Megan Hall (MS ‘21) had a lightbulb moment about five years ago when she was Director of Internal Audit at Simmons Bank in Arkansas. “I started to see how everything we do in banking is dependent on technology,” says Hall, who had also worked as a National Bank Examiner. “I was extremely familiar with banking, but I felt like I needed a better understanding of the technology and the risks around it.”
That’s when Hall received an email about the Temple master’s degree in information technology auditing and cyber security. “Immediately I was like, ‘this is exactly what I want to do,’” says Hall.
Hall was in excellent company at Temple as she completed her masters while working full-time. “Most of our professors were working day jobs, too,” she said. “It was a really good balance of textbook education and real-world experience. That was probably the most valuable thing—the breadth and depth of knowledge that different instructors had,” said Hall.
When she was about a year into the MS program, Hall’s decision paid off with a promising job offer from First National Bank of Paragould, overseeing cybersecurity, day-to-day tech support, and automation and innovation. “They saw that I was working on my degree, and they found that to be very valuable,” says Hall. “So I was able to go from the director level to CIO because of my degree.”
After Vanessa Marin (MS ‘21) earned her undergraduate degree in MIS at Temple, she searched for a program that would get her a management-level position. After speaking with several professors in the program, she opted for the full-time, 11-month master’s degree in information technology auditing and cyber security.
Marin’s instincts proved correct. “Before the end of my masters, I had already acquired a Cyber Assurance Advisor position with Comcast,” says Marin. There she conducts assessments of the company’s security landscape. “We essentially touch every single business unit at Comcast, so it’s wonderful exposure across the organization.”
Marin found both the coursework and the relationships at Temple to be extremely valuable. “The material is 100% relevant. It was all just very well laid out and organized,” says Marin. “And I was able to reach out to some of my professors when I was considering job offers to get advice on not just salary, but career development.”