Speed is no issue for Yukyung Jung, who rapidly completed the SANS Technology Institute's undergraduate certificate program, earning the honor of being the program's first graduate.
Born in South Korea and a U.S. citizen since 2016, Yukyung is a military veteran of the Republic of Korea Army and the U.S. Army. Today he works for Google as a cloud system engineer through EPAM Systems, Inc., a leading global product development, digital platform engineering, and digital and product design agency serving customers in more than 30 countries across North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia. Additionally, Yukyung is a Red Team Member at Synack, Inc., where he employs network penetration testing and reverse engineering to identify exploitable vulnerabilities in networks, systems, hosts and network devices for Synack clients.
Here, Yukyung talks to us about his experience with the SANS.edu program and offers advice to those considering a similar path.
Q. Prior to attending the SANS Technology Institute, what was your educational background?
A. While enlisted in the U.S. Army, I earned a Bachelor of Science in Software Development and Security from the University of Maryland University College (UMUC) and a Master of Science in Cybersecurity and Information Assurance from Western Governors University (WGU).
Q. Why did you choose to apply to the SANS Technology Institute and how did SANS differ from other programs you participated in?
A. I knew I wanted to continue with my education in cyber security. My previous university experience didn't offer the hands-on, practical learning I was seeking. I took a SANS course SEC 760 in 2018 and loved it. When my instructor introduced the class to the SANS Technology Institute's newly launched undergraduate program, I was hooked. I knew I would get hands-on, rigorous technical training that's not available anywhere else. By taking that initial SANS course, I was able to get a good feel for what I could expect from the undergraduate program and I was not disappointed.
Q. What did you find most valuable about the program?
A. The SANS Technology Institute is well recognized in the cyber security industry. It gets the attention of prospective employers and that makes it valuable when you're out there seeking employment. Also, the program starts with a terrific introductory class which gives you the basics of cyber security that will serve you now and throughout your career. For people who want to get into the cyber security field but have no previous experience, I would say that this class is invaluable. And for those who have a basic understanding already, it's a great refresher.
Q. How has your SANS Technology Institute training helped your career?
A. My SANS training helps me excel at my job each and every day. What I have learned while enrolled in the SANS Technology Institute I will bring with me throughout my career. I have a foundation that sets me up for great success.
Q. What advice would you offer someone considering applying to the SANS Technology Institute?
A. If you're new to cyber security and looking for a way to break into the field, I highly recommend SANS Technology Institute's undergraduate certificate program. You'll learn all of the fundamentals and get the hands-on experience that's so important when it's time to look for a job. This type of real-world education is not readily available at "traditional" colleges and universities.