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Career profiles: MSc in Digital Investigation & Forensic Computing

 




Many students on this MSc work in software, IT, digital forensics or information security roles while they study. Many of them already had years of work experience in IT before they started the MSc. However, some graduates go from undergraduate degree to the MSc and straight into a job in their chosen area. If their undergraduate degree was not in computer science, these younger graduates can demonstrate interest in computer science and digital forensics and have some relevant work experience in the area, such as technical support or network management roles.

If you are looking for a job in digital forensics, our student and alumni network will keep you connected with opportunities for internships and work after or during your MSc. And non-EU students who have graduated from Irish higher education institutions with a Bachelor, Master or PhD degree may remain in Ireland for 24 months to seek employment.

To date, close to 600 people, from 60 countries, have participated in our graduate education programmes. If you are one of them, we would love to hear from you! Please call our International Postgraduate Liaison Rupert Bowen on +353 1 716 2948 or email rupert.bowen@ucd.ie.



Kamil Mahajan alumniStephen Rouine - Internship in Security & Cybercrime department at Deloitte - Dublin.
Graduated 2014 with an MSc in Digital Investigation & Forensic Computing.

“I absolutely loved doing this MSc, I felt it was a great experience and so relevant to the industry I wanted to break in to. An Information Security module from my undergrad peaked my interest and I decided to get one more year of education, but I wanted to specialise in a field before going back working again. During my research, UCD and this masters in Digital Investigation & Computing Forensics kept popping up. I got in contact with people I know who did this kind of course in other colleges, and asked how they got on in them. But in the end I chose UCD and I can honestly not be happier with the choice I made. The course was so well laid out and the technologies we learned were all up to date.

All of the classes were recorded and streamed live for people studying abroad or for those that could not make it into class some days. This was hugely beneficial when revision had to be done, when completing assignments or preparing for exams.

What really made this course stand out for me was the sheer amount of experience the lecturer's had in their respective fields and brought to the students benefit. Each lecturer had years of experience and were currently working in their fields while teaching in UCD. So, everything we learned from them were skills they used in their jobs daily. My project supervisor, Pavel Gladyshev, was of huge help throughout the year and was always there to answer any questions and give me advice on how to proceed if I got stuck on anything. This kind of hands on experience with professionals was hugely beneficial to me in achieving the grades I got. I studied Business Information Systems for my undergraduate degree, but I feel without having done this MSc I would never have gotten the opportunities to break into the line of work I do now.

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Stephen studied for the Msc in Digital Investigation & Computing Forensics over one year full time, graduating in 2014, and successfully applied for a intern position in Deloitte & Touche's Cybercrime division to gain some experience. Prior to his Msc he studied for a Higher Certificate in Computer Applications & Support, and then a Bachelors Honors degree in Business Information Systems in the National College of Ireland.


Kamil Mahajan alumniKamil Mahajan - IT Operations Lead at Facebook, Dublin.
Graduated 2013 with an MSc in Digital Investigation & Forensic Computing.

“I can interact better with IT Security, understand and implement security aspects into my projects from the start and can educate my team on cyber security

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Kamil studied part-time over two years for his MSc in Digital Investigation & Forensic Computing whilst working at Facebook in Dublin, graduating in 2013. The MSc helped him to work closely with the Infosec team at Facebook as he now has a better understanding of the IT Security area. He was motivated to take the MSc out of personal interest and for professional development.

Before Facebook Kamil worked as a Technician at Google Ireland. After gaining a Diploma in Electronics from Punjab University, Kamil moved to Ireland where he was awarded a B.A. (Hons) in Management and Information Systems from Dublin Business School, affiliated by Liverpool John Moores University, and then did further post grad study in Computing and Information Systems.


Balchandra Vaidya alumniBalchandra Vaidya - Principal Member of Technical Staff, Oracle Corporation.
Graduated 2013 with an MSc in Digital Investigation & Forensic Computing (1st Class Honours).

“I wanted to pursue a Master's degree ever since I started first working in the industry. I was working in the computer security (incidents) area and naturally developed an interest in computer forensics. The case study and assignment based modules of the UCD MSc structure caught my eye and came at the right time. I was very happy with my choice. The flexibility of the course structure, remote access to the lab, program focus on the latest techno-business trend and great faculty members made my learning experience truly wonderful. In addition, UCD provides excellent library facilities. Earning an MSc has greatly enriched my knowledge and understanding of the underlying theories and concepts of Computer Forensics. The MSc has also improved my research aptitude and professional/technical writing skills, which are crucial for my career progression. The MSc has opened up additional opportunities for me. Also, I see the trend that an MSc/MS has become a minimum requirement and is essential to stay competitive!

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Balchandra studied part-time for his MSc in Digital Investigation & Forensic Computing whilst working at Oracle in Dublin, graduating in 2013 with First Class Honours. Before Oracle his career included over 10 years with Sun Microsystems and Kindle Banking Systems. Balchandra holds a Bachelor of Engineering (Electronics & Communication) from Karnataka University where he gained a first class degree.


Sinead Grant alumniSinead Grant - Enterprise and Consumer Technical Support Engineer at Webroot in Dublin.
Graduated 2012 with an MSc in Digital Investigation & Forensic Computing.

