Do you really know what a technology career is like Find outdetails inside. MIRANDA MONAHAN started in IT as a receptionist she was recently named one of the Top 50 Women-Led Business Leaders in Florida. INSIDE GAIN THE ABILITY TO CHANGE YOUR WORLD. See Lakecias story on page 7. IT IS NOT JUST A DESK JOB. See Roberts story on page 14. Pathways EDITION 2 ISSUE 1 EXPLORING ON-RAMPS TO TECH CAREERS WHY INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY IT COULD BE YOUR NEXT CAREER PATH DALE BURKETT has found a way for technology to work for him not the other way around. MELISSA LOPEZ sees the IT industry as an equal opportunity employer.. IT Security Professional P.10 WHATS INSIDE IT Job Spotlights Mobility Expert Network Administrator Helpdesk Technician Entry-Level Position P.6 P.9 P.13 P.15 Myth You have to be great in math and science to be successful. Dale p.8Miranda p.4 Richard p.11Lakecia p.7 Melissa p.12 Robert p.14 Career Snapshots A career in IT has changed their lives. It can change yours too. 2 Learn more. Truth Most tech jobs dont require much math or science beyond the basics. It turns out that most of the math and science taught in high school is not what IT eye-tea workers use in their jobs. IT stands for information technology. Most people think about information technology as computers smartphones the Internet networks hard-drives and servers. But IT is really about people. Getting people the information they need when they need it. Figuring out ways to make their work and their play flow with the technology. Training in IT can prepare you to work in healthcare sports retail fashion hospitality banking or any other industry you can think of. Are you a people person Are you a problem solver Then consider becoming an IT professional one of the fastest growing careers on the planet. High salaries. Career advancement. New challenges every day. Truth IT jobs are about helping peopleand usually working in a collaborative team to make thathappen. Myth Tech jobs are about sitting alone in front of a computer. 3 Keep reading and find your path in IT. When a company has a lot of computer data it needs to recoveritneedsthepowerofMMirandaMonahanthatis. MirandaMonahan37isthepresidentofM-PowerTech the company she founded in Bradenton Florida in 2011. And to think she started out her IT career as a receptionist. In 2000 she was just in college answering the phone for a small IT dot-com company that sold hardware such as desktops laptops printers servers and accessories. The longer she worked there the more she learned about the products and services the company was selling. Every day the director of sales would walk in and Id ask her When are you going to hire me on your sales team Monahan figured she could sell product too and make a lot more money doing that than just routing calls. The sales director made her a deal If someone called the office looking to buy a product or service Monahan From Receptionist to Entrepreneur Constant learning and building of confidence made Mirandas IT career soar. Learn more about Mirandas story at httptinyurl.comnq8uwfo 4 Learn more. Test Drive an IT Career Learn more about what an IT career is like directly from the people in it. Watch the videos to see how varied and fulfilling an IT career can be www.comptia.org testdrive John Web Manager Matt IT Systems Engineer Adrienne Help Desk Technician Keep reading and find your path in IT. Computer Support Specialist Web Developer Network and Computer Systems Administrator Database Administrator Computer Systems Analyst Information Security Analyst Software Developer Computer Network Architect 68670 82280 87320 91600 95280 100710 54960 INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY JOBS MEDIAN SALARIES 5 Source U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook May 2014 would be allowed to takeonthatcustomerasherownearningthecommission ifsheclosedthesale.Little did this director know she would interview to work for Monahan 10 years down the road. After some sales experience Monahan was able to update her resume. She applied for a sales job at Hewlett Packard one of the largest technology companies in the world and spent six years there in a number of different roles. She then was recruited by ASI System Integration out of New York City the largest system integrator in the Northeast. Monahan says her four years at ASI was a defining period of her career. I was blessed with an amazing executive team who believed in me and constantly pushed me to excel. Because these accomplished executives believed in me I began to believe in me. Being able to understand technical products gives a salesperson an advantageoverthecompetitionsaysMonahan.Alwaysknowyourproductand services. Customers seek you out when they have a need and most of the time its an immediate need. Rather than make a customer wait for an answer from anexpertMonahancananswerthequestiondirectlyandlandthesalebefore a competitor gets a foot in the door. Plus just knowing how IT systems work gives her a confidence that the customer cant help but respond to positively. After ASI Monahan struck out on her own to found her own business M-PowerTech. In 2013 the Commonwealth Institute of South Florida named Monahan one of the Top 50 Women-Led Business Leaders in the state. I would strongly encourage women to get their technical certifications and the background and pick as many brains as you can she says. Women are great at sales in the IT industry and if they have the knowledge behind it there is no stopping them. 79770 See the growth in IT jobs in your state at httpwww.comptia.orgresourcesmapping-the-it-workforce The technology sector isnt the only industry to benefit from IT. Almost every industry from professional sports teams to record labels to fashion houses hires individuals with IT experience every day. It doesnt take years of training to get up to speed on the practical IT applications in your chosen field. Establishing a good foundation takes less time than ever and offers a strong advantage in the job market. The CompTIA IT Fundamentals exam helps you learn more about the world of information technology. It focuses on the essential IT skills and knowledge including Identifying and explaining computer components. Setting up a workstation including conducting software installations. Establishing network connectivity. Identifying compatibility issues and identifying and preventing security risks. Managing the safety and preventative maintenance of computers. The IT Fundamentals certification is ideal for you if youre considering a career in IT or if you work in an allied field that requires a broad understanding of IT like in a sales role at an IT company. 