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Free Security Engineering Course by UNSW


Apparently computer security is a booming industry and UNSW and CBA have teamed up to give you this free Security Engineering course and apparently you can earn a 6 figure salary within the first couple of years after graduation.

The information on the website is a bit vague:
Over 2016 and 2017, we will be releasing a sequence of publicly available courses in cyber security, under the banner of the sec.edu 'Security Engineering' program.

The first course will start in Semester 1, 2016.

Register here to participate. Everyone welcome. Just bring your wits, cunning, and passion. And keep your eyes peeled for the McGuffin.

Some courses will requre C programming familiarity, others require no specific background and are suitable for those wishing to increase their understanding of cyber security. All courses require strong analytical capabilities.

SEC.EDU is a proud partnership between UNSW and Commonwealth Bank.

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  • +9

    Free .edu email?!

  • +44

    apparently you can earn a 6 figure salary within the first couple of years after graduation



    • +35

      6 figure salaries for everyone! Look under your seats! You get a raise! You get a raise!


      • +1

        "EVERY GRADUATE (brownie) HAS AN EDGE!!!!!"

      • +1

        Make sure you study hard or you might get….. Beees.


      • +11

        Yes, I looked under my desk chair and found a lever, I pulled it and got a raise. Thanks for the advice 😏

    • +12

      Doesn't specify currency. Could be rubles - definitely some computer security jobs in Russia offering at least that.

      • Indonesian Rupiah? Korean Won?

    • 6 figures in Japanese Yen.. yeah..

    • sources say

    • +3

      I work in IT Security and I do earn a 6 figure salary.

      But it takes more than a course!

      • 6 figure salary members should be permanently banned on OzB! :P

        • only 7 figures+? that's rough man

        • +1


          Yeah it's a daily struggle! :P

          I spent 6 years at Uni including completing a Master's in Digital Forensics and graduated with 1st class honours. And even with all that, it was still just luck I have ended up where I have.

          I'm all for learning, but if anyone thinks by doing this course it will get them in to security (proper security) they are dreaming.

          My 2 cents of advice is to learn about cloud computing. Set up a AWS account and Azure and play. That's the new boom!

        • @frazel: thanks for your advice mate, I finished a masters in info systems with a specialty in security consulting and still find it hard to find a role. I appreciate your hints!

    • +3

      Remember universities are in the business of making money, education is a means to that end. They also teach marketing hence the 6 figure bs for someone with 2yrs experience. That is laughable for the average graduate in a tight market where uni IT faculties are getting smaller due to less students due to less jobs. I know a large IT company where if you do get a pay rise you're lucky if it's much more than inflation.

      The real world is a very different place to that marketed to naïve students in order to get them in the door (they'll soon learn that when they finish their student life). In reality students overseas are studying the same material, getting the same accreditations (only difference is it's cheaper to do all that in many of those countries) and there is more pressure to achieve higher.

      It's a global market now and most of the IT companies are moving the jobs to their staff/divisions overseas in order to get higher profit margins (flying those staff in if they need to pose as "onshore"). Customers are not willing to pay the large amount needed to keep back end jobs here and more local companies are willing to outsource IT (even IT security). A higher salary here (for the same job) only makes it more likely that your IT job will go offshore. It's not being negative, its the reality of the market and just doesn't get the publicity of the other industries.

      • Oh and they better teach this current generation of journalists that just regurgitating press releases without any fact checking will do them out of a job too. That news.com.au article reads like an ad.

  • +1

    Registered! Thanks!!

  • +51

    I am currently studying computer science at UNSW, I just wanted to say the guy who seems to be leading this course, Richard Buckland is an amazing lecturer.

    He's a very passionate and hands on lecturer and if you even slightly are interested in learning cyber security I am sure you will enjoy what he has to offer.

    If you are interested in learning computing in general you can check out some of Richards lectures on his YouTube channel, BucklandRichard.

    • +2

      I had Richard for H/Comp 1A back in 2002, he was a good lecturer, very funny guy.

      • +4

        I had Richard for Comp 1A all the way back in the previous millennium, that's right 1999

        I think if any other person was the lecturer for my first computing subject there's a good chance I wouldn't have pursue software engineering as a career. One of the best teachers out there.

        • +2

          Must of been in the same lectures with you. Remember Haskell? Brings back memories.

