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I finally and officially graduated with the Masters’ degree yesterday. Things have taken a surprising turn this last months. After ten months of bricking it to avoid failing the course, it turned out I was getting pretty decent grades almost right the way through, and I ended up being awarded the degree with distinction.

I’d have to say it was largely Newport university that got us here, and a handful of brilliant lecturers (namely Eric – especially, Chris, Andy, Stephen, Blyth, Kosta). The prim Mrs. Evans definitely deserves mentioning, having made a lasting impression on us back in 2011 – we’ve been working to her standards ever since.

Everyone on my course did really well. Passing in itself wasn’t easy. We had more literature and tools than we knew what to do with, and spent plenty of time on proof-of-concept work – I could still probably do a few hundred highly technical blog posts around Prof. Blyth’s lecture notes alone (which I will do, eventually), and perhaps a good fifty more on software development methodologies from what I learned chatting with Dr. Tubb. That’s on top of the huge archive of hacking tools we gained along the way.

Someone did ask whether I thought about doing a PhD. It’s very tempting (especially in Newport) and I’d probably love teaching as well, but four years is probably the limit unless you really want a long-term career in academia. It’s definitely time to get more heavily involved in the operational side of things.

And I’m already moving on next week, having joined a highly talented (and very busy!) international team of security analysts, and pretty much hit the ground running with them already. Security-Forensics Ltd. should be back in action before too long, after the three of us settle into our day jobs and get certified properly for pen testing.

Now it’s time to get my Tiger Scheme Associate certification sorted and start preparing for the GCIA.