Preparing for a Career in Cybersecurity While in College

Matteson Williams / Utica University Cybersecurity Program »

There are various perceptions of college across the world. Many may find college as an opportunity to expand their knowledge in a subject of interest. Others may find that going to college is a chance to grow as a person and meet people from all different backgrounds. Most importantly, many students desire to turn these learning experiences and discovered skills into an occupation. Going into my first year of college, I wasn’t exactly sure what my career path would turn into. All I knew was that I was interested in criminal investigation and technology. When creating goals for yourself in college, it is important to understand what your interests are. These interests most likely will come naturally to you. They can be hobbies that you happily take part in without someone instructing you to do so, or even a dream job you would love to have.

Finding these interests can move you in a direction where you can begin to create goals. When creating goals, I recommend establishing small and large goals for yourself. These small goals can help you reach your larger goals with time and patience. For example, a smaller goal I have had throughout college is to get as many work experiences in the Cybersecurity field as I can. I pushed myself by seeking any opportunity that could expand my knowledge in Cybersecurity. After I participated in a couple of internships and work experiences, I found myself more skilled in my area of study. Of course, there is always room for improvement where we should all strive to make ourselves better students. These small goals that I have accomplished will eventually lead to my end goal of having a successful career in Cybersecurity.

Once you gain traction in any field by accomplishing small goals, you can push yourself ahead. Having a passion will also help you maintain your goals throughout college. When choosing a major, it is important to find an area of study that you genuinely feel enthusiastic about. This passion will then translate to motivation and determination to set and achieve goals for yourself. College will definitely bring challenges to every student, whether they be academic, professional, or personal. But with perseverance and a determination to succeed, you can overcome your challenges and accomplish your goals.

Before going to college, everyone is overwhelmed to make decisions. Do I go to this school close to home or this school far away? Do I see myself on this campus? Most importantly, you will decide what major you would like to study. When going into college, you shouldn’t choose a major based on how fancy it looks. I highly recommend choosing the future career path that you want, an area of study where you look forward to going to class. Often times, people will congratulate me for choosing Cybersecurity as a major, mostly because of the wonderful opportunities and potential for growth it can provide. However, I didn’t choose Cybersecurity based on the success stories of others. I chose this major because I found it to be fascinating. I sincerely love learning about technology, cybersecurity best practices, digital forensics, network investigations, and more.

Thankfully, I found a career path that struck my interest very quickly when I started at Utica University. Unfortunately, though, this might not be the case for other students in college. The uncertainty of finding a major that best fits your aspirations is a normal process. My advice to all students who are finding their path is to choose a future that inspires you. Choose the future career path that sparks an interest. Because my career path is something I am passionate about, I am very excited about my future. I look forward to the rest of my time here at Utica University as well as my future in the Cybersecurity world.

As graduation gets closer, I look back at where it all started at Utica University for me. My perception of college when I first walked in was that it was a golden opportunity to make my goals for my career possible. I knew I would receive an exceptional education, one that I am grateful for. This golden opportunity for success has turned into reality, and my perception of college has changed into an appreciation of Utica University for helping me grow as a student and as a person.

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