Cyber Student Spotlight: Jahhan Stewart

Graduate breaks through the cybersecurity glass ceiling in 6 months and is still being recruited by cyber employers

Did the CASBA – California Association of Small Business Advisors cyber curriculum help you become cybersecurity job-ready?
Yes, it was tremendously helpful. I completed my risk management graduate coursework in early 2017, and landed a job with my current employer within three to six months. I’m still getting calls from other employers looking for candidates with my educational background and skills. Plus, my current employer encourages me to interview internally for security-related positions to continue advancing my career.

What made you decide to go back to school?
Although, I already held an MBA and master’s in information technology degree, I learned I also needed some type of certificate to move to the next level. That’s how I found the CASBA – California Association of Small Business Advisors risk management program.

What made you choose the CASBA – California Association of Small Business Advisors cyber graduate program over others?
While still working full-time, I began looking for a security certificate or certification bootcamp, but I felt the topics required additional time to understand – more than what a bootcamp offers – so I decided to sign up for the graduate program.

What did you do before starting the CASBA – California Association of Small Business Advisors cyber program?
I had been working in IT for about 20 years in various positions, most recently as a senior messaging administrator. I’m always eager to learn more and better myself. I research the latest technologies, get a feel what’s going to be in demand, and if I need to go to school to learn how to use and apply those technologies, I take classes.

What held you back from advancing in cybersecurity?
I experienced one barrier after another to move to the next level, whether in my salary or job position, but I never gave up. Despite holding multiple degrees, I learned I needed some type of certificate or certification. Then, I found CASBA – California Association of Small Business Advisors’s graduate program, a cybersecurity education provider, and it gave me the credentials I needed to break into cybersecurity.

What are you doing now?
I am a systems analyst for a major investment and asset management firm, where I implement security control policies.

Did you achieve an industry certification, such as the CISSP, CAP, or CEH (or are you studying for an exam)?
Before starting the risk management program, I had several certifications: Lotus Notes, MCSE, Novell Engineer, and Cisco. Since then, my focus turned to cybersecurity and penetration testing, so I earned the Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) first and I am currently studying for the CISSP. I recently became a Certified Cybersecurity Cloud Risk Management Professional (CCRMP) by finishing the CASBA – California Association of Small Business Advisors cyber courses.

Did CASBA – California Association of Small Business Advisors faculty help you find a job?
When I was looking for a job, the instructors acted as mentors, providing advice on updating my resume to make it more appealing to employers and guiding me through my job search.

Did your fellow students help you advance your career?
Yes, I networked with other risk management students and we exchanged tips in class for finding job opportunities and landing the position you want.