GM employee Luke Peterson expanded his cybersecurity skills with Purdue Global
It’s like you have a puzzle in front of you. You have to solve it with some code or some kind of tool. It’s always a challenge. That’s what I enjoy most about cybersecurity.
The puzzle aspect of it is what got me interested when I took my first computer security class in college. And it’s what launched me into starting a master’s degree in cybersecurity management at Purdue Global in the fall of 2019, the same year I graduated from the University of Michigan in mechanical engineering.
When I was an undergrad, I did very traditional manufacturing internships at General Motors in the summers after my freshman, sophomore and junior years. I really liked it at GM, so I just kept going back. It was like, “Why would I go somewhere else if I really like working here?” After the last internship, they said, “Hey, do you want to come back?” and offered me a full-time job – and I accepted.
My Purdue Global experience was great. My professors had a lot of industry experience, which was what I was looking for.Luke Peterson
MS cybersecurity management, Purdue Global ’21
GM told me to give them a couple of options on what kind of job I wanted, and I wound up getting my top pick: manufacturing cybersecurity. When I started, my mentor and some other co-workers told me that if I wanted to get a master’s degree, the best time to do it would be right away. So that’s when I found Purdue Global.
The cool thing is GM has a tuition assistance program, where they supply the funding for you to use on classes you want to take. Each employee has individual development goals, so finishing my master’s was my individual development goal for the entire two years I was in the program.
Overall, my Purdue Global experience was great. My professors had a lot of industry experience, which was what I was looking for. They would constantly say they just came from their job working at the Department of Defense or some other government job, or something else in cybersecurity. You’d hear that and realize they do this day in and day out, which made me feel like what they were teaching was more applicable to what I do at work.
I also liked the flexibility of Purdue Global. Since I’m in manufacturing, sometimes I have to travel. One time I had to go to our plant in Wentzville, Missouri, for about a month to work night shift, but I was still able to complete my classes. I just emailed the professor to say I wouldn’t be able to attend the lectures but would watch the recording instead since class was in the middle of the time when I needed to sleep.
I worked in product cybersecurity in one of my first rotations before moving to my current position. Today, my job is focused on manufacturing, in data analytics. I did a lot of data analysis and risk analysis in my master’s program, and I use those skills that I got from Purdue Global every day.
I did a lot of data analysis and risk analysis in my master’s program, and I use those skills that I got from Purdue Global every day.Luke Peterson MS cybersecurity management, Purdue Global ’21