Q&A with Katrina Netzel

Q. What was your former career?

I was a middle school and high school science teacher for eight years. My favorite part of teaching was creating engaging learning experiences for students, so I went into STEM curriculum development and developed inquiry-based learning resources for the next two years. I have also edited scientific articles to get them ready for publication, which has let me participate in the scientific process in my own way.


Q. Why did you choose UPCI at NMU? What interests you about cybersecurity?

The T in STEM (Technology) can be challenging to put into practice. I feel the UPCI is doing great work in making technology learning more visible and approachable for students and teachers by connecting learners with the resources and guidance they need to advance their knowledge and skills. 


Q. How do you use cybersecurity in your everyday life? 

I'm actually pretty new to the world of cybersecurity education, but I'm having a lot of fun learning! Like many people, I use cybersecurity when creating passwords, maintaining my devices (including using security software), and protecting myself from online threats like phishing, malware, and identity theft.


Q. Why do you recommend cybersecurity? What advice would you give to students considering a career in cybersecurity?

I think everyone should know the basics of cybersecurity to use in their daily lives, but a career in cybersecurity might be right for a student who enjoys creatively solving complex problems and using analytical skills to help people. There is a wide variety of cybersecurity careers that may be considered future-proof, from ethical hacking and penetration testing to malware analysis and digital forensics.


Q. Anything else you'd like to share?

Anyone who is interested in cybersecurity should just try it! There are plenty of free courses available, including from the UPCI, so it's a relatively low commitment that could lead to a potential career or, at the very least, improving cybersecurity in your own life.

Katrina Netzel