Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Tech is ‘forever evolving’: Why DSU’s Michaela Barnett is studying STEM

Barnett, who will graduate this spring, hopes to break into cybersecurity.

Delaware State University senior Michaela Barnett.

(Courtesy photo)

“When I was younger my dad brought home a computer and I took it apart because I wanted to see how it worked from the inside,” said Michaela Barnett, a senior at Delaware State University majoring in computer science. “Even in elementary school I was interested in the programming aspect of computers, rather than learning how to operate the basics like Microsoft Word and Paint.”
If Barnett graduates this spring, she’ll be the exception, not the rule: According to a Microsoft campaign to get more women into tech and engineering, only 6.7 percent of women graduate with STEM degrees.
When asked why she decided to pursue this field, her response was simple. “Nothing ever stays the same when dealing with computers, it is forever evolving,” Barnett explained. “Every few months there is some new program to learn and try to figure out.”
Barnett said several of the courses she has taken while at Delaware State University have shaped her career.
“One of the first classes I took was ‘Elements of Computer Programming.’ That class answered a lot of the lingering questions I had about how computers worked,” she explained. “Other courses like ‘Ethical Hacking and ‘Introduction to Information Security,’ were also very interesting.”
In the future Barnett hopes to work in cybersecurity and provide security initiatives for businesses, eventually starting her own security company.

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