Technology Industry Employer Panel
Thanks so much. Thanks everyone for joining us this evening for tonight's technology industry employer panel. My name is Corey White. I'm employer relations partner for the West Coast for Career Services Department here at Southern New Hampshire University. And I'm joined by some awesome awesome folks to this evening. So you're in for a real treat I have with me and my co-host who's going to be in the background and in the chat.
So if you have questions. Please use the chat function and we will, you know, take note of that and once we get to the Q&A portion, we'll be able to, you know, pull on those questions. So Daisy Gillam, she is on the same team as myself. We also have our moderator for this evening with the panel is my colleague and friend, Tyra Davey.
She is the associate Dean of STEM science. Yeah. And just a couple of housekeeping items before we get started. So your experience here at Southern New Hampshire University is very important to us is our policy and practice to create an inclusive and accessible learning environment. There are aspects of this presentations design or delivery that present barriers to accessibility. Please notify the following for the OAC.
You can email them at email@example.com or by phone and for campus students. You can email firstname.lastname@example.org and for staff and faculty at email@example.com. Also, feel free to connect with us after this session if you have questions regarding resumes, how to network, kind of what that next step is for you in your career.
Journey with us while you're here getting your degree at Southern New Hampshire University, you can reach out to our department at COCE careersnhu.edu or by phone at 888-672-1458. Also, feel free to get us get on handshake. That's our premier platform where our employers that we're working with put their job opportunities and internships available for our students to take a look at. We also put our events up there as well.
So as you're joining today, if you could just make sure your mic is on mute, we will have time at the end for Q&A, but it is we wanna limit those distractions for the panel portion of tonight's presentation. So with that, the agenda for tonight, we're gonna introduce all of our panelists that are here with us tonight, and then we're gonna get into the moderated portion of this evening, moderated by Tyra Davey. And then again, at the end, we'll open it up for Q&A.
Once we get to that point, feel free to if you're not comfortable coming off of the MIC and asking your question directly to the panel, you can ask it in the chat. If you are comfortable, use that raise hand feature up at the top that you're able to raise your hand and we can actually call on you one by one. First come first serve.
So with that, I'm going to pass it over to my colleague and friend, Tyra Davey. Take it away. Thank you so much, Corey. So as Cory mentioned, we're going to start with a few introductions. So excited for everyone joining us this evening.
So Samantha, if you'd like to introduce yourself and tell us a little bit about what you do in your day to day work. Yeah, sure. So hi everyone. My name is Samantha Tarnum and I'm working with Chevron Corporation at this moment and I am working as an analyst and I work with the IT team.
My daily work is I work with the global IT team and now we have software and hardware issues. We also go through every software issues like slap and then SharePoint has any. I mean some more oil oil related softwares too. So we work on those softwares and we also, I mean we also work on for the software development programs and all those things and decided that's all I do in my daily work at this moment.
And beside this I'm I'm a student of SNHU and I'm doing my cybersecurity in mass masters in cyber security and IT management. Yeah, I'm sorry. And yeah, that's all about me.
And thank you. Thank you for inviting me for this. Yeah. At last student panel and I'm I'm really and I'm. I'm sorry, I'm fire panel and yeah, thank you.
Excellent. Thank you so much, Samantha. It's great that you're here. And next we have Mona. If you look to introduce yourself. Yes, of course.
Uh, my name is Mona. I I got my message degree at SNHU I graduated 2014 master degree in information technology with concentration in a database design. I'm working at Autodesk. If you're not familiar with Autodesk, we we are known mostly for AutoCAD, Maya, Revit, 3DS Max and mostly softwares that you can use to do actually designing now. That's whatever you're you're seeing around you. The car, the device, the bridges building, all of those had to be designed in 3D before they they get to production and we, we developed and delivered those softwares.
Currently I'm seeing your manager at Autodesk and as part of a day to day work that China, you ask at the manager a lot, it is really hard to to find the pattern. But if I wanted to share the pattern that we have is a lot of meetings for managers, conflict resolution, a lot of coaching with my, my team providing feedback to my team, monitoring the performance as a team, but also monitoring the performance of our products, operational review and a lot of strategic work defining goals for our product, for our team and organization, defining metrics and monitoring all of those. Antastic and thank you so much for being here with us this evening. Next, I'll have Zen introduce himself.
Thank you for having me. My name is Zen Williams. I am a cybersecurity engineer working for a company called Radnet, which is a third party provider of radiological services throughout the West Coast, and we are expanding to the South and E like growing rapidly. My day to day is never the same. I could spend one day training individual users on how to recognize a phishing email, and I could spend the next day troubleshooting a potential security incident and I could spend the next day after that giving a briefing to our Seeso on a current initiative on how to increase our cyber security awareness across across the organization. And one of my past I things I love to do is being able to take One of my.
complex cybersecurity or IT related ideas and putting them into terms that even a layman can understand because that is a very important part of my job. Making sure that the people who need to know what's going on knows what's going on without having to listen to a lot of technology. I don't wanna call it techno Babble, but basically it's techno Babble cause when IT get people get together, we talk in IT speak. That is so important.
