Q&A with Matt Vogt

President, Student Cybersecurity Association

Q: Did you attend NMU? If yes, what year did you graduate?

A: I currently attend NMU and plan to graduate in Winter 2022.


Q: What was/is your college major/minor?

A: I am a Computer Science Major and a Cybersecurity Minor.


Q: What job/role do you currently have?

A: I am a student worker at the UPCI. I am a SOC (Security Operations Center) Analyst and student supervisor. I also am a certification course instructor. Finally, I am a freelance security consultant that currently works for a few local businesses. 


Q: How do you use cyber safety and the training you received in your everyday life?

A: The internet is a large and scary place with many ways to expose your personal and financial information. Hackers and scammers are figuring out more effective and creative ways to target this information. Everyone should have cyber safety and basic cybersecurity training. Like it does with me, it will help them stay safe online.


Q: Why was the UPCI and training important to you?

A: The UPCI can offer valuable skills, training, and certificates in a field that is rapidly expanding. The training I have received from the Upper Peninsula Cybersecurity Institute has helped me land an internship with a local company. Through that internship, I managed to participate in a penetration test of a local company. My training has also helped propel my academic career. It has guided me as the president of NMU's Student Cybersecurity Association. 


Q: What is your affiliation to the UPCI?

A: I first started off working for the UPCI as a student worker. We were attempting to build up a Security Operations Center (SOC). A SOC monitors and manages internet connected devices to help identify, mitigate, and remedy cybersecurity incidents. I also work with local educators to help craft training and activities for local students. We want to introduce them to cybersecurity to at the very least, help them use technology with security in mind. I will also be teaching some certification courses for the UPCI this upcoming year.


Q: What do you hope the future is for cybersecurity and safety?

A: I always hear the phrase “you shouldn't be scared if you have nothing to hide”. Criminals, hackers, and governments alike love this phrase because it shows how people have a relaxed attitude towards their personal information, especially when it comes to the information posted online. I wish that the future of cybersecurity involves everyone. I hope that the average person will consider cyber safety when they use the internet, when they post that picture to Instagram, when they make that status update.


Q: Why would you recommend someone take a course?

A: The certification courses at the UPCI help prepare students, industry professionals, and those looking to make a career change all alike. There are certifications that help teach beginning to advanced concepts. Everyone can find something that will help propel them further in their cybersecurity career.


Q: What course(s) did you enroll in?

A: At the UPCI, I have enrolled and passed the CompTIA Security+ exam and am currently working towards finalizing my certification to be a Certified Ethical Hacker.


Q: What advice would you give to anyone interested in taking a course?

A: Use flashcards. In cybersecurity, there are a lot of different concepts, laws, regulations, and acronyms. Flashcards help. I personally use a digital flashcards program called Anki. It helps to keep track of which flashcards you know, which needs some work, and which you haven't seen in a while. It is a great way to ensure you actually learn what is on the flashcards.

Matt Vogt is a current NMU student who holds the position of President of the Cybersecurity Association. He is majoring in computer science and is an active individual in the classroom as well as outside of it.


Matt Vogt Headshot