Skills for Technology Careers of the Future

By DeVry University

Presenters:

  • Lisa Iannuzzelli, DeVry University National Dean of Program and Course Development
  • Jude Lamour, PhD, DeVry University Professor
  • Natalie Waksmanski-Krynski, PhD, DeVry University Professor

As part of our Future-Ready Skills sessions, Jude Lamour, Natalie Waksmanski-Krynski and Lisa Iannuzzelli discuss technology skills for the new workforce, along with DeVry’s programs designed to help meet those needs. Get an overview of the critical foundational skills you need to know, discover why industry certifications are important to employers and learn how to help keep your tech skills up-to-date.

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Video Transcription

Lisa Iannuzzelli: Thank you, Elise. Welcome everybody. Technology is a part of our work lives, as well as our personal lives. And like many other skills, there's a foundational set that anyone with a career in technology should know and keep up to date, which we'll delve into during the session with two DeVry professors. Dr. Natalie Waksmanski is currently a professor and faculty chair at DeVry University in the college of engineering and information sciences, where she teaches physics, computer programming, electronics, calculus, algebra and statistics.

She earned a PhD in engineering with a concentration in mechanics and a certificate in nuclear engineering at the University of Akron in 2016. She has published numerous papers on the static and dynamic analysis of layered composite plates with multi-phase coupling and non-local effects. Dr. Waksmanski's area of expertise in computational mechanics has been applied to multiple areas in STEM, where in addition to enhancing student experience in the classroom, she serves as a mentor to a First Tech Challenge robotics team.

Dr. Jude Lamour is a professor of engineering and information sciences at DeVry College of New York. He earned a PhD in management information systems with an emphasis in information assurance. Jude also holds the CISSP and CISM certifications in information security from the International Information System Security Certification Consortium, and the Information System Audit and Control Association, respectively. He has held many titles from security engineer up to security manager. Jude has designed, implemented and managed many security projects for large enterprises in the financial sector in New York City.

He has also taught end user security awareness as well as trained security and network engineers on best practices in regards to protecting organizational data assets. Jude currently holds the Cisco Certified Instructor Trainer Certification in networking and security, where he trades practitioners about firewalls, instruction detection systems, intrusion prevention systems, router security, switch security and wireless security. For our audience, please enter your questions in the chat, and we'll be sure to answer as many as possible. Welcome to our professors.

Meet Dr. Natalie Waksmanski

Lisa Iannuzzelli: Dr. Lamour and Dr. Waksmanski, I know I went through your biographies and your background, but maybe each of you can fill us in a little bit more on how you got started in teaching and what really makes you passionate, excited about teaching overall and here at DeVry. Maybe Dr. Waksmanski, if you want to kick us off.

Dr. Natalie Waksmanski: Sure. I'd be glad to. I mean, talking about why I'm passionate about teaching, I mean, I'd be more than happy to start about that. As you've mentioned, I just recently, in the past four years, earned my PhD, and I went straight into teaching. That's been my passion. Education has been something that's been important to me my entire life, and that's been ingrained in me. My parents, they immigrated from Poland, escaping communism during a time that they had no educational opportunities. And they knew that if they would stay in their country, they would not be able to further their careers or attain anything.

They truly instilled in me that knowledge is power. And, I just love learning. I have this unquenchable thirst for knowledge.  And when you're learning, you're also teaching. So, those two go hand in hand. Now, that's something that I inspire for my students because many of them, too, are also first generation immigrants or first generation college students such as myself. So, at DeVry, we're able to have that closer connection with our students. I didn't want to teach a university that I would have hundreds of students in the classroom. I really wanted to connect with my students and get to know them and give them the motivation and the support they need in order to achieve their educational goals.

A Mentor in Robotics

Lisa Iannuzzelli: That's great. Dr. Waksmanski. Something in your biography I wanted to ask you about, so it says that you serve as a mentor to the First Tech Challenge robotics team. Can you maybe talk a little bit more about what that is and how you serve as a mentor? It sounds really exciting and interesting.

