Career change leads college graduate to Westmoreland for additional degree

Date Published: March 08, 2018

Matt MchenryMatthew McHenry has always been interested in computers and technology, but he chose a different path when he first went to college.

The 27-year-old Greensburg native earned a bachelor’s degree in Sports Management at Slippery Rock University in 2013.

“Hindsight is 20/20 and I realized that computers was definitely where I wanted to be,” McHenry said.

He made the bold decision to return to college in May 2017 and began pursuing an associate degree in Computer Information Security at Westmoreland County Community College.

“The hardest thing was leaving a full-time job … to go back and do something that you want to do, even though you’re not sure what’s going to come out of it,” McHenry said.

Since he is still paying on the student loans from his first degree, one of the main reasons McHenry chose Westmoreland was its affordability. He had also heard from friends that the professors take a hands-on approach and draw from their real-world experience, which McHenry said is extremely beneficial.

“When I go to class, I’m not just sitting in front of a book or computer screen. We’re actually doing stuff that we can apply in the real world.”

McHenry hopes to obtain an entry-level job in his new field, and he is considering a second bachelor’s degree. He said that if he had to do it all over again, he would have come to Westmoreland the first time.

“It would have helped me to understand what I really wanted to do,” McHenry said.

McHenry recommends Westmoreland to first-time college students and anyone seeking additional education because “the atmosphere is very friendly and very inviting.”

“Don’t be afraid to go back to school and get more education,” he said. “Everyone here wants you to succeed and be able to get to the next step.”

Many of the courses Matthew is taking are also offered in Computer Technology, which is the Program of the Month for March and is closely related to the Computer Information Security program.