I chose Champlain for many reasons, but, ultimately, Champlain just felt right. I don't think I would've been as successful as I am now if I went to any other college. There are some classes where I'll do a presentation, and it conveniently applies directly to actual jobs. For example, I did a presentation on logging solutions, and then at my internship that same week, they were looking at logging solutions and I was able to give the company feedback.
For my Capstone, I'm doing Windows 10 forensics. I'm doing stuff that hasn't been researched before, and there are cool things I've found about Windows 10 that no one has published yet. I was even hired by the LCDI to be the Digital Forensics Researcher for Windows 10.
Last I heard, Computer Networking & Information Security graduates had a 100% job placement rate, and I received a full-time job offer with Stroz Friedberg's Seattle Office five months before graduation. When I came to Champlain, there were a lot of people I looked up to, and I was honestly intimidated by how smart the upperclassmen were. Now I'm the senior, and people are looking up to me. I already have a job lined up for after college, and that's something I thought only the best upper-classmen were able to do. It's odd to think that I'm another success story at Champlain because I've just never fathomed being there.
Alex, Computer Networking & Information Security MajorCoopersburg, PADIVISION OF INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY & SCIENCES
I did an internship last summer at High Technique, a computer security contracting company, where I worked as a technical intern. It was a really neat experience. I got to work with a lot of industry firewall products. I would get a project from my boss, and he would send me off on my own to try and figure it out and do as much as I could. When I did need help, he would teach me everything I needed to know and say, "Go ahead. Try it again." I really liked that.
There's a point where you have to go into the field and get real experience rather than just knowing what you learned from the book. Obviously, it's important to know the theory behind it, but when it comes to practice, you have to be able to do it and not just know it.
Nicholas, Computer Networking & Information Security majorNorwood, MADIVISON OF INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY & SCIENCES
As long as I can remember, I've been fascinated with computers. Computer Networking & Information Security gave me experience in the two sections I was most interested in while allowing me to focus on cybersecurity.
My experience in the program has been incredibly positive. My professors are brilliant, and my classmates are good people. I've learned more than I feel I would have in a computer science major, or something comparable, because it is incredibly more specified.
I've had two IT helpdesk internships where I've heavily used the skills I've gained in the classroom. I've spent countless hours troubleshooting user issues and computers, both remote and in-person, and I had the opportunity to meet local IT professionals and network with them. These were incredibly significant because, without them, I would not have gained the real world experience I needed to confidently walk into an employment situation after college.
Being an intern will give me a better advantage because not only do I have companies that will attest to my skills for my future applications, but also it shows employers that I'm not coming in completely blind and that I'm competent at what I do.
I will definitely be confident entering the job market. My education covered all its bases, and so I know that, even if I don't know how to do something at one of my future positions, I have the foundation to pick it up quickly and be efficient.
Sam, Computer Networking & Information Security MajorWethersfield, CTDIVISION OF INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY & SCIENCES
The best resource I've found in terms of preparing for a career is the school's Career Collaborative. My career adviser does a great job helping you prepare your resume and look for internships. He sends out emails about prospective employers and is there for anything else you might need. The Career Collaborative here is really, really good. They cannot get enough credit.
Academically, the technical courses here are taught by people who really know their stuff. They're not afraid to challenge you.
Patrick, Computer Networking & Information Security majorAverill Park, NYDIVISON OF INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY & SCIENCES
When I applied to Champlain, it was because of the Upside-Down Curriculum, but the ITS Division interested me. I took computer programming and computer networking classes in high school that I really enjoyed and knew I wanted to look at degrees with computers. The thought of being a protector of the internet was appealing. I wanted to be the person who helped protect the public from internet threats.
Ultimately, I think I picked a really good major and school for myself. Champlain is recognized as a Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education by the National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security, which I think will be really beneficial for me when I start looking for a job. Champlain has helped me become more practical and critical, with an attention to detail. That attention and what I've learned in my classes are things I can apply in the real-world. For example, at my internship with General Dynamics, I used what I've learned in my Cyber Defense course to audit their policies and procedures, which was interesting to do.
Champlain has really helped me realize the importance of putting in effort and seizing opportunities, and I truly believe that if you take advantage of opportunities given to you at Champlain, you will not only thrive in the job market, but you will do well as a person. Liam, Computer Networking & Information Security MajorPittsfield, MADIVISION OF INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY & SCIENCES
My dad is in computer security, and he's shown me what he does. My dad works from home, but travels for a lot for different companies, and I really like that lifestyle. I want the option to go places and travel, rather than staying in one place, and I know computer security would guarantee a job out of college.
