Soon to be a PHD in Cybersecurity… Now What?


All right I think I’m going to go ahead
and get started so welcome to a Facebook live from
national cybersecurity Student Association I’m actually doing it first
time so I’m not sure how we’re going to get rolling here I think I believe you
can comment at the bottom if you want to ask any questions feel free to go ahead
and do it and we will we will be talking today about what happens when you think
about graduate studies and how to actually pursue graduate studies in
cybersecurity and before that I would like to make a couple of announcements
first of all um please subscribe there is somewhere a button left or right at the
bottom where you can subscribe to see when national cybersecurity
student Association can actually go live and it will notify you also on December 15
i believe we will have our great webinar from ninja jobs and the chief operating
officer we’ll be talking about cybersecurity careers and current skills
and trades that people actually need right now in the market now marketplace
so just jumping straight into Graduate Studies I am a my name is Vitaly Ford I
am a advisory a board member of the Association and I’m currently a PhD
candidate at Tennessee Tech and I plan to defend my dissertation on February
23rd so pretty soon I’m going to be graduated with a PhD degree so and today
I would like to really talk about why would you ever want to pursue graduate
studies in cybersecurity and how it affects your future career so I want to
start with a couple of things so first of all say you’re got your bachelor’s
degree and you probably have a couple of options you can either go to work
straight ahead now maybe through your previous internships or you just got the
job and walk through the interviews and you got a position somewhere as a
introductory I don’t know maybe a programmer or software developer mobile
developer and then a couple of years later you you were thinking well maybe I
could get a master’s degree or maybe even PhD degree to earn a little bit
more maybe get a higher position right so that’s one of the reasons why a lot
of students go back to school to actually get their masters or PhD degree
so to get better in their career path and a big thing here is that when you go
to master’s degree you you can choose three different tracks first track is
when you just choose to take more classes and for within one or two years
you for fulfill all the requirements you write a comprehensive exam and you pretty much
get your master’s degree another track is when you choose not to take as many
classes but you choose to actually work on a project which is more exciting and
that’s when the fun part kicks in so you can work on a lot of projects especially
if you go to cybersecurity right now and cybersecurity became a very hot topic so
there are a lot of things to actually talk about a lot of things to research
other things to play with and a lot of students right now they pursue
cybersecurity because it’s a first of all it’s um easier to get into
cybersecurity rather than to do research in say software development environment
right so and student choose track of projects rather than going for taking a
test and taking more classes is because they want to work on some kind
the exciting project that they are interested in and it might be even a
project that you just picked on from your current job right so a cool thing
about master’s degree is that you open your phd degree per se is that you don’t
really don’t really have to think about courses rather than you have to think
about your research and research is the main focus in graduate studies so all
the students go there just because they passionate about some kind of topic say
I started my cyber security studies at Tennessee Tech as a master student and
so the topic in a smart grid area which is basically logical grid and I worked
on developing a protocol and for privacy-preserving communication and
then fraud detection which is also applying machine learning and there are
other venues in cyber security right now that you can pursue so some of the
things when oh and you also feel free to comment if you have any questions right
now in some time in the future so at some time when I got my master’s degree
I actually continued for PhD and PhD and masters is a lot different even though
both of them have some kind of research topic in it PhD is more about getting
your getting your knowledge in a specific area and the becoming an expert
in that area and learning as much as you can and then trying to find something
that is missing try to find something where you can improve on so you’re
building your basically your career your PhD mentality based on reading all
the materials or the literature based on some context
you’re trying to set up in a particular topic and when you have the topic set up
and you already chose it you pursued a topic and eventually you develop
something you you can tribute to a community with a normal knowledge that
is not out there yet that’s why PhD is different from
master’s degree because phd is a lot more about about going through beyond
the maximum border that we have a knowledge say we have knowledge of like
kind of this sphere and you’re trying to break through that sphere and find this
little thing that somebody’s just missed or it will say some kind of project it
will improve community life or maybe community health in general or improve
security of a system so a lot of lot of stuff is going on in the PhD and masters
while you’re actually studying and it’s not only just researcher taking courses
you constantly go to different conferences throughout the year you
present posters when you publish a paper then publish a journal and building your
PhD mentality basically in a school is very very difficult at the same time
it’s very it’s very rewarding at the end because you will learn not only specific
area and deep deepen your knowledge but also you will be able to work on
exciting projects you will contribute to community and you also will learn how to
manage stress and time you will definitely earn more money when you get
say master’s degree in comparison with a bachelor’s degree on the same job that
you are right now and also it’s these days right now it’s actually easier to
get into graduate studies in cybersecurity through such programs
