Thoughts on this: Graduate cert in eForensics

UnixGuyUnixGuy SABSA, GCFA, GPEN, CISM, RHCE, Security+, Server+, CCNAPosts: 3,963Mod Mod
Hey guys, what do you think of this graduate certificate?
Graduate Certificate in eForensics | Swinburne University of Technology | Degrees & Courses | Melbourne, Australia

This is done part time over a year, the total coast is around 10,000 AUD.


The uni has a good reputation, but I'm particularly interested to know your opinion about the 4 courses in this certificate. Do the topics compare to the stuff you learn in forensic certifications?


I'm thinking about it. I don't have a clear path of where I want my career to go, as right now I'm in a Mid/senior level Linux admin type role.
Goal: MBA, March 2021

Comments

  • UnixGuyUnixGuy SABSA, GCFA, GPEN, CISM, RHCE, Security+, Server+, CCNA Posts: 3,963Mod Mod
    I'd appreciate some opinions on this...I don't wanna fork 10k$ on this without some valuable inputs from those in the Infosec field (specially those in Incident response and forensics) :)
    Goal: MBA, March 2021
  • JDMurrayJDMurray Certification Invigilator Surf City, USAPosts: 11,313Admin Admin
    Assume that you have this degree right now. Do you have any associated digital forensics experience to go with it? Do you see job opportunities now looking for people with a forensics degree and the experience that you have?
  • UnixGuyUnixGuy SABSA, GCFA, GPEN, CISM, RHCE, Security+, Server+, CCNA Posts: 3,963Mod Mod
    Honestly I rarely (if ever) see any forensics opportunities open up, and the ones I see they don't really pay well enough!

    Now, this cert has courses about cyber crime/law, and forensics readiness. Do you think it can open up opportunities doing incident response or even high level infosec work? or even general Info Sec consulting?

    My experience is system admin/eng, and that's it.
    Goal: MBA, March 2021
  • JDMurrayJDMurray Certification Invigilator Surf City, USAPosts: 11,313Admin Admin
    I do know there are a lot of systems and devices based on Linux and UNIX, and people who know how to perform digital forensics and eDiscovery on Linux/UNIX systems are very rare. (You would think DF would be common with OS X being UNIX-based, and how criminals tends to favor the Mac because of its ease-of-use.) You might check if there is a niche market for high-priced consultants who do DF on these types of systems.
  • UnixGuyUnixGuy SABSA, GCFA, GPEN, CISM, RHCE, Security+, Server+, CCNA Posts: 3,963Mod Mod
    Thanks for your replies JD

    These are the courses:
    Semester 1
    HIT6630 Cyberlaw Fundamentals
    HIT6631 eForensic Fundamentals
    Semester 2
    HIT6632 eForensic Evidence
    HIT6633 eForensic Risk Assessment

    Graduate Certificate in eForensics | Swinburne University of Technology | Degrees & Courses | Melbourne, Australia


    my real question is that who do they compare to SANs certs in Forensics for example? seeing that this graduate cert costs about 10K.
    Goal: MBA, March 2021
  • JDMurrayJDMurray Certification Invigilator Surf City, USAPosts: 11,313Admin Admin
    Right off I would say that SANS training and GIAC certs are recognized worldwide, while a "Graduate Certificate in eForensics from Swinburne University of Technology" probably isn't recognized farther than the campus of the university itself.

    Realize that educational institution certificates are "certificates of completion" and not actual industry certifications. This is not the same thing as uni's that offer "a degree and a handful of industry certifications." In your case, the certificate is used to entice people to enroll in the program and, after you get a few courses under your belt, you are given you a certificate of completion, which really means nothing to the outside world. To get real value for your money, you will then need to enroll in the full graduate program and complete the degree. The certificate is merely a marketing device to get admissions to the university.

    Now, I'm not saying that the education at Swinburne isn't worth the money, but the paper certificate you receive probably won't do much for you employment-wise. Therefore, I wouldn't consider this program unless you can swing the time and money to complete the full degree.
  • UnixGuyUnixGuy SABSA, GCFA, GPEN, CISM, RHCE, Security+, Server+, CCNA Posts: 3,963Mod Mod
    I understand what you're saying. I'm fully aware that it's a certificate of completion, and I wasn't exactly looking for a degree to fulfill a requirement or something. I'm rather interested in the contents of the courses and the knowledge there, specially seeing that there are courses about Cyber law and such, they might come in handy for consulting or even understanding the local law. FWIW, the teaching quality at this university is good, but I'm aware that it's not a masters degree or anything. I'm more interested in the contents of the courses, and trying to justify the cost ;)
    Goal: MBA, March 2021
  • UnixGuyUnixGuy SABSA, GCFA, GPEN, CISM, RHCE, Security+, Server+, CCNA Posts: 3,963Mod Mod
    so what I'm trying to say is that, I have no doubts with regards to the uni itself (it's well know in the Australian market), I'm just trying to weigh my options whether to invest 10K for those 4 courses, or perhaps 5K for a GIAC training course for example.
    Goal: MBA, March 2021
  • the_Grinchthe_Grinch Posts: 4,143Member ■■■■■■■■■■
    Would you being doing these courses online or locally? If online, then it might be more advantageous for you to do two SANS courses as they would give you the hands on that I tend to think anything related to forensics should require.
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  • JDMurrayJDMurray Certification Invigilator Surf City, USAPosts: 11,313Admin Admin
    You really need to seek out people who have already taken those classes at Swinburne and hear what they think of them. It's really impossible for us to just judge what your learning experience might be without having experienced it first-hand ourselves. Does Swinburne have a public discussion forum where students post about their courses?
  • UnixGuyUnixGuy SABSA, GCFA, GPEN, CISM, RHCE, Security+, Server+, CCNA Posts: 3,963Mod Mod
    I appreciate your responses guys!!

