Tackling Cybercrime: Combining IT and Criminology

A double degree allows you to study two areas of interest, graduate with two qualifications and diversify you career outcomes. 

Meg Gilles is currently studying a Bachelor of Criminology and Criminal Justice/ Bachelor of Information Technology (Networks and Security). This specialised double degree explores the causes of crime and society’s response to it, whilst developing a core understanding of IT technical knowledge. 

Meg shares why she decided to study this degree combination and her involvement with the Ladies in Technology Engineering and Science Club (LiTES). 

Why did you combine information technology with criminology?

I decided to study a Bachelor of IT alongside my criminology degree for a number of reasons;

  • I wanted to study ‘more’ than a criminology degree. I have always been fascinated by all aspects of crime but I wanted to study an area that could tie into something else and now I have developed a passion for cyber security. 
  • IT is a degree you can apply to so many areas once you’ve finished and it opens the door to a lot of opportunity if you are considering further study 
  • You can apply your IT skills in everyday life 
  • Future job security 
  • You can use both your left and right side of your brain! (There is some of my criminology knowledge coming out) 

Aligning IT with Criminology is such an important and overseen area of knowledge. 

In recent times, we have seen that so much crime is being committed online or with the means of a computer and it’s only going to increase in the future. It’s such a fascinating area and it’s funny how many people ask me “So what are you going to do with Criminology and IT?” People often overlook the crossover there.  

Now that I’m nearing the very end of my studies, I love IT. I have learnt so much from it. There are so many areas that I never knew about 4 years ago.  

I’m so glad that I chose to do these two degrees together. It’s such a unique skill set to have. 

What area would you like to go into once you finish your degree? 

When I finish my degree, I would absolutely love to work in cyber security, in particular risk assessment or incident response – these are both opposite ends of the spectrum, prevention and reaction. It satisfies my passion for documentation, investigative processes, putting the pieces together and a little bit of technical work!  

I want to be someone who can relay the importance of cyber security to others who don’t fully understand, and to do that, you need someone who can speak both the languages. I think that studying Criminology and IT have allowed me to acquire the potential to do this. In these areas, you are frequently dealing with people, businesses and organisations who don’t know much about the back end or technical side of security so that is where someone comes in to explain this in laypersons terms.  

Ladies in Technology Engineering and Science Club (LiTESis Griffith University student club to support women studying in fields such as information technology, engineering, biological and physical sciences, aviation, environmental studies, psychology and urban planning. 
Meg is the President of LiTES and has been involved with the club for the past 3 years. 

 

As the President of LiTEScould you tell us about the work you do? 

At LiTES I oversee a group of amazing executive members that all work together and do the best we can with the club! This year has been particularly challenging with COVID-19, but I think we’ve done so well and proven to ourselves that we are all great at adapting to change.  

LiTES is a club that exists to support and encourage women in STEM disciplines.” 

With a lot of STEM fields being male dominated, we exist to build a network of the minority and try our best to keep women in these fields. We offer study group to connect with ladies in other STEM fields as well as their own, social events, professional development workshops and just good old coffee catch ups.  

We also help different schools at Griffith with their orientation activities which is amazing for us because we’re able to meet all the new students and tell them about who we are. 

What motivated you to become part of LiTES? 

I became a part of LiTES about 3 years ago. I hadn’t made any friends in IT, so I decided to reach out to a club. I stumbled across LiTES one night and thought it was perfect. There weren’t any solely focused IT clubs at the time, and I was so happy when I found a STEM club that was focused on supporting women! I joined as a member first, then I became Vice President of Technology and now President.  

 

How has being a part of LiTES played a role during your time at University? 

Being a part of LiTES during University has been amazing. I have met SO many people and made some really great friends. If it weren’t for LiTES, I wouldn’t have crossed paths with these people.  

It has exposed me to other disciplines, and it has made me really appreciate the time and effort that people take out of their day to focus on extracurricular activities. I have developed some invaluable leadership skills, improved my public speaking and have learnt how to approach and manage an array of different people.  

 

What advice would you give to a first-year student studying IT? 

My most important piece of advice for a first-year student going into IT is NETWORK! Try and make friends when you can. They will become a huge asset for when you are nearing the end of your studies.  

Try and get involved with a club, join a sports team and physically get on to campus as much as you can. These things have been so valuable to me.  

Build rapport with your lecturers and tutors. It wasn’t until third year that threw myself into networking with my fellow classmates and I really wish I had done it sooner. It makes university so much more enjoyable! 

 

Find out more about studying criminology and information technology at Griffith University. 

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