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Basil Mason

MSc Computer Science

I was working full-time and Birbeck offered the best resources to balance study with a job

I originally studied mathematics and got into IT as a Business Analyst in the Financial Services. I designed and built new processes, was a project manager on numerous system implementations, conducted user training and provided application support.

Please summarise your current position/job: Cyber Security Consultant. I work for a large technology consultancy, working with organisations to help manage their cyber security risks, implement new tools and processes, and design effective solutions to keep organisations and their data secure.

What made you decide to study for a qualification in computing? I had for a long time been studying programming and related subjects in my spare time, but I felt like I was never getting into the depths of the subject. I wanted some formal study to guide me and elaborate on what I had researched independently. I also wanted to update my profile and establish myself as an IT professional, having a Masters seemed like a good way to do it.

Why did you choose Birkbeck? I was working full-time and Birbeck offered the best resources to balance study with a job. It has a good reputation for this type of study and a good computer science department.

How did your qualification help you in your career? Having an MSc helped me to confidently state my IT experience and knowledge, something I was not able to do when self taught. It also broadened my profile to areas I had not worked in, allowing me to apply for new types of positions, which I did.

Did your time at Birkbeck help you in other ways? I met many interested people during the course of my study, some of which I am still in regular contact with. In fact, I got my current job by referral from someone I had met on the course and we now work closely together.

Which parts of your course were particularly enjoyable or useful? I love programming and Scala was a real pleasure to learn. I also appreciated learning the fundamentals of computing to give me a base understanding that will help with learning all new technologies in the future. And, I really enjoyed the thesis, getting a chance to use the skills that had just been learnt, research an interesting area and develop something relating to it, all with the expert guidance of the faculty, was very enjoyable. Thank you Birkbeck DCS.