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A DeVry Student Experience Story: Lynda Maurer

By Steve Smith

The information presented here is true and accurate as of the date of publication. DeVry’s programmatic offerings and their accreditations are subject to change. Please refer to the current academic catalog for details.
July 6, 2023

8 min read

In 2022, Lynda Maurer found herself at a crossroads. With mounting medical bills, the need to find a new career and a healthy amount of self-reflection, she began to take a hard look at her options.


Lynda lives in Lake Forest, California, in southern Orange County. She worked as a truck driver and instructor for 20 years. She enjoyed every minute until a series of injuries made it impossible for her to keep up with the job’s physical demands, which included loading, unloading and taking care of a rig “from the toe to the tail.”


Now, at an age when many people have long been settled into a career, this Asian-American female truck driver, a self-described “minority of a minority,” is embarking on a new career journey in a role once considered non-traditional for women: she’s preparing to pursue a career in cyber security. 

Why Cyber Security?

It was Lynda’s own experiences as a victim of cybercrime – identity theft, fraud and hacking that took place over a 17-year period – that first sparked her interest in cyber security. At first, she wanted to learn more about how to protect herself. But the more she learned about cybercrime’s effects on society and the information systems the economy is so dependent on, the more interested she became in cyber security as a career path. For Lynda, making the internet safer, especially for children, is a goal well worth chasing.

Lynda wants to apply her personal experiences, along with cyber security education, to the pursuit of a career as a digital forensic analyst or a cybercrimes investigator, helping enterprises safeguard their networks and systems against cybercriminals and disarming cyber bullies who seek to inflict psychological damage on impressionable youth.

She’s also motivated by how fast the cyber security field is growing. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment for information security specialists is expected to grow by 35% from 2021 to 2031, much faster than the average for all occupations, amounting to about 19,500 job openings in this occupation each year, on average, over this period.1 (This growth is projected on a national level and local growth will vary by location. This projection is not specific to DeVry graduates and may include earners at all stages of their careers.)

More Women Are Joining the Cyber Security Workforce

The tech industry is slowly beginning to catch up in advancing women in tech roles in the last few years. According to a recent cyber security workforce study, women account for only 24% of the overall cyber security workforce, but when you consider that a 2017 survey found only 11% of study respondents were women, this finding indicates an encouraging trend. The study also finds that women may be positioned to not only make great strides in cyber security but have been successful in achieving higher-level management and C-Suite roles in greater percentages than their male counterparts.

Further research suggests there is ample opportunity for companies to focus on career development for women in technical roles, such as in cyber security, and that many companies have taken the initiative to pair burgeoning talent with those who have more experience for training and mentorship. A combination of factors, including career development opportunities, structured processes for early-career promotions and support from senior colleagues, has proven effective in advancing and retaining women in technical careers, and could lead to more gender-diverse leadership teams.

Lynda’s Education Journey

Like many adult learners, Lynda never considered herself to be a traditional student. After struggling in elementary and middle school – especially with math – she felt like an outsider and dropped out of high school after freshman year. Determined to position herself to have more career choices and a stronger earning potential, she returned to school and earned a high school diploma while in her 30s. Many years and many more miles later, Lynda’s next chapter is beginning.

In July 2022, Lynda began exploring undergraduate certificates in cyber security and spoke with an Admissions Representative here at DeVry University. Lynda credits them with helping her make the decision to enroll, which she says was a very easy and motivating process.

Lynda had investigated cyber security-related certificate and degree programs at several other schools, but she says it was DeVry’s responsiveness and attention-to-detail that made her decision an easy one.

Another factor in her decision making was DeVry’s Women+Tech Scholars Program. Recognizing the degree to which women are underrepresented in the tech industry, the program was created in 2021 to give women the resources they need to break through in this digital field including networking with mentors, access to internships, reimbursement assistance2 and automatic enrollment in a CompTIA Basic Student membership, to name a few.

After learning more about the options available to her in the cyber security field, Lynda decided to make a long-term commitment. In September 2022, Lynda’s journey toward advancing her ambition in a cyber security career began with her enrollment in our online Undergraduate Certificate in Cyber Security. In this hands-on, tech-infused program, she will have the chance to see what it takes to defend networks, applications and systems against attacks from cybercriminals, learn how to build detailed security and contingency plans and learn disaster recovery tactics.

How is a 53-year-old who struggles with math able to take on this challenge? After working with our DeVry professors, Lynda says her long-suppressed interest in math has been reignited, something she thought would never happen. She describes the impact of their patient teaching and tutoring styles as “opening a door that had been shut for more than 40 years,” and adds, “I’m learning new things about math all the time now, and my next course is going to be Math 190 (Pre-Calculus), which is engineering. Now there’s something I never thought I’d hear myself saying in a million years!”

One of Lynda’s professors, Professor Strauch, shared her perspective on this in relationship to many adult learners she’s had the pleasure of working with, saying, “Because they struggled with math in the past, people tend to place self-imposed barriers between them and their education and natural talents. When we remove those barriers,” she continues, “great things happen. Past attitudes about math change, students turn things around and discover their own potential, and build confidence in order to propel themselves forward toward their goals.”

Professor Strauch isn’t the only member of DeVry’s faculty that Lynda feels supported by. She described how her professor for the 8-week Introduction to Operating Systems course went “above and beyond” to help her take the necessary steps to make her computer more secure. As someone who’s personally experienced cybercrime, Lynda was both impressed and reassured by the professor’s selfless commitment to a student’s success and, perhaps equally important for Lynda, peace of mind.

Lynda’s quick to share her excitement about several opportunities that have come her way at this early stage in her DeVry journey. She says a major resume make-over by one of our DeVry Career Advisors has produced leads to internship opportunities, and her professor for engineering and information technology introduced her to IEEE, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, where Lynda will soon be joining the Student Board.

“It’s so early in the process and already I’ve got these incredible women who are helping me to build my resume and find opportunities,” Lynda says, “it’s a win-win situation all around.”

Recommending DeVry

At this early stage in Lynda’s journey, is it fair to ask whether she’s referred friends or family members to DeVry? In fact, she has. Her very best friend, who lives in Los Angeles, will be enrolling soon. “I've had the very best experience that I could have hoped for,” Lynda says. “I'm extremely impressed with DeVry. I recommend DeVry literally to everyone. And I mean everyone, even my doctors! I'm happy to be here and I'm learning so much.”

The Road Ahead

Lynda’s journey is only just beginning, and even though she’s no longer on the road, she looks forward to putting in the hours and reaching important milestones in different ways. “For the first time in quite a while I’m excited about the road ahead and I feel so confident that I’m choosing a career that has great potential,” she says. “I also appreciate that the work will be much less physically demanding than my truck-driving career, so I feel like I could be doing this for quite a long time.”

Pursue Your Career in Cyber Security with DeVry

If you’re looking for a way to get started toward a cyber security career, we can help. Our online Undergraduate Certificate in Cyber Security can help prepare you to become a cyber defender, developing many fundamental skills to combat cybercrime and protect organizations and the sensitive data they manage against cyberattacks. Courses in our curriculum may even help you prepare to pursue important, industry-relevant certifications like CompTIA Security+, CompTIA Cloud+ and others. 

Whether changing careers or preparing for your first one, 100% online learning here at DeVry can help you to balance your commitment to education with work, family and other elements of your busy life.

Interested in getting started in our next session?


2 Excludes any certifications DeVry already provides financial assistance for via current programs.

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