In support of Cybersecurity Awareness month, we spoke with a current Information and Communications Technology student, Tony Mendoza. Tony reached out to share how his class experience is already positively impacting his day-to-day professional work. Tony offers insight as a current student and working cybersecurity professional.
Tony is well into a successful career in IT. He currently works with a company in Boulder, CO, and after being hit with a significant ransomware attack, he decided it was time to strengthen his skills and build up a stronger knowledge base in cybersecurity management.
“After “surviving” a major ransomware attack, I wanted to increase my knowledge and understanding of cybersecurity management to be better prepared in the future, especially with the threat landscape growing exponentially.”
Already a season ticket holder and fan of the DU hockey team, Tony decided it would be a perfect time to become a student and eventual alum.
“I found the cybersecurity content to be most rewarding, especially since cybersecurity has become a major part of my day-to-day management and strategy at work. The content of the coursework is very applicable to my job and has helped me countless times in executive meetings where cybersecurity is a top priority.
Last quarter was a prime example of directly applying what I was learning in class to my job. I was enrolled in a course called Cybersecurity Policy when, towards the end of the course, our company was dealing with a cybersecurity threat that resulted in me having to develop a new cybersecurity policy for our organization. I took my coursework (my actual assignments) and was able to quickly adjust them to present to our executive team. It was 100% applicable! In addition to learning what tools to use to develop cybersecurity policy, we were taught the appropriate techniques to present cybersecurity policy to executive boards and the board of directors.”
When asked what he would share with anyone considering a University College graduate program, Tony had this to share:
“My best advice would be to do it now, don’t wait! The graduate program offers valuable, applicable coursework that provides the skills I needed to advance my career. I am in the middle of the program, and I have already applied what I have learned in the real world and advanced my career because of it.
The faculty that I have had the pleasure of being a student of are amazing. They really know what they are talking about, have real-world experience, and provide real-world tools. I am so excited that I can apply what I am learning and the tools I have been given to my job – the same day I learn it!”
The Cybersecurity Management program provides students with the skills and knowledge to take on leadership roles by giving them an understanding of cybersecurity needs, risks, and best practices. Students learn through experiential learning, case study analysis, and examination of leading security technologies. Students obtain insight into governance, compliance, regulatory issues, and cybersecurity considerations. This information benefits students starting on day one and can be applied directly to their current professional experience. Classes are held online or in the evening, making them easy for working professionals to attend. Graduation can happen in as few as 18 months.
University College also offers an Information Systems Security program, focusing more on cybersecurity’s technical side. Courses are ten weeks in length, and most graduate programs can be completed in 18 months.