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Cryptology as a Career

Some more institutions to study cryptology at:

  • IDRBT, Hyderabad (M. Tech. – Information Technology with specialisation in information security)
  • IIIT, Hyderabad (B. Tech. – Information Technology, M. Tech. – Computer Science, Ph. D – Computer Science)
  • NCST, Mumbai (Advanced Diploma – Software Technology)
  • DOEACC, Delhi (C Level)
  • IISc., Bangalore (M. Tech. – Computer Science)
  • AU-KBC Centre, Chennai (M. Sc. – Cyptography & Network Security)
  • ISI, Kolkata (M. Tech. – Computer Science)


Mathew Joseph is a 2nd year Ph.D student in Informatics at University of Trento, Italy. His research is primarily focused on Knowledge Representation and Reasoning. Before this, he worked as a research collaborator in the FBK-IRST, Trento. He obtained his master’s degree from Amrita University, India in 2008.

Would you describe how and when you decided on cryptology as a career? What were the reasons you chose this stream?
I was inspired by a book by William Stallings, but did not really venture into cryptography or computer security until I saw the announcement of a Master’s course at the Amrita Institute. Enrolling in that course was the first step – I had not done any preparation before that.
What are the prerequisites to becoming a good cryptologist?
Educational qualifications, skills and attitude, training, etc. A good cryptologist should be willing to learn mathematics. Even if one is not excellent in maths to start with, he/she should be willing to delve deep into the subject. In fact, I was not a great mathematician, but adopted a serious approach to the subject during my Ph.D. I am glad to say that things have worked out well. In terms of specific maths concepts applied, number theory and abstract algebra are the most important. Knowledge of a programming language like C will also be handy.
Can you describe the opportunities in this field? What kind of jobs can an aspirant look forward to?
Lots of companies such as Netscape, Firefox, Yahoo, Google, Norton and Microsoft are constantly in search for good network engineers. If you are interested in a research career, you can get funded by research centres in the US and Europe. With more and more attacks by viruses, trojans etc., the need to protect systems against all intruders has underscored the need for cyber security and cryptology. Public key cryptography has become a killer application.
What are the key challenges in this career?
I am no expert, but in my view, being up-todate with current technologies, new trends and new security break throughs is a major challenge.


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