Changing the Face of Cyberspace: Mary Lee Schimmel ’20 MS Cybersecurity

Oct. 22, 2019

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Mary Lee Schimmel

Only 20 percent of workers in the field of cybersecurity are female. Mary Lee Schimmel ‘20 MS Cybersecurity is ready to increase that number—beginning with herself.

Schimmel is no newbie to the world of cybersecurity. For more than 20 years, she has worked her way up the male-dominated ladder that is information technology, leading to her current position at Raytheon Missile Systems as compliance and risk assessor. 

In the Fourth Industrial Revolution, Schimmel sees a need for diversity in fighting increasing cyber threats. “The cyber threatscape is ever-evolving,” she says. “New technology is advancing at such a fast pace that we need a ready cybersecurity workforce to combat the threats.”

When news got out that Eller had a new online cybersecurity master’s program, Schimmel—who received her MBA from the Eller College in 1999—knew it would be a perfect fit. However, adding a master’s degree to the workload of a full-time job requires balance. Even though the work is challenging, she says, “once you get into a rhythm, it is not so daunting.”

Pursuing her Master of Science in Cybersecurity at Eller has expanded Schimmel’s support network and given her invaluable opportunities. She knows that continuing education is the best way to take a diverse approach to battling future cybersecurity threats, and finds Eller to be one of the best places to gain that knowledge.

When it comes to changing the face of cyberspace, the future is bright in Schimmel’s eyes. “STEM degrees in general need to be reinforced among women at a young age, and I see this happening more in our schools,” she says. “The culture is changing.”

Learn how you can be transformative in the rapidly growing field of cybersecurity with the Master’s in Cybersecurity.