There’s been a recent change in my author bio. And, no, you don’t have to guess what it is because I’m going to tell you.

I completed the STEM course I was enrolled in and was accepted into New York University’s Tandon School of Engineering as a graduate student studying cybersecurity.

I’m using this space to talk about it for a couple of reasons. For starters, I am just really excited, so I want to tell everyone. Yeah, I’m that person. But, beyond that, I think it’s a good story for the industry to know. I say that because it’s an unlikely series of events that brought me here. So, let me take you back a bit.

I used to work for a different BNP Media magazine — ACHR NEWS. It’s an HVACR magazine, and one of our main topics was the labor shortage (sound familiar?). However, even though I knew I could learn the trade, I never once considered doing it.

It was two years ago this month when I started at Mission Critical. I was nervous. I had a lot to learn. So, I started reaching out to the technical advisory board to introduce myself, and, they all responded so generously — telling me who they were and their areas of expertise, informing me of the topics/trends/challenges I should familiarize myself with first, letting me know the ways in which they can help me, offering to be a resource for any questions any time, etc.

It’s a combination of so many things that got me to where I am today, and I’m not going to get into them all, but there are a few worth sharing.

This industry has an abundance of passionate people, which is both amazing and inspiring. It made me want to learn more, so I could do a better job sharing relevant content.

For example, Gartner released a report titled, “The Urgency to Treat Cybersecurity as a Business Decision.”

“Gartner projections show the growth in cybersecurity spend is slowing,” according to the report. “Cybersecurity grew at [a 2% compound annual growth rate (CAGR)] in 2018, and it is projected to decline to only 7% CAGR by 2023. Gartner clients are also reporting that after years of quarterly reporting on cybersecurity to their boards, that boards are now pushing back and asking for improved data and understanding of what they have achieved after years of such heavy investment."

The societal perception that cybersecurity is a technical problem best handled by technical people was identified as one of the top challenges to the effectiveness of investments in this space.

And, that’s a problem I can fix. I already know how to communicate effectively, take technical information and translate it to layman’s terms, and relate to people. I just need to learn more about cybersecurity.

Help me get off to a good start — Cybersecurity Awareness Month is coming up in October, and I want to know what you’re doing to celebrate. Click on the link in my bio to email me your ideas, or post them on our LinkedIn page to share them with our readers.

You don’t have to convince people to apply to graduate school and change their life trajectories — it can be something simple, like calling all of the seniors in your life and telling them about some of the common scams, sharing one fact a day on your social media, hosting a free workshop, etc.

Even if you don’t think it’s a good idea, I urge you to share it, because how else are we going to spread awareness if we don’t talk about the issues at hand and what we’re doing to solve them?