Michael Allmon: Cybersecurity Pathway


In a career field experiencing exponential growth, Michael Allmon is gaining an edge. The Ohio Northern computer engineering student recently passed a cybersecurity professional certification exam typically taken by IT professionals with two or more years of industry experience. Allmon passed the exam on his first attempt.

“This certification gives me a boost, and it means I won’t be limited to entry-level positions upon graduation,” explained Michael, a senior from Decatur, Ind.

“Successfully completing the CompTIA Security+ certification exam as a college student is a wonderful accomplishment,” said Heath LeBlanc, Ph.D., associate professor of electrical and computer engineering and department chair.

“ONU’s College of Engineering is well known for producing industry-ready engineers,” he continued. “Our cybersecurity concentration is another example of how ONU aims to prepare our graduates for success in a critically important field.”

Michael standing in front of 'we are ONU engineers' wall sign

Every industry needs cybersecurity professionals to protect networks and data from criminals. Cybercrime Magazine projects that there will be 3.5 million job openings in the cybersecurity field by 2025.

ONU students who major in computer science, computer engineering, or electrical engineering can add a cybersecurity concentration to their major. Courses such as Hardware Security and Trust, Advanced Network Security, and Security and Vulnerability Testing provide academic preparation for a wide range of careers. Students could find employment in vulnerability management, cyber operations, business continuity, cyber architecture, cloud security, and more.

Michael first became interested in computer engineering when he took a programming class in high school. He came to ONU because he appreciated ONU’s beautiful campus and the innovative learning labs and spaces in the new James Lehr Kennedy Engineering building.

Photo of Michael working on his laptop

“The professors at ONU are really easy to talk with and they are invested in your success,” he added.

At ONU, Michael played on the Esports team and joined the Alpha Sigma Phi fraternity. He also completed internships at Franklin Electric working on computer installation and file management, and at Brotherhood Mutual Insurance in the departments of business intelligence and quality assurance.

These hands-on experiences, combined with ONU’s rigorous coursework, allowed him to excel on the CompTIA Security+ certification exam with minimal review. He’s already talked with several company representatives at ONU career fairs who’ve been impressed that he received the certification as an undergraduate student.

“Cybersecurity is a very large field, covering everything from the physical aspects like keycards and cameras, to firewalls and more,” said Michael. “I am not sure where I will end up yet after graduation, but I feel like ONU has set me up to succeed wherever I land.”