A career in cyber security

spyware-2319403_960_720From insurers Hiscox reporting that more than half of firms have experienced a cyber-attack in the past year to the NHS being hit by ransomware, cyber security is as much a hot topic in the news as in the jobs market – this blog gives a snapshot of the why, what, where and how of getting into a career in cyber security.

Why cyber security? As the amount of commercial and organisational activity conducted through or dependent on the internet continues to rise and cyber criminals and hackers become ever more sophisticated, cyber security skills are fast becoming some of the most sought after in the technology and financial services sectors. This rapidly growing demand is creating a number of opportunities for graduates to build a career in a diverse and ever-evolving field. Being so diverse, the cyber security field offers a range of both technical and non-technical roles open to graduates from a variety of disciplines. Keywords such as ‘cyber’, ‘security’, ‘information risk’, ‘information assurance’ and ‘penetration tester’ will help you to search and explore this wide range, as well as track down entry-level and graduate roles.

What is cyber security? Cyber security involves developing and employing a range of technologies, processes and practices to protect computers, data and networks from attack, damage or criminal intrusion. Cyber security, therefore, isn’t just about ensuring that an organisation has the right technical infrastructure, such as firewalls and anti-virus software, or detecting and stopping system breaches. It’s also about putting in place the right policy and procedures to ensure those technical measures are supported by the behaviour of staff, such cautious web browsing, proper use of hardware, software and data, and the use complex passwords.

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Finding work in TV

realization-of-video-771413_960_720There is no fixed route for getting into TV, which means it is important to be flexible, open minded and proactive in seeking out opportunities. and building your network of contacts.

It is common to start with work experience positions, even once you have a degree, and then work your way up. Work experience and junior positions are rarely advertised, so you will need to make the first move and contact employers directly. This means being able to market yourself and being persistent despite (what is likely to be a lot of) rejection are vital.

For further tips and advice list to this excellent podcast from the BBC:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/academy/production/article/art20130702112135536

See also this article from The Guardian, containing 6 top tips for finding work in the TV industry, including making use of short films and videos you’ve made during your time at QMUL to showcase your best work, and marketing yourself online via social media, blogging or setting up your own webpage.

Remember you can always book a 1-2-1 appointment with a Careers Consultant to explore your options, and there are also a number of helpful job profiles on the Prospects website:

Television Camera Operator
Television Floor Manager
Television Production Coordinator
Television/film/video Producer

How to become a Politician’s assistant

How do you become a Politician’s assistant, what do they do and how much do they earn?

There is no standard route to get into politics – it’s more about your work experience, attitude and understanding of the industry. The Prospects website is full of job profiles, which are a great way to find out about the different types of jobs available.  They list typical daily tasks and responsibilities and the skills required to help you decide whether it is the sort of role you would be good at and enjoy.

There’s also information about how to gain work experience and find vacancies, plus ideas on related job roles that you could be interested in. See the newly updated Politician’s Assistant profile.

Top tips from Careers & Enterprise:

  • Writing experience – strong writing skills are highly valued in this sector, so get experience writing for different audiences in a concise way. You could start your own blog or contribute to newsletters/campus newspaper etc.
  • Network – make connections with people who you can contact for more information and advice. This could be from talking to alumni at careers events, speaking to employers at careers fairs or presentations or talking to a friend/family member about their job.
  • Volunteer with a local political society/party or campaign group – get involved in local issues or join a society on campus.
  • Research the sector – Sites such as W4MP contain a huge amount of information and resources on working in Politics. You may also discover upcoming events and work experience opportunities along the way.

For more information about a career in politics, think tanks and government, see our online ‘getting into …’ guide.

Could a career in audit be for you?

CareersinAudit.com has taken the title of ‘Best Job/Careers Board’ at the recent Recruiter Awards. But what is a career in audit? When it comes to considering a career in the finance sector, roles in audit often attract less attention than those in banking, brokerage and accountancy. So this blog asks: could audit be for you?

Firstly, what are the key skills needed to succeed in a career in audit?

  • Do you enjoy the challenge of working through complex problems?
  • Do you have an aptitude for working with numbers?
  • Are you as happy focusing on the nitty-gritty of a problem as looking at the bigger picture?
  • Are you confident in drawing your own conclusions from information and talking to others about what you’ve found?

If you answered yes to the above, your skills could be a good match, so what’s involved?

audit (1)Auditors specialise in examining how an organisation functions and conducts its business, and the validity and legality of its accounting records. Auditors work with a wide range of organisations from across the commercial and public sectors, not only those providing financial services.

As an internal auditor, you will focus on assessing how well risks are being managed and how effectively internal systems and processes are working within the organisation you are auditing. The scope of audits can vary significantly and often you will be looking beyond financial and accounting risks and examining aspects of the organisation such as reputation, growth, ethics and environmental sustainability. You will report to the organisation’s senior management and give advice on making improvements. You might work as part of an in-house internal auditing team within a single organisation or you might work for a specialist firm and carry out internal audits with a variety of organisations on a consultancy basis.

