Jobs in Demand: Patrick Snell on Cybersecurity

By Lydia McAllister on Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Amanda Cordell

Patrick Snell

Job: Practice Lead, Network Security | Employer: Dillard’s in Little Rock | Age: 25 | Hometown: North Little Rock | Alma mater: Arkansas Tech University | Degree: Bachelor of Science in Information Technology


How did you become interested in cybersecurity?

It all started when I was in my networking class. We were tasked with creating a presentation. I opted for “How to Crack Wi-Fi Networks.” I went down a rabbit hole that really sparked my interest in the field.

What was one of your favorite classes at Arkansas Tech that relates to your job now?

Datacenter Operations and Heterogeneous Networks were the standout classes. My datacenter class is what introduced me to the physical security aspect of cybersecurity, as these types of locations typically require additional safeguards.

What does the future of your industry look like?

The future looks great. There are new companies coming about, and new industries arising that require a different lens to view security through.

What excites you about the cybersecurity field?

The daily challenges. With cybersecurity, you’re up against the world. It’s up to you and your team to be able to identify potential security risks, and the best way to defend against them. You need to be one step ahead of the adversary.

What's something that tends to surprise people about cybersecurity?

Probably that it’s not all about hacking. Public perception tends to get this wrong. Thinking critically, knowing your environment and being able to quickly and accurately analyze data will go a long way in this field.

What advice would you give to someone who's considering a career in cybersecurity?

Look for schools that offer cybersecurity programs. More schools are offering these specialties to meet the growing demands of the field.


Information security analysts install software, such as firewalls, to protect computer networks. They plan and carry out security measures to protect an organization's computer networks and systems.

Their responsibilities are continually expanding as the number of cyberattacks increases. Because of this, the national outlook for the cybersecurity field is looking bright. From 2016 to 2026, an estimated 10,400 jobs will open up around the country.*

There are a variety of majors you can pursue to secure a job in cybersecurity. These degrees include: Cyber/Computer Forensics and Counterterrorism, Computer Science, Information Technology Project Management, Information Technology and Network and System Administration/Administrator.

The average annual wage for Information Security Analysts in Arkansas is $83,070.*

"I love the constant change in the field of cybersecurity. It carries over into the workplace with each day differing from the last. There’s always something new to look into and learn about.”

– Patrick


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