Jose Camacaro Latouche

When he logs in to his computer terminal in a glass-walled building that wouldn’t look out of place on Apple’s Cupertino campus, Jose Camacaro Latouche is doing more than just protecting tens of thousands of devices across Indiana University. As both an employee at IU’s University Information Technology Services and a student in its M.S. in cybersecurity program, he’s merging classroom training with real-world, hands-on experience. He’s learned, firsthand, the value of good cybersecurity.

“Preventing bad things from happening requires far less effort than dealing with the potential damage of that bad thing,” he said.

Latouche came to the United States to attend Broward College in Florida, knowing he wanted to pursue a career in information technology. He demonstrated a proclivity for IT early on, and found himself passionate about the endless potential a career in technology could offer. He earned both an associate and bachelor’s degree at Broward, and stayed at the school for a few years as a member of its IT staff.

“I was evaluating the possible career paths with my technical skills and my desire for advancement in computer security,” he said, recalling how he ended up in Bloomington. “The forecast for job growth and demand in both information technology and cybersecurity sectors were – and continue to be – exponentially intertwined, so I wanted to solidify my foundation with a Master’s degree toward that future.”

ISACA estimates nearly 60 percent of organizations around the world have unfilled cybersecurity or information security positions, and with cyberattacks on the rise, the demand for experts who can recognize, prevent, and respond to those threats is expected to continue growing.

While IU’s master’s program in cybersecurity is relatively new, the university’s history as a pioneer in information privacy and security has long been acknowledged.

The university is home to outstanding resources in cybersecurity, from renowned faculty in the Kelley School of Business, the School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering, and the Maurer School of Law, to cutting-edge work at the Center for Applied Cybersecurity Research. That wealth of opportunity is drawing in students from around the country.

On pace to graduate in 2019, Latouche said he’s already learned valuable skills that will in turn make him a valuable candidate on the job market one day.

“The program has helped me understand the policies and procedures that govern IT security,” he said. “It’s helped me understand better decision-making processes behind technology implementation, procurement, and review. And one day I know it’s going to help me take the first steps in moving from a highly technical role toward a more people-driven, policymaking, procedural framework that will provide guidelines and standards to fellow IT professionals to help them improve their cybersecurity.”

Latouche said the challenge of the Master’s program has been worth it.

“You’re exposed to such much here,” he said, “including courses on law, policy, and technology that provide a robust education that prepares you not only today, but for tomorrow as well. That’s something I couldn’t find anywhere else other than Indiana University.”