Dr. Natalie Waksmanski: Yeah. I'd love to talk about that as well.  So, I'm based in the Chicago area with DeVry. In one of our campuses, we have a dual degree program partnered with the Chicago Public Schools. This robotics team is based with that Advantage Academy Program that we offer. In the past three years that I've been mentoring this team, we've actually been able to get to the state competition each of those times. So, I feel like this upcoming year bar is sitting high. But I love it, because the thing is, that these students, they get the hands-on experience of building something. You know, not just that, but they program the robot, and both autonomous and driver controlled. It is so much fun working with these students. I really do enjoy it.

Lisa Iannuzzelli: That sounds great, and good luck next year. Quick question for you from the chat. How is this First Robotics team working during the pandemic? How does that work now?

Dr. Natalie Waksmanski: Yeah. During the summer, since it is a high school program, we kind of take some time off. Usually, what we do is we would be still meeting and practicing driving the robot, learning about different mechanisms. But what we've done this entire time is, because we also faced a Chicago Public School teacher strike, so, we were kind of on and off all year, but in any case, we have this chat that we all connect with one another. First Robotics, there's different tiers. Unfortunately, the highest tier, the First Robotics itself has been called off, just because of the mass sheer number of students that participate.

But First Tech Challenge is still supposed to go. Chicago Public School schools is still a question mark, but we're still communicating, we're still sharing different, just videos and talking about next year, what we want to do. The students are still engaged and motivated, even though they're off for the summer.

Meet Dr. Jude Lamour

Lisa Iannuzzelli: That's so exciting. Thank you for that, Dr. Waksmanski. Dr. Lamour, maybe if you want to fill us into a little bit on, how did you get into teaching and what gets you excited and passionate about teaching?

Dr. Jude Lamour: Thank you, Lisa. One of the things I wanted to mention is that I am originally, my parents are from Haiti, myself as well. I remember when I was in high school, it was very much important for us to go to school, of course, the future it's with nothing, if you don't really educate yourself. I actually spent all my years there. I remembered going to high school with no books whatsoever. When I came to the U.S. and I saw we have libraries, and I couldn't believe people were not reading books. I said, "Oh my God, we have so many books here, which is exciting." And what was fascinating is I remember my second year in college as an engineering major and a math major, I was doing an internship at Brookhaven National Lab.

So many times I was doing lab in electronics, and if we ran into some problems, I would go to my professors at the time. The professors will explain that, the circuit we designed was correct, the simulation was right, the mathematical calculation was correct, but if you make the circuit fully, it doesn't work. And we were asking questions, but why doesn't it work? The professor kind of didn't know. So, I put some of my circuit projects to my mentor, who was an engineer at Brookhaven National Lab. He was a very young person, 35 years old. He was able to help me understand what was wrong with the circuits. Then, I was asking him, "I don't understand. You only have a bachelor's degree, but my professor has a PhD."

Then he explained to me that, "Jude, it's a very different thing when people have theoretical information if they never work in the field." So, I've always been passionate about teaching, but I didn't want to become a theoretical professor. So what I did, I graduated, I worked for many, many years in the field, acquired experience, and of course, the right alignment with the kind of thing that I want to do, where you got a professor who just have all of your theoretical knowledge, but cannot build the thing that you're talking about. You can't make it happen. And you will tell the students, "Don't worry about it. You get full credit."

When I heard about DeVry and I understood what they did, and I found out, not only that as Dr. Waksmanski mentioned, we actually aligned very well because also, I'm a first-generation college graduate. Also, we have a place where you cannot just teach theoretical, but you also have the practical aspect and being so close to your students, making a difference in their lives. I couldn't ask for anything better than that.

