Sarah’s challenging yet rewarding career change

24 February 2022

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Sarah Dempsey found herself leaving a career of 12 years to try something new and pivot to a growing industry.

“I considered it too risky to continue my career. I took the time during lockdown to try something new, in something that was both sustainable and had huge potential for growth.

“I explored the Free TAFE options offered by the Victorian Government, initially wanting to only find out more about the industry. However, I soon found myself interested and invested in where cyber security could take me.”

Despite limited on-campus classes, Sarah found the eLearning model interactive and flexible.

“Although online learning was difficult at the start, after a few weeks the kinks were ironed out and it became a useful, economic and time saving model that was beneficial when combined with full time work. My teacher was fantastic and constantly had engaging content to share with us.”

To complement an eLearning mode of delivery, VU Polytechnic continued to provide students with hands-on practical training and opportunities to complete placements with industry partners, such as Greater Western Water. 

“As part of my course, I was able to complete an internship with the security team at Greater Western Water. In six months, I was able to grow my knowledge and received mentoring on how I can work toward my goals. Upon completion of the internship, I was offered a full-time position as the Information Security Officer. As part of this, I have been able to enrol in many training programs both through my employment and independently.”

When asked about her future goals, Sarah says she is excited by the prospect of work that challenges her.

“I plan to focus on offensive/defensive action on the technical side and actively work on a Security Awareness Program that I have developed with the entire organisation. The most valuable thing I got out of my studies was a career with endless opportunity and predicted growth that challenges me intellectually.”

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