    It's not online, it's a class room course with plenty of hands on. There is no forum for the uni that I know of, but the reputation of the school and classes is solid! They even have industry connections...but that's not really my question.


    I want to know how useful are courses in Cyber law, forensic evidence and risk assessment are? I'm not too familiar with certifications in this field, so I thought maybe those things aren't covered in some certs. I'm trying to see if gaining a solid understanding of Cyber law, forensic readiness, and forensic risk assessment is really useful in gaining employment in either one (or more) of those fields: Digital Forensics, Incident response, General info sec management, general InfoSec consulting.



    Thanks again guys :)
    Goal: MBA, March 2021
  • JDMurrayJDMurray Certification Invigilator Surf City, USAPosts: 11,313Admin Admin
    The word "forensics" meas "according to the law." A forensics examiner collects information in such a way that it is presentable as evidence in a court of law. Anyone working in any field of forensics must be prepared to defend their findings in court in front of a judge, attorneys, and possibly a jury. An understanding of the law and judicial preceding is therefore the first thing that a digital forensics professional should study. The other courses are used if you are working as a member of an incident response team or as technical forensics person in an organization. Most academic forensics programs attempt to cover most of the bases that a new graduate might encounter when looking for a forensics job.
  • jeremywatts2005jeremywatts2005 CySA,S+,A+,N+Cloud+,MSDFS,MSMISSM Posts: 340Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    If you are looking for a graduate forensics cert check out Champlain.edu just finished up my Masters of Sci Digital Forensic Sci. this is a tough degree to get and a lot of work. The Grad Certificate was part of the program. I felt like I was worked to death. Each course was like an 8 week boot camp on a subject. I took the network forensics class and then got a job as a pen tester. Then I took some more course and finally got to the end. I went from 66K in May of 2013 to debating whether to stay on 112K a year contract or go to a 95 - 97K perm position. Yeah forensics on a resume makes a difference especially if your degree is from a good program. Every time I apply for a position in forensics or incident response everyone seems to know Champlain especially in the government world. Most of the instructors are FBI, NSA or other government crime groups.

    Champlain College is Top Up-and-Coming school in USNWR.

    Champlain College | Overall Rankings | Best College | US News
  • UnixGuyUnixGuy SABSA, GCFA, GPEN, CISM, RHCE, Security+, Server+, CCNA Posts: 3,963Mod Mod
    @Jeremy: Interesting points. I can't do the degree since I'm not in the US, but your reply was spot on. I wanted to know whether Forensics skills are valuable in positions that are not necessarily 100% forensics such as incident response?

    Also, did you change careers after the masters? what do you do now? job responsibilities? Was it a worthwhile change? pros/cons of the new job?
    Goal: MBA, March 2021
  • jeremywatts2005jeremywatts2005 CySA,S+,A+,N+Cloud+,MSDFS,MSMISSM Posts: 340Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    Oh yeah I changed jobs I am a Senior Incident Response Engineer. From last year to this year I am making 60% more since I have finished this degree. I went from the mid to upper 60's to the 6 figures. I am debating whether to stay a contractor this week or take a litttle less for a perm. Even in a down economy I have found no lack of work. I work on insider threat intel, SIEM's, analytics and of course forensics. I do not have a heavy forensics load, but I do have forensic responsibilities. Reverse engineering malware, imaging drive for analysis, utilzing netwitness to review suspect machines and so on. I constantly am getting calls for this type of work. Incident response is a very large growing field that seems to be encompassing many fields and I am seeing alot of employers wanting to have someone with forensics experience. I love it every day is a challenge and you never know when a bone head will do something crazy on the network.

    The only con I can see on the new work is not being able to go into detail what I do with family and friends. Especially when I was at DHS. Even in the private sector it is the same thing though. I love the work since it is so challenging and interesting. I get to be involved in all sorts of project and decision making. One thing that really is fun is getting to read the news for a couple of hours looking for threat intel and reviewing emerging threats. Then deciding whether this is going to effect my company or should I be looking for indicators on our network.
  • UnixGuyUnixGuy SABSA, GCFA, GPEN, CISM, RHCE, Security+, Server+, CCNA Posts: 3,963Mod Mod
    Thanks Jeremy!!

    This program looks amazing, and it's in Australia with the option of doing it fully online :)

    ECU | Course Structure : Future Students
    Goal: MBA, March 2021
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