Curious how St. Petersburg College alumni have used their skill sets, industry certifications, and college degrees to land a great job? Do you want to know where their SPC Titan education has taken them? Check out this alumni story and #GetCertifiedSPC through SPC’s FREE certification opportunity for high-performing career and technical education students. See where a cybersecurity certificate can take you.
SPC alumna Emily Varjassy entered into the dynamic and rapidly changing field of cybersecurity. She’s now a BayCare Health System employee and member of the organization’s Information Systems (IS) Security and Compliance Team.
SPC Titan Alumni Employment & Academic Profile
SPC Graduate: Emily Varjassy
Employer: BayCare Health System, IS (Information Systems) Security and Compliance Team
Title: IS Compliance Analyst
Length of Time in Position: 1 Year (4 Years with BayCare Health System)
Industry Certification: CompTIA Security+
Education: Cybersecurity Certificate, St. Petersburg College, December 2017
Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences, concentration in Biological Science, University of South Florida, May 2014
Emily Varjassy: The Beginning of My Career Pathway
“Four years ago, I was in my last semester of my bachelor’s program with the University of South Florida, and I needed a for-credit internship. BayCare Health System was hiring interns, and I envisioned myself working with their Project Managers. I ended up interviewing with their Chief Information Security Officer (along with a few other potential interns) and I was chosen! The day I found out, I called my Mom crying. I was terrified to begin working in such a technical department without IT experience. Nevertheless, the opportunity was extended, I had accepted, and my internship grade was on the line. There was no turning back. Despite being out of my comfort zone, I ended up loving it.
“Right after graduation, I was offered a full-time position as an IS User Provisioning Generalist. Each year since, I have enjoyed increased responsibilities and received promotions. To support my professional development and technical skill, BayCare funded my Cybersecurity Certificate at SPC. I took one class each modmester (two per semester) while working full-time. I had plenty of ah-ha moments while completing my certificate. Some of my colleagues (on the Incident Response Team) use the tools I was exposed to in class. I found I could relate the topics covered in my certificate program back to scenarios I encountered at work. It helped me grasp the concepts more quickly!
“Now, I oversee our Security Awareness Program, conducting in-field and online training as well as presentations about cybersecurity for all BayCare employees. I even get to send out phishing emails to them. If they click on the content I sent, they are automatically enrolled in our mandatory online cybersecurity training.”
Certification Increased My Visibility (to Recruiters)
“Since earning my CompTIA Security+ certification last year, and adding it to my LinkedIn profile, I have seen an increase in the number of recruiters who reach out to me with opportunities. My education allowed me to be promoted from IS User Provisioning Generalist to IS Data Security Analyst a year sooner than my employers expected. Now, when I attend meetings with C-Level leaders in my organization, I understand the technical terminology that is discussed, thanks to my certificate at SPC and CompTIA certification.”
Building up my Industry Certification Portfolio
“In this field, experience and certification is what it takes to move forward in your career! Eventually, I would like to earn my master’s degree and become a Senior IS Compliance Analyst. For now, I will gain more experience, and earn more certifications. I am considering certifications like Certified Ethical Hacker, Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA), and Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP).”
Get Certified through SPC
Have you received a FREE #GetCertifiedSPC invitation from your professor? Did you schedule your exam date? Don’t wait – there’s still time! Email firstname.lastname@example.org. Let’s get you in the certification pipeline so you can see yourself CERTIFIED!
If you would like to share your career progression as an alumni with other TITANS, including how your education and opportunities (like FREE industry certifications) at SPC helped you get there, email Julia Meyer, Certification Testing Coordinator with SPC’s Career Connections to make it happen.