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Program Director Q&A with Jeff Slattery, D.B.A.

Jeff Slattery Q&A (1)

What do you believe is the most valuable element of your program?

The Cybersecurity (CS) and Information Systems and Technology (IST) programs provide a plethora of benefits.  The programs serve distinct populations and prepare learners to excel in their respective career paths.  The core program courses and general education courses provide both general education knowledge and technical skills.  The programs are very technical in nature and practical hands-on labs are utilized to develop and test the learners skills required to excel in a technical position and profession.  In addition, the courses prepare students to set for certification in their respective fields.  The courses take a holistic approach to education and include coursework designed to prepare learners for every aspect of a professional position.

How/Why did you enter this field?

The US-based workforce is very diverse, in fact, most workers will engage in an average of seven different career paths throughout their lifetime. This level of diversity requires an outstanding general education and specialization when required.  I actually started out as a Marriage and Family Therapist and received a BA in Counseling from Johnson Bible College and then a MA in Marriage and Family Therapy from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary.  After spending 10 year as a therapist I transitioned to a War-Room facilitator due to my skills in communication and conflict resolution for a high tech firm in California.  This led to several other high tech positions and I completed my Doctorate in International Business during this time.  After serving as a Data Center manager and a Level 3 Cisco technician I completed an MAB in Information Systems.  This degree led me further down the high tech and Cybersecurity path and career.  It has been a fast and interesting career path!

How does a student succeed in your program?

The Cybersecurity and Information Systems and Technology programs are very technical and require intense study and practice time to learn the syntax or programming language.  The more learners are able to study and complete labs at an even and consistent pace the more they will assimilate the material and skills.  This method of consistent study will be very helpful as opposed to attempting to complete course assignments all in one block of time.  Working in the technology profession either currently or prior is also very positive and helpful for being successful in each program. 

What advice would you give to someone interested in your program/industry?

I would recommend researching and watching videos on the respective field of study and specific technical skills.  Review job postings and read technical articles, these actions will provide a solid glimpse of the technology field.  In addition, I would highly recommend interviewing several technology professionals- both technicians and managers.  In addition, be prepared to continually engage in skills training, technology evolves very quickly and we need to continually update our knowledge and skill set.

What course is your favorite to teach and why?

My favorite course is Cybersecurity Operations and Management.  The course combines both technical knowledge and management skills.  Operations is a key aspect of any technology department and firm.  If firms invest in operations they will have smoother running and efficient technology services, but if they do not they will continually be fighting a fire and facing technology challenges, reducing the overall effectiveness, productivity and profitability of the firm.

What is your favorite book/podcast? Or a good one you have read/listened to recently?

There is a wealth of information on breaches and it is amazing how many large firms are hacked!


Learn more about SNU's Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity or Associate of Science in Information Systems & Technology


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