The Student Room Group

Is it just me?

I have a bachelors in BSc hons Computer systems (Cyber Security) and a masters in MSc IT Security. I received a First in my bachelors and graduated with the highest grade in my year (The prize for outstanding performance in the department of computer science) as well as a Distinction for my masters while receiving best dissertation project award.

I have been looking for entry level jobs, graduate schemes and even pulling the nepo hire card and I am yet to even get a sniff at a job, it's been 6 months now. My peers haven't had a problem finding a role with more than enough pay, benefits and something that actually relates to their education (I out performed them on every metric possible, but they are my bro’s so more power to them). Meanwhile, I’m forced to apply to any cyber security role that is advertised (not always roles I based my major projects on) before reluctantly applying for roles that have anything to do with IT, minimum wage, not even in the area I have gone into debt to be educated in and to top it off not even being looked at twice for said irrelevant, underpaid role.

If you are serious about your career do not go to uni, it is not for that. Get an apprenticeship or pay for certification because i'm probably going to have to do that even after guaranteeing I pay off debt for the rest of my life while probably never being able get into the space I really am passionate about because i would have already gone too far down the corporate hole in an industry that has nothing to do with cyber security.

So my question is. Is it just me?

P.s. sorry about the grammar.
(edited 4 months ago)
Reply 1
Original post by pretrial-speed
I have a bachelors in BSc hons Computer systems (Cyber Security) and a masters in MSc IT Security. I received a First in my bachelors and graduated with the highest grade in my year (The prize for outstanding performance in the department of computer science) as well as a Distinction for my masters while receiving best dissertation project award.

I have been looking for entry level jobs, graduate schemes and even pulling the nepo hire card and I am yet to even get a sniff at a job, it's been 6 months now. My peers haven't had a problem finding a role with more than enough pay, benefits and something that actually relates to their education (I out performed them on every metric possible, but they are my bro’s so more power to them). Meanwhile, I’m forced to apply to any cyber security role that is advertised (not always roles I based my major projects on) before reluctantly applying for roles that have anything to do with IT, minimum wage, not even in the area I have gone into debt to be educated in and to top it off not even being looked at twice for said irrelevant, underpaid role.

If you are serious about your career do not go to uni, it is not for that. Get an apprenticeship or pay for certification because i'm probably going to have to do that even after guaranteeing I pay off debt for the rest of my life while probably never being able get into the space I really am passionate about because i would have already gone too far down the corporate hole in an industry that has nothing to do with cyber security.

So my question is. Is it just me?

P.s. sorry about the grammar.

What work experience do you have? Qualifications are all well and good but are a product of your ability to sit an exam. This is a skill most employees aren't interested in. Perhaps you should be looking to gain some work experience first?

Also, have you considered applying for online jobs through recruitment agents?
Original post by hotpud
What work experience do you have? Qualifications are all well and good but are a product of your ability to sit an exam. This is a skill most employees aren't interested in. Perhaps you should be looking to gain some work experience first?

Also, have you considered applying for online jobs through recruitment agents?

