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David Gee

Transformation & Digital CIO

David is a well known Transformation & Digital CIO, he consults as an CXO Advisor in Financial Services.

With 18 years as a CIO, David has deep experience in digital change. At CUA he successfully led a major transformation of all systems and technology, this culminated in him winning CIO of the Year in 2014 for Financial Services.

He is heavily embedded in the Fintech startup ecosystem as an Advisor to Sapien Ventures, Tyro Fintech Hub, Venturetec Accelerator and also advises a number of startups.

David is a popular writer for a number of IT publications including CIO, Computerworld and CSO.

Q

What university courses would you recommend to someone interested in the cyber security field. Working in this space I currently have basic to moderate knowledge but would be interested in obtaining an academic qualification. As someone on the forefront of this industry perhaps you could point me in the right direction please. Thanks in advance.

A

A really good question, and as I'm not sure which state you live in and thus will provide a few answers. The other defining question - is are you looking for a Undergraduate or Masters level qualification?

Macquarie, UNSW, Deakin, UTS, Melbourne, Edith Cowan, ANU, Adelaide and Swinburn all offer cyber security studies. (I'm sure that I've missed some here)

One data point to consider is that last year UNSW dominated the placings at the Cyber Security Challenge event.

But let me be diplomatic and say that it depends on the quality of the 'teacher', that you get. I recall doing a MBA at Macquarie Graduate School and there were a few lecturers that were professional managers that did teaching for fun. They were just awesome at being able to share strategic insights and examples that were based on real world examples.

Since those years, Macquarie University MBA is now one of the rated 1st in its category and I'm sure we were rated 3rd. So I don't pay that much attention to being at the highest ranked, you just don't want to be in the lower quartile.

My reflection is that where you study is not as important as how this makes you think differently. The purpose of study is to reinvent yourself with new knowledge and skills that you can apply. Any good employer that is looking for a new hire in cyber security has to look beyond the grades, and soft skills such as communication and influence are really critical for cyber security professionals.

Yes, you have to have a base level of knowledge and be able to apply this, but I would add that getting cyber security work experience as you study is the most critical element. When you graduate with experience and the right mindset then you will have your choice of plum roles.

- David Gee, Transformation & Digital CIO

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