Then I totally agree. Thank you so much for sharing. He.
And last but not least, on our panel this evening is Jim. Great. Thank you for having me. Certainly glad to be here. So educational journeys quite a little bit unique. I started years ago and took a short hybrid to allow the start of a career and and family post and did that for a while and obviously a critical and then came back to Southern New Hampshire and 18 to finish my degree in business.
And then pursued right after that, my masters in information technology. So I've worked in the healthcare industry similar to Zen. I would say my day is never the same. It's never boring and it's never dull. A lot of translation between patients, physicians, clinicians, business because we all have different vernacular we use and different acronyms.
So a lot of translation, but you know a lot of normal things, staff management, budget management, infrastructure, life cycle and architectural designing for the enterprise and just capital planning and and financial work as well. Excellent. Thank you so much for being here with us. Jim.
So now we'll move on to the moderated portion. So I have a few questions for you all and I'll kind of tap you on the shoulder and and just get your perspectives and your experiences. So the first question I'm gonna go back to Samantha, if you could describe your educational background, I know you mentioned Umm. as as an SNA 2 alum and how you landed where you are now. Yeah. What are some key aspects that led you to your current role in your career journey? So I I actually done with the bachelor in electrical engineering, but after my bachelor I decided to switch to the IT.
So I I was doing. I have done several certifications courses and then I started working in ID so so I have worked almost I think before joining SNHU I work almost three at three years so after that I decided I mean I'm doing the software development work right now, but my future plan is to move to cyber cyber sector so that that's when I decided you study about cybersecurity. And I realized that I also need to know about IT management. So that's how I chose this subject and then I ended up joining joining to SNHU.
Excellent. Thank you. Tell us about how you you landed your first position. I'm sorry.
Details little bit more about how you landed your first position, what that process is like. OK. Yeah.
Yeah, sure. So that first thing I developed my skills and as I was a bachelor in electrical engineering, I had no IT background before. So I have done a lot of certification at first, then I will joined several courses.
I've done Python. I have been sequenced. I have done. I have been cloud. I'll stop. Sorry, Cloud networking, a lot of certifications and then I have.
I went for an entry level job, so when I went to the entry level job they hired me and I was in three month training on that come with that company. So with that, after after the training they I had to went through some desk too. So I had to qualify for the that entry level role position and then I was on the on. After that I was on on job training and then that's how I started my, you know it career because my background was an IT at all. So yeah, that's all about you. Excellent.
That's great when they can offer on on the job training. Umm. Uh, so thank you so much for sharing and and telling us a Yeah. Thank you. little bit about your experience.
I'm gonna test the same question to to Mona next. You can tell us a little bit about kind of your educational background and how you landed the position that you're in currently. Yeah, of course.
Umm I my my batch both bachelor degree and master degree where in information technology with a little bit different concentration one was more on web development and front end and then the the other was more on database and infrastructure. And actually also this is the first job I landed after graduation. Uh from SNHU umm uh. I mean, there was no secret sauce. I just started applying for a lot of job. I I started early simply just because I couldn't risk it.
I was an an I was on student visa and I student visa they we don't have a lot of time to find job like at a time at least you have 90 days that you can find a job. So I studied early and I applied for a lot of jobs. I interviewed with a lot of companies. I revised my resume, apply for more and I continue doing that until I landed a job. I actually got the job at all. Today's not the position that I applied for initially, but just because my resume was in their database, they found that different match for me and the title that I didn't know it exists or it can be a potential match for, for.
For my background, I was looking mostly for software development that development conditions, but I was hired as a technical consultant at Autodesk. Uh, which does a lot of programming, but also work with customers. It was a good mix of business and programming, meeting with customers, understanding what they need, and then coming back and programming and developing something to deliver for them. So this is how I got 2 hours a desk and then nine years, 10 years at Autodesk. I I was able to move around and get to the position I'm today. I've been part of the sales organization product side of the company engineering side of the company and management side of the company.
Excellent. Thank you so much, Mona. Yeah, it's kind of when the the right thing comes up at the right time, it all kind of falls into place. So thank you so much for sharing and and your experience at Autodesk. I'll ask the same question of Zen about kind of your educational background and and how you landed, the position that you're in currently. Thanks.
