(May 2, 2019) -- Meet Giovanni Serrato. He will be walking the stage this May as part of the first graduating class of UTSA’s nationally ranked online B.B.A. in Cyber Security program.
In certain ways, Serrato exemplifies the typical student attracted to this program, which launched in the fall of 2017 as UTSA’s first fully online degree program. He is from San Antonio, he already had a full-time job and needed the flexibility an online degree program provides in order to advance in his career.
“What stands out about Giovanni is his tenacious drive and grit to graduate as soon as he can,” shared Student Success Coach Kelly Pena Lint. “He has shown the ability to stand strong and succeed while being pulled in many directions, all while remaining driven to do more.”
Serrato’s interest in the cyber field started in high school, where he participated in the CyberPatriot National Youth Cyber Defense Competition on behalf of NISD’s Business Careers High School. Upon graduating high school, he started an undergraduate degree in computer science at UT Austin but felt a lack of direction in a program that didn’t allow him to advance his knowledge in cyber security. After three semesters he left Austin, returned home to San Antonio, and took on various part-time tech positions until he landed an internship in threat vulnerability at Rackspace in May 2016. This solidified his desire to work in the cyber security field. After Rackspace he won successive cyber internships at Frost Bank and Cisco.
Despite these incredible career-building opportunities, the fact that he never finished his degree lingered in the back of his mind.
In April 2018, he was offered his first full-time job as a cyber security analyst at PwC. Around that time, he heard about UTSA’s fully online cyber security degree. He knew UTSA’s strong reputation in cyber security and jumped at the chance to enroll.
“I was gaining momentum in my career and didn’t want to have to put it on hold to attend school, so UTSA’s online program was the perfect solution for me,” said Serrato, who now works as a staff consultant in the cyber threat management division of Ernst & Young. “The concept of doing the work on my own time was appealing both to me and my employer.”
Serrato and his classmates in the online cyber security program benefit from the same curriculum taught by the same expert faculty as students in the residential program.
“My experience in the program has been great,” said Serrato. “I have been pleasantly surprised by how easy it is to have exchanges with the professors. They respond quickly to our questions and many of them are still working in the field so they bring a lot of real world examples into the classroom.”
In addition to advancing his career, Serrato is paving the way as the first in his family to graduate from college. Motivated by his journey, his younger brother and sister are now also attending college.
“Giovanni’s story perfectly illustrates how UTSA is serving a critical workforce need in and beyond San Antonio,” said UTSA Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Kimberly Andrews Espy. “Just as expected, we are seeing that many more students, particularly working professionals, are able to access and benefit from UTSA’s formidable cyber security expertise.”
UTSA’s cyber security programs have been ranked No. 1 in the nation, and the program has been named a Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance/Cyber Defense Education by the National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security. With more than 150 students currently enrolled, the online B.B.A. in Cyber Security is offered through the UTSA College of Business and supported administratively by UTSA Online Programs in the division of Academic Innovation.
Celebrate UTSA’s 50th Anniversary and share social media posts about the 50th using the hashtag #UTSA50.
Organized by faculty and staff from the College for Health, Community and Policy, the third Texas Latino Policy Symposium convenes academics, practitioners and activists from across the state to engage in discussions that examin the need of our Latino population and the impact of COVID-19 in Texas. The goal of this symposium is to formulate policy responses to propose to the Texas legislature that redress the disproportionate lasting impact the pandemic has had on Latino families.Virtual Event
This panel will discuss hispanic serving institutions and their role in serving students and their communities. Sandra Garza, PhD,, assistant professor and coordinator of the Mexican American Studies Program at Northwest Vista College; Paul J. Rodriguez, Ed.D., project director for PIVOT for Academic Success at UTSA; Erin E. Doran, Ed.D., assistant professor of higher education at Iowa State University; Andres Puente, sports marketing major at UTSA and Lilianna Saldaña, PhD., associate professor and program coordinator for the UTSA Mexican American Studies Program will be a part of the panel.Virtual Event
Join Excelencia in Education online for the national announcement of the 2020 Examples of Excelencia. Selected programs in colleges, universities and community-based organizations across the country will be recognized for their positive impact on Latino student success.Virtual Event
All students and employees are able to get their flu shot and other vaccines at the Main Campus from October 6 to 7 and at the Downtown Campus on October 8, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information on the clinic and the influenza virus, visit the Roadrunner Return page.Denman Room (SU 2.01.28)
In this gathering hosted by the Office of Inclusive Excellence, attendees will discuss the potential role restorative justice has in anti-racism work. The event will also focus on how people of color persevere in hyper racialized white systems.Virtual Event
The University of Texas at San Antonio is dedicated to the advancement of knowledge through research and discovery, teaching and learning, community engagement and public service. As an institution of access and excellence, UTSA embraces multicultural traditions and serves as a center for intellectual and creative resources as well as a catalyst for socioeconomic development and the commercialization of intellectual property - for Texas, the nation and the world.
To be a premier public research university, providing access to educational excellence and preparing citizen leaders for the global environment.
We encourage an environment of dialogue and discovery, where integrity, excellence, inclusiveness, respect, collaboration and innovation are fostered.
UTSA is a proud Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) as designated by the U.S. Department of Education.
The University of Texas at San Antonio, a Hispanic Serving Institution situated in a global city that has been a crossroads of peoples and cultures for centuries, values diversity and inclusion in all aspects of university life. As an institution expressly founded to advance the education of Mexican Americans and other underserved communities, our university is committed to ending generations of discrimination and inequity. UTSA, a premier public research university, fosters academic excellence through a community of dialogue, discovery and innovation that embraces the uniqueness of each voice.