Gaining experience. Spending time in a role that provides valuable insight into the Cyber Security/IT industry. That sounds amazing, however, Like I stated, I'm not even getting these types of jobs. Additionally I haven't spent my time not working, I tutor Cyber Security to university students and coach sports as well. I have played at my club for a long time so coaching is something I’ve always done and tutoring cyber security is about the only thing you can do freelance that can provide somewhat relative experience. I'm sorry but to say 'just get experience' isn't good enough. One, Jobs that would provide me experience dont think i'm a good fit clearly. Two, like I stated, I'm applying to entry level jobs that don't mention the need for years of experience. And Three, although I don't have experience in a role, the whole point of major projects/dissertations is to express an intrinsic motivation to solve an issue or research a topic that relates to your intended future professional field. The feedback I have received from recruiters indicates that for IT roles my CV/past experience/academic makeup makes me too niche and therefore, are clearly using the role as a stepping stone which does not work in my favor as there will be candidates that want a long term career in that same role whereas I'd only be there one-two years. On the other hand, mid-senior Security roles demand an experienced individual and entail a lot of responsibility, this is where the issue of 'not enough experience' comes into play. Going back to my primary point, I am more than qualified to get a graduate, entry level job. I have done a lot to separate myself from the herd, more than those already in jobs.
Reply 3
Original post by pretrial-speed
Gaining experience. Spending time in a role that provides valuable insight into the Cyber Security/IT industry. That sounds amazing, however, Like I stated, I'm not even getting these types of jobs. Additionally I haven't spent my time not working, I tutor Cyber Security to university students and coach sports as well. I have played at my club for a long time so coaching is something I’ve always done and tutoring cyber security is about the only thing you can do freelance that can provide somewhat relative experience. I'm sorry but to say 'just get experience' isn't good enough. One, Jobs that would provide me experience dont think i'm a good fit clearly. Two, like I stated, I'm applying to entry level jobs that don't mention the need for years of experience. And Three, although I don't have experience in a role, the whole point of major projects/dissertations is to express an intrinsic motivation to solve an issue or research a topic that relates to your intended future professional field. The feedback I have received from recruiters indicates that for IT roles my CV/past experience/academic makeup makes me too niche and therefore, are clearly using the role as a stepping stone which does not work in my favor as there will be candidates that want a long term career in that same role whereas I'd only be there one-two years. On the other hand, mid-senior Security roles demand an experienced individual and entail a lot of responsibility, this is where the issue of 'not enough experience' comes into play. Going back to my primary point, I am more than qualified to get a graduate, entry level job. I have done a lot to separate myself from the herd, more than those already in jobs.

With respect, you are looking at this completely wrongly. You are saying "Look at everything I have to offer"

The employer however is looking at you and saying "None of that is what we are looking for."

You are competing against others who do have experience and do have skills. If the job isn't a coaching job, your coaching experience is irrelevant.

So dive into your connections. Do you know someone who can get you an in? Could you enquire about getting a day's experience? Could you go to a jobs fair and ask what recruiters are looking for in their candidates and then change your CV to focus on what they are looking for rather than what you have to offer. If you're CV reads like the job advert you have half a chance at an interview.
You are correct, my current attitude isn't positive and isn't going to help me in my job search. Although, this is the accumulation of 6 months worth of rejection and frustration. The coaching job I know is irrelevant but tutoring alone doesn't pay the bills, it was more about making a point that i'm not sitting at home on linkedin doing nothing crying 'why me?'. Connections are something I have been and currently am taking advantage of and catering my CV to specific roles is something I do for every job I apply for. This post was more of a rant but again after being rejected and ignored for this long while my peers who I know havent outperformed me from an academic standpoint finding their dream job straight away only fuels my frustration and dampens my spirit.

Again, it's frustrating knowing that there are individuals that you have worked harder than, have the same or better grades/academic history and yet I am the one who is most likely going to have to take a job in IT support for a year until I can actually begin my career in cyber security. By this time, they would have had a whole year and a half in the industry. Uni has made me feel like I've fallen behind and the way my job hunt is going, I am only falling further. My outlook on the job hunt wasn't always this negative, this is a very recent shift in attitude.

Enquiring for a day's experience isn't something I've given much thought to, so thank you for suggesting that. I have done it, met with rejection but it will be something I try more often going forward.
Original post by pretrial-speed
I have a bachelors in BSc hons Computer systems (Cyber Security) and a masters in MSc IT Security. I received a First in my bachelors and graduated with the highest grade in my year (The prize for outstanding performance in the department of computer science) as well as a Distinction for my masters while receiving best dissertation project award.