My educational background is after I left high school, I joined the US military. I was in the army, stationed in Massachusetts at Fort Devens. I'm originally from Louisiana and once I got out of the military I was a double major in physics and chemistry.
Yeah, but when you ask how I got the computers, you have to roll it back. To when I was a kid, my first computer was a Commodore 64 that I love. Computers, it just didn't occur to me when I was going to college at someone would pay me to actually do this, that I started probably where 90% of like IT. People start. I started on a help desk and went from the help desk. I went to become a systems guy from a systems guy. I went to being a network guy and once I was a network guy, all of those movies that you watched in the in the late 90s, hacker this hacker that that's what I wanted to do.
So everything that I had did up until my first cyber security role was getting enough of that background in order to be able to get that first cyber security role that I'm CISSP. I'm a CCSP and I'm a CE H and I love collecting certs, but I'd love being hands on and touching. There's no substitute for loving what you do, and I will tell you, especially in the cybersecurity field, if you don't love doing it, it will burn you out because there is just so many things that are outside of your control and you are having so many internal conflicts with not only people who are malicious actors, but also your own organization. And once you learn to navigate that and you start loving that it, it's a joy. And and I do enjoy doing it every single day, even on the bad days.
Excellent. Well, first thank you for your service, then really appreciate it. And what a great story to hear kind of, you know, learning the ropes that each phase and just broadening kind of your experience and it's great to hear that you continue with that professional development of the certifications. And then last but not least, I'm going to pass it to Jim. Same question another SNHU alum and tell us about your educational background and and how you landed.
The position that you're in today. Yeah, absolutely. So I actually despise computers and technology.
I'm my original goal was to be an accountant and we going to the financial field and I really put off in my early years as I was pursuing my accounting degree. MY1 computer class that I had to take and I actually took it. I had no choice and actually finished two semesters of COBOL with inside of two weeks, and the professor just came up to me and said you will change your major and and I did. It was something I love to do. I loved software development. I still do it today.
It's a way for me to relax and I really started in that area. I ran software development for a hospital information system vendor and the company Baptist Health, who I'm with now was actually one of my customers and through you know, series of events. I came the Baptist and and been here for the last 17 years in various roles and I think the biggest thing is, you know, doing different things, starting where the path took me and seizing the opportunity to to move forward and and really the passion around technology, similar Zen, you hit it and Monet you as well you know hit you know do what you love and and if you don't love it it will eat you up and you know it's really a passion and I've just progressed through the organization and the educational journey came back around. As I needed to complete some things left undone to continue my advancement and came back to Southern New Hampshire and did that and then finished my masters more for myself in software development.
Because that's I truly love that. And tearing apart computers and and writing code and solving problems. Excellent. What an interesting story from accountant to just to technology. Thank you so much for sharing and yeah, hearing a lot of common themes, communication, problem solving, all of the things that really go into a career in these fields.
Next question. I'm gonna keep it open ended for the four of you. Whoever wants to jump in, what advice would you offer to students who are looking to break into the field, whether it's volunteering or internships or different courses, networking, something that you might know now that you wish someone would have told you earlier in your career? Umm, I'll go. I'll go ahead and die. Then I would I would say networking and use your Please yeah.
relationships. It's probably something I woefully underplayed. You're connections and just, you know, we're taking what's available and leveraging your your network you you know somebody who may know somebody and it's OK to ask and and you may get turned down four or five times but it only takes once to say yes and get your foot in the door and move forward. I'll also add that I wish LinkedIn was actually a thing when I first started my career. It is an amazing resource, an amazing tool for for you to use and another thing that I will say for your career is don't be shy about doing that job that everyone else seems to be shying away from like that.
The roll up your sleeves and get down and dirty because it could be something that you just fall in love with, and even if it's not, it'll provide you with certain types of understanding and backgrounds of the inner workings of things that will prove invaluable later on. Excellent advice. And I. I would suggest ohh sorry.
Nick, please go ahead, Samantha. No, it's OK. You go ahead. It's OK, I'll just. OK. Umm so definitely networking was was also my number one, but because that's already shared, I'm going to maybe point out that if you do have certain goal like you have any specific position or even specific company that you are targeting, don't think that it's really straight line that you have to go from where you are to to that position a lot of time the the line can be and you you have to move laterally you have to even step down in some position to to get there you have to look at the goal that you have.
As the destination you wanna get and then you have to identify what are the position in between that you have to get including internship including some maybe smaller companies or a title that maybe is not exactly what you want but is the title that having that on your resume is gonna prepare you for that ultimate position. So nothing really is that I want this goal and this is where I have to go is more of this is my goal and what are the steps I have to take to get there? Just look at it that way. Yeah, I would like to suggest like if somebody has told me before it's that that IT is very big. So I would suggest people, I mean the students, to choose the fields like few of our five to six fields and and build your skills on that and also go and read on the job descriptions what there was asking for and try to you know build yourself on those just scripts and like I can fit into there or not so that's really important I think I am you know people might think like here she's been great but inside I'm maybe also struggling to get better so there is no end of getting better so we always have.
