‘My background could not have been further from IT’

How I did it: Robert Wallace (32), Fastrack to Information Technology (FIT) apprentice

‘I went for cybersecurity, seeing it as being a recession-proof career option.’ Photograph: iStock

‘I went for cybersecurity, seeing it as being a recession-proof career option.’ Photograph: iStock

 

“My background could not have been further from IT, having trained in college as a theatre actor and working mostly retail and sales jobs for the majority of my professional life.

“I began as an absolute rank amateur, having only an interest in technology that I pursued when time and money allowed. I was awarded an ECDL in transition year in school but had no other qualifications in IT whatsoever.

“The application process for the apprenticeship may seem daunting, but FIT will bring you through this step by step. The aptitude testing may seem super intimidating but is not really all that difficult and the problems are actually kind of fun to solve and think about. It is used to give an idea of your strengths, which can then be applied to any of the three areas of [FIT]: cyber-security, programming and networking.

Robert Wallace: ‘The application process for the apprenticeship may seem daunting, but FIT will bring you through this step by step.’
Robert Wallace: ‘The application process for the apprenticeship may seem daunting, but FIT will bring you through this step by step.’

“I went for cybersecurity, seeing it as being a “recession-proof” career option that could take me around the world and give [me] the most comprehensive IT education. It is a never-ending, fascinating subject with very granular nuances that allow you to pick a niche and become a highly-sought asset. A degree is great but very broad in its scope; this apprenticeship will make you a dedicated infosecurity expert.

“Even the general exams near the beginning will give you a good foundation of network administration, but by the time you get to Security+, Cysa+ and Pentest+, you will learn exactly why this area is growing exponentially.

“As evidenced by the recent spate of cyberattacks, our networks are not becoming more secure simply with the emergence of new technologies. On the contrary, these changes happen faster than we can detect the vulnerabilities used to attack them. As we have seen here at home with the HSE Conti ransomware attack, people’s health, and indeed lives, can hang in the balance.

“The programme mixes an invaluable CompTIA suite of technical exams with real-world, paid, on-the-job experience. Coupled with the professional recognition award, it is a robust course indeed. You will find the tutors and everyone at FIT more than helpful, and support when sought is personalised, effective and timely. This apprenticeship is for you if you’re dedicated, curious, not easily fooled, love a challenge and have a passion for the internet and technology.”