Meet the Alphas: How a Business Graduate Secured a Job in Cybersecurity
Meet Jordan Chen – one of our recent bootcamp graduates from Cohort 01 of Red Alpha’s Alpha Specialist Training Programme (ASTP). Jordan previously pursued a major in Business Management in the Singapore Management University (SMU), where he graduated in May 2021. As a gaming enthusiast, the 25-year-old seems to be an unlikely candidate for a role specialising in information technology (IT) and cybersecurity. Fast forward to a year later, Jordan found himself deployed on critical missions as a security operations centre (SOC) analyst at Accenture.
How did Jordan manage to land a role in an industry which seemingly has no direct relation to his course of study? This was a question many of us at Red Alpha were interested to know. We invited Jordan back to Red Alpha’s headquarters to share with us his experiences as a Red Alpha trainee. Here's his scoop!
A growing passion
“Prior to joining Red Alpha, I was actually just a student that’s really interested in the world of IT,” Jordan said, “Even though I’m not really doing IT as my main course of study, I’ve always taken up modules that teach me bits and pieces of IT.”
He recalled his first encounter with cybersecurity – in the midst of developing a business solution to automate certain manual processes. He was inspired to develop a secure 2-factor authentication (2FA) system when he came across an unsecured version of an application programming interface (API) while experimenting with web interface APIs. Since then, Jordan has been actively involved in personal projects related to IT and cybersecurity.
Conquering the Red Alpha experience
Jordan's passion for IT fields spurred him to read up on related news and articles. Through Mothership, a social news platform based in Singapore, Jordan chanced upon Red Alpha’s programmes and was instantly attracted to Red Alpha’s Alpha Specialist Training Programme (ASTP) – a training programme designed to develop individuals with a passion and aptitude for cybersecurity and transform them into cyber defenders.
Jordan expressed appreciation for the training provided by ASTP’s intensive programme, which covered fundamental knowledge for most cybersecurity-related jobs, ranging from malware analysis to penetration testing.
“It’s also a great deal since I get paid to learn something I’ve always been interested in!”
When asked whether he felt daunted by the prospect of adapting to a highly technical environment across a short span of four months, Jordan reminisced the learning curve presented that pushed him to sharpen his skill sets. He highlighted the mid-term pentesting exercise as his favourite challenge throughout the training bootcamp, where he mastered the ropes on infiltrating a network.
Jordan has certainly achieved a great record of accomplishments across and after his 4 months as an ASTP trainee, and even managing to clinch the MVP (Most Valuable Player) award of S$10,000! As a current SOC analyst, he prides on being able to apply the cybersecurity skills grasped over his training at Red Alpha.
“Since we learnt a wide spectrum of things in ASTP, it allows me to know a little about almost anything... I’m really glad to have joined this programme!”