say cyber corps scholarship a service which basically pays for fully pays for
your tuition for a few years and you can get it as a undergrad you can get it for
graduate studies on top of paying tuition they also pay for your books
your travel to conferences they give you generous very generous stipend so that
you don’t actually have to work while studying and this is all done through
United States government and the the only thing you have to do is just to
work for them for two years after graduating or three years as much as
they actually supported you so we’ve got the question here how can you pursue a
PhD while holding down a full-time job this is actually possible right now PhD
is not is more about research so usually when you get a PhD when you get into PhD
program you have to take up to say six classes so usually people who try to
kind of work and get into PhD what they do they take one class per semester
which basically will tell you that your full-time student at the same time you
can work and taking just one class per semester is not that it’s more difficult
definite differently but the main focus will be again on a research so as long
as you’ve done six semesters which would be hope take you three years to go
through all the classwork but while doing that you can always work on the
research what’s the program name again that offers fun stuff funding so that
problem is called cyber corps corps like kinda piece corpse but it’s cyber
cyber corpse and the full name is cyber corps scholarship for service and there
are 62 universities across the nation right now that actually support that
program and you can look it up if you just
google cyber corps scholarship for service it will jump you to an official
SF s dot opm.gov I think website and you can get a list of all the schools that
actually support the scholarship then you can connect to you can click on one
of those school and you can connect with the principal investigator of the cyber
corpse in that local school and you can contact that investigator tell them hey
I would like to pursue a PhD program can you tell me more about cyber corpse and
what should they do so I will definitely help you out and they really paid
generous stipend and pay fully for teaching you literally don’t have to do
anything except just researching and cybersecurity again is a very hot topic
right now it’s not too difficult to pick up a problem that hasn’t been solved yet
or find some kind of improvement on an the existing system you can work in
cyber ethics you can work in an on managing on top of it and on a higher
level of cybersecurity work on procedures maybe rules maybe something
else so it’s not necessarily have to be highly technical to pursue a busy career
and also right now out of school support online PhD classes so we don’t have you
can work at the same time while taking PhD classes online so that also is
available now there are also of course other scholarships as well like I think
Cisco had their scholarships supporting or specifically cyber security and you
can also learn about it on Cisco website or ask make a request at the national
students cybersecurity Association and we will give you a response about that
let’s see so PhD is like to talk out a bit more about PhD and we’ll probably
wrap it up so the final year of PhD is a little bit challenging because you
have to work on your dissertation where basically you try to put all your
projects you have been working on for a couple of years together to make it to
find like a bigger picture and connect them all together and write a
dissertation about it so also you probably will the final semester you
will have to start applying for jobs which PhD students have to over either
to go they can either go to academia and start teaching into the research and you
can go also to industry back to industry and you will definitely get a higher
position than as a bachelor student so I chose to go to academia and I have been
applying to different schools right now even though I am defending only at the
end of February already started applying and applied to about 50 schools at this
point so after applying to different schools you’re going to go through all
the interview process and that will start probably January February and
during your PhD studies you as already mentioned you’re not only on researching
you also go to conferences you can work with your local cybersecurity Club
establish a national cybersecurity Student Association chapter Tennessee
Tech I are actually one of the founders of the cybersecurity Club locally here
so I’ve helped to get students to competitions to get to conference’s we
had a lot of activities so even though I had a lot of stuff to do as a PhD
student I still did a lot of community work outreach and the research with
undergraduate so graduate study is really really fun even though sometimes
you can always find examples when is going wrong but
if you don’t give up if you learn how to manage stress and time and eventually
get that degree it will be very rewarding at the very end it will worth
it definitely worth it and as already mentioned right now it’s much easier to
get into Graduate Studies pretty much paid fully tuition and getting stipend
which is excellent I think and it’s freely available right now you can just
apply to all those 62 schools or I know maybe half of them and ask if you have
an opportunity for that so if you don’t have any questions I will probably wrap
up right now soon so there is also again there is somewhere here on top of the
bottom there is a subscribe button that will tell you when the Association goes
live and we will have a webinar on December 15th from 2:00 to 3:00 Eastern
Time and presenter will be from ninja jobs and presenter will be talking about
cybersecurity careers what kinds of skills and trades right now need it in
the marketplace in a cybersecurity area so if nobody has any questions I would
like to thank you all for coming and shoot us a message or email if you have
any other questions about a non master’s degree or PhD degrees or how to get a
student association chapter how to get into those scholarships we will
definitely try to let you know in response in time well thanks everyone
and I hope you want to join us on a webinar on December 15th from 2:00 to
3:00 central or Eastern Times or Eastern Time yeah all right bye