6 Learn more. CompTIA Certification httpcertification.comptia.orgitfundamentals Fact The average income for entry-level IT job customer user support is 54960. Source U.S. Bureau of Labor May 2014 7 Keep reading and find your path in IT. Lakecia Gunter noticed how the magazines and books were piling up in her mothers house. Her mother a diabetic had recently lost vision in one of her eyes. Lakecia turned to her companys technology for help. She reached for the Intel Reader which allowed her mother to see the writing on the page and feel like a whole person again. To her mother it felt miraculous to be able to read again. To the daughter it was just the sort of thing a computer engineer does every day She uses technology to solve a problem. Each and every day I have the ability to help people Gunter said. Gunter 40 grew up near Orlando raised by her hard-working single mother. When she was 11 or 12 her mom bought her a Commodore 64 computer the best-selling personal computer at the time which cost 595 about 1400 in todays dollars. That set the young girl on a path of trying to understand how to program computers and use them to transform reality. In the 1990s Gunter attended the University of South Florida located in Tampa and studied computer engineering then attended Georgia Tech for a masters degree in electrical engineering. She started her career as a design engineer with Freescale Semiconductors formerly known as Motorola where she did extensive work designing microcontrollers for airbags and anti-lock braking systems and other electronic components for automobiles. In 2008 Gunter was recruited by Intel the worlds The Ability to Change Your World Using technology to solve problems. Read Lakecias full story at httptinyurl.comq9u7dsd largest semiconductor chip maker to be a technical program manager. Four years later Gunter moved over to Intel Labs the companys world-class research and development organization to work as the technical assistant and chief of staff to Intels chief technology officer. The position requires her to spend extended time with the companys top technical officer assisting him in setting the research agenda and establishing technology priorities for both Intel Labs and the company. Gunter tells those who are considering pursuing a job in information technology Imagine all the realms of possibility that are available in IT. What would you like to do What would you like to see change You have the ability to change your world. Dale Burkett credits the beginning of his career with a basic fascination with technology. I was always an early adopter. I was walking around with a blue light in my ear and everyone was like What is that and I said Its Bluetooth Im fascinated by technology and watching the market to see how it evolves. Burkett was at first an unlikely candidate for a tech career. He grew up in Trinidad a Caribbean country where in the 1970s and 1980s computers were rare to come across. Burkett successfully lobbied his father to buy one. Dad had the foresight to make that investment in my future he recalls. When his family immigrated to Brooklyn Burkett was delighted to find computers in his school. His high school years were spent focused on learning all he could about the machines. Thinking the degree would help him learn even more aboutcomputersBurkettenrolledincollegeatCityCollege ofNewYorkforelectricalengineering.Surprisinglyhefound himself losing interest in classes. So he took some time off to work for Macys in the stores electronics department. I needed a new start he says so he transferred to North Carolina State University in Raleigh North Carolina to study mechanical engineering which helped him understand the cooling components and measurements of a circuit board. Even more important he realized he loved the problem-solving nature of engineering. The engineer is no longer the guy with the pocket protector. Its someone who sees a need and develops something to meet that need. Just having that natural inquisitive nature and the methodology to figure out a solution is important. A college internship at IBM in Research Triangle Park in North Carolina turned into a full-time position after graduation. When IBMs laptop manufacturing division was acquired by Lenovo in 2005 Burkett moved just six miles away to Lenovos new North American headquarters. At Lenovo he transitioned into a new key role every few years. In 2014 he became senior manager of the companys enterprise storage team ensuring that client companies worldwide have the required amount of server storage space available to them exactly when they need it. Moving up from purely technical positions into managementhasbeenagradualandrewardingprogression for Burkett. Its all about evolving. Its adding to the bank of knowledge that I have. Its another feather in the cap. Looking back on his career in tech Burkett sees that he has found a way for technology to work for him not the other way around. Some look at technology as intimidatingbutitsnot.Wearethemastersoftechnology. Tech Adventurer Finding a way for technology to work for him not the other way around. Learn more about Dales story at at httptinyurl.comqhrdlva 8 Learn more. Keep reading and find your path in IT. 9 HELPDESK TECHNICIAN Working the helpdesk is a great way to get started in IT. If you know your way around your computer and have mastered your smartphone you may already have the basic skills to get started. Companies are