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Henlo there

Could anyone let me know where you guys would apply for jobs in tech? I’m a prospective FdSc Cyber Security graduate (from a UK university, in-case this matters?) with intentions to complete a top-up year to achieve a full BSc in Computing; I’m not decided if I want to continue on to graduate study in my field, but am pretty confident that I want to do an MBA in the future.

Just looking to build up some work experience really, so part-time is great, but full-time is fine as I’m quite good at pulling last second miracles out of my university assignments somehow

Also would be great if someone could HMU with some resources on networking because I have 2 deliverables in 4 days and 7 hours and I haven’t even attended the lectures :slight_smile: *for some valid reasons

I was thrown for a minute about what on earth an FdSc is… Foundation degree right?

I’m going to read between the lines a little

This is probably a good idea, frankly… I don’t know anyone who values a foundation degree, im not sure why someone thought it was a good idea to make them a thing. Even our apprentices in my old work considered it a joke and all aimed for full degrees so they could get a graduate job. millage may vary :man_shrugging: , it seems to be an English thing, but i’ve never seen a security job with a foundation degree as a requirement (if security is an area you’d like to go into)

Generally if you’re on a good degree course, a consistent full education path will serve you far better in the long run than one that’s broken up and jumps about. though its odd that you’d go from a cyber security course to just a generic computing course if you continued on with the topup year… can you not do a security focused top-up?

Which speaking of. What are you interested in? What is you’re degree focused on? Why are you considering not continuing?

If the security industry is an area you’re interested in the possibilities are quite large and varied and you can get out of it what you put in, ive seen all sorts of career paths including myself. (put it this way if money is a motivator, £75k in less than three years is not unachievable).

If i can give you just one piece of advice it would be this, do not squander the time you have. First and second year may be easier but third and fourth (do you do 4 in England?) you need to put the work in. Not just for course work (that doesn’t matter as much except to show you can actually do work on time) but to learn everything you’re interested in and everything in the area you’re interested in. You don’t need to know Juniper or Cisco commands, you do need to know networking concepts and protocols. This applies to everything, software doesn’t matter, how things work does. Fundamentals of networking, crypto, attack frameworks, defensive and offensive technology concepts are more important that knowing how a specific IPS works. Being able to write.

Having sat in interviews and graduate assessment centres i can tell you that its really easy to spot the ones who didn’t put the work in at uni and the ones who did. and you can guess who got the jobs.

Depends what you’re doing

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Never actually answered the question. Can you do a placement year? This is probably one of the best ways to gain decent experience in a good field. While I’m sure you could get a part time job… I’m not sure of any that exist outside apprentices or maybe if you live in a big city with some connections.

If you’re anything like me and struggle with remembering the order of the OSI layers my friend taught me People Don’t Need Those Stupid Packets Anyway

People = Physical
Don’t = Data link
Need = Network
Those = Transport
Stupid = Session
Packets = Presentation
Anyway = Application

There are a few other variations on this, but that’s the one really stuck in mind and allowed to get to grips with these very easily.

CCNA academies are a great way to get some hands on experience, and could contribute towards your degree.

I’m fully in agreement with @Eden though, that you really do need to complete that third year for the bachelors degree. Either with your current institution if they have a path for it, or elsewhere.

I have affiliations with the OU, and that’s where I acquired my degrees and still continue to study there part time in my free time. They recently launched a new degree in cyber security that might be worth looking into to top up your third year. You’d need to speak with an advisor to see if that’s possible though. They’re also a Cisco CCNA accredited academy, and have modules that will provide with a lot of necessary hands on experience with networking equipment with a CCNA certified instructor. CCNA are good credentials to have in this industry.

The OU also regularly holds networking events throughout the year which brings companies in specific fields together with students, where you’d have the chance to go and meet these companies and be provided with internship opportunities. You don’t need to be with the OU to access the events, but you do need to be with them to be informed and receive the invite. I’ve hooked a few friends up in the past, and I got in with Barclays thanks to these events. I can keep an eye on my inbox and inform you of any such events. But check if your own institution does anything like this too.


Yes. For reference Foundation Degrees are fundamentally different between the rest of the UK and Scotland, so if you’re Scottish that could potentially be why they have a bad reputation.

I took a FD because it enabled me to study in my hometown, saving tens of thousands in accommodation, furthermore the tuition is about 3k a year cheaper, too.

I can but I’ve decided CyberSecurity is not really for me, I’d rather be more generalised and be able to work outside of the CyberSec field but be able to lean back on it if needed.

I thought CyberSecurity would be fun, but it’s actually very boring, imo. I can use the tools and can prove it, so if I want to go into it I can get the certifications I would require anyways, I think. The reason my degree was founded is actually because there’s a real shortage of CyberSec people in my part of the country.

