February 18, 2022

Reid enrolled in Great Bay’s cyber security program in August 2021.

When the pandemic prompted Phil Reid to pivot, he turned to Great Bay Community College.

He enrolled in Great Bay’s cyber security program in August 2021 and is on track to graduate with an associate degree in spring 2023. Until he enrolled at Great Bay, he had spent most his career in hospitality.

It was a good career, but Reid wanted a change.

“I worked my way up the ranks in the restaurant industry, and when the pandemic hit, I realized I wasn’t satisfied with my day-to-day life,” said Reid, 34. “With restaurants, it every night, every weekend, every holiday. I barely saw my family.”

As Reid pondered his options, a friend who was taking IT classes at Great Bay suggested that Reid consider enrolling. He took his friend’s advice, attended an orientation and decided to sign up for classes. He chose cyber security as specialty because of the career possibilities.

“It’s a growing industry, with so many paths to go down. The opportunities are endless,” he said, with jobs in large industries like healthcare and finance, and with small businesses and big companies. “It’s really across the board. With these skills, you can work in any industry you want.”

Reid lives in Rochester, and recently began working as a computer technician with the Rochester school system. It’s his first job in his new field, and he’s grateful for the new beginning.

He’s also recently engaged. “It’s not easy to do full-time school and full-time work and try to balance a life,” he said. “But I have a great community around me at home with my fiancé and a great community around me at Great Bay.”