Discovering Tech Skills to Train Tomorrow’s “Cyberwarriors”

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At Illinois Institute of Technology Juan Vasquez knew he found a technically focused cybersecurity master’s program, but he didn’t expect to find a new inspiration as well.

“Illinois Tech also made me want to give back to my community by offering cybersecurity best practices to lower-income communities,” he says.  

Vasquez says the Master of Cyber Forensics and Security program not only helped him develop the skills he needs to be a cybersecurity professional, but it also instilled a desire to promote cybersecurity habits to young people. He signed up to volunteer with JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s Cyber Safety for Good program, which matches volunteers with local schools, nonprofits, and parent groups to make them aware about cyber safety. He says his career goals also now include teaching.

“Illinois Tech expanded my perspective on becoming a professor one day as well,” he says. “I would like to educate the talent of tomorrow and take everything I learned at Illinois Tech and in my professional life to educate the cybersecurity warriors of the future.”

Vasquez says the program prepared him well for a cybersecurity career, with coursework in information security, cybersecurity, privacy, and forensics. He notes that he received hands-on experience by participating in privacy research projects focusing on general data protection regulation and the California Consumer Privacy Act, as well as the Internet of Things/operational technology cybersecurity, which proved valuable.

“Illinois Tech made me a subject matter expert in my field and gave me focus to continue to learn more information security and cybersecurity concepts,” Vasquez says. “My master’s has made me more marketable for manager and director roles in information security and cybersecurity.”

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