I plan to go into software development/engineering for some years and then move onto making my own things. I think my CyberSec knowledge potentially is useful for this, since I’ll have a better understanding of breaking into the systems I create. I think it could potentially add some salary to a generic job.

Money is definitely a motivator but I have bigger dreams really than the 150k or so salary cap on working for someone else, so it’s not too important in the short term.

Cannot. I structured my education quite poorly.

Unlikely then, I live a while away from any city and I’m not well connected.

I probably have no chance then, been struggling quite badly with depression over the last few years and got hit by a really bad breakup with the typical first love; I failed half of the units of a year (this is a repeating year) and still don’t really attend classes. Not sure if I’ll pass this year, but so far I’m hopeful.

My lecturers at this point have stopped replying to my emails when I ask for some slack lol, which is great

I was planning to get CCNA after I finished, networking is my worst unit and I’m sure it’s worth getting just for that in my arsenal since this kind of tech is just fundamentals.

For the record, I always planned upon finishing my BSc, although I think I worded it poorly. I mean I’m not sure if I want to continue to my MSc/MEng.

So is my university actually, I’ve had hands on practical examinations with Cisco gear. I’m not great at it, but I could probably do it a tad better with the ability to use my phone and work out things as I go.

Are they in person? I need to get some networking done but I’m not great with people

Edit: As an addition, my transcript is shocking. I think I’ve failed something, failed the resubmission and then retook, failed that and now I’m doing the resubmission of the repeated year.

Edit 2: as a further thing, I’ve recently acquired a new girlfriend who has not replied to me within the last 20 hours near enough and my last relationship has damaged me in the sense of security and confidence to the point that I can’t concentrate lol I love it here

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Afraid so. You’ll meet the companies in person, but they’ll provide you with contact details, where you’ll be able to communicate further.

Another option would just be to research different companies in your local area, and drop an email to explain what you’re looking for. The worst thing they can do is not reply. It might surprise you just how many are willing to accommodate aspiring future graduates. Prove yourself and many will likely offer you a permanent role after you graduate too.

I’ll just add a thought on this.

My degree was in computer forensics and security. Since then I’ve worked as a security consultant, and a platform engineer (nothing specifically to do with security). Forensics was extremely useful but I’ve never actually worked specifically in a forensics based job.

I know people from all sorts of degree backgrounds who went into things almost entirely unrelated to their degree. That is to say it is in some ways more important to do a degree that’s useful, but also that you enjoy and are encouraged by. Because you’re not limited to jobs directly related to you’re degree as it will almost certainly have a lot of transferable skills. As you mention the transferable security skills in programming, a programming focused degree works for security, a degree in physics works for programming etc. you get the idea.

What are you doing at uni?

In work as a “security consultant” I’ve done everything from ripping apart devices for a security orientated project, go round the country doing testing and assessments (maybe the boring part you’re talking about), to designing bespoke security systems from the ground up for customers with very deep pockets, to managing entire platforms, and now being in a small security team that essentially does everything security related for the company from day to day stuff to building security new tech into the platform.

It probably will be. If programming is your thing a lot of these concepts still apply. Strong networking and security knowledge especially the more application/program related security areas OWASP, Mitre attack framework, etc.

This isnt the end of the world, best thing i would say is to make sure you’re foundational knowledge is strong and that you’ve really locked down the key concepts of the areas you need to know. If programming is the thing you want to get a job in, know the concepts, know how to design, as well as the other core areas we talked about.

Being able to go into an interview and being able to give an answer to a question that you don’t know the specific terminology for but being able to give a an answer on how you would approach the subject because you have a strong foundation of knowledge can make the difference between getting the job or not. Good employers want problem solvers

My replies can come off as blunt but i completely understand where you’re coming from, I had to deal with an abusive relationship and getting out of that through uni and it can do a number on your head and mental health. Its ok. Do you have good friends at uni that you can bounce motivation off of each others?

I will say that you do have a chance, humans are incredibly capable, sometimes we just get stuck for a bit (i failed college among other things), the fact that you’re thinking about it and asking people is more than a lot of people do. It’s hard to give good advice because people never really know everything that’s going on. But if i remember i found finding something that helped me get into a routine really helped with uni, plus i ended up seeing the potential possibilities and that helped motivated me to find a way to get more motivated and structured (as best as i could… which sometimes isn’t very structured :smiley: ).

But i can tell you from experience that you do have a chance, and if its not hard work you’re doing it wrong :smiley: , you just need to get yourself into that right place (doesn’t need to fix any of your problems, just needs to get you in the right mind to push forward with this one thing that you need to complete).