looking for employees with Excellent problem-solving skills. Patience. An ability to multitask. An interest in learning about new technologies. Not only are you helping individuals find solutions to their problems by recording and tracking the kinds of problems customers confront you can also help the software and hardware designers improve the product. Companies are hiring all over the U.S. so helpdesk positions are available in places where you want to live. Even if you have your IT career all mapped out it doesnt hurt to keep your options open. The first steps in training and certification allow you to gain universal skills in a variety of technologies and operating systems. This will help you Earn a higher salary. Have a competitive edge among qualified candidates. Find more potential career opportunities. CompTIA A certification will quantify your skills placing the depth and range of your experience in one internationally recognized credential. So whether you want to be a network administrator field tech or IT specialist take the first steps to boost your prospects and ensure a brighter career future. CompTIA A Certification httpcertification.comptia.org aplus Fact A candidates customer-service skills are rated by many tech employers as being just as important as technical ability. Internet and computer security are at greater risk of breaches and hacks than ever. IT security professionals have the same cutting-edge skills as hackers but use their knowledge to defend privacy secure businesses protect governments and safeguard individuals. 10 IT SECURITY PROFESSIONAL CompTIA Security and CompTIA Advanced Security Practitioner CASP certifications offer diverse professional career paths. Here are just some of them Computer Crime Investigation You trace attacks by hackers and others who have gotten past security. Security Systems Testers By hacking for the good guys you use your skills to find the weak links and back doors in security systems. Security Design and Implementation You create and maintain systems that protect software computers and mobile devices from spyware hacking viruses and other security breaches. Learn more. Fact Hundreds of thousands of cybersecurity professionals are in demand. The average IT security pro makes more than 91600 a year. Source Bureau of Labor Statistics May 2014 CompTIA Certification httpcertification.comptia.org securityplus 11 Keep reading and find your path in IT. Richard Rieben went into IT directly after high school and later went back to college but kept adding IT certifications and cybersecurity skills to propel his career. While he was working he attended classes online and in-person and earned an associates degree in business management from Sinclair Community College around age 30. He then continued his education at Western Governors University and completed a bachelors degree in business management and later completed his MBA in IT management. In addition to his formal studies Rieben earned several industry certifications including CompTIA Security CompTIA Project CompTIA Network and his CISSP PMP FITSP-M and Certified Scrum Master certifications. With his experience education and certifications he evaluates cybersecurity threats and vulnerabilities to determine how to protect various IT systems and websites. He ultimately took on a role providing cybersecurity and IT project management expertise as a contractor for the United States Air Force at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Fairborn Ohio. He also works as an operations manager for Robbins Gioia headquartered in Alexandria Virginia and helps clients assess and overcome gaps in their cybersecurity positions. With Riebens assistance organizations can better understand their risks and learn to combat ongoing cyber-threats. Rieben recommends three things to people who want to pursue a career in IT First start with the basics. Keep in mind that IT is a field that is constantly shifting in terms of tools and technologies but if you want to break into IT as a career field be sure to address soft skills that are always in demand. Hiring managers want employees who can think on their own and communicate effectively with co-workers and superiors. Second find yourself a mentor. Third never stop learning. Keeping America Safe from Cyber Threats Help organizations understand their risks and learn to combat ongoing threats. Learn more about Richards story at httptinyurl.comppxv2q4 12 Learn more. The way Melissa Lopez sees it the IT industry truly is an equal opportunity employer. I definitely believe women can succeed just as much as meninITsaysLopezcallcentermanagerforASISystem Integration. The female technicians who work here the field technicians the system engineers are some of our best people. In her role at ASI System Integration Lopez ensures that customers get the technical support they need. The computer is used for so many things paying bills running businesses so when the computer is down making sure that it is running again is my main concern she said. And the IT industry definitely represents opportunity for people who enjoy working with others she said. People skills are important she said. Even when you dont know exactly what to do having people skills and a proper dialogue with the customer gives you the opportunity to figure it out or time to look it up. And for women who are motivated the IT industry has no glass ceiling Lopez suggests. The more you learn the more youre worth she said. Technologyisagreatfieldtobeinbecauseitsineverything and its growing every day. This is a technology world. Opportunity for All Its a technology world and its growing every day. Hear Melissas story as well as those of other IT professionals at www.comptia.orgtestdrive 13 Keep reading and find your path in IT. NETWORK ADMINISTRATOR Network professionals are essential personnel who keep their entire organizations connected whether its a small garage startup or an international company. Its a position that requires not only insight into how your group works but also how to grow the network to