Texas Border Business
By Amanda Sotelo
Texas State Technical College alum William Ledesma protects some of the nation’s most important networks and servers.
The 37-year-old earned an associate degree in cybersecurity in 2009 with a 3.6 grade-point average and graduated with honors. He’s now a cyber defense analyst and associate security manager at Accenture Federal Services in San Antonio.
Accenture Federal Services is a federal cyber agency providing a broad range of services and solutions in strategy, consulting, digital, technology and operations.
“I would not be where I am today without TSTC,” said Ledesma. “I thought I knew a lot before coming to TSTC, but I quickly realized that I had a lot more learning to do and the college got me to where I needed to be.”
Prior to attending TSTC, Ledesma worked as a support technician at Microsoft, which kickstarted his interest in the industry and immediately after graduating he opened an information technology (IT) business servicing networks and systems for local emergency medical services, sheriff offices, district attorney offices and other municipalities.
“I originally wanted to be an aerospace engineer,” he remembers. “And now I can’t imagine doing anything else other than cybersecurity.”
From his instructors’ lectures to lab work, Ledesma said the hands-on training he received has helped him better understand the foundations and ins and outs of the industry.
“It was an eye opener for me, very humbling,” said Ledesma. “I thought since working at Microsoft that I knew all there was about cyber and network security, but I was wrong. I learned so much and received so much guidance from my instructors. It was invaluable.”
Ledesma said beyond training, his instructors gave him the opportunity to practice his skills by giving him contract work that was guided by them to ensure quality.
“Where else would you get this kind of experience,” he said. “It prepared and exposed me to real-world experience that gave me confidence when it came to graduating, opening a business and starting my career.”
Ledesma sold the business when he made the choice to return to school to pursue a higher degree.
He went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in Computer Information Systems and Security in
2017 from Our Lady of the Lake University. He also holds a Security Plus certification and is working towards earning a Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) certification.
“Not only did TSTC give me the skills I need to be successful in the workforce, but they also prepared me to be a better student and that helped me find success at the university,” he said. “And more often than not, I still apply every skill I learned in class at TSTC into a workday to complete jobs and projects.”
In a typical workday, Ledesma does development content networking and focuses on programming, coding, analyst work and investigates cyber and identity threats. He \looks forward to growing with Accenture, where he has found his lifetime career.
“I’m ready to spend many years here at Accenture and becoming a mentor for other TSTC students,” he said. “I highly recommend TSTC to those younger than me looking for a great place to study cybersecurity.”
In fact, Ledesma’s brother, Eloy Ledesma is now a student in TSTC’s Cyber Security program.
For more information on this program, visit tstc.edu/programs/CyberSecurity.
The deadline to register for Fall 2019 is August 23. The first day of classes is August 26.