To get, we always have to build our skills. I always have to look up. So yeah, that's all I wanna suggest everyone. Fantastic advice. Thank you all, this is very helpful to share just from your own personal experiences of what networking has looked like, how you've kind of managed to get the positions they are in that it's not a straight path and you know kind of lean into those temper projects and those things that you might not anticipate enjoying.
Thank you so much. My next question I'm gonna I'm gonna ask everyone. So we'll start with you again. Samantha, what are a few essential skills? Whether they're hard skills or soft skills that helped to drive success in the industry, specifically in your field and in the work that you do. So I think both are important because in a business and in a big field with the soft skills is important because we need to interact with people. So we need to know how to handle people, how to handle, how to talk, how to go, how to arrange the presentations and all those.
And that's very important. And also in it technical knowledge is very important and in technical in it there is every day something to learn. So it's not like I know everything. I know this moment.
The next moment there is something new. There's something else coming up. There's updates like the software updates our brains needs to update too, so yeah.
So I think every day we have to like, you know, work on ourselves. That's very important, yeah. Excellent. Thank you. Yes.
Mm-hmm. Yeah, that continues. Improvement. Uh. Gonna pass it to Zen next. Uh, because you mentioned some certifications and things just Hmm. in that continuous improvement and growth in a field that's constantly changing.
So I'm curious to hear thoughts as well. Yeah. Like I I I know it's gonna be kind of cliche, but in cybersecurity, your absolute best skill.
Common sense that you you would think it's the ability to hold some new Super Sean that's gonna catch every piece of data coming through and catch the bad guys. It's common sense that back in the day, the Nigerian Prince had a really bad like his grandma was terrible. His spelling was terrible.
Now it AI like his, his English is impeccable, but you have to be able to catch those things, because I I think the current You know. statistic is 85% of all cyber breaches. Start with the phishing email.
These days, it's the ability to have common sense and it's part being a psychologist like you have to be able to talk to people in a way where cybersecurity isn't the enemy. You're we're not the bad guy. Where we're all on cause. Like I've walked up the people's desk and had them start crying just because I was there, and that's not the type of relationship you want with them. You want them to say, hey, you know what? Look, I created this awesome password. Let's see if you can crack it.
I'm like, OK, you want them engaged in, in that and to feel good about being secure and even the ability to give them skills that they will be able to use in their everyday life, that I conduct cyber security trainings on an almost weekly basis. And I feel good when someone walks up to me and say, you know what? My bank called me this morning and the call felt kind of funny and I went in and I checked and someone was trying to hack makes me feel great. It feels awesome.
So and the last skill that I think you would need to be able to develop is the ability to communicate with someone who's like I I don't wanna be cliche again, but holding the purse strings that there is that fine line between how you wanna set up your infrastructure and the things that you want to do versus the reality of the budget that you're going to have to be able to command to take care of those things. And sometimes you have to be able to talk in that language. There's a reason why every piece of software that I've ever worked for reporting has been called the executive summary. You make things pretty.
You make things flashy and you be able to communicate with them in a way that gets your point across. To be able to do your job because it's not all unical abilities that we we have AI that can do some of those technical things, but being able to talk to an executive and convince him why this project needs to move forward is just as important as knowing how a piece of software works or why it works. Excellent. Thank you so much. Then yeah, logic relationship building be able to communicate with many different people.
I'm curious to hear Mona's perspective as well from a kind of a manager and management side of things as well. Umm. For for management, I guess there are more soft skills than they are the technical or hard skills. A lot of I mean networking is gonna be the the fix soft skill that you should have regardless of your role or the company that you're in and those relationships you build at your company are going to help you not only the time that your at company, but the time that you're going to leave your company.
But beside that, as a manager, definitely conflict resolution is another soft skill. That is, yeah, critical goal setting, problem solving, and being visionary. Being able to not compromise the short term wins over the long term vision and and goals and find the right balance for that.
Excellent. That's great advice. Yeah, kind of round rounding everything out there in terms of, uh, the conflict resolution piece. Thank you, Mona.
And then Jim, I'd love to hear your thoughts on kind of some of the essential skills that you find that are helpful in the workplace, either for yourself or or folks that you work really closely with. Tab for myself. I think communication skills being able to take complex technologies and break them down into an elevator pitch that your CFO's gonna spend probably 15 to 20 seconds on before it just goes over their head, right? So being able to break it down. Clear. Concise. You know, an executive summary is a great way to put it right.