Teaching Based on Real-world Experience

Lisa Iannuzzelli: Thank you, Dr. Lamour. It's interesting you mentioned that you combine the teaching with the real world experience, and it says in your bio that you've held some positions, as security engineer to security manager. I'm assuming that's where you got your work experience. Maybe just tell us a little bit more about some of your work experience and how that comes into your classroom.

Dr. Jude Lamour: Thank you again, Lisa. Just to make it short, I guess, because it could be quite long. I've done a lot of different things. For example, I work in the telephone sector, so for voice systems for many companies. I also spent many years in the data center system. So where we work for some people who want to talk about server systems. I work on servers. We talk about voice system, video systems. I actually spent many years on the team of security team for many, many organizations, where we protect the data system, especially some of the Wall Street firms as well.

So, combined with that, all the way to management, where I was able to work with colleagues and design new data centers, implement data centers, and I'm talking thousands of servers. So, that allows me to have this practical experience from the point of view of voice system, video systems, data systems and then the management aspect, or the big picture of budget and all these other things. When you're teaching those students, it's not about, well, that's what the book says, but yes, we have the practical aspect to guide them effectively, which is the most fascinating part of it.

What is Tech Core?

Lisa Iannuzzelli: Great. So maybe we'll dive into the meat of our session today. So, DeVry has something called the Tech Core that's in a good number of its technology programs. Maybe Dr. Waksmanski, you can expand and tell us a little bit more about what the Tech Core is and why you feel it's so important.

Dr. Natalie Waksmanski: Yeah, absolutely. So, the Tech Core is the strategically designed curriculum that we, as professors, developed. We developed it to help students build a foundation of interdisciplinary skills they'll need for the new type of IT specialists that is needed in the world right now with the Internet of Things. Our tech core, the path itself revolves around this unique learning rubric, and it's called People, Process, Data and Devices. So, people, we're connecting people together. The connection with the people is becoming more efficient and we're connecting them in more valuable ways. The things, we have devices that are being connected to the internet and they're collecting data itself.

All of that is based around it, and all those skills that the students are learning related to operating systems, programming, hardware, connectivity and the security of those connections, that gives this whole well rounded experience to prepare the students to become this new type of IT specialist, as I mentioned. Now, you don't need to just know programming or just know hardware. All of these things are integrated together in this process, the people, the data, the things. It's one whole process. So, you kind of need to know a little bit of everything. That's why it's so important that students get this well-rounded experience around the Tech Core.

Defining the Internet of Things

Lisa Iannuzzelli: Now, Natalie, you mentioned something called the Internet of Things. I know probably a lot of people have heard of that, but maybe they don't know exactly what that is or what you mean by that. Could you maybe expand on that a little bit?

Dr. Natalie Waksmanski: Yeah, sure. The Internet of Things, now, is so much more than just computers and smartphones. It actually is because of smartphones that the Internet of Things has really exploded. Think of Alexa, think of a Nest, think of the Ring. Basically, any device that is connected to the internet that has some sort of sensor, it's collecting data. That itself is an Internet of Things object. I hope that kind of paints a better picture of what Internet of Things is about. There's so much to talk about it. We have a whole course just about it.

Lisa Iannuzzelli: We can go on a whole session on the Internet of Things.

Dr. Natalie Waksmanski: Yeah, you could. Yeah.

Developing DeVry's Tech Core

Lisa Iannuzzelli: Dr. Lamour, can you give us a little bit of insight, this tech core, how were DeVry's professors involved in creating it? Why do you feel this is so important that there was obviously professor faculty involvement in the creation?

Dr. Jude Lamour: Absolutely. The Tech Core, as Dr. Waksmanski mentioned, it's providing a foundation for students. One of the things that's critical, it's doing two things in my view that's critical. One of them is that, if you enroll in the program, especially people that enroll that you could be thinking about computer science or computer information system. You may be interested in engineering. You may be interested ... maybe you've heard about network of IT, information technology or maybe cybersecurity, but you're kind of really not sure. What happened is the Tech Core provide a foundational environment where students, and not only, it's required, that's part one, but part two, as Dr. Waksmanski mentioned, it is the future too, where you cannot have the skillset and say, "I'm a hardware person," or you're designing, let's say a security system, or maybe you're designing some kind of camera or something for monitoring.

