Ian Torres discovers his path to financial independence with AlamoONLINE

September 23, 2022

AlamoONLINE Communications

Ian Torres graduated high school at the onset of the pandemic but quickly realized his situation was vastly different from his imagined college life. He worked long hours at an entry-level retail job, lived at home with his parents, and eventually accepted that he had to make a change if he wanted to live a financially independent life.

He aspired to obtain his college degree and move up the career ladder but faced a difficult question.

How can he pay for his college education without getting into massive debt?

Ian searched for ways to overcome his financial barriers and learned about the opportunities Alamo Colleges offer its students. The affordable tuition rates, internship opportunities, and the transferability of credits motivated him to enroll in the Information Assurance and Cybersecurity online program at Northwest Vista College

He shares, “You don’t have to spend as much to get the same amount of credits; all their courses transfer to most universities in Texas. For the most part, your transfer credits go anywhere.”

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Ian discovered that AlamoONLINE allows students to make choices that meet their needs. He was looking for a college that would enable him to have the flexibility to mold his coursework around his work schedule. This benefit allowed him to complete his prerequisites online and finish his last courses on a hybrid schedule. 

The increasing demand for cybersecurity professionals fueled his desire to join the workforce in a high-demand field. Ian shares, “I was looking for an opportunity to expand my career options, and I see college as a way to get a higher-paying job.”  

During his time at Northwest Vista College, Ian had the opportunity to expand his cybersecurity skills and add value to his resume. Computer Science Professor and Program Coordinator at Northwest Vista College Robert Yeater shares, “Ian was one of our top students while enrolled in the cyber security program. He has taken advantage of great instructors, those with industry experience and who serve at high levels in our local government in securing and protecting sensitive data.”

Yeater explains, “The cyber security program allows students to take advantage of first understanding basic network infrastructure and how packets move through a network. Subsequently, students learn how to monitor, detect, and prevent malicious traffic from entering networks.” 

Ian learned the technical skills to join the most in-demand global field. He attributes his success to the opportunities provided by Northwest Vista College, where he completed his associate’s degree in May 2022. 

He is currently attending Texas A&M San Antonio to complete his bachelor’s degree in Information Technology with a concentration in Cybersecurity while working part-time as an Information Technology Lab Technician at Northwest Vista College.  

Ian feels he has not reached his final professional destination and has plans to continue with his master’s degree. Northwest Vista College allowed him to expand his horizons. He hopes to one day land a job working for a branch of the government or work for a big tech company like Microsoft or Google. 

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