Type: Exploratory
Pages: 5 | Words: 1258
Reading Time: 6 Minutes

Despite some efforts put in place to reform the system of education with millions of dollars spent, America still fails to prepare the young people to leading successful lives. There is great evidence in these facts looking at the dropout epidemic in many colleges and high schools . It is so sad that the majorities of young people earn a bachelor’s degree by the age of twenty-seven, but the employment rates of teen and young adult are still low. Young people ought to receive advice on career choice, and this does not come once. Career choice is a process that builds up slowly with self- knowledge, gaining experience, and exploring the options available. One ought to remember that choosing a career is a lifelong issue and requires proper decisions. This paper has a broad look into the position of a network security specialist and a computer hardware engineer. These are interviews carried out with specialists in the positions.

I carried out the first interview with a Network Security Specialist.

Student: Good Morning! My name is Peter Hanhack, a third year student at the University of Royal Melbourne. I am carrying out a field research on career exploration and would like your assistance in my course. Kindly allow me to ask you a few questions in relation to your career as a Network Security Specialist. Network security specialist: I am honored by your visit. I would be glad to assist you where necessary. Student: What is the nature of your occupation? Network security specialist: A network security specialist has a task of detecting, preventing, and resolving security threats to computer networks. A network security specialist also has a task of maintaining the integrity and confidentiality of a company’s data and information systems. He/she ensures information privacy by developing data encryption methods. His main obligation entails selecting and installing security hardware and software, analyzing the network for possible security threats, and developing internet protocols that deal with the viruses.

Student: What are the education requirements for this job? Network security specialist: Basically, for one to become a network security specialist, he/she must have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science. Also one should be knowledgeable in security standards ( ISO, NIST, and COBIT). He /she should be familiar with the network administration protocols and implementations — RADIUS, TACACS, and SNMP. He /she should have experience in virtualization technologies, designing secure network architectures, management principles, encryption technologies, application security, and web applications. He/she should poses adequate knowledge of the network layer security mechanisms and their weaknesses with expertise and experience of ethical hacking, secure coding practices, firewall and intrusion prevention/detection technologies, and threat modeling. One should have proficiency level in Windows-based computer applications (Microsoft Office Suite), Windows, and Linux/Unix operating systems, Having CISSP or an equivalent certification is a plus.

Student: How many years have you worked in this position? Network security specialist: I have worked in this position for nine years now. In the first year, I was serving as a Network administrator with minimal tasks in security. After two years, I specialized in security after doing my CISSP certification. Student: What is the job growth? Network security specialist: There is a wide growth in information security especially if you have a degree with experience in the job. One should have greater opportunities and chances. According to labor statistics of the US, there is a 17% increase in job opportunities. Student: What motivates you to do a good job?

Network security specialist: I am motivated by life’s noble pursuits and the changing traits in technology. I love doing a good job and always aim at getting better and better each day in addition to making other interested in my position. Student: What is the greatest challenge that you face in your job? Network security specialist: Technology keeps changing and advancing each day. Adopting and implementing the latest technological advancements is technical. Security of a system is critical. Many users tamper with the system as they work, others just like experimenting, and we have hackers who always tamper with the network. This keeps one always alert ensuring the system is secure at all times. Student: Thank you so much for your cooperation. I wish you success in your career.

The second research was on the career of a Computer Hardware Engineer. Computer hardware engineers develop and design computer hardware for commercial scientific and industrial purposes. They have to test the computer components to ensure their proper functioning and that they meet all the required specifications. They also supervise the manufacturing and installation of computer hardware, circuit boards, computer chips, and other computer peripherals. Further to this, they also monitor the operation of computers and make the needed adjustments. They also provide technical support in the process of developing products.

Computer Hardware Engineers have great employment prospects. They will always be in high demand as long as we use computers daily as computers require service and maintenance at all times. Despite their great demand and expertise, scientists design carry out more innovations in software as compared to hardware. This shows that in future, with increase in software innovations, a limited number of Computer Hardware engineers would be required.

Computer Hardware Engineers go home daily with a good pay package. This package fully compensates them of their work in relation to their skills and experience. The average income of computer hardware engineers as in March 2011 is between $52249 and $88135 depending on an individual’s employer, industry of occupation, education, experience, and benefits (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2012).

For one to become a compute Hardware engineer. One ought to have a degree in Computer Science. He /she must be well conversant with computer hardware and software. Knowledge of mathematics including arithmetic, algebra, statistics, calculus, and geometry is essential. Knowledge in business management principles such as strategic planning, resource allocation, leadership, and coordination of individuals and resources is crucial as it is among the job responsibilities. The tasks of a Computer hardware engineer mainly involve trouble shooting, analyzing, and planning (Jayakody, 2010). One must be capable of analyzing problems and proving solutions to avoid issues. This means that they work closely with other employees some of whom are their juniors. This implies that one must be able to listen, speak, and understand other. Strong interpersonal relations, active listening skills, while giving full attention are fundamental skills for a computer hardware engineer.

Another important role of a computer hardware engineer is having an ability to carry out inductive reasoning. He/she should be able to make a conclusion after analyzing data. Computer engineers face challenges in the production environment. This means that he/she should also have the ability to foresee possible problems and be able to prevent or minimize them before their occurrence (Jayakody, 2010). Computer engineering is a challenging career that keeps advancing daily. To be successful in this profession, it is of the essence to have the desire of gathering skills and knowledge while updating on the current technology advancements.

In conclusion, it is essential to note that all careers have their expectations and requirements. The community is always willing to provide learning experiences that communicate positive opportunities and offer local employment opportunities. From the interviews, we note that the more one obtains experience, the more one is familiar with the reality of an occupation and the personal skills and aptitude that match a specific job. Parents do play a key role in the decision-making process of the youth. Parents ought to realize that the youths look up to them, thus they ought to provide fruitful occupational advice and learning experiences (DegreeFinders, 2012).

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