Lawrence Larson refused to let the layoffs that hit his tech company, where he’d been working for 14 years, get him down. The 39 year old had been thinking about going back to school, and now that he wasn’t working full time, he enrolled at Wright College.

His pursuit of an associate degree at Wright led him to City Colleges of Chicago’s first cyber security training initiative. The program was co-sponsored by the U.S. Department of Defense and lasted five and a half months. Thanks to the cyber security boot camp, he obtained an internship at a leading insurance company.

“There’s no question that without the cyber security training I received at Wright, I wouldn’t be where I am today,” said Lawrence. “It was a very challenging experience, but clearly it was worth it.”

And things got better—starting in March of this year (2018), Lawrence works full-time in the Cyber Security Intelligence & Operations area of that company, which is one of the largest insurance providers in the country.

Lawrence’s plan includes finishing his degree at Wright, which he expects to do by the end of 2018, and then transferring to an online program at the University of Illinois at Springfield, where he’ll focus on Information Systems Security. After that, he’ll work towards a master’s degree.

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