Alexander De Luna’s Investment in Himself

13/11/2020

Just last year, Alexander De Luna was feeling disheartened by the academic progress he’d made in his first semester of community college. He was having a hard time visualizing how the things he was learning in class were going to help him get a digital forensics job in the field of technology. Growing more unsure of the path he was on, Alexander was scrolling through social media, where he saw an advertisement for a Cybersecurity Professional Certificate offered by California State University Long Beach.

An Investment in Education

Exploring the program and finding out about its accelerated pace prompted Alexander to research the school and the field of cybersecurity. The opportunity to study online in the evenings and on weekends, building the skills he’d need to get an entry-level job in the field was music to his ears. But, now he stood at a crossroads. Alexander needed to decide if he wanted to continue with his two-year degree program or enroll in CSULB’s certificate program that guaranteed he’d be ready to start working in the field by 2021.

Ultimately, he decided committing to the initial 30-hour introductory course was a good starting place for making the final decision. After the first few classes, Alexander was surprised to find how energized he was by the subject matter and discovered he could happily spend 8 hours in a single day working on homework and rewatching lectures. Feeling passionate about the work he was doing and motivated by the opportunities in the field, Alexander knew there was something different about CSULB’s classroom environment.

His dedicated instructors, compassionate classmates, and the program’s hands-on curriculum all added up to a learning experience that felt really personal. It all finally started to click for Alexander that loving what you do every day is the most important thing. Completely enthralled by the industry as a whole, Alexander found his main concern wasn’t about his aptitude for the field but, instead, it was about money.

Looking for some advice on seeking aid for the extended program, Alexander spoke to his brother about his financial concerns, who offered him rock-solid support with, “You shouldn’t let money stop you from pursuing your education.” Following that heart-to-heart conversation, Alexander felt like he had the support he needed to begin envisioning how changing course and pursuing an accelerated education was his ticket to a fulfilling career in the field of technology.

With his brother’s advice in his back pocket and a burning passion to learn growing inside him, Alexander sought financial assistance through a loan and enrolled in the extended program. Knowing he was committing to not only an education but a pathway into the field of technology, Alexander said, “I have years to come with new income...So I feel I made the right choice for myself which is important.”

Alexander’s enthusiasm, aptitude for technology, and tremendous foresight ended up landing him a temporary position in the field far sooner than he’d ever imagined.

Entering the Field of Technology

Almost immediately after enrollment, Alexander began searching for local, entry-level positions in cybersecurity and information technology. Soon enough, he found an opportunity to provide voters and volunteers with technical assistance during the 2020 Presidential election at the Los Angeles County polling place. Despite often working 12 hour days, Alexander was still feeling energized, surrounded by a handful of other IT and cybersecurity professionals that offered him noteworthy advice for staying relevant in an ever-evolving industry.

Knowing that he still has a lot to learn before attaining his ultimate goal of becoming a digital forensics expert, Alexander has his sights set on another entry-level position in cybersecurity to gain more experience in the field.

Set to graduate from CSULB’s Cybersecurity Professional Certificate Program later this year, Alexander is eager to explore all the opportunities available to him within information technology and cybersecurity in Southern California.

To learn more about Alexander De Luna, visit his LinkedIn.

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