But then you're saying, "Well, I don't understand what the software has to do with it." Because today, when we put a camera somewhere, somebody wants to remotely access the camera, do something, look at intelligent information. So you need some understanding of software. We don't want somebody who just go around. It has always been about wholeness, not just some pieces of things, so the whole system. The idea is we provide that foundation in some basic introduction of software, scripting introduction or automation. We provide some understanding of the hardware itself, electronics that's driving this. Then we provide some understanding that you need to access it remotely. Then, how does the network function?

But at the same time, if you access this remotely, then the next question becomes, how safe is it, or how secure is this connection? So, we need you to have that understanding. The wholeness is, whether you're an engineer, whether you're somebody who is writing the code, then you understand, wait a minute, my code has some bugs that make it a little bit unsafe for people to use. Then if you're designing as an engineer, then you ask, well, what's the intelligent component of it? That means what's the software that will drive this thing to make it more useful for the end user.

Then at the same time, we talk about this thing has to be, as Dr. Waksmanski mentioned, has to be over a network. There is no devices being created that you saw that cannot be on the network. Well, that's garbage, because nobody wants to use them today. The idea of the same IoT, Internet of Things, which give you the devices they don't have, a keyboard or monitors, like laptops of stuff, but they have to be on the network. Everything, whether it's your doorbell system, everything's pretty much on the network. Your refrigerator, your microwave. They come in ready to be wireless ready, connected, but yet, they have no keyboard, no mouse, but they're all being pulled and data being collected and have to actually work seamlessly with other devices on the network.

The Tech Core provides that foundation for the students first, to allow them to find a way to figure out, what do I really want to do? And second, it builds this integrated person that fully understands how these different fields interact together and to understand what they do at the end of the day for customers.

Finding Your Path in Technology

Lisa Iannuzzelli: Yeah. You mentioned something interesting that I know this is true of some students. They know that they are interested in technology, but they don't know exactly what area of technology they might want to go into. And, it sounds like, because of this foundational knowledge from the tech core, they could help assist students in that regard. Is that an accurate statement, and maybe if you have any comments on that, how maybe the Tech Core might help somebody who is a little interested in technology, but not really sure what direction they want to go, and how could the Tech Core help them out?

Dr. Jude Lamour: Lisa, I can answer that?

Lisa Iannuzzelli: Yes. Yeah, go ahead. Go ahead, Dr. Lamour.

Dr. Jude Lamour: Yes. The Tech Core provides some foundation in basic operating systems, something everybody needs to know. For example, everybody's using Windows. You may be using a Mac OS X, or maybe you're using Linux system to connect right now. Some of us are using Android, some people are using iOS, but it's an operating system that drives the interaction between the hardware, and then the person who was able to interface with it. The Tech Core provides that capability and that's very critical. Everybody has to use some type of operating system to actually use any computing environment.

Then, the Tech Core introduce operating system. The Tech Core also introduce basic wireless and wired network infrastructure. So, you get your feet wet there too. The Tech Core introduce basic electronics. So, the very basic electronics. It doesn't take you so high level where you need to know so much stuff to overpower you. It's just the ability to see, oh my God, that's how you can do an alarm system. I didn't know that's how the traffic light system work. So, they understand that. The Tech Core also introduce the students to the cyber part, because you'd think at least some courses, where you do hands-on, though, we're not talking theoretical because everything we do with the Tech Core has a purely hands-on component, especially the project.