Champlain and the Computer Networking & Cybersecurity program have been some of the best experiences of my life. I really like the small class sizes. It's more personal. I get more out of discussions rather than just listening. What I'm learning and the labs that I'm doing in my classes relate to real-world scenarios directly, and I think about how I'll be doing this for a company when I graduate. And my peers are all supportive. I feel more confident and outgoing than I was when I came to Champlain.
Samantha, Computer Networking & Cybersecurity MajorLatham, NYDIVISION OF INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY & HUMAN STUDIES
In high school, I went to a two-week IT summer program, the Governor's Institute of Vermont, and I loved it. After the program, I realized that Champlain was the school for me: it was small, and offered a wide variety of interesting ITS degrees.
I originally was interested in Web Development, but I quickly found out I was really bad at computer programming. You hear about cyber security in the news all the time, and it is a relatively new and ever evolving field, so I decided to major in Computer Networking & Information Security, with a specialization in Cybersecurity. The courses for my specialization seemed really interesting; for example, I'm taking a course right now called "Ethical Hacking."
In my major, most of my professors have worked in their respected fields; they have industry experience. They take courses to stay up to date on the latest technology and information. My field is changing every year so we're taught using state-of-the-art technology, which is really great.
I chose to minor in Digital Forensics because it will make me more marketable, and since we were named the top cyber security school in 2013 by SC Magazine and that we're a Center of Excellence in Digital Forensic Education, I think Champlain will really help me in the future.Jordan, Computer Networking & Information Security MajorMilton, VTDIVISION OF INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY & SCIENCES
When I first came to Champlain, I was in the Criminal Justice major, but as I learned more about the computer sciences and how the IT programs are some of Champlain's strengths, I changed my major to Computer Networking & Cybersecurity.
I started out learning theory at Champlain; now, I'm doing a lot of practical work and starting to understand how everything works together and applies to real-life situation. All that practical work is helping me learn much faster about the field of cybersecurity.
I feel confident about entering the job market after my graduation, I will be able to enter the job market. Most of them are professionals in their field, and the fact that they are willing to share that knowledge with their students makes my education valuable.
My hope is, after graduation, I will be able to go back to Canada and work there. My dream job would be to work with the police forces or the Canadian Security Intelligence Service.
Lucas, Computer Networking & Cybersecurity MajorGreenfield Park, QuebecDIVISION OF INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY & SCIENCES
AFTER CHAMPLAIN, Ethan landed a position as a Cyber Associate at Stroz Friedberg, an Aon Company.
"A friend of mine's father works at HP Enterprise Security and told me to apply for a summer internship. I didn't think I would get in since I had only finished my first year at college, but I did. I think that says a lot about Champlain.
Everything I did used the Linux operating system. Comparing what I knew to some of the other graduate student interns, I had a big edge over them because we learn a lot about Linux at Champlain in a very hands-on way. I was able to start working immediately, while also explaining it to the other interns. It was really cool to realize that what I'd learned in my classes was something I was using from day one at my job.
I went back to HP last summer and was given software that can monitor cloud services like Box, one of the main competitors of Dropbox. I researched and created a demo that showed what was happening in an organization. You could see who had the most deletes and the most edits, who was sharing what with whom, all in a searchable database. For example, I could look for someone at Champlain and see they were sharing a file with someone at UVM, and the product would trigger an alert. I presented my research and demo and trained 60 sales engineers."
Ethan, Computer Networking & Cybersecurity MajorFletcher, VTDIVISION OF INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY & SCIENCES
When I came to Champlain, I was intrigued by the Upside-Down Curriculum and the game majors here. Game Programming was really something no other college had, and at Champlain I'd get right into making games. But programming wasn't my cup of tea. I had taken programming classes in high school, so the material just didn't seem new.
Working with the LCDI helped me choose which major I belonged in. I switched to the Computer Networking & Information Security major, which was a really good thing to get into, and I was seeing it every day at work. My friends in the program were saying great things about it, and it was something I had never done before. I was able to dive into certain subjects, like encrypting and decrypting data, sending messages securely, and learning things that happen around the world every day that are related to cybersecurity.
After graduation, I want to work somewhere close to home, but I'm hoping to work for the government. Also, if I do decide to something with digital forensics, I could try to work with the Burlington Police Department. Really, with Computer Networking, I can have the ability to work for any company with a website. I could manage their online web services, the security systems. With all the small businesses, I have high hopes.
Andrew, Computer Networking & Cybersecurity MajorWest Hartford, CTDIVISION OF INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY & SCIENCES