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Most people would assume that anyone working in cyber security grew up with a keen interest in computers and technology from a young age. But for Aden Cornell-Carse, it was an industry he only considered after originally pursuing a very different career path.

"Before working in cyber security I was studying international relations, and I was thinking about cyber security being one of these upcoming industries and that it would be a really good thing to have skills in," Aden said.

Not having any previous experience or interest in IT, Aden was keen to get some advice on the best way to get his foot in the door.

"I spoke to people in the industry and I spoke to other people who were studying and the advice I got was to go for TAFE. That's what I did and that's how I started my diploma," he said.

After doing some research, Aden decided to enrol in the Diploma of Information Technology (ICT50220)* because of the practical approach to learning at TAFE Queensland.

"One of the main reasons that I chose to go for TAFE Queensland was because I knew that it was going to be more hands on," Aden said.

"But being here, I was blown away — the technology that I'm using is the same technology that I'm using on the job, and when I see the checklist for jobs that I'm looking at it's exactly the same content. It's been very real-life based."

In addition to the hands-on approach to learning, the facilities Aden had access to throughout his studies were also industry standard.

"The facilities at TAFE are very similar to real-world facilities. You're using this equipment that's the same equipment that you're going to see in your job. And the teaching staff have the same experience as the people that you're going to be working with in your job," he said.

Aden credits his teaching staff for giving him a solid foundation from which to launch his new career.

"Their approachability is probably one of the best aspects of being a TAFE student. You can always reach out to one of the teaching staff and they'll give you guidance — there's endless wealth of experience from the industry that they're offering. It's phenomenal."

His teaching staff were also key in helping Aden get his start in the IT industry.

"TAFE Queensland teaching staff have this real-world experience, which means they also have real-world connections. I was definitely able to make use of that to find a workplace that was really eager to take on TAFE Queensland students," he said.

Now working in network security, Aden is loving his new role and the variety of challenges it brings.

"Without a question, this is the most interesting job that I've worked in. Every day you're learning something new and you're working on a new technology. If you're somebody that's keen to be using technology and learning about it, it's definitely the place to be."

While it's early days for Aden in his new career path, the future looks bright and he's keen to see where the industry takes him.

"Greatness to me means opportunity. This course has linked me in with companies in the local area — opportunity has been a key part of that and it's really delivered. I think for any person who's getting started, having the opportunity to try different things and start working in that area is what greatness is," Aden concluded.

 

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*current equivalent course

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