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From industry to education

Meet Bharat Naganath, originally from India. Bharat is an international student studying a master’s degree in Information Technology at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS). We spoke with Bharat about his university experience, master’s program, and the driving force behind his decision to study at the University of Technology Sydney.

Finding Information Technology

One of Bharat’s primary motivations for pursuing a master’s in information technology stems from his early childhood years. “As a kid, I was fascinated by computer networks and the security aspects of computers because back in the day, it was effortless to hack into someone's accounts,” Bharat explained. “There were so many phishing attacks where someone would send a link impersonating a Facebook login page, and an individual would put their details in, and that was it. They were hacked.” This was happening to many of Bharat’s friends, and this was when he became fascinated with the subject.” He wanted to know how computer networks worked, how they could be exploited, and how he could counter these attacks. That’s when he decided to pursue a master’s in information technology and major in cyber security.

Rising through the ranks

After completing his bachelor’s studies in India, Bharat took three years out to pursue a career as a software engineer. Before his master’s studies, Bharat made the decision to study in Australia as he wanted to pursue his studies in a separate part of the world. Before accepting his place at UTS, he applied to two other universities, RMIT and Deakin University. However, he decided against these institutions because he saw great potential in UTS. “The university rankings of UTS stood out to me compared to the other universities I applied to. UTS’ position in the university world rankings has been climbing quickly year after year. Last year, it was ranked 137 and has been slowly rising ever since.” In 2024, the University of Technology Sydney is ranked #90 by QS world university rankings. Although university rankings aren’t the only aspect to consider when choosing a university, it is an excellent tool for understanding your institution and what benefits it could provide.

Core considerations

Bharat considered a few factors before deciding to study at an Australian university. “I wanted to study in Australia because the weather is moderate, like in India.” Before deciding upon his university, Bharat had already considered his graduate prospects. “I wanted to study more of a course-based as the job prospects are good, and the course has a lot of practical elements that reflect the industry.” He decided to pursue a degree at the University of Technology Sydney due to their heavy emphasis on practicality. Alongside these factors, Bharat mentioned that the fees at UTS were lower than other top Australian universities, and UTS is right in the heart of Sydney. This master’s student identified his needs and assessed which institution would fit him best.

Amazing atmosphere

During our discussion, Bharat mentioned the wonderful, welcoming environment at UTS during his first few weeks. “In the first week of orientation, the atmosphere at UTS was electric. The university also ensured that we were comfortable and set us up with a peer network, a group of volunteers that helped us navigate campus. There were many events, like a treasure hunt where you had to complete tasks, and you would receive a prize at the end..” At UTS, there are lots of unique events, activities, and clubs on offer. “There is one club called Build, which focuses on building leadership skills. It works on a point system where you need to collect points by attending a set of workshops and participate in some volunteering.” This helped Bharat acclimate to his new environment by giving him some situations where he could engage in discussions with others and discover new things by interacting with different people.

Customizable courses

Another aspect of UTS that appealed to this master’s student was its customizable courses. “My course is very flexible because there is a set of subjects that students can choose from if they are not interested in some. You’re not forced to study subjects you don’t want to. There are a vast majority of options.” Alongside this flexibility, the approach to learning resonated with Bharat. “Every subject I’ve studied so far has a practical approach to it, which positively reflects the industry,” Bharat explained. UTS’ style of teaching and learning reflects the industry best, as retaining and recalling information isn’t as important as practical application.

Industry to education

Spending time in the industry helped Bharat put his master’s course into perspective and build on the skills he learned as a software engineer. “While in the industry, I had to handle many things simultaneously, gained new perspectives on different projects, and learned a lot of technical skills.” These skills helped Bharat handle the workload, projects, and perspectives within UTS. “My master’s felt easier once I had been in full-time employment, as in the industry, you are working on real-world problems that we face in the industry. In university, the problems are predefined, and someone there helps you get from point A to point B. Bharat explained that it is great to have some industry experience as this might make your life easier if you pursue a master’s degree in computer science and information technology. “My previous experience helped me learn how to handle chaos. No problem appears as difficult as it would in an industry setting.”

In the future, Bharat wants to become a cybersecurity engineer with a complete knowledge of security systems and the company's tech department. Bharat wants to complete multiple certifications in networking and security as he is committed to lifelong learning within his field. Bharat wants to build on this specialization to safeguard all the security systems of the future company he plans to work in. As our discussion came to a close, Bharat had some words of advice for prospective students. “Always aim high, never back down, and don’t be discouraged by rejections. You have to keep going, and eventually, you will get there. Remember, team up with people who have similar aspirations. Work together rather than compete, as this will benefit your community.”