Careers Service

Mohammed Shuhood Mirza: Associate IT security analyst

  • Degree: MSc. Advanced Computer Science with Specialisation in Computer Security (2013)
  • Home country: India
  • Now working: India
  • Role: Associate IT Security Analyst at Pegasystems

My story

Prior to my Master's, I worked for a year as a Security Analyst at Hack Defense, an Indian Information Security Services company. I was involved with penetration testing (try to point out security loopholes in organizations' software and network). My chosen pathway for MSc course was Computer Security and it was directly related to my past experience. The experience helped me in a way that I was already familiar with most of the information security fundamentals. The fact that the course structure was comprehensive enough made me enjoy it to the core.

My time in Manchester

A part-time job is priceless

I worked as a Part time Research Moderator for one of the market research firms. I have attended Manchester Graduate Fair as well. At the end of my Semester, I started looking for part time work. The University Career page helped me get one. I was hired within a week by Join The Dots which is a market research firm specializing in online research communities. My role was to moderate their online healthcare research community. It involved reviewing and providing feedback on the responses from members of my native country i.e. India. Apart from that I was involved in reviewing research articles prior to those going live. A part of my role also included writing research articles based on feedback and surveys taken from people back in India, sometimes requiring video and pictorial responses as well.

I learnt a lot from this job

During the course of my job, I had to interact with many people. The kind of exposure you get working with people from different countries is simply priceless. Apart from that, I now have a good view of international market research. Jobs like these are great if your field of interest is business, finance or market research.

I have taken an EC-Council test and got certified as “Certified Ethical Hacker”

The preparation for the exam made me familiar to the latest ethical hacking tools and methodologies. The superiority this certification holds can be inferred from the fact that it is used as a baseline certification by the US Department of Defence (DoD) for US Cyber Defenders.

The course, though very practical in nature, required the candidate to be strong in the area of Computer Security. My subject experience at Manchester played an important role here.

Social media was really important, especially LinkedIn!

Following the certifications, I have floated my CV on online job portals as well as on LinkedIn. Within no time I started having interviews. My present employer contacted me after viewing my LinkedIn profile. Eventually I got hired as an Associate IT Security Analyst for Pegasystems- an American business intelligence software product based company. I am presently responsible for maintaining the IT security across Pega’s worldwide offices.

Suggestions for other students

CareersLink is important for part–time job!

In UK, I was hired after I applied for a job through University's CareersLink page. I highly recommend it to students who are looking for a part-time job.

Make the most of your time here!

For the first half of your course, just concentrate on your studies. Part time work can be left for the second half. It is difficult to get a sponsor after graduation. I would suggest, find out the in-demand skill relating to your field of study and complete a certification/course while you are studying. It will boost your chances.

Find out the in-demand skill relating to your field of study and complete a certification/course while you are studying.Mohammed,2013 graduate