Shaping the Cybersecurity Leaders of Tomorrow: Insights from Maryville Online Students

The Maryville Online Master’s in Cybersecurity can equip students with the most sought-after technical skills, business acumen, and valuable certifications such as CISSP, ECSA, ECES, CISA, CCSP, and Splunk Core Certified Power User. Enrolled students can gain expertise in auditing, troubleshooting, risk analysis, governance, pen testing, and credentials required for management and C-suite positions in the cybersecurity field.

Three Maryville Online students – Brandy Gordon, Tina Lampe, and Ayesha Akhtar – share their graduate cybersecurity program experiences.

Why did you choose to obtain your degree online instead of on campus?

  • Tina: I decided to obtain my degree online because it would be too far to drive to campus regularly from where I live. Also, I needed the hours to be flexible based on my work hours.
  • Ayesha: While I was working towards my master’s degree, I also had a full-time job. The option to take classes online allowed me the option to be able to focus on both my degree and my job.
  • Brandy: I chose online because it allows more freedom in my schedule. The classes are very organized and there are alerts that I can set within the LMS to keep me on track. I also save on parking and gas.
Headshot of Maryville Online Master's in Cybersecurity Student Tina Lampe

What made you choose Maryville Online over other online colleges to pursue your degree in cybersecurity?

  • Brandy: I chose Maryville because, after doing some research, I found that I liked small classes… Many of the classes offer prep on high demand certifications that employers look for. Additionally, speaking to all the team members, from enrollment to advisors, they made me feel confident and further encouraged me to stay on this noble and lucrative path.
  • Tina: The curriculum for the graduate degree in cybersecurity seemed to be comprehensive and, due to the fact that the degree was through the School of Business, made me anticipate that I could pursue a business focus in the degree.
  • Ayesha: I went to Maryville for my bachelor’s degree as well. At Maryville University, I found teachers who genuinely wanted to see me succeed, support my goals and dreams and inspiration. I am really glad I picked it for my master’s degree as well. The environment is great and helped me grow both professionally and personally.

Why did you choose to pursue a degree in cybersecurity?

  • Ayesha: Cybersecurity is now more crucial than ever, and a very challenging and excited career path that allows us to protect individuals and companies, especially with the ever-evolving cyberattacks.
  • Brandy: I believe that we are embarking on a new era where cybersecurity is moving to the forefront of many organizations. I want to gain the expertise to be a part of this landscape shift, and I believe that Maryville University will help make this happen.
  • Tina: Cybersecurity is a field where there is a very large unmet need, and this need will continue to grow in the foreseeable future. Also, being a female in the STEM field, I believe that I will be able to use my new knowledge and anticipated career path to help educate young females that this is a career path that is available to them to pursue.
Headshot of Maryville Online Master's in Cybersecurity Student Brandy Gordon

Have there been any professors or instructors who have made a difference during your time at Maryville?

  • Brandy: Professor Wilke was amazing. He motivated me and the class with in-depth case studies, Labs, and interesting discussions. He always answered my questions with interest and wisdom.
  • Tina: Carrie Hidalgo made a difference through her thorough review and tips for improvement with class assignments. Lawrence McClain also made a significant difference to me due to his perspective on forensic investigation and cybersecurity incident response as well due to the interesting folks brought in for discussion.
  • Ayesha: The professors who made a difference during my time were encouraging, inspirational, kind, and experts in their field.

Are there any projects or experiences that were memorable to you?

  • Brandy: In cyber defense, I really liked the lab simulations. This sparked me to start really looking at the different real-world approaches to mitigate risk, and I decided that maybe cybersecurity auditing might be for me.
  • Tina: I believe that Maryville provided a wide view and some hands-on experience with cybersecurity functions ,as well as the ability to dig deeper into specific areas of interest, in which I chose governance and leadership. [As a result] the governance, auditing, and CISSP classes stand out to me as important. I have used papers from my graduate work as discussion points for prospective employers.
  • Ayesha: Pen-testing, Advanced Pen-testing, and the Domains of Cybersecurity course have been some of the most memorable courses for me, as well as beneficial. These courses were challenging and exciting and have helped me grow throughout my cybersecurity program.

What is the most important technical skill you’ve learned so far in the program?

  • Brandy: I think the most important skill I’ve learned was to look at cybersecurity differently as an analyst.
  • Tina: The work that I performed in the Splunk/SIEM and network security classes is important to me because those are areas in which I had no experience. Both of these areas will help my future career because they enable me to understand those areas at a deeper level when working on governance or leadership.
  • Ayesha: I have learned a great deal about pen-testing, networking, developing incident response and disaster recovery plans, technical writing and reporting. This has all proved to be very beneficial in my career so far as an Information Security Analyst.

Would you recommend Maryville’s online cybersecurity program?

  • Tina: Yes, I would recommend Maryville’s online cybersecurity program because, in my case of being in the software development field for 30 years, it has enabled enhancements of my existing skills and learning new skills and concepts.
  • Ayesha: I would recommend Maryville’s cybersecurity program to a friend or family member because I truly feel that they would be able to benefit and grow from it due to the curriculum and wonderful professors teaching the courses.
  • Brandy: Overall, I feel very lucky that I chose Maryville University and that they chose me.

If you’re ready to see how Maryville Online can help you be brave and pursue your educational and professional goals, we’re here for you. Check out our online bachelor’s degreesmaster’s degrees and doctorate degrees, or schedule a call with an advisor today.

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