The mind is a wonderful horrible thing. Lets talk about networking not your gf, she’s given you the time to get to work and focus on you :smiley:


Oh and just to add, any questions just ask, forum or pm. I’m don’t want to say I’m an expert (I’m not) but I’ve been there and done it, failed and passed uni, done the graduate programs, done interviews as Interviewer and interviewee, worked in a few positions in security and IT. I’m sure a few people have similar experience here as well, but I’m very open to anything you want to ask.


This year I’ve done the following:

  • breaking into a target of evaluation put together by main campus, it was actually quite interesting
  • writing a security analysis of Windows and Linux
  • the one I’m struggling on now is: some scenario about a multinational company needing a custom solution; has to be done in less than 4 days by the time I get home from work tonight. I also need to build it in packet tracer

I failed this same assignment last year I believe and I wasn’t up to attending the classes this year either so really I’m set up for failure again

Nope, they were not real friends and I had been excluded from all but one that I went to school with and another one for a long while

Although feelings have probably softened since then, I have no desire to interact with them, especially considering it was a friend I’d made in university & college that told me when people were talking behind my back, vs the person I’d known for half a decade

Regardless, the one guy I do talk to now that also got held back, is currently living with his girlfriend and is working a full time job, planning to continue W/ OpenUni so I won’t be able to interact with him in a capacity that helps for much longer, not that I have been now

To clarify my relationship was not really abusive. It was just the first and I couldn’t cope with the breakup on-top of the fact I was already on SSRIs

She was also planning to maintain contact with me and this made it quite worse on me as she got progressively angrier and more fed up, so we don’t talk anymore. I should probably delete our texts but I wanted to go through our photos from Paris and save them somewhere first

Break this down into small individual tasks. Test your solution as you go and save a new file each time, so you always have something to go back to if you make a mistake without having to start over.

I know these can look incredibly daunting which can make it scary to start, but once you actually get going and take things one step at a time, they’re much simpler than they look.

There are plenty of Netacad videos on YouTube that will show you how to deploy certain things, so you might be able to use some of those to aid in piecing together a solution. They will be very helpful since you missed the classes.

The most important piece of advice I can give you is this. The sophistication of your solution is irrelevant. All that matters is that your solution works. Even if it only partly works. So don’t waste time on making your solution as perfect and as efficient as it can be. Just settle for something that works, as that’s what you’ll be graded on.

Are none of your classes recorded? Any keynotes your instructor could send that covers the classes you missed? If your school has a support network please reach out if you’re struggling to complete in time for deadlines. You may be able to defer some examinable components to give you some time to focus on your mental health so you’re in a better space to tackle them later.

ETA: you mention your friend moving on to study with the OU. Would that not be a path for you also? I have a lot of experience with the OU and am both alumni and student as well is being affiliated with them in a professional capacity. I can’t help but wonder if they may be a better choice of study going forward given your difficulties.

Our Cisco Packet Tracer is not paid, so we have limited saves + everything has to be given as one deliverable anyways

This is the goal, with 4 days I know I’m not going to be able to produce this to anything more than 3rd or 2:2 standard

I think there’s roughly 12 hours of recorded lectures but they’re very information dense and even when I did attend one or two, I didn’t really get any information from them

As I’ve been coping with whatever I have for some time now the NHS wants me to get a mental health assessment to see if there could be any underlying thing that makes me more likely to be depressed /autism/adhd/ or things, which wouldn’t surprise me since my college did some unofficial testing that had me down as on the spectrum

I’ll see if I can message my lecturer for an extension but that’s really the extent of it. I was given an explicit “this year your mental health isn’t going to give you as much slack as it has previously” talk

In fact, I had some heart scans last month and asked for an extension on all my assignments because it was causing me a great deal of stress at the time. I’ve not received a response to that.

For my first assignment I requested an extension even, because I had been told I wasn’t required until the second half of the year as all my units were meant to start in that part. Everyone was given a posthumous extension of 4 days, meanwhile I had missed 3-4 weeks of lectures on the topic.

I’m half tempted to send a complaint in but I don’t want to prejudice myself since my lecturers will 100% mention it, as similar happened a while back when a fellow student misinterpreted something my course leader said and then repeated it in front of another lecturer, meaning my department head heard of it. I did query this with my course leader as to why I wasn’t notified by anything but my college email which I wouldn’t have been checking considering I wasn’t required, but I’ve heard nothing of it

Each save would build on top of your last task. So your final document would be a complete solution anyway. Are you not able to sign up with netacad to get more saves? If your institution is expecting you to use packet tracer, they should be supplying you with a netacad account!