“Having studied Cell and Molecular Biology in my undergraduate degree in UCD, I had also taken some modules outside of my course area through the Horizons scheme. This allowed me to expand on my other interests, which included computers. I took a computer forensics module, which lead me to my masters degree. At first I was a little overwhelmed as everyone else seemed to have a background in computer science, however I found both the staff and other students extremely engaging and helpful and in no time at all I was delving into areas I'd never have seen myself capable of. The course was very enjoyable and I felt it had an interesting combination of technique orientated modules.

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Sinead studied for the MSc in DIFC over one year full time, graduating in 2012 and immediately started working for online security software company Webroot. Prior to her MSc she had studied at University College Dublin for a Bachelor of Science, Cell and Molecular Biology, graduating in 2011. At Webroot Sinead works as part of a team dealing with the pan-European Threat Research, Web Development, Strategic Alliances and Enterprise sales, handling customer calls, resolving queries and troubleshooting Internet Browser applications and remediation of malware.


Matthijs van Amelsfort alumniWarren Matthew - IT Security / Risk & Compliance Officer at FBD Insurance, Ireland.
Graduated 2012 with an MSc in Digital Investigation and Forensic Computing (1st Class Honours).

“The MSc was a very positive experience.

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When Warren left school he went straight to work in mainframe operations in ICL and then various roles in IT firms, local government and software localization. 10 years later he landed a senior role in IT Operations in a major bank during a period of fast growth. He managed the bank's IT and network infrastructure across 19 global offices for several years, heading a large team. After the global financial crisis of 2008, when the bank became the subject of a major fraud investigation by the police, his role became one of internal investigations and internal audit, as he helped the bank resolve its financial difficulties. As the bank was heading towards liquidation, he realized that despite his strong career record and experience, as well as information security certifications and training, he lacked a university degree and that this may stand against him in his quest to secure a senior management role elsewhere.

Most applicants to the UCD MSc have a Bachelor's degree in computer science or equivalent, but as we consider each application on its own merits, Warren's many years of professional experience and his IT forensics training was accepted as equivalent to an undergraduate degree in computer science.

Shortly after completing the UCD MSc, he found an IT audit role in another bank, before being appointed to his current position in an insurance firm. Warren feels that his UCD MSc helped him win this role against strong competition in a difficult jobs market. Although he is not now in a pure forensics role, his UCD forensics education is useful in guiding policies for proper retention of documents, data protection, and procedures as well as IT security and compliance.


Liban Mohamud alumniLiban Mohamud - PhD. Researcher at University College Dublin and Computer Forensics and E-discovery Manager at PwC Dublin.
Graduated 2012 with an MSc in Digital Investigation & Forensic Computing.

“The MSc was a very positive experience and a road that led me to do PhD research. Having over 12 years' experience in the I.T. industry, as well as 10 years working in the financial sector, I have developed a particular research interest in Network and Systems Forensics, Operations and Security. This made me pursue an MSc at UCD. I have a very technical background. I studied Electrical and Electronics Engineering in technical school but my first job was in a computer repairer's which directed me into IT. Without having done the MSc in UCD, I would not be in my current line of work and I would have missed great opportunities to do countless things now and the future.




Seang Chiw alumniSeang Chiw - Senior Storage Engineer and a PhD Researcher at University College Dublin.
Graduated 2012 with an MSc in Digital Investigation & Forensic Computing (1st Class Honours).

“I was motivated to take the UCD MSc because of the practical approach of the course and the broad range of different subjects. I graduated in IT from USQ, Australia and worked as an IT trainer before progressing my career as a Senior Storage Engineer. With more than 10 years IT experience in Enterprise Solutions, a strong interest in computer forensics made me pursue the MSc in UCD. This programme is more useful and more effective than any other I have experienced and I personally found the MSc programme to be very engaging.

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Seang is currently a PhD researcher with the UCD Digital Forensic Investigation Research Group (DigitalFIRE). His research interest is in digital forensic investigations of Cloud environments.


Mel McGovern alumniMel McGovern - Fraud Investigation & Dispute Services - E-Discovery Associate at Ernst & Young UK.
Graduated 2011 with an MSc in Digital Investigation & Forensic Computing.

“Without having done the MSc, I would not be in my current line of work. It has opened up many opportunities to me that would have otherwise been unavailable. In addition, the hands-on element of the course meant I could begin a new role within a company equipped with the practical skills required to complete a job to an industry standard.

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Although Mel studied Corporate Law as a bachelor's degree, he never actually worked in the area. However, he always had an interest in computer forensics and felt his law background would complement the course nicely. He also felt it was a great niche area to get in to in terms of career prospects.

Many of the lessons learned in his study of law could also be applied to the world of digital investigations - accounting for privacy issues, addressing the legal issues associated with electronic evidence, such as relevant case law, how to navigate the discovery process, protection of privilege, and in general, working with attorneys and other professionals. He admits he found the first few months of the course to be challenging given his lack of background in IT but with the help of the lecturers and fellow classmates he soon found himself becoming accustomed to the terminology involved and developed a greater understanding of what was being discussed.

Before the MSc, he was working in Hewlett Packard performing what he describes as a fairly bland 9-5 IT based role. Once he began the Masters, he decided to take on a job in a small start up company to improve his programming (he also wrote about this company in his dissertation). Upon completion of the course, Mel moved to London and found work in a relevant job within the month at Kroll Ontrack, a data recovery, information management and ediscovery firm.