Chris Bucolo is a senior manager in the security and compliance practice at Sikich LLP. Bucolo received his bachelor's degree in government and law from Lafayette College. He went on to earn a Master of Business Administration at St. Joseph's University. Sikich is an advisory, accounting, technology and managed services firm, and was ranked by Accounting Today as one of the top 35 CPA firms in the nation.
What kind of degree is needed to secure a job in your field?
"Many jobs in the cyber-security field require a degree in information technology or management information systems. In lieu of a technical degree, it is important to have strong work experience in information technology.
Even in jobs such as sales and relationship management that do not require a technical degree, it is important to have at least some exposure to information technology courses, especially those that include an emphasis on data security. Technology is proliferating in all areas of our lives, and companies need their employees to understand technology and its applications. This is why we are seeing more degree programs offering a focus on information technology and data security."
What's the most challenging aspects of your job?
"The most challenging aspect of my job is also what makes it so interesting and exciting: the speed at which things are changing. Security threats are evolving quickly, and so are the solutions people are devising to combat them. For instance, the commercial application of biometrics has gained a significant amount of traction very rapidly. It may or may not help to replace passwords, but at a minimum, there is a growing belief in the industry that it will become an integral part of a solid data security posture. Add in the difficulties of securing mobile applications and devices, and you have an interesting challenge."
After graduation, how hard was it to transition into the working world?
"The transition from college to work was not very difficult for me, for three reasons: First, my education prepared me well, and I was ready to start down my professional path. Second, I had the fortune to have good managers in my first few years who looked out for me, mentored me and gave me good advice. Third, I quickly realized I enjoyed working with clients and building relationships. I knew I had found a home and vocation."
What advice would you give someone who is pursuing a career in your field?
"Cyber-security is a great field with a bright future. There is an increased focus – from governments, companies and consumers -- on the need to better protect sensitive personal information. My best advice for those thinking about entering the field is to become a student of data security and compliance, as it is always evolving. Network with as many people as possible, and keep up with social media to do your best to understand new, fast-moving developments. If you like a fast-paced, ever-changing environment, this field could be right for you."
Christina Thompson is a freelance writer living in Philadelphia. She reports on various topics such as: Social Media, Local Events, Entertainment, Food and Drink and more. Her work can be found at http://firstsendmedia.com/
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