Last year I returned to formal study after around 25 years since completing my Bachelors degree studies. Much had changed since those days, back ‘in the old days’, my lecture notes would appear on the intranet 2 weeks after our lecture had occurred — groundbreaking. Online study was nowhere to be seen back then, and why would it, at the time we were still connecting to the internet via 56k baud modems and hoping like hell no one picked up that phone and disconnected us. Assignments were typed, though these were printed out, a coversheet filled out and we had to head into campus and submit to the assignment box before that dreaded due date.
Last year when I commenced my cyber security studies it was a whole new world, I was undertaking a new format postgraduate degree in which units were each completed in 7-week blocks with a 1-week break between, and oddly no major unit examination at the end as I’d been used to. Instead, we were assessed by several major in-unit assessments and several automated timed quizzes, all completed using the Blackboard learning management system; the irony was I had piloted this system for the university in 2000 as a relatively new staff member. In resuming studies last year this format had initially take its toll on my health, after two weeks working full-time and studying, all-up 17 hour days, I started getting migraines and bad headaches over a six-week period; thankfully they passed as I managed to overcome stresses and modified study patterns.
I decided to exit the Masters degree half-way with a Graduate Diploma as a unit I was doing at this point convinced me I really wanted to head in a software developer path, albeit with that cyber awareness. So, with that behind me, I applied to Monash University, a top university in Australia, to study a Graduate Diploma in Computer Science specialising in software engineering. As I was seeking a unit exemption that process took way longer than I’d expected, I had hoped to commence back in May, however, Easter leave there got in the way and today I received my course and unit exemption approval and am commencing at the start of July.
I find it funny that I only returned to formal studies last year, and at that point had become accustomed to spending endless hours sitting at my desk studying. It has only been a little over two months now since I wrapped my cyber security studies and I feel anxious for something to do, I can’t wait to get started once more.