Building a career in cybersecurity: Tips from a Forensics grad

We love catching up with our alumni, to talk about life after BCIT, their careers, and what tips they have for (prospective) students. In this Q&A, meet Digital Forensics and Cybersecurity grad Rabie Ali, who graduated with a Bachelor of Technology in 2023.

What led you to BCIT?

My interest in computers and cybersecurity drew me to BCIT’s Digital Forensics and Cybersecurity program. I was fascinated by the program’s focus on leveraging technology to investigate cybercrimes and protect digital assets. BCIT’s reputation for providing hands-on, industry-relevant training made it the perfect choice for launching a career in this rapidly evolving field.

What was a highlight during the program?

The program equipped me with a solid foundation in cybersecurity principles, digital forensics techniques, and investigative methodologies. The hands-on labs and simulations allowed me to apply theoretical knowledge to real-world scenarios, preparing me for the challenges in this field.

A significant highlight was the module on mobile device forensics, where we learned to forensically acquire data from phones. This experience was eye-opening, revealing how much information these devices hold about a person’s history.

This hands-on experience underscored the critical role of digital forensics in modern investigations and the profound impact of technology on uncovering the truth.

Anything that you had to adapt to during the program?

I underestimated the speed at which cyber threats evolve and the constant need to stay updated on emerging trends and techniques.

The program’s emphasis on continuous learning and adaptability helped me navigate this challenge. I learned to proactively seek out new knowledge, whether through self-study, industry certifications, or networking with professionals in the field.

What are you doing now, and where do you see yourself in the coming years?

At Sunrise Farms, I’m responsible for implementing and managing cybersecurity measures to protect the company’s digital assets and infrastructure. This includes conducting risk assessments, developing security policies and procedures, and overseeing incident response efforts.

What makes it exciting is the opportunity to make a tangible impact by safeguarding critical systems and data from cyber threats, ultimately contributing to the company’s success and reputation.

I see myself continuing to advance my career in cybersecurity, possibly specializing in areas such as Security Orchestration, Automation, and Response (SOAR) and taking on more leadership roles where I can influence strategic decision-making and drive innovation in cybersecurity practices.

What kind of advice would you give (prospective) students?

1) Immerse yourself in the program’s hands-on learning opportunities.

2) Take advantage of resources such as industry partnerships and guest lectures.

3) Build a strong foundation in technical skills and investigative methodologies, as this is crucial for success in the field.

4) Demonstrate practical experience through internships, projects, or volunteer opportunities.

5) Network with alumni and industry professionals. It provides valuable insights and opens opportunities for career advancement. Seeking mentorship can also be helpful as you launch your career.

6) Use other means of learning: watch lectures on YouTube, practice labs on platforms like Hack The Box, and read books (Art of Attack, Sandworm, and Active Measures are some of my favourites) about cybersecurity to gain a comprehensive understanding of the field’s past, present, and future.

7) Continuously expand your skill set and stay updated on the latest technologies and methodologies.

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