Question: In this economy, would it be smarter to stay at a job that's
comfortable, stable and pays more money & better benefits than to take
a job you are passionate about in a field you love?
Answer: This is a great question! One that many of us are asking our selves now.
First, I need to say that this is a personal decision. I am going to tell you my reasoning with this question but it's up to you to decide which course to take.
Stay in the comfortable job with good pay? Do you wake up every workday morning with that overwhelming dread of going to work? That same feeling that you had when you were five years old and your mother wanted to take you to the dentist. That feeling that when you go to work, you loose that 8 hours per day from you life for ever. That 8 hours that serves no function other then securing that paycheck to feed your family? That 8 hours that could be used to do what you feel would make a difference to yourself, your family, and your community (rather then sucking the soul from you)? That 8 hours that kills you that much every long second that clicks off?
Then there is the guilt. You know you should be happy to have this great job. You know that you make very good money. It's important to you that you can pay for your son's karate lessons. Pay for your kid's private schools. Pay for your Daughter's volleyball team. Pay for that house that makes your wife feel that she married the best man ever! Yep, you should thank your lucky stars that you have that comfortable, stable, good paying job.
Then why am I so unhappy? Oh, wait, I mean why are you so unhappy? ;)
The job that you are passionate about in a field you love? The world is open to you. You can have any job that will make you happy. The sky's the limit! Isn't that what your 6th grade teacher told you? Isn't that what your mother told you?
Then how did you end up with that "comfortable, stable and pays more money & better benefits" job? How the hell did that happen?
OK, here's the answer: Yes! It would be smarter to stay at a job that's comfortable, stable and pays more money & better benefits, but I can still be pissed off about it!
Question: How do I go about gaining experience in the information
security field? I am taking classes in information securities at
Keller graduate school now. I need and want to obtain some experience
in the field.
Answer: Gaining experience in any field depends on how marketable you make yourself to potential employers. When you're a candidate for an Information Security position, you are in a competition between the other people that have applied to that position. The hiring manager is going to compare you against the other candidates to find who he or she determines is the best fit.
In general terms these are the things that are going to be scrutinized:
- Salary (Companies generally want to find the most qualified person at the cheapest price so that the company can keep its costs down)
- Education (Is your education better then the other candidates?)
- Experience (This will not be as great a determinate for you because you will be applied to entry level job openings)
- Location (If the position is not local to you, are you able and willing to relocate?)
It's possible to lower your expectations on one of these things in order to overcome a limitation in another. An example: lower your salary expectation to make up for your Experience level.
The Keller Graduate School offers an MBA with a Information Security concentration and a Certificate program in Information Security. You job possibilities depend on which program that you're in.
The MBA option will make you more marketable to Corporate America because you will be able to function better in different situations. The MBA core classes such as Managerial Accounting, Business Economics, Managerial Finance, etc... will give a better all around aptitude.
The Certificate program gives you a more narrow view of just Information Security. This may be OK depending if you have other experience in Computer Networking. If you're in this program it would have been a better option to get a Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) or a CCSP Certification which are more recognized as industry certifications.
Information Security offers many areas for specialization including, securing network(s) and allied infrastructure, securing applications and databases, security testing, information systems auditing, business continuity planning and digital forensics science.
The most job openings that I have seen in Information Security fall under the specialty of Securing Networks. Within this specialty, most of them are employed by large corporations because they have a bigger need since their network systems are larger. Most of these people started out in Network Engineering for these large corporations, got certifications and then moved into those positions as they became available. Gaining experience in Network Engineering will make you more marketable to corporations. To get into the specialty of Securing Networks I recommend taking an entry level position in Network Engineering for a large Corporation.
If you are in the MBA with a Information Security concentration program you may want to look into getting into auditing. This may be difficult to break into if you have no experience because these positions are still few. It will take some work on your part to find one.
Question: Thanks for answering TocsRenrut's question. I'm in a much similar situation. I've been in the tech field (hardware) for the past 20 years. As recently as last July, I got bit by the software bug. My father's webmaster disappeared and his business suffered. I decided to start him a new one but didn't have a clue on how to do it. After much goggling, hands on with trials & errors, it's up. But that was Mickey Mouse stuff. Now I want to go down the same path as TocsRenrut. After reading your post, I want to know if you think enrolling in the University of Phoenix's Associate of Arts in Information Technology/Web Design is the right direction. I chose this program because I have military credits, life experiences as well as college credits that will transfer. I want to get a degree in the field sooner while working on the Bachelor of Science in Information Technology-Software Engineering. What other advice do you have that will help us get where we want to be in the next 5 years?
