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Celebrating National Cybersecurity Awareness Month: Meet 5 Boot Camp Graduates Turned Digital Defenders

Written by Molly Forman on Oct 26, 2020

Related content: Data For Good, Outcomes, Digital Education

At 2U, we take cybersecurity seriously. Implementing safeguards to protect our university partners and their students is paramount to our ability to build, deliver, and support high-quality education at scale. While we have a team of experienced cybersecurity and privacy experts on staff to navigate an increasingly complex security landscape, we also partner with several universities to design cybersecurity curricula to educate the next generation of digital defenders.

In light of National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, we’re celebrating the stories of students across 2U-powered programs who are committed to building and maintaining safer ways to keep information secure. Read on to learn about the lives of five boot camp graduates and what led them to pursue their passion for cybersecurity.

Damita Zweiback, GW Data Analytics Boot Camp

While on active duty at the Pentagon, Damita was simultaneously completing an executive MBA program at the Naval Postgraduate School. Her thesis revolved around cybersecurity. In the process of researching her thesis, Damita discovered the huge gap that exists in the cybersecurity field—that there are not enough qualified candidates to fill all the positions in such a new and increasingly important industry. Intrigued, she took this new finding as an opportunity for her to grow. Meet Damita.

Kevin Bailey, Vanderbilt Coding Boot Camp

Kevin Bailey excelled as an auto mechanic. But after five years of working in the industry, he was ready to change lanes toward a career that offered greater growth potential. Little did he know his technical experience, problem-solving abilities, and logical way of thinking would lend itself to a career in cybersecurity. Meet Kevin.

Soheil Mirzaei, University of Denver Cybersecurity Boot Camp

Soheil’s American Dream began with long hours spent working in retail. Like so many newcomers to the United States, he dug deep, eventually rising to become a member of Best Buy’s famous Geek Squad. That scratched a tech itch he’d had since university—but now, he wanted to specialize. And Soheil knew just where to focus: cybersecurity. Meet Soheil.

Bianca Hodges, Vanderbilt Cybersecurity Boot Camp

After earning a Master’s degree in clinical psychology, Bianca worked as a quality assurance and utilization review specialist at several residential facilities in Nashville, Tennessee. Over time, she became curious about emerging technology within the mental health field. She observed the expanding role of electronic health records in her workplace and grew concerned about the lack of security training around them. Bianca understood that the health field was becoming more entwined with technology—and she was eager to learn more. Meet Bianca.

Bruce Rhoades, Columbia Engineering Cybersecurity Boot Camp

For 25 years, Bruce Rhoades worked as a software developer creating apps for a range of organizations from investment banks to educational institutions. Although each project brought new lessons and challenges, Bruce found himself craving a change. When downsizing necessitated layoffs, Bruce found himself back on the job market and decided it was the perfect time to build on his skills and pivot into something new: cybersecurity. Meet Bruce.

Are you interested in a career in cybersecurity? Explore 2U’s partner page to learn more about the programs we offer.

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