Hobbies And Natural Abilities Can Factor Into Career Prep And Development Plans
By Andrew Dotson, Stride Student Advisor
My career pathway at Stride Career Prep is Information Technology (IT), and more specifically, Cybersecurity. How I got to that pathway dates back to when I was about 9 or 10 years old. At that age, I was on computers quite a lot, and I was doing things that nobody else my age would’ve known about… or would’ve even known how to do. I was spending much of my time doing things such as spinning up virtual machines, dealing with device management, setting up application sandboxes, and more.
At that time in my life, I didn’t really know what I wanted to do in regard to the future. I was thinking perhaps I might become a police officer, and then it jumped to coding. And, it stayed that way for a long portion of my life.
When I finally got into high school, my dream was still revolving around coding, and so when the Career Prep program launched, I jumped in and immediately took the Computer Science class that was available. At that time, my angle was still coding, but I was also doing a hobby on the side… which was making vintage technology work on modern technology platforms through virtual machines.
I had to do some complex things when engaging in this hobby, and I had to get help from friends for some of it. But, that hobby of mine, mainly due to the complexness of what I was building (which I would call a kind of local infrastructure of vintage technology), is what led me onto my current pathway.
You may be wondering what that has to do with Cybersecurity. Essentially, it has to do with the fact that it relates to the protection and building up of infrastructure that’s split off from the rest of the network. I plan on going into Systems Administration within the industry, and with any IT job I might choose to take on as a professional. Making that decision means I need to be fluent in security basics, at a minimum.
Another thing that led me onto the Information Technology pathway (and into Cybersecurity) was my drive to complete certifications. I didn’t know anything about Systems Administration, initially. That didn’t come into my awareness in full until I got the Windows Server Administration Fundamentals Microsoft Technical Associate Certification.
That certification taught me so much about general Windows Server administration, and I used that knowledge to spawn local boxes of servers that were isolated from the rest of the network, and then multiple other local boxes that connected to that one central box. All of this then allowed me to train, test out different configurations, and more.
I found that Systems Administration, or just that side of IT, came easier to me than coding. Coding was more of a struggle for me to learn, while this naturally came easier, and I seemed gifted at providing this work to clients. I’ve always been good at managing and administrating computers, so being able to make money doing it seemed like such a simple idea. Ultimately, I was surprised I hadn’t heard of it before choosing Stride Career Prep’s Information Technology pathway.
One more certification that I found useful was the Windows OS Fundamentals Microsoft Technical Associate Certification. That specific certification teaches you how to manage the consumer end of the Windows operating system. So, instead of servers, it’s focused on the general operating system that employees and people at home would use. I also found that to be beneficial to my pathway, as it taught me about NTFS permissions and how to setup updating via Windows Update.
I didn’t get these certifications until the second semester of my Computer Science course, but when I did, it was well worth it!
To read more about how online schooling helps students grow, be sure to check out Virtual School Motivates Teen To Become More Responsible.
And, you can read another terrific blog post by one of our Stride Student Advisors about discovering the right internship for you, here!
Stride also has an article to help students new to online high school, so make sure you read 5 Tips For New Online High School Students, too!
To learn more about Stride Career Prep's Student Advisory Council, make sure to visit https://www.k12.com/stride-career-prep/about/student-advisory-council.html
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