Teacher Feature: Cybersecurity Professor Tobi West

Interested in learning Cybersecurity? Check out this teacher feature with Professor Tobi West. Due to the cybersecurity field being in need of future professionals - we are highlighting Professor West this week.


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It's been all over the news and will most likely continue to be - cybersecurity - is in high demand. They are hiring and can't keep hiring fast enough. Let's take a moment to break down exactly what cybersecurity is. According to CISA, which is the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency,  “Cybersecurity is the art of protecting networks, devices, and data from unauthorized access or criminal use and the practice of ensuring confidentiality, integrity, and availability of information.” This definition packs a punch and gives us a solid idea as to what the career entails. Every time you use your iPhone or laptop your information is at risk of being stolen

Cybersecurity experts and software are there to safeguard your information. Information security analysts are the gatekeepers or security guards of information systems. It has been reported by the bureau of labor statistics that Cybersecurity analysts have a median salary of $103,590. That's a great median salary that should entice you to explore the field.

You might be wondering how you can get involved with Cybersecurity?

Not sure if it will be right for you? Then you can always baby step in with a class and start out with a certificate, then get another and another, and eventually, those certificates can become a  degree. You can work in the field while finishing school! And you can do it at your own pace on YOUR TERMS. Are you very much into software and computers? Then, I would highly suggest checking out Cybersecurity. 

Check out the following conversation that took place with Professor West,

a cybersecurity professor at Coastline:

Max: How long have you been teaching and how long at Coastline?

Professor West: I’ve been teaching since 2014 and I’ve been at Coastline since 2015. I started teaching part-time at Cal Poly Pomona after finishing my master’s degree there in 2013.


Check out Coastline Cybersecurity!



Max: What do you love about teaching cybersecurity at Coastline College?

Professor West: Our students come from a wide variety of backgrounds and experience levels. I enjoy helping my students find their pathway to achieve their career goals in cybersecurity. It is fun to hear each student’s excitement about their new journey in cybersecurity.



Max: What made you interested in teaching Cybersecurity?

Professor West: Years ago, I became interested in crime scene forensics and technology. After a couple of years of self-study, I went back to school to work on my bachelor’s degree. From there I went straight into the master’s program at Cal Poly Pomona because they offered Computer Forensics courses. After graduating, I was happy to get to teach the same Computer Forensics course that I had taken.  



Max: What would you say to students who are interested in Cybersecurity? 

Professor West: We need you! Our nation’s security depends on maintaining defenses for our critical infrastructure. There is a shortage of diverse and cyber-ready people to help organizations protect consumer data, intellectual property, and critical infrastructure. This is the best time to get started in a cybersecurity career. 


Coastline Cybersecurity Apprenticeship


Max: What kinds of careers can be had in cybersecurity? 

Professor West: Check out www.cyberseek.org on the Interactive map. There are many pathways and a variety of options. Cybersecurity has everything from technical analysis, monitoring, hardware, software management, to sales and legal work. Every industry needs cybersecurity. 




Max: What can you tell students about your courses?    

Professor West: Coastline’s cybersecurity courses are available online to suit your schedule. What’s different about Coastline? Caring and experienced faculty that really understand your learning journey. Free certification exam vouchers for CompTIA and AWS are also available. 24x7 access to NetLab for hands-on practice and other test preparation resources to give you the opportunity to be successful.

Max: What is CompTIA certification?    

Professor West: CompTIA certification is industry-recognized certification that learners complete to demonstrate their knowledge of fundamental and technical skills.
AWS is Amazon Web Services. Our courses help students prepare for careers where they will configure cloud computing and cloud networking environments for organizations.
NetLab is a remote lab environment that students can connect to using a web browser. They complete course assignments that mimic real-world work environments. Students can develop and practice hands-on technical skills in NetLab without having to travel to a server room or install complex networks on their own computer.




Max: What can you tell us about the Coastline Cybersecurity apprenticeship? 

Professor West: Coastline’s cybersecurity apprenticeship program is a great opportunity to gain on-the-job training and education in the classroom. Coastline College is a registered apprenticeship program.


Enroll at Coastline Today!



Max: How did you get started in cybersecurity? 

Professor West: I was working for a medical-legal firm that collected medical records for law firms. After managing the Order Entry department for a couple of years and helping to develop and test their proprietary software, I was promoted to the Systems Analyst role, which later led to the Applications Project Manager role.


The ongoing Teacher Feature Series at Coastline College highlights and showcases our great faculty members. Professor West gave us strong insight into Cybersecurity at Coastline College. Stay tuned for our next teacher feature by checking Coastline College social media. 



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