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Upskill for IT Success at Any Stage and Any Age

Philip A Jenkins Sr

Philip A Jenkins Sr

26+ years

Security Analyst Architect

Security Analyst Architect

Gridiron IT

Senior Consultant

Senior Consultant


I’ve had the opportunity to explore a wide variety of professional roles. I’m 61 years old and have been practicing martial arts for the past 40 years. In addition to being inducted into the Hall of Fame of the Eastern United States International Martial Arts Association for a lifetime service of over 30 years, I still teach martial arts twice a week. I also worked as a DJ for a short period of time.

Having worked for over 20 years for Xerox Corporation in different technical and training positions, I found myself wanting to update my understanding of the emerging Public cloud landscape. I chose Simplilearn’s Post Graduate Program (PGP) in Cyber Security because of its comprehensive curriculum, and its coursework offering from the prestigious MIT Schwarzman College of Computing. Also, as a working professional during the pandemic, I looked specifically for the option to complete classes virtually. 

After the course, I successfully passed my Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) and Certified Cloud Security Professional (CCSP) exams on the first attempt. 

Success Starts with a Decision

I believe in living a fulfilling life, and I’ve never shied away from learning new things. The path to my current career in cyber security is a result of key decisions to continuously update my skills based on my interests. My time working as a DJ led to an interest in electronic stereo systems and how they function. From there, I became interested in the IT sector and I eventually shifted to the software industry.

As I transitioned from a 20-year corporate career at Xerox, I began a journey to update my understanding of the emerging Public cloud landscape, specifically the tools and techniques used to implement and manage applications and solutions in that space. On the way, I naturally developed an understanding of the security needs and decided to focus my studies to understand more about the cyber security aspect of the cloud landscape.

I also realized that to perform better in the cyber security domain, I needed to clear the CISSP® and the (ISC)²® CCSP certifications. So, in 2020, I chose to upskill myself by enrolling in Simplilearn’s program with modules from MIT’s Schwarzman College of Computing.

Post Graduate Program in Cyber Security
Four Industry Case Studies covered by MIT professors

Specialized Instruction with the Flexibility You Need

I was looking for an organized and methodical set of resources to close some gaps in my cyber security journey. Even with 20 years of experience, I needed a specialized course to brush up on my skills while taking a deeper dive into cyber security.  The Simplilearn platform, or “digital campus” was simple to navigate. The cyber security program provided resources and study materials that helped me achieve both.

The PGP in Cyber Security courses were packed with practical examples. The mixture of self-learning videos and live classes was also a very helpful learning format. I really enjoyed the course on ethical hacking where we were taught to build a hacker mindset and defend against future attacks. Also, the course prepared me well to pass the exams need for my certifications. 

When it came to balancing coursework with my career, I had some time to spare since my previous consulting contract had ended. Simplilearn’s flexible course design made it easy to access everything on my laptop as well as on my mobile devices. I was able to study the self-learning material on mobile, even when I returned to work. 

Upskill into the Next Phase of Your Career

At this stage in my career, I decided to move away from working as a contractor and secure a more stable position. When my last contract with Gridiron IT ended, upskilling with Simplilearn and gaining my certifications helped me land a full-time job at Infosys as a consultant in cyber security.

Age is just a number when it comes to learning and growing in your field. I never considered myself old enough to stop learning. Do what you can to acquire the knowledge and skills you need to create the career that’s best for you.