Douglas Heanssler ’17, M.S. ’19 first attended Thomas College as an undergraduate student. He had almost completed a criminal justice degree when he realized that he was no longer interested in becoming a patrol officer. He was more interested in cybersecurity.
So, in 2017, he graduated from Thomas College with a BS in Criminal Justice and a minor in Cybersecurity. Shortly after, he landed a cyber job at Sage Security (which was acquired by Tyler Technologies).
More recently, he joined the IT staffing and workforce solutions firm, Apex Systems, as a security analyst. Douglas works as part of a team to access the security of Ahold Delhaize’s vendors information.
“It is the goal of our team to ensure that the vendors will be able to protect any shared data or system access.”
While Douglas is working in the cyber field full time, he’s also continuing his education at Thomas College again, with its new Master’s in Cybersecurity program.
“Having a master’s degree in the cybersecurity field will open up new job opportunities that may otherwise be unavailable,” said Douglas. “It demonstrates that I am knowledgeable about the subject matter. Pursuing a graduate degree also shows that I am willing to take on new challenges.”
Douglas decided to get his master’s at his alma mater because he knew from experience that his professors were experts in their fields, and they’d have time to help him out because of small class sizes.
Plus, the flexibility of the program – being able to take half of the courses online – gave Douglas the ability to maintain a full-time job while pursuing his degree. He is looking forward to graduating this spring.
“I will be proud to have received a degree that will represent my commitment to higher education and to the field of cybersecurity,” said Douglas. “I will also be proud to be a member of the first class to graduate from Thomas College’s new Cybersecurity Master’s program.”