Raleigh-Durham, NC Woman to Use Scholarship to Pursue Cyber Security Career
Connected Women of North Carolina awarded its largest scholarship ever to Cynthia M. of Garner, NC last Friday. Cynthia received a $5,000 award to apply towards her tuition at Carolina Career College. Here is a look at the road Cynthia took to get her here:
Cynthia completed a bachelor’s degree fourteen years ago and never intended on returning to school. But in December, 2015, she completed her Masters of Information Systems with concentration in Computer Security Management. She proved to be a great student, graduating with honors. She realized how much she enjoyed IT security. As Cynthia puts it, the cyber security field is “wide open with opportunities”.
Cynthia is currently working in the IT field as an Application Systems Analyst. This is when she started to see cyber security in everything. As she developed business requirements, she paid special attention to the development of the internet security requirements. She wanted to ensure they were written to keep the systems secure from unauthorized individuals. This is what Cynthia says happened next:
“My manager noticed my interest along with my passion and asked me to present information on security to our team. My managers praised me on my presentation of the information. That is when I knew more than ever that I wanted to transition from business analysis to cyber security. I knew I did not have a lot of experience in the area, so I decided to write down my plan for transition. I began talking to individuals in my agency and others who worked in the industry about what I needed to do to move into the field. The responses were very positive. My degree in cyber security and minimal experience was a plus, but I did not have any certifications. Everyone I talked with told me I need a certification. It would make it a little easier to transition into the field.”
Cynthia decided she wanted to achieve a CompTIA Security+ certification within six months, and a CISSP (Certified Information Systems Security Professional) certification within one year. In her application for the Connected Women of NC scholarship, Cynthia says she understands she will need an entry-level position to have a solid foundation in the cyber security field, but has a career goal of becoming an IT security manager or CISO for a State of North Carolina agency. Fortunately, cyber security jobs in Raleigh NC and the surrounding area are out there.
All of us at Carolina Career College are proud of Cynthia for winning the scholarship and can’t wait to see her go after her certifications and career goals. We also can’t wait to help more women excel in the IT field through our partnership with Connected Women of NC in 2017!