Friday, 7 October 2011

Flexibility the key of Doctorate

The following is a press release for the DIT program at CSU. We plan to have over 100 new doctoral students in the next year with a focus on digital forensics and information security research. This will be applied research.

For those who do not think they can do a doctorate, this program has been structured in steps:

  1. Post Grad Certificate
  2. Master, Research
  3. Doctor of Information Technology
The program is industry focused. We plan to build the research skills that are needed in industry and government, the skills needed for a new form of education.

Soon after this, I will be announcing a  formal plan for open community sourced information systems security and digital forensics training and education. We are constructing a community based education resource. This will consist of:
  1. Training papers
  2. Audio lectures
  3. Video guides
The aim will be to openly train over 20,000 security professionals by 2020. This will be 20,000 people with a high level of skills. This will of course require far more people to be trained.

Our goal is to have a resource available to the world that will allow a novice security professional to follow step by step guidelines in securing and responding to their organization's systems. For instance, we would like to see a junior incident responder able to use a tablet, follow a series of commands and step through a video on how to image a drive on a potentially compromised system.

More information will be coming in the weeks ahead.

The release:
Already the market leader in domestic IT postgraduate course enrollments, Charles Sturt University (CSU) plans to be the leading IT research university by 2017.

As part of this strategy, CSU have launched a revised Doctor of Information Technology today, offering a unique Doctorate that is industry relevant, flexible and industry based.

The Doctorate Market has experienced strong growth with over 43 000 students undertaking Doctorates at Australian Universities in 2008 and this continues to increase as the industry grows.

“Charles Sturt University has gathered feedback from potential students, graduates and industry leaders to discover what’s needed in a Doctorate of IT,” CSU School of Computing and Mathematics adjunct lecturer Mr Martin Hale said. “We discovered there were three main barriers for people who were thinking of taking on this level of study and they were the size of the commitment, the perception that technically qualified supervisors would not be available and the belief that there was a lack of employer support. These three barriers have been addressed within the development of this restructured course.”

The restructured course will give students the option of exiting with a Graduate Certificate or Masters and strong supporter of the Doctorate course, Mr John Ridge AM, Executive Officer at the Australian Computer Society (ACS) believes this will take the risk out of committing to a full Doctorate in a set time period.

“People can exit at different points and they exit with a qualification.  This provides the opportunity to obtain those points and then, if you need to exit you can, with qualifications. You can take a break for a while and then pick it up again. It’s great to have this flexibility without losing the time you’ve put into it.”

IT Masters has identified a pool of potential Adjunct Industry supervisors who have undertaken the CSU supervisory training program before being allocated a student. One of these supervisors is Charles Sturt University (CSU) adjunct lecturer, Asia Pacific Director of the Global Institute for Cybersecurity + Research and leading Australian cyber security expert, Dr Craig Wright.

“The reason professionals undertake a doctorate is to differentiate themselves in a growing workforce and this restructure offers one of the most flexible and work-relevant courses available.

“My background is in information security and forensics, which is a growing area within the industry, and software security and digital forensics are areas the doctorate will address. Students can be assured that supervisors have the technical expertise in highly specialised areas like this and can therefore help them with their studies.”

In the research conducted, most prospective students indicated that they would be approaching their employers to help fund their studies but doubted they would get support as the only output was a Thesis that would not be available for at least six years.
 “Rather than pure academic papers, the restructure has included White Papers, or applied papers giving  employers tangible outcomes within an acceptable timeframe that makes a difference now,”  Mr Hale said.

“The relationship Charles Sturt University has with the IT industry is something that other universities do not have,” Mr Ridge said. “This industry flexibility and industry focus is a good thing. There is a wave of change in some academic circles where this Doctorate is going.”

People are looking for a doctorate that offers more applied research rather than pure research and this one delivers. I’m a big fan of Charles Sturt University’s IT Masters for same reason – there are industry relevant qualifications and embedded in the qualification is industry certification. The Doctorate is continuing the same sort of trend but taking it to new level.”

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