A PowerPoint slide deck. Two or three bullets that conveys the message. Being able to speak to all levels, right? Being able to work with, you know, in your finance peers to talk through the budget impacts of a project, but also understand the financials.
So that as you're negotiating, you know transactions, you know you're negotiating from the best position you can be. First team members were looking for, you know, some of the the skills you know around the technology background. It doesn't necessarily have to be in what what we need, but if you can develop software, the language becomes secondary, right? I can teach a new language. What? I can't teach. Is that critical thinking or that cultural fit and feel and and the understanding of the mission? So we look for a lot of that.
How do you you know, how do you blend into healthcare? You know, because Healthcare is about the patient and serving you know, something bigger than yourself where you may wanna go somewhere and pursue, you know, finance and other things. And that's awesome as well. So we we we spend a lot of time on the fit and feel the cultural side and then we'll teach the the hard skill of whether it's Ansible or Python or X or Y that we need done.
It's great to hear about those transferable skills, right? As you know, you can learn a language as long as you've got kind of the background of that foundation and that just the translating information is another thing that I hear is kind of a common theme is really being able to communicate with a number of different audiences. So thank you so much for for sharing your advice and and insights. We've got one last question for the moderated side of things and then we'll open up for Q&A.
I'm going to go back and kind of go round Robin again to Samantha, what are some current or foreseeable trends that you've seen in the technology industry and you know what is your perspective on the industries that students should be aware of or or know about in the next few years? I think it's the AI. It's like it's taking people's job, so we need to be, like, really smart. So that actually we can compute AI so in in my job. So there was like a service desk job, but now there is a smart desktop machine over there and it's actually a AI which is working over there. So, and I think in next few years, we need to be really, really very smart and you need to actually, uh, you know, we need to we need to be able to control API so that AI will be like dependent on us.
This days I'm taking that. I'm seeing that AI is taking people's shops, so yeah, we have to be really smart and very smart in that sector. It's great insight.
Submit the what is AI look like in your current job in the day to day in addition to kind of having kind of the smart desk? So. So it's like a computer. It's like a screen and people like, you know, they can talk.
I mean, they can just like, just like, you know, Alexa, they can just talk and it's just replying and suppose people need a loaner laptop. They're like, I need a loaner laptop, and the AI is giving them a code, and they just entered the code and there is a locker that just opened. So that's how they're getting the loaner. Laptops or they're having some, you know, the laptop is broken.
They need to swap it out, so that's how they just get the replacement. So but before that, people used to work. If there was people assigned to those jobs, people used to swap it out for them. But now there was an air. Did it just a screen which is taking their job like people got laid off because of that? So I think we need to be really smart and I think people should be smart in a way that we need people to control AI.
AI shouldn't be controlled to us, yeah. Absolutely interesting. Yeah, I haven't heard examples so much of like hardware. You know being, you know, helped out with AI, more software sorts of things. So it's interesting perspective.
Thanks so much for sharing about you, Mona. What are the foreseeable trends and impacts to your current work and what do you see kind of in the technology industry coming forward? I have lady different perspective towards AI. AI is is still very new and there's a chance that it's gonna become huge or again, it's gonna go silent like it did years ago. Until another new shiny thing, I think it's very important to educate our ourselves in that area, but I don't necessarily think that I don't see it as a threat to our jobs. I just see see it changing the type of job that is needed. I it's very unfortunate that people that for example in in the locker situation, they lose their job, but then in order to have that screen, there's gonna be a lot of other technicians that they have to be hired to maintain that to update it, to upgrade it, to to to all of all of that, right.
So it's just changing the way we do work, but not necessarily eliminating the need, at least not in in near future. Apparently AI is very expensive. It's actually cheaper to do certain work with human today than it is. If you want to do it with AI, so I think it's very important to acknowledge the the changes that is coming with AI and how that can impact your job and how you can get ahead of it. If your job is the type of job that can be replaced by AI, what other jobs would be generated as the result? And if if there is any any opportunity for you to to get ahead of that then and learn learn that path to be able to support that.
Excellent. Thanks for sharing that perspective, Mona, super helpful. And then, Jim, what does what does this look like in your industry in terms of healthcare and technology, both AI and and He.
other kinds of trends that you see, I'm sure securities and aspect as well. So I'm excited to hear at science perspective after. Go ahead, Jim. Yeah. No, absolutely. Security is a huge aspect.
