In November 2021, Victoria and Ibrahim attended the Stanford Neurodiversity Summit where they spoke as part of a panel about their experiences with Genius Armoury. The presentation formed part of a larger discussion around employment and neurodiversity, and highlighted Genius Armoury’s role as a talent pool for neurodiverse individuals interested in a career in Cyber Security. The pair reflected on their pathways to employment as neurodiverse individuals, and how the Genius Armoury course has benefitted them. A full recording of the Summit can be found on the Stanford Neurodiversity 2021 Summit YouTube channel.
Ibrahim and Victoria completed the Genius Armoury course in 2021. A few months later, they have both found employment within the Cyber Security industry with one of Australia’s largest companies.
At the start of 2021, I was encouraged to try the Genius Armoury course. I was reluctant at first, as cybersecurity wasn’t something I had ever considered doing before and I didn’t really have a technical background. I decided to try the course once I realised what a great opportunity it was to try something new in a no-pressure environment, and the potential doors that it could open up for my future. The course was extremely approachable, and the content was broken up into very manageable sections so that I could complete a small part at a time. The content is delivered through a mix of instructional videos and small sections of text to read through. At the end of every module is a task to complete based on the content you just covered. You are always able to go back and view content, and you will receive feedback on your submission as well as a sample solution to compare your work to. All in all, the course took me two weeks to complete, but I really took my time with it. The final assessment was very similar to the rest of the course assignments, and once it was completed successfully, I received a certificate to include on my resume.
I thought that this course would be a good opportunity, but I hadn’t anticipated just how much it would impact my future. With the help of Untapped, I was able to find work within just a few months of finishing the course at one of Australia’s biggest companies, working on an exciting new network project as part of their cybersecurity team. Since finding employment, I’ve also been able to further my education and am currently studying a Certificate IV in Cybersecurity 22334VIC at Victoria University Polytechnic. This is from having no prior experience in the cybersecurity industry, or even really understanding what cybersecurity was! Genius Armory equipped me with the skills, and the confidence, that I needed to start a successful career in cybersecurity. If you are hesitant about the course like I was, just give it a shot! There are no commitments to even finish the course if you don’t want to, but it may just open you up to some amazing opportunities.
I was initially recommended by a friend to try Genius Armory. Despite having a background in ICT, I never considered making a change to cybersecurity as I was primarily in the legacy sector, a far cry from something as current and big as cybersecurity. In saying that, there were overlaps. There is an emphasis on security in the legacy sector as we deal with extremely insecure platforms as a standard in our work. Upon realizing this, I decided I should take the leap into this pathway. Whilst I was sceptical of the course itself, I felt it would be a fantastic learning opportunity.
The course itself is very well structured and self-paced (not to mention, with no obligations attached!). It is a multi-part training platform, with separate sections covering each aspect of cybersecurity at a fundamental level. Once completed successfully, I was then invited to complete a 4-day assessment week where our skills were put to the test in areas including cybersecurity and general life-skills such as teamwork and communication. I was awarded with a certificate and set up in a placement list.
After the completion of the course, it wasn’t too much of a wait until I was offered a job that blew my expectations out of the water. Frankly, it wasn’t until this moment I realized how lifechanging this series of decisions was going to be. In my current position with my team, not only are we exceeding standards, we’re also creating new ones – including a whole new network infrastructure setup for our department, completely written and planned out by us.
In addition to this, thanks to the support I have been given, I am now able to return to studying a Certificate IV in Cybersecurity 22334VIC at Victoria University Polytechnic, something I would not have been able to do in the past. Thanks to Untapped, I feel a great deal of security in my career pathway and overall future that otherwise would have been quite hard to come by. I never thought re-skilling in such an incredible way would be possible, let alone so straightforward.
We would like to thank the team at the Stanford Neurodiversity Project for organising the summit and for giving us the opportunity to speak as part of the event – with special thanks to the Director, Dr. Lawrence Fung, M.D., Ph.D. We support their ongoing research into neurodiversity and their continued advocacy for neurodivergent individuals.