It's fully hands-on, where a student's building something, where you're making something for every class you take. At that point, the students will get their feet wet to figure out, I really love that operating system course I did, and there was a pathway for it. I really loved that part of virtualization. Well, there's a pathway for it. That's the kind of thing it does, or maybe you want to be a cybersecurity person and you get your feet wet. What's interesting though, is that none of the credits you took, you lost. There are some places you go to school, and if you cannot be an engineer and then try to be computer science, and take a bunch of credits, it doesn't work that way because you're going to lose credit, where they say, okay, those enough credits you took over here for computer science, sorry, we can't use them.

But the beauty of the Tech Core is that it sits at the foundation, and everything you take, it still goes on, whether you're a cyber, an engineer, an IT purely infrastructure and computer information systems, whatever it is you want to do, it continues to build on it. This is not lost information. It's critical information that you would need to have any way to be a fully well-rounded person in today's environment.

Lisa Iannuzzelli: It sounds like a great benefit for our students. Sorry, Dr. Waksmanski. It looks like you had a comment as well. So go ahead.

Dr. Natalie Waksmanski: Yeah, I wanted to add onto that, because they are great options for our students.

Lisa Iannuzzelli: Yeah, for sure.

Dr. Natalie Waksmanski: But in addition to the things that Dr. Lamour mentioned, we do also introduce students to programming. On top of all that, the students don't have to decide right away, based off of all those things we listed. There's all like a variety of pathways that they can take, but there's also the undecided option. If you can't make up your mind and you like it all, you're taking all the classes that still are on the same path. So, it's this Tech Core path, as I like to call it. It really is like a pathway, where you're building your skills one on top of the other that are never lost, just as Dr. Lamour just so eloquently said.

What Makes Tech Core Unique?

Lisa Iannuzzelli: Like I said, what a great benefit for our students. But maybe talk a little bit more, Dr. Waksmanski, if you can, about maybe what else do you feel is in the Tech Core that's unique that sets DeVry apart.

Dr. Natalie Waksmanski: Yeah. So, Dr. Lamour was talking a little bit about how every course has a project, and the students get their hands-on experience. Even though they're taking a class online, they're still getting some hands-on experience, and they get it through what we call, is the IoT Tech Core kit. It's not just like gadgets or anything like that. It's microprocessors, it's sensors, it's wires and students are building various types of projects. It depends on the class. As Dr. Lamour said, some build like a traffic light, some build an IoT home security system, some use a sensor to collect a bunch of data because right now, our world is driven by data, everything's generating data. So they do a data analytics simulation as well.

The beauty of the Tech Core kit itself is that it's a lab kit that students are able to use without depending on physical laboratories in traditional brick and mortar type of locations. DeVry has a reputation for getting a hands-on experience. And how do you get a hands-on experience when you're online? Well, that's what the DeVry Tech Core kit is all about. It gives the student that hands on experience

Tech Core for Online Students

Lisa Iannuzzelli: I know, and I think you touched on this a little bit, but maybe expand a little bit. How does this kit work for the online students? It sounds like it's portable. Do they get like sent parts and pieces? How does all that work for the online students?

Dr. Natalie Waksmanski: The thing is, when it comes to these projects, they get so many resources available for them to build this. It's not, we're like, build a traffic system, and nothing. We really guide the students step by step. In the Tech Core, we have professors that prerecord step-by-step videos for the students to follow along, also written guides for the students that we can hit every student based off of their learning. Some people are more visual and want to see a video, some people are more into written texts, so they have the written texts. But on top of all that, we also offer weekly live lessons where all the sections for a particular course gather all the professors, not just all the sections of the students, but all the professors teaching those sections, they gather once a week.

These lessons are recorded. The professors are interacting with their students. They're giving lessons, they're guiding them also through the project as well. They're interacting with them in the chat. The thing is you're not alone when you're at DeVry. The professors really do care for you, and they want you to succeed.

The Value of Industry Certifications

Lisa Iannuzzelli: That's awesome. We have a few questions coming from the chat, so I wanted to take those. It looks like there's some folks in the chat who are interested in learning more about industry certifications, which I know is something that's probably critical, especially in the tech space. Dr. Lamour, maybe if you could explain, maybe for those who aren't as familiar, what are industry certifications, and why are these so important for our students and employers?

