Flexibility and enthusiastic teaching make the SECCLO programme a great option
The first students from the Master’s Programme in Security and Cloud Computing (SECCLO) have graduated. Eric Cornelissen and Shiting Long presented their Master’s theses and completed their studies at the end of May 2020.
SECCLO is an Erasmus Mundus Joint Master Degree programme in the field of computer science, and it combines practical engineering skills with a strongly research-based curriculum. The SECCLO programme was established in 2018 and it drew both Mr Cornelissen and Ms Long to study and live in Finland.
After completing his Bachelor’s Degree in Engineering at Delft University of Technology, in the Netherlands, Mr Cornelissen knew that he wanted to continue his studies in a security-related programme. ‘First of all, security seemed interesting from a mathematical point of view. Secondly, I was interested in how you make systems secure and why you should make them secure,’ he explains.
Ms Long – originally from China – came to Europe as an exchange student, and she also completed her bachelor’s thesis project at Leiden University, in the Netherlands. ‘I enjoyed living and studying in Europe, so I decide to apply to some European master’s programmes,’ she explains.
Her bachelor’s degree at the Beijing Institute of Technology had focused on computer science and software engineering on a general level but she had completed some elective courses that focused on security and realized she would like to learn more.
You can find out what you are interested in along the way
The SECCLO consortium consists of six universities which are renowned research and educational institutions in Europe, and among the top-ranking universities of technology in the Nordic countries: Aalto University, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, The Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), The Technical University of Denmark (DTU), University of Tartu (UT) and EURECOM (France).
The students complete the first year of the Master's programme at Aalto University and spend the second study year abroad. Both Mr Cornelissen and Ms Long studied at the University of Tartu, in Estonia, in addition to Aalto and they say that they enjoyed their time at both universities and in both countries.
Flexibility is one of the aspects they enjoy most about studying in Finland. ‘The general study atmosphere is very free, which is something I find very enjoyable. You do not need to follow many rules and you can study while enjoying the process. That is really nice because every student is different and has their own way of studying,’ says Ms Long.
She thinks that it is important that students do not need to decide what they want to focus on right at the beginning of their studies. ‘You can find out what you are interested in along the way.’
Mr Cornelissen says that he enjoys Finnish nature and living in Helsinki, which is a big city and a cosy place at the same time. ‘Also, the staff at Aalto is very good. The teachers do not just teach because they have to do so – most of them really enjoy teaching and that shows. That was the case also in Tartu.’
Most of the teachers at Aalto really enjoy teaching and that shows.
The SECCLO programme prepares its students for many types of careers. Ms Long is interested in research and has now applied for both PhD positions and researcher jobs in industry. ‘I did my master’s thesis with Professor Pekka Orponen. The project was very interesting and, if possible, I would like to continue my previous research.’
Mr Cornelissen would like to work as a security specialist or security consultant. However, before starting to look for jobs, he will first finish writing a research paper together with his thesis supervisor Chris Brzuska.
Both graduates warmly recommend the SECCLO programme for students who are interested in security. ‘Of course, you have to be interested in living in two countries, so you also need to be a bit adventurous,’ Mr Cornelissen adds.