There are many areas that can be pursued in the technology field and competition is fierce. A good education that is specific to any particular area within the technology field will give you a step up when it comes time to enter the workforce.
Ron Schlecht Jr. of BTB Security, finds that courses that emphasizes learning the full process of creating a product from the ground up will benefit you greatly.
What is your current role within the IT industry?
“I’m a managing partner with the Information Security and Digital Forensics consulting firm BTB Security.”
What sort of education is needed to land a job within the IT industry?
“I think any degree that fosters analytical thought and creativity is beneficial for our industry. There are tons of programs out there that show you how to accomplish something, but taking it a step further and actually creating something is the difference.”
How did you go about finding institutions that offered the best education in technology?
“It’s hard because the marketing doesn’t always match the reality. I talked with current students when I was looking at school, and also did research through the alumni associations of the school to see what kind of careers alumni succeeded in once they left college. Learning how active the alumni associations were really helped me choose, just because it showed that there was a great network already built into the education.”
After graduation, how hard was it to transition to the actual working world?
“I did a lot of internships throughout my college career, so the day-to-day work wasn’t that much of a change. The hardest part of the first year was not returning to college and leaving my job when August came. The reality of the “real world” really set in then. When you’re first starting out, no matter what field you are in, you’re at the bottom and it’s expected that you have to prove yourself and start to climb up the ladder. I knew that reality and put in a great deal of time over the first few years of my professional career.”
Do you have any advice for someone just starting out?
“Get experience in any way that you can. Go be the everything person, just to get exposure in your field. Also, consume as much information as humanly possible. Find good sources for material like magazines, books and online forums. If nothing else, you’ll get familiar with the terminology and trends. Lastly, do some networking. Go through Meetup.com to find your professional interests or join industry associations to meet people in the field. If you truly have a passion for your field, it will take some time. But if you stick with it, continue learning and are not afraid to get out there and push yourself, you’ll find a rewarding career.”
Christina Thompson is a freelance travel writer living in Philadelphia. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.