Dr. Jude Lamour: Okay. That's very interesting one because today industry certification, and myself, I have quite a few.

Lisa Iannuzzelli: Yes, I remember from your background. Yes.

Dr. Jude Lamour: I actually have a few more of it. There are some areas, especially if you're going to be a consulting person, which I used to work also for a consulting firm in the US, and you will go to organizations, and many times to be a high level consultant, organization will hire you will not hire a person, even though you have a degree, but sometime they go, "Well, yes, they have experience, but how do I know for sure? They usually want some kind of vendor certification, especially if you're implementing a product, or technology that they want to know you really well, so whoever made that technology said that you qualify to use it. Sometimes a certification is very important in the IT field. Even people with experience, a lot of time, what sets you apart is also the certification.

So, it is important. I think at DeVry we do that too, because many of our courses, we embed a concept as well, and we encourage, and we conduct sessions to, and maybe even not for students, if they're interested in being certified, which we always encourage students to do something beyond just getting the degree is fine, but to get a certification, especially before you graduate, it would be nice too. One of the things we do is that the Tech Core concept, many of them, early on, wrap up with some guidance around some certification foundation. Also, we start talking about certification early on.

So, the students are aware. We have meetings, we have clubs as well that students can join. Personally, one on one, we can always assist students in that area. Certifications are critical for businesses, like I mentioned before, because they want to know the product, whatever it is to buy, whether it's a router switch, its firewall, access points, or servers, or some special operating system, Microsoft or Linux. Whoever's implementing it, or the database system, suppose he was qualified by Oracle, qualified by Microsoft, or somebody, beyond saying, "Well, I got a degree," and they're not really sure. But do you know best practice?

This is important, even though you may know the theoretical concept, there's part, a little bit, one technology company from another, the way they implement the technology will be a little different. When you certify, it gives the assurance, okay, you know what's different about Microsoft versus Oracle, you know what's different about Cisco versus HP. When you implemented that switch, I can have assurance, since HP said you're certified, you will not be doing crazy things, even though it may appear to be working. We don't want something that appeared to be working. We want it to work as per best practice recommended by HP. That's usually why certification is so important, even if you have a degree, we definitely encourage people to do that.

Choosing the Right Certification for You

Lisa Iannuzzelli: Yeah. I think it's something that helps, like you said Dr. Lamour, certainly, it's a stamp of assurance for an employer that you have a certain skill or are competent in a certain area. It also, I think, may help on your resume, help you stand out a little bit more perhaps from somebody who may not have a certification as you went that extra step, took that extra effort, so to speak. Dr. Waksmanski, another question related to the certifications in the chat. Especially in the technology area, there's so many certifications out there. How does a student or somebody just decide which one is right for them, which one to go for, and is there a way that they can maybe determine what's the value of one certification over another?

Dr. Natalie Waksmanski: Yeah, I think the best way to look for what type of certification you want to pursue is look at the job descriptions, look what they're seeking. If you want to become a software engineer, look at the job descriptions that are out there, look at what they're requiring. We, at DeVry, within our Tech Core, we've weaved in some certification test prep type of questions, or we base some of our courses based off of that. But the thing is the need for various certificates changes over time. Some are more reputable than others, but ultimately, you have to look at what the demand is for the type of career that you want to pursue. That's at least my opinion and my recommendation for the students.

Engage in Continuing Education

Lisa Iannuzzelli: Great. Yeah. Another question, and I'm going to put this on Dr. Lamour, since I believe from your background, you have the CCNA certification. There is a question in the chat, they want to know what continuing education would you suggest for going into, well, it says robotics and the CCNA. I don't know, maybe Dr. Waksmanski you can talk about robot robotics and Dr. Lamour, you can talk about CCNA, and I'm sure they're related.

