Tia Cotton

BSc (Hons) Ethical Hacking, Class of 2022

Graduate Profile

Congratulations on your Graduation - what now?

Thanks to my degree being really relevant in the industry, I was able to secure a job offer in January during my final year! I'll be starting with QinetiQ as a Cyber Graduate, where I'll have the chance to rotate through four roles over two years. This means I have the ability to explore the various roles available within cyber security.
The game I developed as part of my honours project 'Practicing Safe Sex(t) - A Serious Game' which is an educational mitigation against Technology-Facilitated Sexual Violence, has received a lot of attention by the Police. Moving on, I'm working alongside Police Scotland's Cyber Harm Prevention team to get the game into schools!

Read more below.

What's your long term ambition?

I'm really hoping that the game makes an impact in the schools and with parents and opens an open and healthy conversation around technology-facilitated sexual violence. It's incredible that Police Scotland approached me and asked me to work with them to roll the game out and there's already more planned, so watch this space! In terms of careers goals, I'm excited to see what roles I'll be working in and how the content I've learned from the course can be applied in industry. Hopefully the experience will allow me to encourage more people to consider STEM and cybersecurity!

How are you feeling now that your time at Abertay has come to an end?

I'm very much a mixed bag of emotions. I'm incredibly happy for the next chapter of my life, but I'm also sad to be leaving a great community of lovely people! The community at Abertay, particularly staff and lecturers, have made my University journey so enjoyable and have really gone the extra mile when I've needed help or support.

Why did you decide to study at Abertay?

My journey into cyber security was pretty interesting. I originally wanted to be a doctor but I didn't have the required grades. I eventually decided on doing software engineering but I still didn't have the grades I needed to go straight into uni from school, so I decided on two years at College as a 'stepping stone' into uni. This is where I really got excited about cyber security and technology. After going to some technology events, I discovered that Abertay had a course about ethical hacking so I applied on a whim, not expecting to be accepted and received an unconditional offer!

What were the highlights of your time at Abertay?

Some of my highlights of my time at Abertay would include: doing my first ever conference talk at Securi-Tay 2019 which is Europe's biggest student run conference! Having belly aches from laughing and joking in the hack-lab, I've met some of my closest friends at Abertay. Being able to showcase my honours project at the Abertay Digital Graduate Showcase - even though it was a bit daunting being the only ethical hacking student there! Being able to explore areas of security that really interested me, rather than being told what to focus on. 

How did you find having to move to online learning due to COVID-19?

It was definitely a rollercoaster, as I originally thought it was only going to be for a few months! The lecturers made sure that the content was adapted to being online and were always there if you needed a hand or just needed a chat.

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