11:02 AM

Alumnus from the Netherlands puts cybersecurity degree to use

Photo of Kim

For Kim van Lavieren, “security has been the red thread throughout my career.” 

He started building web-based software in Java, Python, HTML and JavaScript when he was just 10 years old. As a youngster, he also wanted to create websites that only he and his friends could access.

“This quest was what first piqued my interest in cybersecurity,” he said.

van Lavieren, a native of the Netherlands, eventually went on to receive his bachelor’s degree in software engineering.

Then, a couple years ago, he took a position as a development, security and operations engineer at an organization. There, he noticed that the development team was paying little to no attention to security during their development efforts.

“Due to my interest in security, I proposed that we should implement secure development practices and security testing,” van Lavieren said. “However, at this point, I had no official qualifications in the security domain other than experience and a bachelor’s degree. To me, a master’s degree in cybersecurity seemed like the best way to gain an in-depth but also broad understanding of all aspects of cybersecurity.”

He added, “As the Netherlands do not have any good cybersecurity programs, my eye was quickly turned to the United States. After researching a wide variety of universities, Bellevue University really stood out to me due to their qualified staff, full online delivery and designation as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education.”

van Lavieren graduated with his Master of Science in Cybersecurity this past August and felt his experience at Bellevue University was “one like no other.” He appreciated that the professors challenged him and made what they were teaching relevant and applicable to the real-world.


Kim van Lavieren, Bellevue University Graduate
The degree has provided me with an extremely broad and in-depth understanding of the cybersecurity landscape, and I apply the knowledge gained from the degree every single day.
Kim van Lavieren, Bellevue University Graduate

“Honestly, I think a lot of the faculty at Bellevue University are far more than just professors,” he said. “For example, Karla Carter, Ron Woerner and Daug Rausch go well beyond what is expected of a professor and have truly made a difference in my academic career. Even after I graduated from Bellevue University, they are still willing to provide their insights and guidance.”

Since graduating, van Lavieren accepted a job offer to become a senior security consultant and has received multiple leading industry certifications – opportunities he said his master’s degree played an extremely important role in.

“The degree has provided me with an extremely broad and in-depth understanding of the cybersecurity landscape, and I apply the knowledge gained from the degree every single day,” he said.

In addition, van Lavieren was recently accepted into Capella University’s Doctor of Information Technology program, which he will begin in January.

Looking to the future, van Lavieren has big plans, including completing his doctorate.

“Career wise I will be looking into expanding the consultancy business and transitioning into leadership roles,” he said. “I will also further develop my interest in academia and attempt to teach cybersecurity part-time as our society so desperately needs more security professionals.”

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