Just beginning in the Information Systems Security career field, Will McDermott wanted to take a course that helped him stay focused and motivated to pass his certification test. A coworker encouraged him to enroll in our ISSP program. After conducting online research and speaking with coworkers, he decided the course would help him the best.
“I was worried that without being in a classroom environment two times a week, I would procrastinate and not invest enough time to pass the CISSP, but having a professor available to answer questions helped close any gaps in knowledge that I had,” Will said.
Unlike other CISSP Boot camps that are 1-2 weeks, this program is spread out to an equivalent of a college semester at half of the cost. The duration of the course made the material feel more manageable. “With the vast amount of information covered within the exam, I knew that I would not be able to retain all of the information covered in a one-week course,” Will said.
After completing his undergraduate degrees in Business and Entrepreneurship from Indiana University, he began working in insurance and found it was not the career path he wanted to pursue. Will decided to go back to school and received his Master’s in Information Systems with the goal of understanding the intersection of business and technology. His concentrations in graduate school were Enterprise Risk Management and Business Intelligence. Once he completed graduate school, Will moved to Atlanta in 2014 for an IT position as a Data Integrator and after a year there he transitioned to the IT security team.
He currently works as an Application Security Architect at General Motors. Will’s job includes leading security compliance meetings to ensure GM IT Security standards are followed from the initiation of a project; responsibility of application and server level security audits; and ensuring export compliance procedures are documented, current and accessible to all application owners.
At his job, the course material he learned in the program has continued to help him. “I still keep my class binder at my desk and find myself referencing it on a weekly basis,” Will said.
After completing our program, Will studied for three weeks before the CISSP exam, reviewing notes and completing numerous practice exams. “I was nervous on the day of the test but it was a relief to know I passed and a great feeling to see all my hard work pay off,” Will said.
In the future, he wants to continue to learn as much as possible and complete more certifications along the way. Will wanted to gain credibility in his role and said the ISSP program helped him do that. In the class, he found it beneficial to hear IT security challenges that other classmates faced and how they resolved them. Will also found the instructor’s positive energy to keep him focused and engaged.
For future students interested in this program, he said, “View it is an investment in yourself and your future. This program is a great opportunity to learn the foundations of cyber security.”