We're very target rich without without a doubt from all the the medical data. AI has a couple dynamics for us, so we're we obviously look at it from an operations perspective, how can I engage my customer, which are the users better? Umm how can I be more predictive? Some machine learning, the bigger the the desire is on the clinical side, but that's also the biggest risk in the most problematic from a governance perspective, hallucination is a huge issue, especially when you're talking about someone's life and a treatment plan. So controlling that large, you know the the LM is certainly a a key aspect of that. So you know we we have a governance process around that. We don't allow chat, GPT and some other things because of the dynamics of the patient, the clinician and and and that. So we're trying to get that out, but I see it more on the operation side.
Without it out, you know we'll we'll leverage it for improving the business, streamlining the business. Uh, you know what we, you know, we have a, you know, numerous open positions all the time. So we don't see a decreasing our our staff that we have in House, it's augmenting the openings that we do have so that we can be more effective. Really interesting to hear from kind of the business perspective of how that's being used. Thank you so much.
And then Zen, this is where I'm sure you know, in terms of Perfect. cybersecurity, we're just going to see more and more issues and bad actors. So I'm curious, you know, trends in in technology, in your frame of reference and very interested to hear more. Well, like I, I hate to keep beating on the AI drum, but it's it's it's big. I I don't look at it from a gloom and doom perspective.
Like when you're when you're in cyber security, you can spend a lot of time looking for a needle in a haystack. And if something can help me find that needle faster, more power, to me it makes me more effective the the issue when it comes to AI. As far as I'm concerned and the general trend across the board is ransomware and state sponsored bad actors. So you have a a significant amount of North Korea's GDP is based on cyber attacks. So you have other countries and other like groups that are not only looking to make money off of your organizations, they're looking to hurt you as a part of an attack on America and and attack on any other thing that. So from that perspective, a few years ago, if you wanted to hurt another country, you had to go over there and you had to drop bombs on them.
Now you mess with their water supply. You shut off their electricity that you destroy their ability to provide health care to their populace, so defending against people who are well funded and highly motivated is is the latest trend. This isn't some guy drinking a yoohoo sitting in his basement in his parents basement, like trying to make money off of you. These are people who are well funded.
Like I said, looking to either hurt you because they just wanna see the world burn, or looking to make money in real significant money off of your organization. And I kind of like we don't wanna say I like that back and forward, but the fact that on a daily basis I'm being tested. By people who are highly motivated in their jobs keeps me highly motivated to do my job.
What a way to wrap it up then? I appreciate that very much I because my my final question to you was going to be, you know, how do you keep your head above water with all of all of that going on and and kind of being able to look into the future there. So thank you so much to each panelist. We really appreciate your time and your responses and shared perspectives to each of the moderated questions. I am going to pass it back. That's my colleague and friend Corey, who's going to help us out with some Q&A from the folks who are able to either jump in via chat or raise their hand in teams. Thanks so much.
Awesome. Thank you so much, Tyra and panelists. So it looks like we already have some folks raising their hand, so feel free to please go ahead and do that if you'd like to come off of mute and ask your question directly to our panelists.
So we'll start and kind of go down the line here. And then once we get through those, I'll jump into. We had a lot of questions in the chat, so if we can get there, we will make it happen. So away we go.
Justin Hamar, you're 1st. I'll go ahead and come off mute and ask your question to the panelists. Yes, hi, good evening. Thank you for taking my question.
I was kind of encouraged to attend this by my career advisor. I'm a SNHU alumni and actually currently have my master's degree in cybersecurity from Western Governors University. My question to everyone here is obviously the past year. It's been very umm volatile in the cybersecurity, you know, vendor space.
I actually graduated back in 2021, took on my first role as a solutions engineer at beyond trust, and then transferred over to FORGEROCK, which is subsequently merged with Ping Identity. So unfortunately I've been out of work since probably last April. I've been trying to find, you know, new roles and things of that nature. Been interviewing at lots of places but it just seems like there's a flood of security professionals and sales engineers in the market that's making it really competitive, but also very challenging to find a place to land.
Do you guys have any advice or where do you see kind of the trends and and markets going, you know for sales engineer or or security engineer type of roles? Whoever wants to jump in on that, feel free to to take that one. Yeah. So I'll I'll take a swing at it at first.
So like I have a a few friends who are who are sales engineers and there's been a lot of shift in the industry, a lot of change and movements and perseverance that they're there. I think I think the industry is finding its equilibrium at at the moment and it's only a matter of time until that that comes back around that the need for cybersecurity isn't going to go away. That what will make you stand out more than anything else is when when I say like when you're in cyber security, you can be anything. See I CDC CI CD pipeline that you can be like a fishing. You can be a pen tester, so find the part of it that you enjoy and get certifications in that area. Like show that you are a specialist in that whether it be cloud cloud was like really big, but now it seems that they're pulling back from the cloud and people are keeping more stuff in a hybrid environment due to the cost of being out in the cloud.
