Major: Computer and Information Technology (CIT)
After working in networking and telecommunications sales for 10 years, Marilyn Barrios decided to return to school in order to move into a sales engineering role.
She selected College of DuPage for its proximity to her home and the extensive course and program offerings. Barrios then discovered a new direction and a supportive environment that helped her succeed.
“Once I took a few networking classes, cybersecurity really piqued my attention,” she said. “I quickly saw the importance of being able to protect and secure sensitive data and ensuring its availability.
“COD advisors and faculty helped me decide on my path and always provided support and encouragement when things got tough.”
While at COD, Barrios received a Phi Theta Kappa scholarship and was a member of Alpha Beta Gamma. She earned an Associate in General Studies degree and was two classes short of a second degree in Computer and Information Technology when she had a baby.
After transferring to Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT), Barrios realized another benefit of first attending COD.
“At IIT I felt I had an advantage over other students due to my preparation received from COD. The solid networking background helped me to understand more complex concepts and made cybersecurity a logical choice for me,” she said.
Barrios finished her bachelor’s degree in Information Technology Management with a concentration in Networking Communications. She then completed her master’s degree in Information Technology specializing in Computer and Information Security. She currently is the head of Application Security for Motorola Solutions.
“It is an amazing opportunity that has pushed me to grow and get a glimpse of what I am capable of,” she said. “My scope is global with a focus of ensuring that our engineering and development teams are trained on and implementing the latest cybersecurity best practices. It’s exciting and meaningful work!”
Her advice to students considering the CIT program at COD is to just go for it.
“You will learn important topics and concepts by using a hands-on, practical approach,” she said. “You also will have supportive teachers who care and want to make sure you understand and learn the material. Tony Chen and Clyde Cox were instrumental to my path and development.”