Matt Hollcraft is the executive director and chief information security officer at Maxim Integrated. Hollcraft is responsible for cyber security, data protection and information governance for the company. He earned a bachelors’ degree in information systems security from the American Military University. He is certified in criminal investigations, information privacy and risk information systems. He has decided to return to school to earn a master’s degree and shares his educational path.

(Photo Courtesy of Matt Hollcraft)

(Photo Courtesy of Matt Hollcraft)

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Why are you pursuing a master’s degree?

“The top jobs within the security industry require an understanding of many facets of business operations, and a master’s degree will help me collaborate with senior-level colleagues. Even with more than 20 years’ experience in technology, the top leadership positions require more formal education and that’s why I am pursuing my master’s.”

What would you tell someone who is considering returning to school to earn a master’s degree?

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“Going back to school is a big decision. Consider everything going on in your life – family, work, career goals, friends, hobbies – and how returning to school will affect your life and career. Then, look for programs that will help you fit school into your everyday life. Nowadays, there are programs to fit almost any schedule, area of interest and tuition budget. And I’ve found that many professors fairly understand that you are likely a busy person with other responsibilities. But, the point is to find a way to get it done.”

What is the biggest challenge you have faced so far in pursuing your master’s degree?

“My biggest challenge in pursuing a master’s degree so far has been balancing my busy work schedule with coursework. As with many people, I have work and family responsibilities to juggle along with a busy schedule at school. I’ve been lucky that my wife and managers have been extremely supportive.”

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Robin D. Everson is a native Chicagoan who resides in Dallas, Texas. Her appreciation for art, food, wine, people and places has helped her become a well-respected journalist. A life-long lover of education, Robin seeks to learn and enlighten others about culture. You can find her work at Examiner.com