Student Spotlight: Jonathan Ennis

Name: Jonathan Ennis
Program: M.S. in Cybersecurity
Expected graduation year: 2018
Job title: Operations Chief
Company: Marine Air Control Group-28
LinkedIn profile

Tell us a bit about yourself.

I'm married with four children—one daughter, who is on active duty in the United States Air Force and is stationed in Grand Forks, North Dakota, and three sons. My wife and I will celebrate our 26th wedding anniversary this June. I am a 28-year veteran on active duty in the United States Marine Corps.

What made you want to explore an education in cybersecurity?

I enjoy the technical aspects of my job and working with computers. Most users just want things to work and aren't concerned with how they work, but I have always wanted to pull back the curtain and see what makes computers tick. Hardly a day goes by that some cybersecurity news isn't a front-page story, and with an increasing amount of our lives going online, or in the cloud, protecting our “digital selves” comes with the territory.

What is your academic background?

I attended the Defense Language Institute from 2006-2007, earning an associate degree in modern standard Arabic. I completed my undergraduate studies in computer science at Park University in 2010.

What do you plan to do after you graduate with your master’s in cybersecurity?

I retire from active duty in 2018 and hope to find a position in a security operations center or a cybersecurity analyst position.

How will this degree move you closer to your long-term career goals?

Syracuse University's M.S. in Cybersecurity program is top notch and very hands-on. The core classes and electives will give me a solid base of knowledge and experience to not only pass the technical interview, but also to perform well once I am hired.

Tell us about your experience collaborating with classmates in an online environment.

I have taken many different online classes, and Syracuse University’s format is the best experience so far. In many online classes, you never meet your instructor and communicate strictly via email and texting. Syracuse University’s class sizes are small, and you interact with your professors and classmates each week. It really is as close to a brick-and-mortar experience as you can get. 

Why did you choose to attend Syracuse University’s College of Engineering and Computer Science?

A friend mentioned that Syracuse University had a good online program, so I checked the website out and asked for more information. The recruiters were very friendly, answered all of my questions, and walked me through the process of applying. It has been a great experience.

How would you describe the online cybersecurity program to prospective students who are involved in the military?

Syracuse University’s online M.S. in Cybersecurity program, for me, has been a great experience. The classes don't interfere with my work schedule, and the instructors are really supportive of the military. So, if you're looking for a great education at the graduate level, consider giving Syracuse University online programs a try.