Before the global COVID-19 pandemic, Kevin Ghee worked as a Systems Specialist for a building automation company. However, like thousands of others, the pandemic left him unemployed. During that time, Ghee decided to challenge himself and start a new career path. To accomplish his goal, he enrolled in a tech bootcamp.
Initially, Ghee enrolled in a bootcamp for UX/UI, but he quickly realized the subject matter didn’t challenge him or align with his career goals. He then enrolled in the Fullstack Academy Cybersecurity Bootcamp, where he developed in-demand skills through group projects and hands-on experiences. Not only did Ghee feel challenged and engaged, but he also didn’t feel alone in his journey.
“My bootcamp experience was great because there were so many other people with different levels of tech knowledge who were just starting down this path,” Ghee said. “There were other people, just like me, who never wrote a script but were excited when they completed a task. The pace of learning was easy to orient to and challenging enough to keep you going.”
Ghee’s favorite assignment was his Capstone Project, where he worked with another student to research a topic they were both passionate about. He was able to leverage the project during interviews with potential employers to demonstrate his passion for cybersecurity.
Like many who change careers, Ghee dealt with imposter syndrome. However, through the supportive environment in bootcamp, he was constantly reminded that he was never alone in feeling that way.
“Every day, I was reminded that I’m not alone in doing my best and not understanding the information,” Ghee recalled. “When I heard another student ask a question I was thinking of or when working on a group project, it felt good to know I was not alone in this process. We were all learning and looking for answers to make it to the next day. Communication through Slack and after-class Zoom meetings helped as well.”
During bootcamp, Ghee also worked with a Fullstack Academy Career Success Coach, who helped him practice interviewing and helped him gain confidence in his newly learned skills.
“The Fullstack Academy name gets you through the gate, and the skills you’ve obtained while in bootcamp help you nail the interview,” Ghee said. “They have a great track record for producing new cybersecurity leaders, and I am proof of that. My network has grown, whether it's recruiters consistently reaching out or other professionals wanting to connect.”
Since graduating from bootcamp, Ghee has worked in several cybersecurity roles. Today, Ghee is an Information Security Analyst for the Federal Reserve Bank. Although he’s only been in cybersecurity for a few short years, his salary has doubled, and his career trajectory is growing.
“I love the flexibility and work-life balance,” Ghee shared. “A lot of people in security have had to push themselves to get to their job, and once you’re there, it’s nothing but open arms and people looking to help.”
Now that Ghee has found his passion in cybersecurity, he encourages others to do the same.
“My advice to anyone looking into a bootcamp is to jump! You will not regret learning in this industry as you will see that the first step you took down this path will be the same one that carries you through your career,” he advised. “If you’re looking to change your career, give yourself the grace to build your knowledge. Don’t feel like it’s a rush, even if you’re looking for a new financial gain. These are building blocks, and once you realize that, you will be in control of what you build for yourself and your future.”
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