exams; it’s important to know how many marks each task is worth, and put the effort in accordingly.
 
Q: What drove you to achieve such outstanding results?

I’m grateful for the support I had from my wife and family; they gave me the space to allow me to study. I also had a very supportive workplace. I set out to just do the best I could but I soon found that, though challenging, I really enjoyed the subjects. The lecturers were all terrific, very knowledgeable and approachable. I also found the interaction with fellow students on the forums invaluable. I’d encourage all students to actively participate; you get out what you put in.
 
Q: Which subject did you find the most rewarding?

It’s difficult to choose one however I think it would be ITC593 – Network Security. I found the history of encryption, and the maths behind it very interesting. The lecturer Jason Howarth was able to clearly explain complex topics. At work, I use the knowledge from this subject on a regular basis.

IT Research @ CSU

Erdal Ozkaya is a favourite lecturer of ours and travels the world giving presentations on topics such as Network Security and Social Media. He is currently working on his Doctor of IT with CSU on the subject of “Privacy in Social Media”
 
Despite his already strong relationship with the team, he decided to continue his studies with CSU because it gave him the freedom to study via distance education. A self-confessed “busy guy,” this study method allowed him to continue working all over the world and contribute to his research while doing so.
 
He will be presenting part of his research at the EC Council event Hacker Halted in Atlanta delivering a lecture entitled Zombies in Social Networking:
“Social networking has changed the way we interact on a global scale,” says Erdal. “On the surface it lets us make new friends and business contacts. But, what of the darker side of Social Networking? How do you protect your business or yourself and your family from Zombies, predators, Cyberbullies, scammers, stalkers, and other cyber-criminals?” 

How much credit would I be eligible for?

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.