Sunday, January 7, 2018

Choosing an Infocomm Security Diploma Course

Diploma Course
Studying for an infocomm security diploma is a significant investment of your time, money and resources. It is better to understand the value that you would be able to generate with the course. A common concern seen among students is the choice between Infocomm Security Management versus  IT security centric (network security or forensics focused) diploma courses. There is no one fit solution for all students. You have to consider various factors before selecting one over the other including their track records.

The background of a student plays the most important role in choosing the diploma course. For example, students with interests and strong foundation in networking would naturally choose network security related diploma course. But many students who just completed their GCE “O” level may not have yet to realise their area of interest and may not be able to decide on which course to choose. For those students who are interested in IT security, it is advisable to build their foundations before they move on to specialise in a specific IT security field.

Holistic Education
SP's holistic education equips students with a total skill set, consisting of technical skills, knowledge skills and soft skills. This is done through our unique scenario-based training in DISM which will develop critical thinking skills of students and help them to become a life-long learner. The general education (GenEd) emphasises the cultivation of life-skills such as teamwork, resilience, problem-solving and decision-making. The education and career guidance (ECG) provides a structured and comprehensive system to help you make better and informed education and career choices in school and beyond graduation.

Broad-based Curriculum
The Curriculum plays a major role in the learning process. DISM focuses on three main skill sets: Offensive, Defensive and Investigative. The first year include the general curriculum where students establish the fundamentals of information technology that includes computer architecture and operating system, networking fundamentals, linux administration, etc.

The second year has more security related modules such as Ethical Hacking and Defences, Applied Cryptography, Digital Forensics and Investigation, Programming in Python and C, etc. Third year is the most crucial year when you put all the skills and knowledge together to do your final year project plus some modules including Malware Reverse Engineering and Security Policy & Incident Management.

Career Goals
The essays and Interviews would have forced you to think about your career goals in detail. When you are being asked about your career aspiration, you would be expected to think of something related to your long-term and short-term career goals, as well as objectives, based on your career path planning. It is very important for one to plan ahead. If you choose a diploma course that is too specific (such as network security or forensics centric) at the early stage, you have to consider the job prospects and opportunities. In other words, your choice of jobs will be limited.

In Singapore, almost all IT security related jobs require the practitioners to be multi-skilled, that is, the ability to perform multiple IT security related tasks in a single job. So it means that DISM's broad-based training gives you the competitive edge you need to secure a job.

Post-Diploma Options 
Diploma holders have many pathways. The common belief among students is that one should go for a bachelor degree in a University. However, the degree route may not be the immediate choice to some of the diploma graduates due to factors such as financial and other constraints. One of the post-diploma options is to enrol into an Earn and Learn Programme (ELP).

Under the SkillsFuture, the Earn and Learn Programme (ELP) in Cyber Security is one of the many options that DISM students can consider. It is a work-study programme that provides student on-the-job training while studying for a Specialist Diploma in Cyber Security, that equips participants with advanced skillsets in Penetration Testing, Incident Response and Forensics Investigation. Singapore Polytechnic is the programme manager appointed by the relevant authorities to run the Specialist Diploma in Cyber Security (ELP).

So, which course? 
Consider your interest, your academic strengths, post-diploma options, your desired career, and the diploma course that would help you reach your career goals.

Choose Diploma in Infocomm Security Management (DISM) S54.


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