its full potential. In restaurant management duties include detailing inventory tracking profit margins and enacting payroll. A restaurant manager with top notch networking skills ensures a highly efficient and profitable restaurant. Financial consultation firms must keep their client information not only secure but also up to date. At such a firm you might be responsible for accounts of up to millions of dollars in value and subject to constantly fluctuating economic conditions. In a hospital electronic patient records must be readily available for doctors and nurses to provide the best care. Here your work will fulfill your organizations mission for excellent health care and service to the community. CompTIA Certification httpcertification.comptia.orgnetworkplus Fact Learn to install configure and administer networks and you can bring home an average salary of 79770 a year. Source BLS.gov May 2014 14 Learn more. High on a mountain in Colorado an access gate to a ski lift at Aspen Snowmass isnt coming online. Its early in the morning before any of the lift attendants are on site to report the problem but from a command center a few clicks away Robert Blanchard identifies and troubleshoots the problem all over his morning coffee. Blanchard and his team handle all of the technology-related problems for Aspen Skiing Co. a four-mountain chain of destination resorts in the remote Rocky Mountains. Running the helpdesk for a destination ski resort isnt what most people think of when it comes to IT careers but the busy group of outdoorsmen and women enjoy their indoor-outdoor lifestyle. One of the nice things about working for a ski area is that its like working for many different businesses he said. You get in a car drive to a ski area go up the mountain make repairs and snowboard back down. Everything on our mountain is computerized Blanchard said. Some software tracks what trails were groomed overnight how much snow fell and its Bridging IT with the Great Outdoors Not the lifestyle most people think of when it comes to IT careers. consistency. Other software communicates with the trail grooming machines called Snowcats to track mileage GPS information acres per hour tiller gas and other usage data. Another program runs the snowmaking guns. The resort uses 850 computers and the department has grown to 18 people with six on the helpdesk. When hiring he looks for self-confidence a high level of commitment when troubleshooting and a passion for customer service. People who join the helpdesk end up staying because of the positive experience and the chance to play around with fun and interesting new technologies. Certifications arent the first thing he looks for when hiring but they certainly carry some weight. If I have two candidates applying for the same job and they both seem to have the other qualities that were looking for the person with the certification is the one who is going to get hired he said. Learn more about Roberts story at httptinyurl.comnfu44nu Is an IT career right for you Theres one way to find out. Take IT for a test-drive. www.creatingitfutures.org testdriveWillie www.creatingitfutures.org testdriveAmber www.creatingitfutures.org testdriveJennifer 15 MOBILITY EXPERT Companies are struggling with how to let employees use a multitude of their own personal devices like smart phones and tablets while keeping their company information secure. They need IT professionals who understand the complexities of mobility. Mobility experts understand all the different mobile technologies in the office as well as over-the-air systems that will dominate business operations in the coming years. The CompTIA Mobility certification shows that you can set up migrate support and manage mobile environments for employers while executing the best security measures to reduce threats. The Mobility exam also covers specific security and remote access concerns for mobile device management. As a result you will be able to use mobile technologies with confidence no matter the vendor supplier or system in question. Keep reading and find your path in IT. Fact Indeed.coms AverageSalary Index indicatesa median salary of 82739 for a job in mobility and wirelessin the U.S. CompTIA Certification httpcertification.comptia.orgmobilityplus Pathways is a publication of the Creating IT Futures Foundation and CompTIA. A PDF version of Pathways is available at CreatingITFutures.org. For additional copies of the magazine contact us at 630.678.8300 infocreatingitfutures.org. 2015 Creating IT Futures Foundation Inc. All rights reserved. Brands and company names mentioned here may be trademarks or service marks of Creating IT Futures Foundation or of their respective owners. Reproduction or dissemination prohibited without written consent of Creating IT Futures Foundation. 01552-Aug2015 Established in 1998 as the philanthropic arm of the IT Industry Association. Evenifyoudonthavenecessarytechnicalskillsrightnowyoucanlearnthem.Infactmorethanmost professions IT involves a willingness to learn new things every day. Knowledge becomes obsolete pretty quickly in IT but what you learn now can provide a frame of reference for what you learn next. Find your IT Career Path IT is really about using technology to solve peoples problems. CreatingITFutures.org Non-profit and for-profit training organizations high school computer classes and community colleges can prep you for an IT career. Check to make sure they incorporate curriculum aligned with industry certifications so that the training best fits the up-to-date skills needed in the tech workforce. CompTIAs certification roadmap www.comptia.org roadmap shows what types of jobs are available in IT and which IT skills and certifications are needed for each. Inside this magazine read the stories of those who have succeeded in IT. Then take the first step on your own IT pathway. Learn more about IT careers at CompTIAs Skillsboost website httpskillsboost.comptia.org. Myth You need a four-year IT college degree. Reality Several pathways can help you get started in an IT career without a degree.