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Holly Takos

Technology graduate

Cyber security careers

A love of true-crime shows turned into a career in cyber security for former pro track cyclist Holly Takos

“I’ve always been extremely curious about understanding what drives people to commit crimes, from a behavioural and cultural lens,” says Holly.

While competing internationally as a pro track cyclist, she took this passion and signed up for a Bachelor of Criminology at Flinders University, following it up with a Graduate Certificate in Fraud and Financial Crime at Charles Sturt University.

Holly says she was spoilt for choice when it came to areas to study in her degree, but she developed a particular interest in the ways crime is evolving with technology and the internet: “Society is constantly having to adapt to changes in how traditional crimes are being carried out through new technologies, as well as to detect and respond to crime types we haven’t seen before.”

Keeping your career on track

Holly’s path isn’t typical for a cyber security specialist – not only is a criminology degree less common in this field, but pro cycling even less so! Having competed in and won international events, she retired to complete her studies, then landed her current gig as a technology graduate at Commonwealth Bank, working in cyber security.

“Coming from a background that wasn’t deemed a traditional entryway into the field was extremely intimidating and I struggled with the confidence at first,” says Holly.

However, not only has her supportive team helped her through any niggling ‘imposter syndrome’, but she’s also learnt that diverse backgrounds can be a real asset: “The wider the variety of people and experience that we have working to defend our systems and networks, the better chances we have!”

The best bit? Holly’s cyber career is totally fulfilling her fascination with the criminal mind. “A quote that has always stuck with me is that, while technology is the playing field, the players are human beings,” she says.

Holly’s pathway

Careers with STEM: Cyber Security
Careers with STEM: Cyber Security

This article is sponsored by Commonwealth Bank and was originally published in Careers with STEM: Cyber Security – the flip cover to Careers with STEM: Technology.

Order a print copy here or read the e-mag for free

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