Preparing for a Career in Cyber Security: A StraighterLine Success Story

Beth Dumbauld

success_story_meir_imageMeir Goetz is a man with a goal. He has been working full-time in the IT field for years, but realized he needed to earn his bachelor’s degree in order to expand his career opportunities.

However, Meir didn’t want to wait to earn his degree. As an IT professional, Meir knows there are a lot of career opportunities available in cyber security, and he’d like to take advantage of them. Yet, many of those opportunities are tied to government contracts, and to work within those contracts, he’s required to have a college degree.

So, before he can take advantage of the many exciting opportunities available in the cyber security field, he needs to acquire the proper credential: a bachelor’s degree.

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Enrolling in the Cyber Security Degree Program at UMUC

To get the college credential he needs, Meir made the decision to enroll in University of Maryland University College’s (UMUC) cyber security degree program. He was excited about enrolling; UMUC’s degree program is ideal for IT professionals looking to take advantage of career opportunities in cyber security. Plus, UMUC’s program offered enough flexibility so he could take many of his courses online while continuing to work full-time.

“I need a college degree to advance my IT career,” said Meir. “UMUC’s cyber security degree program allows me to earn the right credential for my career goals.”

Accelerating a College Degree

Once Meir enrolled and began taking classes at UMUC, he began to grow restless about the pace of his degree program. He was motivated to earn his degree early, so he started looking for ways to accelerate.

“I had already taken a several courses at UMUC when another student told me about StraighterLine’s online courses,” Meir says. “When I heard how cheap StraighterLine courses were and that they were self-paced, I decided to do some more research.”

Meir first spoke with his advisor at UMUC and liked what he found out. He discovered that StraighterLine and UMUC collaborate to allow for easy credit transfer of StraighterLine courses into degree programs at UMUC, including cyber security. “My advisor told me that UMUC accepts approved StraighterLine credits.”

Since StraighterLine courses are both affordable and self-paced, Meir decided that it made the most sense to complete as many of his general education courses that he could at StraighterLine. Since StraighterLine and UMUC collaborate with a course articulation guide, getting a degree plan for guaranteed course transfer was easy. His degree plan spelled out exactly which, and how many, StraighterLine courses are accepted into his degree program at UMUC.

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Online Courses that Transfer to Public Colleges

In discovering StraighterLine, Meir was fortunate to find the perfect way to accelerate his degree at UMUC, the largest public university in the country. He’s already successfully earned transfer credit for four StraighterLine courses, including a couple of courses in biology, a math course, and Introduction to Nutrition.

As Meir puts it, “There are two major factors for using StraighterLine courses for my degree program at UMUC: StraighterLine courses are self-paced and allowed me to complete extra courses over the summer!”

Meir is planning to enroll in additional StraighterLine courses during breaks and over the summer. Doing so, he anticipates that he’ll be able to shave a semester or more off the time it’ll take to earn his college degree.

“Since all StraighterLine courses are self-paced, I’m planning on reducing the amount of time it’ll take to earn my degree at UMUC… by at least a semester!”

Advice to Other Online Students

Before enrolling in his StraighterLine courses, Meir spoke with his UMUC advisor to verify whether the StraighterLine courses would meet the requirements he needed for his degree. He recommends others students do the same. He felt confident knowing his StraighterLine courses would indeed be accepted in transfer - and was able to turn his attention to completing his coursework.

According to Meir, “Time management is the most important thing. With self-paced courses, there’s no set deadline, so it’s important to set one for yourself.”

Meir plans on graduating from University Maryland University College with his Bachelor of Science in Cyber Security. Thanks to StraighterLine, he is well on his way to graduating sooner, rather than later. Congratulations Meir!

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