Name: Amy Davis
Q: What inspired you to go back to school and get a degree in cyber security?
A: Honestly, I wanted a change of scenery from the HR field. I read about Calhoun Community College’s cybersecurity degree program, then read up on the cybersecurity field and found out there are so many things you can do with a cybersecurity degree. From computer forensics to red team/blue team/green team to cryptography. This field is evolving very quickly and we are learning new things every day.
Q: What did you study?
A: Programing, CISCO networking, ethical hacking, computer maintenance, penetration testing and my personal favorite, computer forensics.
Q: What did you enjoy about pursuing the degree?
A: As a kid I loved computers and what made them tick. I was finally able to take a computer apart and put it back together without getting in trouble. I was also fascinated with the movie Wargames and how Matthew Broderick’s character did what he did. Pursing this degree made 10-year-old me do happy dances every day because I was able to learn all of that and even more!
Q: What were some challenges that you faced?
A: Initially, the hardest part was getting back into the swing of things and becoming a college student all over again. So much has changed since my first time around 20 years ago. Keeping up with schoolwork while being 100% committed to family obligations was also a challenge. No matter what you’re doing, work/life balance is always important. In the beginning I wasn’t familiar with a lot of the lingo and jargon professors and other students tossed around, which was very intimidating to me. I would ask myself, “Wait, is that something I’m just supposed to know? Did I miss a reading assignment? Did I miss something in class?” The answer to all those questions was always, “no.” It’s something that takes time to learn if you are diving into a new field.
Q: What words of advice would you give to someone thinking about pursuing a degree in cybersecurity?
A: What are you waiting for? Do it. No one can take an education away from you. It’s with you forever. The field is constantly changing and there are many ways to capitalize on your skills, talents and interests within the broader field. The rate of job growth is high, the level of need is high, and the future is bright.