So find where insecurity you can. Find your niche, your niche, and focus focus toward that area, but not losing. Focus on overspecializing you want to understand how all the pieces fit together, but you want to be able to shine in one area. So Zen, just to follow up on on what you've said, you know, obviously like everyone else, I've kind of started on the help desk and then also, you know, did various things in sales prior to getting all my IT certifications. I do have my CompTIA, you know, the big three of the 8 plus network plus and security plus. And I also got my CHI did find that because of my unique background in sales and also help desk and other system admin types of job I keep getting calls and have been reached out to you for those sales type of engineering roles for whatever reason like I've never been able to land like a a security engineer.
I've always been interested in like GRC, or in fact I just recently interviewed for IT product specialists at a regional. Utility company here in Northern California, you know, utilizing beyond trust and send that up. So do you have any advice on just trying to get into that side of cyber security rather than and having this unique background that keeps dumping me into sales engineering for SE? That sometimes it's something as simple as taking a step back Right. from it. So your sales engineer and that's not quite your seems to be where you want to go with that, but it's getting getting the certificates like certifications in cybersecurity, they get your resume, see that you put the bunch of letters Right. behind your knee, you get seen, you get called and when like this is probably one of the most important things because like I've been on probably hundreds of cyber security interviews and now you're not just competing with your local batch of Right.
cybersecurity engineers, you're usually competing with a much larger pool due to hybrid and remote work environment. So the more remote you want to work, the more people you're competing with for that job that I'm gonna give you the least technical advice that you could probably ever receive for an IT interview. Mm-hmm. Know your technical stuff, but make them love you. If they love you, and when you're talking with them and Right. you're getting along and you can talk the charging with them and be their friend for that hour, your chances of getting a job in the field are going to increase dramatically because cybersecurity engineer roles.
Or even most analyst roles given the large disparity of programs that we use, you can't expect anyone to be a specialist on what button to press where. So those interviews tend to be more generous, generalist Right. interviews, and the rest of it is just them getting the feel for you as a person.
Right. So smile, smile and let them know that you're smiling and you're loving every minute of it. Right, right.
Great, great advice. It's. Awesome. Thanks for your question.
Uh, we're gonna kinda have to move along here because we got a bunch of questions to try to get to before the top of the hour, so we're gonna kind of keep this train moving. But thank you so much for your question and thank Zen for answering that student. Next up, we have Victor Simpson. If you wanna come off mute and ask your question. Yes. Thanks we can.
Can you hear me? OK, sweet. So my name is Victor Simpson. I'm a recent graduate of NH U with my bachelor's degree in game Martin Development.
My question in general is just for everyone when it comes to AI assisted technology with also combination of automated AI. How is that gonna be? I guess maybe helpful for future jobs and it if I'm like to would say I'm I'm I'm building up my skills in like programming with the combination of art. But I wanna essentially you know go on an interview where I have maybe both the skills of using AI and also just my standard skills. How is that gonna? I guess help me for a potential.
Uh, you know, hard position. If I'm looking to apply for something, it's my. It's maybe my question with that. I'll go ahead and take a stab at that.
Umm, I would say don't necessarily look for your end job immediately, right? I think one of the most important things is, you know, organizations will find spaces for the right people. Get in, show your value. Do you know? Be willing to do all the things that no one else wants to do.
Learn, absorb and you know, look for those opportunities. Once you're in the organization to move around, you know vertically and horizontally and let the organization help you along that path as well. I would start with that. Thanks, Jim. Alright, thanks. Awesome.
Thanks, victor. So Next up we have Chris. Chris, if you wanna come off mute and ask your question of the panelists. Hey, guys. How's it going? I appreciate you all of your time. Uh, I've worked basically in like the customer service field for pretty much my whole life.
Definitely wanted a different direction here. Just something that I felt I needed to do, but I'm currently enrolled at SNHU going for my bathroom cybersecurity. I just want to know just I guess general advice because I've been applying just for like help desk roles like are there other positions and if there are even for help desk like are there certifications that are pretty much like I guess entry level that will help me with getting those positions. Purity Plus and CEPH. OK. Yeah.
OK. So I'll go for this. And if you're looking for help desk like A plus, and I think there's another. Another one in there. I can't remember the name of it right now. Network plus.
Well, thank you guys, appreciate. Samantha, you're gonna say something? Yeah. Go ahead. I just wanted to uh, I just want to say that, you know, this is the the failure is part of the process. You will get rejected. That's part of the process.
Just don't stop and whenever you decide to do something. If you want to switch your career, if you wanna do something else, you always have to start from the scratch. So you have to be prepared. No, I can't be a manager.
