By Roadtrip Nation

Cecelia Schartiger



My road in life took a while to figure out.
Growing up, my family moved around a lot and there wasn’t a lot of consistency—I moved in with my grandmother in the sixth grade.
Attended Frostburg State University, where I earned my bachelor’s degree in early childhood education and teaching.
After graduating, I struggled to find consistent work as a teacher and even substituted for about a year—but with a family to support, I made the decision to find something more stable.
I was able to translate the behavioral skills I’d learned as a teacher into a job as a project staffing professional at IBM’s center in Rocket Center, West Virginia.
As I learned more about the technology industry while working at IBM, I began to notice the buzz surrounding cybersecurity and it piqued my interest.
I started taking cybersecurity classes at our local community college in order to learn the basic skills.
I reached out to the manager of IBM’s local cybersecurity team to express my interest and to find out about potential career paths in that field.
In 2016, I got a job as a compliance officer for IBM’s highly secured cloud environment for U.S. government clients—I continue to build my skills both in the classroom and through on-the-job training.
Keep following my journey



I am a compliance officer for IBM’s highly-secured cloud environment for U.S. government clients.

Career Roadmap

My work combines:
My work combines:
Learning / Being Challenged

Day to Day

As a compliance officer, I oversee the security of the U.S. Department of Defense's cloud. I also do academic outreach where I go out to middle schools and high schools to raise more awareness about cybersecurity and ways to be safe on the internet. A new task I have just recently taken on is overseeing an apprenticeship program in cybersecurity for the Global Business Services division of IBM.

Skills & Qualities Beyond School

The behavioral skills I learned as a teacher have been invaluable to me in my career at IBM. Soft skills and people skills in general are hugely beneficial to everyone in any career. For cybersecurity, the basic skills you need to have are an understanding of technological processes, terminology, how systems work together, and how to look for signs of potential online threats. Know how to use excel proficiently!

Advice for Getting Started

Here's the first step for everyone

Reach out to a local community college or university (or one that you already attend) and talk to the professors teaching information security for advice. You could also reach out to an industry leader for advice. Don't be scared to have that conversation and ask for help. Networking will get you far! Get out of your comfort zone and challenge yourself to try something.


The Noise I Shed

From Society in General:

"Why do you want to change your career? You should just stay a teacher."

Challenges I Overcame

Career Change
Work Stress
School Stress

Interviewed By



Future of Work Roadtrip