I have been looking for entry level jobs, graduate schemes and even pulling the nepo hire card and I am yet to even get a sniff at a job, it's been 6 months now. My peers haven't had a problem finding a role with more than enough pay, benefits and something that actually relates to their education (I out performed them on every metric possible, but they are my bro’s so more power to them). Meanwhile, I’m forced to apply to any cyber security role that is advertised (not always roles I based my major projects on) before reluctantly applying for roles that have anything to do with IT, minimum wage, not even in the area I have gone into debt to be educated in and to top it off not even being looked at twice for said irrelevant, underpaid role.

If you are serious about your career do not go to uni, it is not for that. Get an apprenticeship or pay for certification because i'm probably going to have to do that even after guaranteeing I pay off debt for the rest of my life while probably never being able get into the space I really am passionate about because i would have already gone too far down the corporate hole in an industry that has nothing to do with cyber security.

So my question is. Is it just me?

P.s. sorry about the grammar.

It’s not only you I even have a levels in Information and Communication Technology, a Bsc in Computer Networks and Technology. Family, friends have said I have immense potential within ICT and it’s currently going to waste working in my side job at a supermarket because I can’t get a IT Support Job. Something that easily I can do resolving even the complex of technical issues that even a company can’t fix.
Reply 6
Original post by pretrial-speed
You are correct, my current attitude isn't positive and isn't going to help me in my job search. Although, this is the accumulation of 6 months worth of rejection and frustration. The coaching job I know is irrelevant but tutoring alone doesn't pay the bills, it was more about making a point that i'm not sitting at home on linkedin doing nothing crying 'why me?'. Connections are something I have been and currently am taking advantage of and catering my CV to specific roles is something I do for every job I apply for. This post was more of a rant but again after being rejected and ignored for this long while my peers who I know havent outperformed me from an academic standpoint finding their dream job straight away only fuels my frustration and dampens my spirit.

Again, it's frustrating knowing that there are individuals that you have worked harder than, have the same or better grades/academic history and yet I am the one who is most likely going to have to take a job in IT support for a year until I can actually begin my career in cyber security. By this time, they would have had a whole year and a half in the industry. Uni has made me feel like I've fallen behind and the way my job hunt is going, I am only falling further. My outlook on the job hunt wasn't always this negative, this is a very recent shift in attitude.

Enquiring for a day's experience isn't something I've given much thought to, so thank you for suggesting that. I have done it, met with rejection but it will be something I try more often going forward.

I'm sorry to hear of your struggles but in general success is not a product of hard work, it is a product of working smart and doing what is needed rather than doing something for the sake of it or because you believe it to be valuable. There is no comparison between academic qualifications and employability skills which they sadly don't tell you at school and even if you do tell, they don't believe you.

You need to start focussing on what employers are looking for and tailoring your offering to fit their specification. You need to put them in a position where they can't say no.

Good luck
Reply 7
Original post by User_name001
It’s not only you I even have a levels in Information and Communication Technology, a Bsc in Computer Networks and Technology. Family, friends have said I have immense potential within ICT and it’s currently going to waste working in my side job at a supermarket because I can’t get a IT Support Job. Something that easily I can do resolving even the complex of technical issues that even a company can’t fix.

But does that come across in your applications? Can you demonstrate you have the skills? Could you put together a YouTube channel showing how to resolve common issues and then post that as part of your application? You need to stand out. Tech companies are not looking for just anyone.
Reply 8
Hey, just to throw my 2 cents in, I have just been offered a job within Cyber Security at the Bank of England (I applied for the technology graduate programme). I am a humanities student with very little background in tech other than working on a few student NLP research papers and some level of coding knowledge across a few languages. I think, in some cases, it is very little about what you currently know but rather that you are keen to learn and are interested in their practices (most of what youre taught in your degree probably won't even be that applicable to a job (I guess that's why my degree background didn't matter massively)). But anyway, I know very little about cybersec (I would've preferred to be placed within the fintech/digital currency subdivision of tech) so if anyone could DM me and give me any insights that would be great!

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