Dr. Jude Lamour: There is no better continuing education than practice, in general. I assume the question is, whoever asked the question, I'm not sure if they're working in the field, which would have been very helpful, because as you work. But then, there's a trick there too. Even if you work, it's nice sometimes to listen to a seminar, even it's a webinar online, because you'll get perspectives. A lot of times, where your work could be redundant, you may be doing something, a lot of changes occur, and your company, based on the size, the budget and everything, you're not necessarily learning a lot of things that's happening currently in your field.

We always encourage people. It just takes maybe once a month, you listen to a webinar. It could be an hour, half an hour. You'll learn a lot from that best practices. Also, even if you certify in one vendor, always looking to what other vendors are doing out there. It gives you different ways of thinking, versus I've only been doing HP, and I don't need to know what anybody else, what Juniper is doing out there, what is Cisco doing. If into cyber, I only do Palo Alto, I don't pay any attention Fortune, I don't want to do Cisco Firepower, or whatever it is, stuff like that.

That's a poor practice. That's not what you want. You want to be open-minded. There's a lot of free documents from any of those vendors. They're very in-depth, knowledge based, where you should actually try to read a few things every so often. It depends how much you want to read, but still, you read something. We have to at least read something. My policy is to learn something new every day. I'm reading an article every day, but to learn something, even if it's one word in your field you never heard before, maybe a business concept you never understood. You should really keep learning, keep on learning. It's something you just do.

Tips for Standing out in Your Job Search

Lisa Iannuzzelli: That's a great philosophy, Dr. Lamour, for sure, something that we should all practice. We got so many questions in the chat, which is awesome. Another question, they wanted to know is probably something that all recent college graduates face that they come out with their degree and they don't have a lot of experience. So, how do they kind of stand out to employers, and how do they get that first job when they just have the degree with not a lot of work experience? It seems like employers want both.

Dr. Natalie Waksmanski: Yeah. Well, I think one thing that, what we do in the Tech Core is we have the students build almost like an e-portfolio. Through the Tech Core, they're building projects each and every class that they have, and through all the classes that they're building, we also encourage them to post their projects on like a personal website that they can share with employers. That's one way that they can stand out. They can show their employers, look, I made this. This is something that I'm capable of. Not only do I know the theory, but I've actually put it to use.

Lisa Iannuzzelli: Dr. Lamour, do you have any recommendations?

Dr. Jude Lamour: As well, one of the things I think people should pay attention to that's very different, at DeVry University, the students have experience, but there is difference between, I always explain to students, production experience versus non-production experience. We actually use Microsoft technology. We use Linux technologies. We use Cisco devices, routers, switches, firewalls. We actually really use an access point, and we use the right sensors for electronics, and we build the circuit. We really program with Python. So, the students are not learning theoretical boxes.

You do have experience, except if you made a mistake, the oops system, you know when somebody says, oops, it costs you nothing per se, and you can't do that in a production environment, which means if somebody is using the hospital operation room, and then you do an oops while you're operating something in the system, it's a big problem. Our students do have the experience, except it's not in a production environment, where the kind of things that will go wrong will cost the business so much. So, they should also elevate that concept to realize, I have been using the Cisco myself, I have been using the access point from so-and-so. I really have been programming in Python or C-Sharp.

So, people would understand that except we need that extra leg to be able to do that, and at the same time, students can also always look for internship early while they enroll in school, which helps to boost the experience component.

Build a Stand-out Resume

Lisa Iannuzzelli: Yeah. That's very true. Another question from the chat, they want to know how they can get the resume to stand out. We all know about job sites and it's easy to click submit and your resume goes in, and then sometimes you feel like it goes into a black hole. How do you get your resume to stand out so that you can get noticed and get the call, at least for the interview and stuff?

Dr. Natalie Waksmanski: Yeah.

Lisa Iannuzzelli: Any thoughts on that, Dr. Waksmanski? I know this is kind of a career services call.

