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Exploring a Career in Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity Career Awareness Week

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to work in cybersecurity? For Cybersecurity Career Awareness Week, members of the Information Security Team at Ohio University discuss some of their favorite parts about working in the field and provide advice for anyone who may be considering joining the adventure.

Alicia Porter - Manager of Information Security and Digital Accessibility 

What do you enjoy about working in cybersecurity? 

I love helping people and am passionate about data security. I enjoy that each day is different and you never know what may come up that needs attention. 

What is your advice for someone interested in a cybersecurity career? 

If you want to pursue a career in cybersecurity, you have to be curious and always willing to learn. This field is constantly evolving so a willingness to learn is critical.  

 

Steve Hoffer - Information Security Engineer 

What do you enjoy about working in cybersecurity?

The unique challenges to which we are exposed on a daily basis.

What is your advice for someone interested in a cybersecurity career? 

I think the first part is to find a niche within the field that interests you. Then, take the time to apply what you learn through practice via a home lab, internet testing sites, etc. 

 

Sunil Narasimhan - Information Security Analyst 

What do you enjoy about working in cybersecurity? 

It has provided me with an opportunity to apply my skills in data, networks and programming, and to work with a talented team to find creative solutions and reduce the overall risk in making University's data assets available to the users. 

What is your advice for someone interested in a cybersecurity career? 

In this career, you will get exposed to all facets of Information Technology, to various processes within the University that process data, and to the real risks facing the University resources. So, come not only prepared to apply what you have learned, but to expand your horizons, and to find a niche for yourself in this trending field.   

 

Matt Sheets - Information Security Analyst 

What do you enjoy about working in cybersecurity?

Cybersecurity has continually provided an opportunity for me to think creatively to develop solutions to problems. It is encouraging to internally work with, as well as externally follow, so many intelligent people who seek ways to build defenses and thwart adversaries. 

 

What is your advice for someone interested in a cybersecurity career? 

There is a lot of job security in cybersecurity. With the endless amounts of resources available to learn from online that are free or very affordable, explore the various domains of the field and see if something interests you. 

 

Brooke Denney - Information Security Analyst 

What do you enjoy about working in cybersecurity? 

I enjoy working in cybersecurity because it is a relatively new field with plenty of room for groundbreaking discoveries. It is a rare skill to have and the demand creates plenty of opportunities. These opportunities have allowed me to forge my own path and create the life I truly want. 

 

What is your advice for someone interested in a cybersecurity career? 

If you are interested in cybersecurity, dream big but start small. Learn foundational IT skills that you can progressively build on throughout your career. Figure out what you enjoy and how you think. Do you prefer technical work or business-oriented work? There are options for everyone in cybersecurity, and it is completely up to you where you take it.

 

Kyle McCarthy - Information Security Analyst 

What do you enjoy about working in cybersecurity?

Cybersecurity is about people, processes, and technology. I enjoy the opportunity to work in multiple domains, the opportunity to always continue learning, and the rewarding nature of the work. 

What is your advice for someone interested in a cybersecurity career? 

Cybersecurity is an ever-evolving and broad field. To be successful, you need to always continue learning. Identify the area of cybersecurity that you are interested in, pursue opportunities to learn about topics related to that area, and apply your knowledge to gain experience. Improving interpersonal skills is just as, if not more, important as improving technical skills. 

 

Reagan Neviska - Information Security Analyst 

What do you enjoy about working in cybersecurity? 

I enjoy working in Cybersecurity because it’s a diverse and ever-changing field that requires the need for constant learning and improvement. I like seeing how larger issues in the field translate to the Higher Education landscape and how we can best serve a University setting, with its unique needs and challenges.  

What is your advice for someone interested in a cybersecurity career? 

I would recommend reading and learning about what topics in cybersecurity are interesting to you. There is a never-ending stream of new books, podcasts, articles, and videos that describe various elements of the jobs that provide great insight and are equally entertaining! 

 

Sean Turrill - Information Security Student Employee 

What do you enjoy about working in cybersecurity? 

I love being able to work with large sets of data and getting to extrapolate the meanings behind each set of data through the visualization process. It’s a very satisfying process to be able to take several thousand data points, break them down, and then make them understandable from a third-party perspective. The work environment is also fantastic, with constant collaboration on projects throughout the office.   

 

What is your advice for someone interested in a cybersecurity career? 

I would recommend that students reach out to their professors to see who they can connect within, not only the college of their major, but also potential professional contacts in companies as well. This could be done through LinkedIn, meet and greets, etc. I’d also say to not hesitate to reach out to the Information Security department to ask and see if there are any openings to get involved early and see if the cybersecurity field feels like the right fit for them.