        • +2

          @zealmax: Yes, I remember Haskell. UNSW's made up programming language :P

        • +1


          Yes Haskell for 1A and Java for 1B.

          Ah memories are starting to flood back. I remember Richard using The Count's song from Sesame Street to teach us recursion.

        • @sagrules: We teach Haskell in first year at ANU as well!

        • I had him for Comp 1A in 1997 ;)
          Did you all learn from him that a "google" is a 1 followed by one hundred zeros? A few years later on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, this was the million dollar question posed to a contestant. I was screaming at the tv.

    • +12

      So Dick is hands on is he? I'm out then.

    • I bet y'all internet lover & youtube junkie already know this especially the software engineer.
      But Thenewboston is way way more awesome in explaining stuff if you don't know a shit, zero about programming.
      He helped me (indirectly) with the most of the programming course. WIthout him I will failed my whole painful miserable course with very limited budget.

      He explained stuff really simple, My lecturer explanation for a goddamn couple weeks can be simplified by him over "5-15 minutes video**
      (Java I hate you at first sight)
      Really reccomend

      • Agreed. Thenewboston is excellent!

      • Subscribed to his channel. Thanks.

      • Thenewboston is frowned upon by a lot of people for poor technique. Personally I haven't tried many of his videos but Richard Buckland is a amazing and very passionate.

    • If you have a chance to, take COMP9447 (Security Workshop) with Brendan Hopper. Excellent hands-on course, and he's a great lecturer too - Richard's maybe better at simplifying explanations, but Brendan's lectures are always lots of fun.

    • Had Richard for H comp 1A back in 2004 and Cryptography in 2008 - guess this is the evolutional course to replace the old Cryptography course.

  • +11

    Hahahaha I remember when the UNSW Facebook page was hacked on the day or the day before Open Day and UNSW was praised for its cyber security courses.

    • +28

      If you do this course you will realise that UNSW doesn't run security for facebook.

      • +1

        hahaha it was just ironic I don't actually expect anyone to run security on facebook lol…

        • +1

          also in defence of the UNSW CSE faculty - probably wasn't them working on the security of UNSW Facebook page - likely something that Student Learning ie Admin does or possibly IT once the hack occurred
          (Source: I've worked for a sub unit of UNSW's Admin departments)

        • +1

          Yeah I can confirm that UNSW CSE is not responsible, but rather it was UNSW Admin which then later the IT's took over

  • +3

    When I try to visit the site you mentioned (news.com.au) "computer security is a booming industry" I get the following error?? :)

    www.news.com.au uses an invalid security certificate.

    The certificate is only valid for the following names: a248.e.akamai.net, *.akamaihd.net, *.akamaihd-staging.net, *.akamaized.net, *.akamaized-staging.net Error code: SSL_ERROR_BAD_CERT_DOMAIN

    • Quite booming, don't you think?

    • It's been like that for me for the past few weeks too. Have to disable my HTTPS addon and go to the non-secure site for it to work.

      • +4

        ironic much? :)

      • +1

        no, I can get to facebook ok, oh and youtube :)

        • +1

          excellent, perhaps you'd like to join our new site Friendface?

        • +1

          @xdreamyst: don't think about germs any more, that analogy's over!

      • +7

        PS: for those of you looking for a career in IT, watching the complete episodes of "The IT Crowd" should be a prerequisite, along with my personal favorite "Office Space"

        • +10

          Silicon Valley (HBO) is also necessary viewing…

        • +1

          @klownz: Yeah second that

        • +1

          @klownz: dtf

        0118 999 881 999 119 725………

  • +7

    Do you actually obtain a proper qualification saying you have completed this course, or is it just open material that anyone can study? Because from what I understand, it seems to me it is just additional learning for those interested, correct me if i'm wrong

    • I'm bookmarking for an answer

    • +3

      Will I earn a degree from UNSW if I complete these sec.edu MOOCs?
      A MOOC provides open, free public access to education experiences. A student that wishes to graduate with a degree that includes these courses needs to enrol at UNSW."

  • i think iv enrolled in the one thats going on right now…also free…same place…probably same course..i dont know.

    • The first course will start in Semester 1, 2016.

      It's already started. You're in the right one.

  • +3

    apparently you can earn a 6 figure salary within the first couple of years after graduation.