Answer: When I am recruiting for Web Developers / Software Engineers this is what I look for.
- A degree that I know gives the candidate a solid understanding of basic software development and web design.
Some universities teach computer science as a theoretical study of computation and algorithmic reasoning. These programs often feature the theory of computation, analysis of algorithms, formal methods, concurrency theory, databases, computer graphics and systems analysis, among others. They typically also teach computer programming, but treat it as a vessel for the support of other fields of computer science rather than a central focus of high-level study. This is what I prefer. It's not difficult to learn new languages and tools if you know these things.
Other colleges and universities, as well as secondary schools and vocational programs that teach computer science, emphasize the practice of advanced computer programming rather than the theory of algorithms and computation in their computer science curricula. Such curricula tend to focus on those skills that are important to workers entering the software industry. This type of education is more on the practical side. It's like a carpenter doing repetitive tasks. There isn't anything wrong with this but the people that are promoted into better paying jobs typically have the first type of education.
I hope that helps.
Question: I'm currently living in Ireland and was planning on doing some intern
work possibly in the States. I'm interested in Set design for film,
Are there restrictions on how long you can stay and work in the
country? Also any other advice would be helpful.
You will need to apply for a work visa. Here is some information from the U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services:
Business or Pleasure Visitors
Generally, a citizen of a foreign country who wishes to enter the United States must first obtain a visa, either a nonimmigrant visa for temporary stay or an immigrant visa for permanent residence. The visitor visa is a nonimmigrant visa for persons desiring to enter the United States temporarily for business (B-1) or for pleasure or medical treatment (B-2). Persons planning to travel to the U.S. for a different purpose, such as students, temporary workers, crewmen, journalists, etc, must apply for a different visa in the appropriate category. Travelers from certain eligible countries may also be able to visit the U.S. without a visa, through the Visa Waiver Program. Read more about how to participate in the Visa Waiver Program on the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) website. More helpful information on the Visa Waiver program is found on the State Department Visa Services website.
Also, you may want to find out more about "How Do I Get Legally Admitted to the U.S." (or "How Will I be Inspected When I Come to a U.S. Port of Entry") on the CBP website.
Qualifying for a Visa
Applicants for visitor visas must show that they qualify under provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act. The presumption in the law is that every visitor visa applicant is an intending immigrant. Therefore, applicants for visitor visas must overcome this presumption by demonstrating that:
- The purpose of their trip is to enter the U.S. for business, pleasure, or medical treatment;
- They plan to remain for a specific, limited period; and
- They have a residence outside the U.S. as well as other binding ties which will insure their return abroad at the end of the visit.
You also may want to check with your university to see if they have any work abroad programs for internships.
There is also the possibility of applying for a graduate degree program at a University in the States. You would have to apply for admission to the University and then attain a Student Visa. Chapman University in California offers a Master in Fine Arts Degree in Production Design. Once you graduate you would be able to get an internship at any of the studios in LA.
Question: I am in my last year of high school and I am looking at
possible degrees to pursue in college. Any suggestions? I need to know
the math requirements for each degree, as I am looking for a career
with little math skills (basic math skills are fine, just nothing
complicated like Calculus, Trigonometry, Geometry, or Advanced
Most careers require the use of math. Some occupations require less math then others but are not as in demand and they pay less. You will need to stay away from Accounting, Logistics, Marketing, Statistics, All Business in General, Science, Healthcare, Technology, Manufacturing, Engineering, etc... The majority of high paying jobs in the World require a strong knowledge of Math.
The Department of Labor does studies every year to determine what occupations will be needed most in the future. Please see the chart below that lists the fastest growing occupations for 2006 through to 2016. There are 19 occupations listed. 9 of those occupations require a degree. Of those 9 all require good to great understanding of Math. The other 10 occupations are non-degree minimum wage (or just above) occupations.
There are a few that may not require much math. The job markets for these occupations are not great but they do exist.
You also can look at the degree requirements for degrees at Universities that you're interested in attending. Here for example are the Bachelor Degree programs for the University of Memphis. http://www.memphis.edu/ugcatalog/collegeprog/index.php
You can click on the degree programs to see what math courses that you will need. For example: if you click on Psychology you will see that you will only have to take one math course. http://www.memphis.edu/ugcatalog/collegeprog/cas/psych.php
Good luck. Math is hard but worth financial return.