“The more you know, the more you know you don’t know.” With this famous quote, Aristotle acknowledged that learning is something that lasts a lifetime. Long after you graduate with an information technology degree with a specialization in cybersecurity, you will benefit from the wisdom of the people around you. Excelling in this field requires an inner determination and drive, but it also requires the humility and foresight to know that there is still a great deal left for you to learn. Make a point of actively seeking out the mentorship of other cybersecurity professionals.
Seeking Career and Education Guidance
One of the many reasons why mentorship benefits cybersecurity professionals is that established IT specialists already have the inside scoop on the industry. They know what employers are looking for on a job candidate’s resume and they know how to succeed in the business. Only you can make the decisions that will shape the course of your career, but your mentor can offer invaluable guidance on job decisions. You can seek out your mentor for advice on whether you should go back to school to earn a graduate degree, for example.
Building Your Professional Network
A bachelor’s degree program that emphasizes cybersecurity is your starting point. Before and after you graduate, you will need to build a professional network. Fortunately, if you have a mentor, you will not have to build it from the ground up. Your mentor can connect you with other industry specialists, some of whom may be looking for qualified job candidates.
Giving Back to Your Mentor
It is true that mentees tend to benefit the most from this relationship, but your mentor can also benefit from assisting your career. Dedicated mentors are often driven by the feeling that they need to give something back to the community. They derive a sense of satisfaction from knowing that they are contributing to the advancement of the cybersecurity industry and, in doing so, making the digital world a little bit safer in the future. And, contrary to popular belief, the mentee can teach the mentor. The tech industry, and especially the cybersecurity specialization, evolves rapidly. Things have changed since your mentor graduated. You can help your mentor stay up to date on the latest industry innovations.
Finding the Right Mentor for You
So how exactly does one go about finding a mentor, breaking the ice and asking to be mentored? It is not as difficult as it sounds. Start right on campus with a visit to the advising center. Ask how you can get involved in relevant workshops, internships and alumni networking programs. You can also let them know you are interested in finding a cybersecurity mentor. Next, look for industry events outside of the campus. Join conferences and attend panel discussions, and stick around afterward to introduce yourself to the participants. Be persistent, respectful and appreciative, and you will find the right mentor for you.
Grand Canyon University invites you to click on the Request More Information button to get started working toward a rewarding career in the growing field of cybersecurity. Our College of Science, Engineering and Technology is pleased to offer a comprehensive and modern Bachelor of Science in Information Technology with an Emphasis in Cybersecurity degree program.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University.