Student, BA in Security Studies
Justin Sallese is a self-professed "military brat" who has lived in multiple locations such as California, Hawaii, Maryland, Mississippi, New Jersey, Nebraska, and Texas. He currently lives in Austin, Texas where he works in IT as an escalation engineer at AlienVault. When he's not working or studying, he loves going to concerts and watching horror movies.
Justin expects to graduate in 2020.
Why he enrolled in the program:
When I decided I wanted to work on obtaining a 4-year degree, I wanted a degree that would not just help further my career but one that was also interesting to me. To me, learning about issues such as international security is incredibly interesting, especially where it crosses into my preferred domain of cyber security.
His experience with online learning:
Many years ago I tried WGU’s online program but a lack of structure made me decide WGU’s style was not for me.
I really like UTEP’s approach to online training as the breaking the semester into two 7-week blocks helps me stay focused. If I’m in a core curriculum class that doesn’t interest me then I’m able to focus on being done with the class in a few weeks. On the other hand, the classes I find interesting, such as Cyberspace & National Security, are over before I know it.
I hope to be able to use this degree to advance my cyber security career. As cyber security continues to grow, there will be a need for people who can take complex issues and condense that information so that decision makers can make informed decisions. I believe that this degree will give me the tools to be able to excel in such a role.
On the support he has received as an online student:
When I’ve reached out to professors for assistance in the class I’ve received the help that I need to succeed.
On whether he would enroll in this program again if he had to do things over:
My only regret is that I didn’t sign up for this program sooner. The subject matter is interesting, the professors are knowledgeable and approachable, and I believe this degree will help further my career.
What he would say to prospective online students:
This program will help you develop your analytical skillset so that any job that requires this skillset will benefit from this degree. Cyber security, law enforcement, to risk analysis, all of these fields require a strong analytical capability that you will shape and develop over the course of this program.