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Careers Taster Scheme 2017

On 15th March the Careers Taster Scheme 2017 drew to a close, marking the end of almost two months of eye-opening career experiences for 138 Queen Mary students.

For those unfamiliar with the scheme, now in its second year, this is how it was structured:

  • 8 businesses took part, each hosting an afternoon insight session at their offices.
  • 138 competitively selected students chose their preferred employers, with each attending 3 – 4 insight sessions between January and March 2017.

Why do it?

How do you really know what it’s like to work at PwC? How can you really see if a digital marketing team would be a good fit for you? You can read a job description from back to front, you can scan a company’s website all day long, but to get a complete picture of what it’s like to work there, you need to visit. Employer insight sessions breathe life into your career choice.

How does it work?

The Careers Taster Scheme aims to widen student career choice by providing employer visits across different sectors.

Each CTS session lasted for between two and four hours. Employers presented to the attending students, giving them an overview of how the company works and how they might fit in. Often the employers would use a number of different speakers to highlight the variety of job roles available. In most cases the employer also incorporated an interactive game designed to illustrate the work they undertake – Liberty Specialty Markets did this particularly well, using a game to highlight how they price complex risks. Perhaps most importantly of all, students were able to see the office space in person, and in most cases were given a short tour of the premises.

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Guest blog: A role in the construction industry

james_purdie_-_photoHello, my name is James Purdie and I am currently working through the graduate scheme at Turner & Townsend, working as a Cost Manager based in the London office. I joined Turner & Townsend in August 2015 after completing my degree in Quantity Surveying at Edinburgh Napier University. I had taken an interest in working in the construction industry during a work experience placement at high school and a family history in this field which gave me an opportunity to see the many different roles available.

My first role upon joining Turner & Townsend was working on Crossrail, based at Tottenham Court Road Station, helping manage the costs of design changes, cost estimating and reporting of periodic cost analysis. This was a great opportunity for me to immediately gain valued experience straight out of university, being able to work on the largest infrastructure project in Europe. I am currently a member of the Cost Assurance team performing audits for clients in the UK rail sector. This involves producing reports which help our clients understand where they may be exposed to overpaying contractors and giving them a better understanding of the way the project information is being captured and managed.

In addition to my day to day role, I am also involved in some of the broader initiatives at Turner & Townsend. For example, I am involved in our YPF (Your Professional Future) recruitment team where most recently, I have taken part in a delivery focussed exercise with graduates from another organisation in the industry, discussing the possibility of a combined service offering and identify opportunities for our combined service. 

My advice to people interested in developing a career in the construction industry would be to obtain as much work experience as possible; even aiming to gain a week in the summer break can give you contacts with organisations and promote your interest in the industry which future employers will recognise. I would also recommend aiming to gain experience in a variety of different roles to allow you to understand how they all connect on a particular project and also help you define where you would like to work in the industry.

For more information about a career in the construction industry, see the Prospects website.

Guest blog: From Law to Tax Consultancy

Ross Markham0561Ross Markham, 29, is a Consultant in Deloitte’s Global Employer Services. He joined Deloitte in September 2014 having studied Politics and then Law. He advises organisations who have a global footprint on all aspects of their internationally mobile employees.

  • Explain your background to coming to Deloitte

In the final year of my undergraduate degree, I secured a vacation scheme at Latham & Watkins, a leading-US law firm. I really enjoyed this experience, and decided to pursue a career in Law by undertaking the GDL and LPC degrees. During the LPC, I undertook a tax module, and seemed to be the only person who enjoyed it! The College then held an alternatives careers to law fair, at which Deloitte were in attendance and spoke about the transferability of legal skills to a career in Tax. I was really impressed by the similarities between careers in Law and Tax (i.e. prestigious clients, opportunities to travel, working alongside market-leading practitioners) and so applied for the graduate scheme. My law background really held be in good stead throughout the application process, as I was confidently able to talk about tax legislation and case law, which underpin everything that we do in Tax.

  • What skills gained from your Law studies have you found to be most transferable to Tax?

I use my legal skills on an almost daily basis, whether it is analysing employment contracts, drafting policies, interpreting legislation or liaising with HMRC to resolve a dispute. Being a lawyer by training has also given me strong attention to detail, which clients really value.

Furthermore, being able to construct a sound and structured argument, and then being able to verbalise or write that argument, is a really useful tool to convince others and bring them around to your way of thinking.

  • What have you accomplished?

I have been on a six-month secondment to one of the world’s largest insurers, where I worked with their in-house team to stabilise their Global Mobility program. I was also on a pitch team alongside a Partner and Director where we won a leading client for a major project.

  • What is the most exciting part of your role?

I work in a small consulting team, where we work on a variety of projects advising organisations with international employees about the tactical and strategic implications of having a global footprint. This means that I work with clients from a range of industries and with varying problems. Consequently, no two days are the same – I could be advising a Financial Services company on the soundness of their employment contracts one day and running a strategy workshop in the Netherlands for a Consumer Business client the next.

  • What has surprised you most about working at Deloitte?

Not a surprise as such, but it is genuinely been a pleasure to work alongside the most eminent people in their fields in the world. This means I have never stopped learning and genuinely find what I do interesting.