Brothers Earn Scholarships and Cybersecurity Degrees Together at Bellevue University
Matt and Jon Hunt are as close as brothers can get.
Only 13 months apart – Jon was born in August 1997, and Matt in October 1998 – the two are best friends and do almost everything together, including attend Bellevue University for their bachelor’s degrees in cybersecurity.
“Technology has always been a part of our lives,” Jon said. “We grew up using it, but I never really thought of it as being a career option.”
After high school, Jon took a job that required him to gain knowledge about various electronics in new vehicles and walk customers through how to use them. He also attended Metropolitan Community College for his associate degree, which he received in 2018. Matt followed in his footsteps and earned his two-year degree from there in 2020 as well.
“Jon and I have been extremely close throughout our entire lives,” Matt said. “We would, and still do, do everything with each other. This meant that we had similar goals and career ideas.”
He continued, “After receiving my associate degree, Jon and I felt like we needed to increase our thoughts on career routes. We hadn’t heard much about cybersecurity before, but with our love for technology and the rate at which it is growing, we decided to give it a shot.”
The two ultimately decided to attend Bellevue University because, as Jon said, “It offered a quicker degree from start to finish while also including several important courses along the way.”
The scholarship opportunities available were also a big draw. In fact, both brothers received the Dream Scholarship - a scholarship awarded to undergraduate students for up to five years or until a bachelor's degree is earned.
“My biggest concern going into college was the thought of how I would afford it,” Matt said. “Being a recipient of the Dream Scholarship was a huge stress relief.”
Jon added that when he first received notice that he was a recipient of the award, he was shocked.
“There were some requirements to be able to receive the scholarship, such as volunteer hours, but Matt and I decided to take the scholarship and do all of those requirements together,” Jon said. “As everyone knows, college tuition is not getting any cheaper, and it can be a real financial burden for most people who attend. Receiving the Dream Scholarship hugely lifted that burden, allowing me to focus solely on my education and work without having to worry as much about how I was going to pay for school.”
Because Bellevue University’s cybersecurity degree is offered online, the Hunt brothers had the flexibility to pursue it on their own terms.
“Taking courses online encouraged me to teach myself at times to obtain a further understanding and a better grasp on the material,” Jon said. “In the end, I am glad that I decided to take the online classes as I think they helped me in getting the education that I received.”
Both brothers will officially graduate with their bachelor’s degrees in cybersecurity this spring and look forward to the next leg of their journey. For Jon, this means job shadowing a cybersecurity manager at his current place of employment and eventually finding an analyst position somewhere. For Matt, he will move into a full-time role with the same company he had an internship at last summer.
Ultimately, for both Jon and Matt, attending Bellevue University together to pursue their degrees in cybersecurity was the experience of a lifetime.
“We have the same group of friends, drive the same cars, have the same interests, and basically have the same personality,” Jon said. “It was a great help going through school with him at Bellevue University because if one of us had a question about something that we were learning about, we had somebody we could go to for quick help.”