    Sure if you're in a management or senior position with 10+ years of experience. The IT industry is frequently underpaid for being professional Googlers.

    • It might be doable if you're in the right company and can get promoted quickly or spend those couple of years developing a niche that you can then exploit. But yeah, may not be a realistic target for most.

      • +3

        Pen testers and Oracle consultants seem to have no trouble getting 6 digit salary. Just need to be what the market is missing (and sought after) and the salary should be palatable.

        • Guess how much cheaper it is for an offshore body to do that (or to fly one in) by the Aust division of a multinational. They get 6 figures but in a different currency. Changes take place quickly in the IT industry and it's not just the technology ;-)

        • +1

          ^^ Absolutely right.

          Most pentesters I know are in the early 20s to mid 30s. I don't know a single one who earns under 6 figures. :) Ofcourse the chaps are some of the smartest people I've ever met.

          A senior pentester with 4years+ of pentest XP (yep that's actually considered senior), should be in the range of 130k-150k (ex super). A veteran pentester with experience in working with more esoteric tech like ICS/SCADA/custom protocols or heavily into bug hunting/exploit dev should be higher.


          These jobs do not get offshore'd. Places in Aus which have done this, have had to bring pentesting back onshore because of some really hard lessons learnt on the way. Typically, there is a lot of rigour and background checking performed on pentesters. It's not uncommon for pentesters working exclusively for Govt orgs to hold security clearances (typically NV1; but I've seen PV and TS). Moreover, there is a question of skill. The people doing this purely out of interest; it is a very trying and exhausting profession with a fairly high burnout rate (due to the need to stay on the bleeding edge).

          Disclaimer: the above does not apply to pentesters currently working for the big 4 consulting firms. :) For obvious reasons.

  • +2

    This reads like one of those '1 simple trick' Internet ads. Lots of kids will sign up, realise it's too hard or boring and go back to playing games on the over-specced PC they convinced their parents they needed for uni/school work.

    $2500 a day?! Haha…. Maybe by skimming a bit, actually, a lot from the banks you're slaving for.

    • +4

      Hey I need that PC for… video editing… photo manipulation… for my uni work…

      Goes back to playing The Division

      • +3

        But Mummmm! I need it for Photoshop and the Adobies! It won't run without the 980TIs in SLI!

        "My son is so whizz bang clever with computers" - mum

  • Welcome to tech support how may I help you?

  • +1

    Signed up just before and the course is wonderful so far.
    Definitely makes you think about things instead of just giving them to you.

    Thanks OP

  • +1

    Thanks OP. Joined.

  • What kind of accreditation or recognition will students of this course receive?

    It's good to learn or refresh security knowledge, would be even better if it grant achievements tangibly.

    • +9

      Leet haxor status. You have to telnet the mainframes to find the accreditation certificate honeypot. Also green text on black background has to be used when command lining. Or you fail.

      • lol

      • ROFL, you make my day :)

      • +2


        I'm in!

  • +1

    anyone know if:
    1. Can you get a .edu.au address from this?
    2. Can you get any NSW Opal card concession from this?
    3. Can you get a student card from this?

    • Nah man it's just an open learning course, essentially like signing up to a udemy one

    • To get concession cards you need to be a full time student anyways, most of these courses would only constitute part time attendance (if they were 'enrolled courses' in the typical sense).

    • +2

      If you are from NSW and are desperate for an .edu.au address, sign up for one of these free OTEN courses. http://oten.tafensw.edu.au/courses-and-careers/training-prog...

  • EE-gad! programming … i'm next to useless at any programming language

  • I work in security, I don't have a 6 figure salary :'(.

    • +8

      No not store security, Information Security/IT security

      • +1


      • Unless your kind of security job shows all flaws and weaknesses in your companies infrastructure and you can resolve these said flaws and weaknesses, you wont be on 6 figures.

        • Resolve the flaws or hold them in ransom to get 6 figures ??

    • @Duram
      Remove the decimal point

    • Move to Sydney ;)

    • $99,999?

      • '+ super?

        • I guess that`s the question. What do people see as a 6 figure salary 100000 incl super or 100000 take home pay.

        • @saffers:

          Base salary does not include super.

        • @googleyahoo69: Security and Data Science seems to be all the hype these days. I think this is a great opportunity to get your feet wet, in security.

        • @zealmax:


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