With that said, I’ve never signed into my netacad with my copy of packet tracer and have certainly been able to save my work as a new file more than 3 times. Worth trying, see what happens.

You can only try your best! As long as each component of your solution works as required, you should get full marks! That’s how it works with the OUs CCNA modules at least. So it doesn’t matter how well implemented it is, if it achieves the stated goal, you’ll get full marks.

Thinking back to when I did mine, there was one error in my solution and that was a DHCP conflict. The solution still worked as required despite the error and so I was awarded full marks. A lot of it is trial and error, even when your proficient with networking and do it as your job. You just get better at figuring out what isn’t working, troubleshooting, and fixing.

These can very strict unfortunately. Extensions, particularly for final assignments are only ever granted in the most awful of circumstances. In my history with the OU, I believe we’ve only granted one, and that was someone who both lost their job and their mother died on the same day, the week of the deadline. The extension was only for a few days as well.

Deferrals are available to everyone though and don’t need as much justification. If you know you can’t complete on time, you should be granted one if you ask.

You shouldn’t be prejudiced if you complain. I’ve done so in the past, and it never negatively impacted my grades. If it does, complain again, because they are not allowed to do that!

Yeah, I agree; they don’t though. I find it weird, but I’m guessing it’s because I’m not on main campus.

However I will give saving as a new document a chance.

Definitely not how my university works, they docked marks for using something that would work but wasn’t ideal.

Jesus Christ, I hope they’re doing better this week.

For the record, my course leader finally decided to reply to an email. Sent me to our HelpZone, of which told me to send a CV19 extension request (which i filed under wellbeing) and I’ve been granted until the 11th of June. I guess a pandemic comes along and mental illness isn’t an inconvenience anymore it’s something they have to cater for.

Thing is, I don’t really know if it would negatively impact my grades or not, I’m not of the calibre that would be able to argue that my assignment is great; because I’ve only hit above a 3rd a couple of times (and never in 30 credit units)

But I definitely plan on filing a complaint post-finishing on the grounds that my course was mismanaged, I received an extension after a deadline, (as did everyone else) for an assignment that I was disadvantaged in compared to everyone else, we didn’t have physical equipment for a networking class and then were sent to do practical examinations on main campus + my lecturers rarely decide to email me back in a timely fashion, if at all

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Theres no paid version. However I see the issue, if you use it as a ‘guest’ theres a three save limit. But your uni should be providing a netacad account, if they dont, you can just sign up for one as its free.

That’s good to hear, might be worth planning the time out that you have to you’ve got some structure to follow to get to the finish line on the assessment and lectures?

Add on the 30 hours of study you need to do to unpack and learn all the info. But that they’re dense isnt necessarily a bad sign as you can use them to direct you to the areas you need to study independently

ASD here. Unfortunately expect to wait a long time for any referral to go through for things like being assessed for ASD.


So it occurs to me this is a long shot but do you think I’d have a chance at applying to work at one of the private banks? Their brand recognition probably isn’t too great outside people who don’t need to work

So maybe I’d have a shot sending my CV over and just saying I’m in my penultimate year of university and would like a shot at internship over the summer or potentially a job / graduate position afterwards

If you don’t send it you’ll never know the answer. Do your research though as a lot of companies have graduate programs.

Also, I’m not sure if you’ve given it much thought but it’s something to consider. If you can, be open to moving. One of the best jump starts you can get is in a graduate program and some are better than others and if you allow yourself to relocate you get get a real head start and a lot of experience. Same goes for things like apprenticeships (if they accept relocating applicants)

I have already accepted that I’d need to move to advance my career but, I’m still during study and I don’t have the capacity to move at the moment, at least not out of Wiltshire / Gloucestershire as I wouldn’t be able to keep up being able to attend classes

Yeah of course no need until your finish uni. Though if that’s where you’re located then your in a decent position you wouldn’t necessarily need to relocate to the other side of the country like I did :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes: good government jobs in that area (including graduate schemes), and quite a number of tech related companies in the Bristol and surrounding area for example.

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Yeah, if I knew it wouldn’t conflict with my university timetable I’d definitely be open to getting a job around Bristol/Bath area

It’s just I can’t drive so I have to double commute times too haha

Need to start looking for jobs for post-university since I’m due to get my BSc this academic year.

Do any of you know any companies hiring junior/grad developers (I have no preference for what kind) in London, preferably with the ability to work remote (so I can handle the move there more smoothly). Any websites you’d recommend or recruitment agencies I can give my CV to would also be great.

If any of you are interested for your own businesses or something, I can shoot you a CV to wherever.


Oh, in the other dissertation thread I’m coming close to working out my research topic, also. Should be something around the usage of cloud providers and the security implications of those within government/finance.