By Wes O’Donnell
Managing Editor, InCyberDefense
In honor of National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM), the InCyberDefense blog is profiling various cybersecurity students. This article features AMU student Jerry Graham.
Hometown: Ft. Ord, California
Current Position: Information Systems Security Officer – ManTech
On why cybersecurity is important to him:
As a member of the IT community and a proud Air Force Veteran who worked alongside some of the most talented Cyber Warriors, I know the challenges posed by bad actors in the cyber realm. Many of these hackers work in peer nation-states and use highly sophisticated tools to try to undermine America’s national security. Our Cyber Warriors are ready for them and determined to win the battle in the FIFTH DOMAIN. I am very proud of this culture and its total commitment to the mission.
On what he loves about ManTech:
I joined ManTech following my Active Duty Air Force career. The transition from the military was very smooth, thanks to the company’s numerous programs that help veterans make the transition from military to civilian careers. Not surprisingly, more than half of ManTech’s 8,000-strong employee base are veterans. Plus, they make it clear that our work is not just a job, it’s a career. ManTech mentors its people and provides numerous opportunities to advance support of the customer mission – and your career while advancing the mission. The company’s many vigorous education programs are tops.
On what he would recommend to others considering following his career path:
If cyber is your chosen career, you’ve made a great choice! Cyber is hot, and competition for great talent is intense, meaning you will find many opportunities. Just a few pointers before you set out.
If you plan on transitioning from the military to the business world, take your time, ask lots of questions, and consider all your options. ManTech advises retiring military personnel to begin this process at least one year ahead of time. Make sure the company you choose is a good fit for your skills, provides meaningful work and the opportunity to advance.
On how AMU has helped him achieve his career goals:
AMU’s School of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math is an eye-opener – nearly 50 programs in areas ranging from cloud computing to computer systems and networks, cybercrime, cybersecurity and many more. I majored in Cyber to build on the skills I learned in the Air Force. The payoff, for me, has been a career where I have the opportunity to continue working in service to my country – and in ways that are exciting and personally satisfying.
His future goals:
With cyber, I have the opportunity to advance my career and contribute to the public good. That’s why I joined the Air Force, why I enrolled at AMU, and why I’m working for ManTech. Many years from now, when I look back on the great teams I’ve worked with and all we accomplished together, I’ll be able to say, “That was time well spent.”
His favorite quote:
“Opportunities don’t happen. You create them.” – Chris Grosser, Author at Success Unlimited
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In an increasingly connected world, InCyberDefense is an online publication that features information, tips, resources, and breaking news for cyber defense and cybersecurity-affiliated individuals including private companies, government organizations, and civilians. We are always looking for guest contributions from students, servicemembers, government organizations and civilians. If you are interested in becoming a contributor or submitting a guest post, you can reach out at the email address email@example.com.
ManTech provides mission-focused technology solutions and services for U.S. defense, intelligence community, and federal civilian agencies. In business for more than 50 years, they excel in full-spectrum cyber, data collection & analytics, enterprise IT, systems engineering and software application development solutions that support national and homeland security. ManTech is comprised of almost 8,000 talented employees around the world, and nearly half are veterans making the educational partnership between AMU and ManTech a natural fit.
The partnership between ManTech and AMU was formed in 2012 to give their employees the opportunity to take advantage of their fantastic tuition benefits. Today, many of their employees have graduated from AMU with top programs focusing on cybersecurity, information technology and management.
About University Partnerships
American Public University System leads the way in workforce education. Our relevant programs are delivered online through American Public University (APU) and American Military University (AMU), and are anchored by quality curriculum and flexible learning pathways that serve the individual needs of employees and the business needs of employers alike.
By partnering with our respected online university, we stand ready to optimize your education and training programs, solve for employee skills and proficiency gaps, increase engagement, and help you stay ahead of the competition by positioning your organization as an employer of choice.
To learn more about partnering with the University, you can contact one of our dedicated Outreach personnel at firstname.lastname@example.org.