We are excited to announce our final SwitchUp gift card giveaway winner from this quarter, Angela Marafino!
Angela is a graduate of the cyber security bootcamp, Evolve Security Academy. After completing two bachelor’s degrees in Fine Arts and Legal Studies, Angela decided she wanted to make the switch to the computer science/IT field.
As Angela explained, “Having no background in security or IT, I knew there would be a learning curve that I would have to overcome. But I also knew that if I completed the course, it would give me a great foundation to break into cyber security and land my first job in the field.”
Due to positive reviews and great customer service, Angela decided Evolve Security Academy would be the perfect bootcamp for her transition into cyber security.
We sat down with Angela to learn more about her experience with Evolve Security Academy, her career switch into cyber security, and her current role at CDW.
Tell me about your background. What was your professional and educational experience before you joined Evolve Security Academy?
I had no formal computer science or IT-related background before joining Evolve Security Academy. I hold two bachelor's degrees, a BFA in Fine Art and a BA in Legal Studies. Prior to attending Evolve, I studied prep material for about 6 weeks to give myself some background in the space.
What made you decide to pursue a career in cyber security?
The subject matter and available opportunities interested me.
How did you decide on Evolve over other programs? What was your research process like when comparing bootcamps?
The research process was a bit overwhelming, since there are quite a large number of bootcamps now. Reading reviews and speaking with advisors really helped me narrow it down. I ultimately chose Evolve because of their customer service. I was given thoughtful and timely responses to all of my questions and concerns.
Going in, what were your goals for the program?
To complete it! Having no background in security or IT, I knew there would be a learning curve that I would have to overcome. But I also knew that if I completed the course, it would give me a great foundation to break into cyber security and land my first job in the field.
Tell us a little bit about daily life at Evolve. What did you like best about the environment, curriculum, and teaching style?
I attended Evolve remotely during the evening. The remote course worked out great since I was working a full time job while completing the bootcamp. Even though the courses were online, the environment made it feel like we were in a an actual classroom and I was able to get to know my classmates on a personal level. The teaching was wonderful. Our professor was a great mentor and was constantly pushing us to do our best.
For you, what were the pros and cons of attending an online bootcamp?
The time and format of the bootcamp were big pros. The only con would be that I didn't get to meet my classmates in person.
How did Evolve help prepare you for the job search?
My professor gave us advice on our LinkedIn profiles and resumes and offered suggestions about how we could improve them. He also suggested volunteering and organizations that would be helpful to advance our knowledge and become more marketable.
Where are you working now? What is your day-to-day role like?
I currently work at CDW as a security assessment specialist. A typical day for me includes a lot of communication with clients and coworkers, as well as monitoring networks for potential threats and vulnerabilities.
What challenges did you overcome to get where you are?
Since I didn’t have any experience in IT or any technology-related field, I felt as though companies weren't considering me for positions, even though I completed Evolve with enough knowledge to be successful in a cyber security position.
What advice do you have for people who are interested in switching to a cyber security career?
You can do it! Just work hard, never stop learning, and network, network, network!
Are you a bootcamp student or alum? You could be our next giveaway winner! Leave a review of your program for a chance to win an Amazon gift card.