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Prepping for a Cybersecurity Career

Nokwa Sibanda

Nokwa Sibanda

The last six years have been a whirlwind of academic and professional achievements for alumna Nokwa Sibanda.

She moved from her native Zimbabwe to Delaware in 2017, and immediately enrolled at Wilmington University. Since then, she has earned two academic degrees from the University and accumulated an impressive list of credentials in preparation for a career in cybersecurity — a profession where women, and especially  women of color, are a distinct minority. A recent study reveals that only 24 percent of cybersecurity professionals are women, and only 9 percent identify as Black.

Sibanda earned a bachelor’s in Health Services/Allied Health/Health Sciences in 2020, and served as student body president for two of her four years as an undergraduate. She also was a commencement speaker. In 2022, she enrolled in the master’s program in Information Systems Technologies with a concentration in Information Assurance, and received that degree in April of this year.

Sibanda says she found a sense of community at WilmU. “Everybody is so supportive and helpful on your journey, the dean and the chairs and everyone,” she says. “And in my time as student body president, I obviously got to engage with a lot of people. It was so easy to engage and connect with people.” 

“Everybody [at WilmU] is so supportive and helpful on your journey.” — Nokwa Sibanda

While pursuing her master’s, she found time to acquire these certifications: Master of Science in Information Systems Technologies – Information Assurance; IBM Cybersecurity Analyst; Amazon Web Services AWS Fundamentals Specialization; and Splunk Enterprise Learning (Splunk Enterprise is a data analytics platform). 

In March, she used a scholarship from Women in Cybersecurity (WiCyS) to attend the group’s conference in Denver. The WiCyS conference is the premier event to recruit, retain and advance women in cybersecurity. She also participated in two virtual internships last fall — with Mastercard and SAP.

All of her hard work paid off in June, when Sibanda joined SAP, one of the world’s leading producers of software for management of business processes, as a cybersecurity engineer. 

Of her burgeoning career, Sibanda says: “As technology evolves, the importance of cybersecurity and compliance will receive increasing emphasis, and I’m excited to be a part of this dynamic field.”

— Bob Yearik

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