Women the top performers in IT security master’s degrees

19 MARCH 2020

Women the top performers in IT security master’s degrees

In the male-dominated cyber security industry, two women have been awarded prizes as the top performing 2019 graduates of the Charles Sturt University-IT Masters postgraduate cyber security courses.

  • Two women top the 2019 Charles Sturt-IT Masters postgraduate cyber security classes
  • Industry experts estimate the Australian cyber security industry could triple in size over the next decade
  • IT Masters notes promising trend of female students enrolled in its cyber security or information systems security courses increasing to 15.5 per cent in the last 12 months

Two women have been awarded as the top performing 2019 graduates of Charles Sturt University-IT Masters postgraduate cyber security courses.

IT Masters Pty Ltd is an industry-based education company which has partnered with Charles Sturt to develop a unique series of online master’s qualifications.

CEO of IT Masters Pty Ltd Mr Martin Hale said, “A report from the Australian Cyber Security Growth Network projects that over the next decade the Australian cyber security industry could triple in size, with revenues rising to $6 billion by 2026, from just over $2 billion today.

“According to my colleague Professor Tanveer Zia, project leader of Charles Sturt University’s Girls in Cyber Security Advancing program, only 11 per cent of those working in the cyber security industry are women.

“With only 9.5 per cent of all IT Masters students enrolled in cyber security or information systems security courses being female, a promising trend is appearing with this number increasing six per cent to 15.5 per cent over the last 12 months.”

Each year IT Masters awards prizes to the graduates with the highest grade point averages (GPAs), and the 2019 Master of Cyber Security award winner is Ms Elise Hickman, and Ms Natasha Steele won the Master of Information Systems Security award.

Ms Steele also won the PETA Power Memorial Prize for the graduating female student with the highest GPA in any of the CSU IT Masters courses.

“With experts suggesting that women mentors might help entice and retain female talent in the sector, these two women, along with future Charles Sturt  IT Masters graduates, might well be in high demand,” Mr Hale said.

2019 Master of Cyber Security awardee Ms Hickman said, “I’m excited and proud to achieve the award as there were so many knowledgeable people studying the course.

“The online learning format allows for class collaboration much like traditional study, and class cohorts and lecturers helped drive my desire to learn more about cyber security, which helped me to achieve great results and surpass my expectations.”

Ms Hickman advises potential cyber security students, “Don’t be put off if you’re not the most technical person.

“Understanding the concepts and how to apply them is critical; technical skills can be built upon for each subject and there is a wealth of information at your fingertips.”

Asked about her achievement, Ms Steele said, “Going into my studies, I experienced a lot of self-doubt, so winning the award came as a surprise and a real boost to my confidence in my own abilities.

“If you are considering studying information security, don’t let self-doubt hold you back; speak up, ask questions, challenge your assumptions, because it’s a fascinating and evolving area of study with exciting employment opportunities.”

The list of 2019 prize winners is available at the IT Masters website.

Charles Sturt University and IT Masters launched the first of these unique postgraduate master’s degrees in 2002. Since 2009, Charles Sturt University has been Australia’s largest provider of master’s degrees to Australian IT professionals.


Media Note:

To arrange interviews with CEO of IT Masters Pty Ltd Mr Martin Hale contact Bruce Andrews at Charles Sturt Media on mobile 0418 669 362 or via news@csu.edu.au

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