Dr. Natalie Waksmanski: Ultimately, you want to get the job, but I think that the big thing, right away, make sure you have the credentials they're looking for. Read all the requirements for the job description and see, do you meet them all? If you don't meet one of them, you're going to get booted out of the system right away. Another thing is, if you do have all the criteria that they're looking for, look for some of the keywords that are within the job description and put that into your resume. Don't use the same resume for all the jobs. You're going to have to tailor it for each and every job that you're applying for.

Lisa Iannuzzelli: Yeah. Dr. Lamour, do you have any comments on that?

Dr. Jude Lamour: Absolutely. I think there are some keywords in the technology field, IT fields. I'm not going to mention all the keywords per se, but we have some keywords that there's a software out there that looks for them, even they can have a long resume, but yet, they are certification keywords. Most jobs tend to have some kind of certifications. So, they just flag the people that have those keywords, just to make it simple. I guess one word on certification will be like the CCNA, and a lot of jobs in networking will be looking for CCNA.

So, if you're looking for a security person, like entry level, you may see a CompTIA Security+ will be one of the requirements. There could be other security certifications, but they usually will flag those. So, HR people, human resources tend to have software that just look for some keyword IT people tell them. They really don't understand what this thing is about, but they will check, okay. If you see this, okay, I need those resumes on the side. So, you tend to be pulled first with those keywords, which is why we again say certification still matters.

Remember to Network

Lisa Iannuzzelli: Yeah, for sure. Yeah. Those are some great tips. Just something that I know from my background as well, obviously both of you guys made some great points, but I think too, if you want to stand out, you want to have a great resume obviously, but it's also about networking too. You can't be afraid to, if you know somebody in a company that you want to work at to reach out to them and to try and get your foot in the door. Anybody you talk to, any career services person will tell you that a good resume is half of it, and you got to grow and work your network, and that certainly helps get your foot in the door.

Keep Students Engaged in a Remote World

Lisa Iannuzzelli: I know we're coming up on our time. Maybe we'll just wrap it up with one final questions. Maybe this is a little bit kind of the times of the day. We're in this pandemic, students are primarily online. Dr. Lamour and Dr. Waksmanski, as professors, how do you adjust to this new primarily online environment, and how are you working to keep your students engaged?

Dr. Natalie Waksmanski: Well, we offer those weekly live lessons that I mentioned. We have discussions and with our students that are embedded into the course. We reach out to them, we offer additional care. I've done fun things in my class as well. Random dance breaks, or Disneyland trips. I try to make it fun because the times we're living in are tough. Coming to my classroom should be a breath of fresh air. At least that's my approach to it.

Lisa Iannuzzelli: There you go. I love dance parties.

Dr. Jude Lamour: I guess we have a few seconds. We actually use the same technology, similar to here, where we are live with our students. They can see us, and especially teaching cybersecurity courses and networking. All the technology has always been remote anyway. We have access to full hands-on lab, physical systems that we moat. So the student's still able to access them, and we do the live activities together. It's a lot of fun. In fact, because everybody's sitting at home, a lot of times, it's hard to disconnect. It's what the student's not being able to do. The kind of like stay around and you stay there, and we have tea time. Unlike Dr. Waksmanski, we don't dance, but I probably should learn to do some of that too.

But what we do, we have a tea time. So, when we take a little break, all of us can have some tea time and then continue to have some basic conversation and go back to work again, which is very exciting. So, everything happens, and that's the future anyway, cloud computing, where you don't have to have your system next to you, even your desktop can be in the cloud. That's what we actually model at our university as well too, the future.

Lisa Iannuzzelli: Well, thank you so much both Dr. Waksmanski and Dr. Lamour for your insights today with our audience, and we'll be back in a moment or two with our next speaker who's actually going to talk to us about durable value.

Dr. Natalie Waksmanski: Okay. Thank you.

Dr. Jude Lamour: Thank you.

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