Transforming careers

Matt started his journey with a 15-year career in insurance. Recognizing the significance of cybersecurity across industries, Matt made the career shift through Lighthouse Labs' full-time Cybersecurity Bootcamp, driven by the hands-on approach and the industry's increasing relevance. The Bootcamp transformed him, landing him a Senior Compliance Specialist role at Neo Financial, where he manages regulatory compliance and contributes to strategic projects. Matt’s industry knowledge of the BSFI space is an asset in his new cybersecurity role. He values using his diverse expertise daily and looks forward to further growth in the tech sector, advising others to embrace tech career transitions for the abundant opportunities they offer.

What were you up to before Lighthouse Labs?

Before Lighthouse Labs, I had spent many years working through different post-secondary schooling and career paths. I had been working on and off in the insurance industry for 15 years in account management and sales until I found myself with an opportunity to change my career path and dive head-first into a new experience.

What led you to want to take a tech Program, and why did you choose Lighthouse Labs?

I already had a background in tech and knew that technical experience would be extremely valuable as we move further into using technology in every industry and our everyday lives. Cybersecurity is in the news more and more as the new "sexy" thing, and quite an emerging sector for businesses of all sizes and industries. I thought I would see if there were any programs that would allow me to learn about cybersecurity without the need to be in a classroom all day, and found Lighthouse Labs. The other deciding factor was the expedited bootcamp. I didn't want to have to spend years in a program to learn, so Lighthouse Labs’ expedited Cybersecurity Bootcamp was the best fit for me.

Tell us about your experience with the Cybersecurity Bootcamp.

Personally, I really enjoyed the Program. I thought the content was very well thought out and extremely relevant to general industry practices. I loved how hands-on the Program was, with modules that taught the content but also had us use the skills we learned in a hands-on virtual environment so we could try without fear of breaking anything in a real system. Selfishly, I also liked the Governance, Risk, and Compliance (GRC) component that, although too small for my liking, was influential in changing my career path for the better.

One of the challenges that I ran into most was how many different instructors and mentors we had from different backgrounds. Obviously, some were instrumental in educating at the top levels. Still, others seemed like they needed more confidence when teaching the content, and with that, it was difficult to learn the concepts, especially in a remote environment.

How did the Cybersecurity Bootcamp impact your career?

The Bootcamp single-handedly changed my career path for the better. As I mentioned, I learned about the GRC component of cybersecurity and found that it was conveniently similar to my previous roles. I was able to use some of my past experience to complement this new knowledge. I started my position with Neo Financial about 1 month before finishing the cybersecurity course, and I believe that I was able to supplement my resume with cybersecurity and compliance education, which helped me to be a great fit for this position.

Talk to us about your new job! Explain a little of what you do now.

I work as a Sr. Compliance Specialist for Neo Financial. I manage the day-to-day regulatory compliance testing and ensure that we follow all of the applicable regulators for our company. I get to understand how the business works, work on new projects, and consult the teams on the best path forward for their projects. Working in compliance, every day is a new surprise. I get to work on projects that others may never get a chance to work on in their careers, and some other projects that are unique and never seen before in Canada.

What do you appreciate most about your new career or what are you most hopeful for moving forward?

I really appreciate the opportunity to learn a whole new side of business that I had never been a part of before. The opportunity for me to be a part of new projects and get to work on things that I could never have even imagined is my reason for waking up in the morning and being so excited about every day at work. I also really appreciate that my job allows me to use my education from several different areas all in one place. I get to use technical, scientific, business, and cybersecurity knowledge daily, which has allowed me to make the best decisions I can in my position.

What’s next? Tell us about you and your future career goals.

Right now, I am very happy where my career has gone and where I am. I don't have any plans to change that in the near future. I will continue to use my skills and education to assist in making myself and my team the best they can be, and I look forward to gaining more experience in the tech and finance industry. I will be upskilling with certifications and other supplemental educational opportunities to ensure I always have the most up-to-date knowledge!

What advice would you give someone who wants to transition into a tech career?

Take the leap. It doesn't matter what your background is or what kind of education you have. There will always be career opportunities in tech as long as the industry continues to grow exponentially as it has. As the world continues to move into areas with more technical innovation, there will be a need for more technical people of all backgrounds. Don't be afraid to try something new. It could be the perfect career for you that you never knew existed!

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Ready to find a career in the cybersecurity market like Matt?

At Lighthouse Labs, we're here to help you gain the skills for your next role. Our Cybersecurity Bootcamp is the quickest way to launch a career in cybersecurity. We offer an online 12-week, full-time, or 30-week, part-time Bootcamp option. The Bootcamp includes on-demand mentorship and career services you can benefit from for LIFE. At the end of the Bootcamp, you'll have the tools and skills to level up your resume and find a career in cybersecurity.

This and other success stories were supported by the ICT Boost initiative, funded by the Government of Canada's Sectoral Workforce Solutions Program (SWSP).