I can be a, you know, a top position. I have to start from the scratch. So you just, it's just the mindset you have to set your mind and just keep going and just, uh and also go for the positions which where they provide trainings and that really helps if you go for those possessions at the initial stage, you learn and you also get go on the on job training and that really helps to grow. Yeah, that's all. Thank you.
Awesome. Yeah, that's great. Great advice there.
Thanks for your question, Chris. I'm moving right along. Next up, we have Booker. Go and ask your question, Booker. OK.
Thank you for taking questions and thank you for being here. My question is I'm I'm a service connected disabled veteran and my niche is more into healthcare because I'm I'm currently getting my masters in public health. So there are a lot of veterans out there that need, you know, healthcare and and health information. And I think James, this is more catered to you as far as you know AI and everything and getting under as professionals we understand AI, but breaking it down and layman terms to the patient and getting them to understand what is being told to them based off of what they're getting from the Internet, from the computers and from all this other information, how do I as a like if I wanted to get into the technical side of it to help out Lutherans, where and how would I go about doing that? Well, first thank you for your service there. You know, from hospital perspectives, most of the the the community based hospitals or faith based hospitals or working with veteran programs. I know we are directly, so I would, you know, certainly reach out that way would be an awesome opportunity look to, you know, look to the the community based hospitals, the larger chains or probably a little different.
But look for you know more of that regional sights and and hospitals in your community and and you know really reach out to them also reach out to the the hospital president right. So most hospitals, you know, have a standard structure of a hospital president. They probably have gone through a similar program from a, you know, MHA perspective.
They're more than willing always to, you know. Respond to requests for information and things like that. So I would just reach out and, you know, don't necessarily stop at one look for different positions in the organization from operations or leadership there and and just network with them as possible.
Most have reach out programs though in the community. Great. Yeah. Thanks, Jim. Thank you.
Hopefully we can get to a couple more questions here before the top of the hour. So Sean, go ahead and ask her a question. Does anyone have a question for Mona? I think Mona should jump in on one of these.
Go ahead, Sean. I could answer that. Sean. OK, maybe he jumped off. I will keep it going here, Zachary.
Go ahead and come off you and ask your question. Hey, can you hear me? Yes, we can. OK ohm, I am just getting this cyber security at SNHU person in my bachelors degree.
Uh, my, I guess my question is towards job search. Should I expect an entry level role? Uh, easily out of right after I finished at SNHU? Or are there more certifications and trainings that I will need after graduation in order to land an entry job entry level role? I can actually answer that at the higher level, not very specific to your field, just as as the hiring manager, I can tell you definitely, I don't think you need any certification because if education was a problem or something that was holding you back, you already graduated. So you have that degree for most part, companies are concerned about experience.
So if you cannot get the job you want, try to lower your expectation and aim for something temporary. Maybe you can do a job for a year. Add that to your resume and so their internship pay or not pay. Consider even volunteer work. Even I in some cases I recommend for people that they really struggle to to get that experience to even do freelancing, be self employed. You know how valuable that is to a hiring manager? That not only you can do the technical work that you're hiring, but also you know how to talk to customer.
You know how to understand the problem and you know how to go from there to come up with a solution. So at the experience is very important, but also know that you finding job within a month or two is really not common. It may happen, but it's not common there. There is the two two to four month range that is is expected for for job hunting and also depends on the market. Like right now we have a lot of layoff in big tech companies that make it a little bit harder to find job because they're all out in the market, right, and comes out the physical year and the budgeting for each company. So for example, in our company I'm starting February, you're gonna see probably more jobs because that's the beginning of our physical year and the budget is approved.
So now we can start opening direct, so the timing is important. Don't ever get this appointed and don't ever think I was ridiculed by many, many local and small companies, but got lucky and was hired by a very unknown and large company like Autodesk. So it's really about being in the right place at the right time for the right position. Try to get that experience, but also note two to four month job hunting it's expected. OK, perfect. Awesome.
Thank you so much. That was very helpful. Thanks, Mona. So I wanna be mindful of everyone's time and we are two minutes over top of the hour, but I wanted to kind of close us out a little bit here and again thank everyone for joining us this evening.
Thank you to our panelists and your time today and I know there was a ton more questions in there. And we could, you know, been here. I'll you know all night, but you know, definitely join us on SNHU Connect and we can continue the conversation there and it's a it's a space for you as a student where you can kind of get involved with different clubs, professional organizations, different honor societies, events and kinetic connecting with our career networking community from a career services lens. So you can visit us at students.snhuconnect.com and connect with a whole bunch of different pages on there and we can keep you informed.
And again, keep the conversation and the questions going again. I wanna thank everyone who was involved with this panel tonight and we will definitely see you on the next one. Hope you enjoy the rest of your evening and This Is Us saying good evening bye.
Yes. Thank you for. Thank you for inviting me. Thank you.