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Darla Moore School of Business

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Career advancement through cybersecurity management

Three Moore School alumni share how the Cybersecurity Management Certificate has changed the trajectory of their careers

These days, with so much sensitive information being shared and stored online, cybersecurity continues to be a hot topic. Cybersecurity management also happens to be one of the newer certificates offered in the Moore School’s Professional MBA program, and it has already proven to be a big career-booster for many students.

Jessica Blue (’22 PMBA) chose to get her MBA at the Moore School when she saw that it was top ranked in several categories. She knew it would help equip her for her future career. One particular class she took led her to pursue the specific graduate certificate.

“After taking [international business clinical professor Dan] Ostergaard’s Introduction to Cybersecurity Management course, my interest in the topic piqued, and I decided to pursue the certificate,” she said. “It was eye-opening to learn more about the various threats and the growing vulnerabilities that occur today at both corporate and societal levels. Obtaining the cybersecurity management certificate has been a worthwhile investment in my professional development. It has equipped me with the skills to support my organization’s efforts in combating cyber threats.”

Blue now works as a lead audit manager at Wells Fargo. She received a promotion just one year into the PMBA program.

Because of the skills she learned from her cybersecurity management certificate, Blue said she was able to “assist in cyber operations audits at my current company. The courses in the certificate covered areas such as regulatory compliance, risk management and incident response. These topics are crucial and are highly examined during an internal audit. As a result, I was able to be a valuable contributor to the execution of the audit.”

Before he enrolled in one of the cybersecurity management courses like Blue, Jeffrey Roth Hodish (‘22 PMBA) was encouraged by his fellow officers in the National Guard to get his PMBA from the Moore School. He did not originally plan on getting a certificate, but when he heard about the introduction of the Cybersecurity Management Certificate, he knew it was a perfect fit for him.

“While I thought I had a solid understanding of cybersecurity, the courses connected to that certificate offered me much more knowledge and continued to keep me engaged with the topics outside of the classroom,” Hodish said. “The Cybersecurity Management Certificate has me looking for new opportunities within the National Guard where I can put those skills to use as well as build upon them. I would definitely recommend the Professional MBA program to anyone who is already in a career and looking to continue their education. The PMBA program makes getting a graduate degree attainable for full-time professionals.”

Still serving in the South Carolina National Guard, Hodish is now also a CW2 UH-60 Maintenance Test Pilot and a B-717 First Officer for Delta Air Lines.

“While there was so much from the program that I use outside of work when making decisions regarding my own personal financial well-being, much of the cybersecurity management curriculum made me begin to look for a new position in the National Guard around cyber warfare,” he said.

Like his fellow PMBA graduates, Charles Alexander (‘21 PMBA) was intrigued by the Cybersecurity Management Certificate. Currently, Alexander is a technical project manager at Collins Aerospace.

“I chose the Cybersecurity Management Certificate because it would provide me an option to move in a new direction within my career,” he said. “Whether it is financial services or commercial aerospace, both are highly regulated and highly secured. Even if someone chose to not pursue a cyber career, the knowledge gained from the certificate is very valuable. It makes you aware of the threats companies face and gives you a framework from which to deal with securing your environment or addressing potential breaches. The Cybersecurity Management Certificate is less technical than one would think since it focuses more on the management aspect.”

Alexander also emphasized that the framework and evaluation of risk to a company can be applied to more than just information technology; understanding risk and how to prevent security breaches apply to other more executive positions as well.

-Sydney Hankinson

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