When Caitlin Rains enrolled in Swinburne’s Bachelor of Information Technology, a course now called the Bachelor of Business Information Technology (Professional), she knew she’d be receiving a tidy $40k scholarship as part of the course. What she didn’t know was that, just three years later, she’d find herself fighting cybercrime at one of the biggest professional services networks in the world.
If it were not for studying the Bachelor of Information Technology (BIT), Ms Rains notes that she would definitely not be where she is today.
“The BIT is completely responsible for my career,” she says.
“Before I started university, I had no idea where I wanted be to working when I graduated – all I knew was that I wanted a job in IT.”
Ms Rains credits the large range of subjects and year of industry experience with developing her awareness of the different paths available.
This, as well as the connections she made along the way, has led her to an exciting role straight out of university – a Cyber Risk Analyst at Deloitte.
“I went from just wanting to work in IT to wanting to pursue a career which helps organisations manage and prevent security risks,” says Ms Rains.
“To have the opportunity to discover what your strengths are and how you want to specialise your skills in the industry before graduating is fantastic and has certainly fast-tracked my career.”
With the worldwide explosion in hacking and cyber warfare, the need for organisations to be secure, vigilant and resilient has never been greater. Nor has the importance of cybersecurity experts like Ms Rains.
As a Cyber Risk Analyst, Ms Rains helps Deloitte’s impressive list of clients prevent and respond to cyberattacks and protect their valuable assets.
Her tasks include helping develop effective cyber-related strategies and governance activities to ensure organisations manage their security risks appropriately, as well as protecting their assets through security assessments and improvements to their existing security controls.
“For me, no two jobs are ever the same and the breadth of work allows me to understand different aspects of cybersecurity and how it uniquely impacts each industry,” says Ms Rains.
“It’s an ever-evolving field and I am constantly continuing to develop the skills and knowledge I learnt from my studies at Swinburne.”
The Swinburne advantage
The Bachelor of Information Technology (BIT), was the clear choice for Ms Rains when it came to furthering her education.
“I chose to study a Bachelor of Information Technology at Swinburne as it gave me a unique and clear advantage over other universities and their IT courses,” she says.
After all, the BIT does include an industry funded scholarship worth approximately $40,000, which she says eased the financial stress of studying and allowed her to focus more attention on her course work.
For her year of industry experience, Ms Rains was lucky enough to score gigs at two of Swinburne’s high-profile industry partners in NAB and Deloitte.
Placed within NAB’s Technology and Operations division, she spent six months providing support to a variety of systems and applications as a Technical Services Analyst. In the second half of the year, she worked within Deloitte’s Cyber Risk Advisory team, helping a wide range of clients manage their cybersecurity.
These placements gave Ms Rains the opportunity to apply her learning, develop skills and knowledge in a way that she couldn’t in regular classes, prepare her for full-time employment, and create meaningful contacts within the industry.
Her experience at Deloitte was especially beneficial, helping set up her current role there upon her graduation.
Having a whole year of industry experience before graduating has given her a massive edge over her peers, according to Ms Rains.
“Working full-time for a year in the industry provides a significant difference in the skills and knowledge that you have, helping you stand out from other graduates,” she says.
“The contacts you make there can also help you organise relevant employment straight out of university.”
The uni community
Ms Rains describes the BIT program as a close-knit community with a wealth of support.
“Staff are always available to offer advice and assist you in managing the intensive workload,” she says.
“You also share your journey with the same cohort, meaning you receive ample ongoing support from your peers.”
While studying a Bachelor of Information Technology can at times be challenging, Ms Rains believes it is extremely worthwhile.
“The BIT challenges you to push the limits of what you think you can do, and rewards you with incredible connections, useful skills and opportunities you would find difficult to experience otherwise,” she says.
“In the end, I graduated well-equipped and excited for the career path it had paved for me.”
The Bachelor of Information Technology was renamed in 2019 and is now known as the Bachelor of Business Information Technology (Professional)