The regional champions from UNK have returned from competing at Nationals.
UNK was the smallest and newest team to the competition. Our INT majors and minors battled against perennial powerhouses and some of the most experienced cyber security experts in the nation. Although we did not finish in the top 3 in our first year, the students competed with as much class and tenacity as any team has ever displayed on this national stage. Over and over again, comments were given on the positive attitude and business professionalism displayed by our University. This is a priority for our CBT/ITEC program.
We didn’t win, but I am very proud that we were able to help put UNK on the national IT map for cyber security and that we held our own against much larger schools. I am excited to start building and coaching next year’s team.
Please reach out to me if you have any questions about our Information Networking & Telecommunications (INT) program, cyber security (a core component of the INT curriculum), or our involvement in the NCCDC competition.
As one of the students said, "Hey, coach. We're coming back next year. We will be back." Yes, we will. This is only the beginning.
So, the security student team won regional CCDC. Woot! I provided moral support and acted as coach. I was very proud of the guys.
Then, I got contacted by a national rep and realized that we really do get an all-expense paid trip through NCCDC to San Antonio, TX. This is a big deal. This not only validates how important the IT programs are at UNK including networking and telecom, computer science, information technology, multimedia and management information systems, but validates the students' hard work both in and out of the classroom in preparation for regionals.
Now, prep begins again as we try and fit in as many scenarios and team building exercises as possible before April 24th.
I agree with some of the things mentioned here. I biggest takeaway for me from this article was something I see with women in the classes I teach. Men tend to be more assertive and confident in the hands-on lab than women. Even if wrong, men in my classes will try it. Women tend to hold back a bit more until they make sure they have it right and then even sometimes are tentative. Is this because working hands-on and mechanical aspects are more familiar to men? I think so. Perhaps this also could be because of early childhood development and the toys that are presented. But I also think that personality plays a role.
The bottom line for me is that women can be successful in the networking field without knowing coding. I think the same goes for other areas of IT and I thought the article did a great job of addressing this point. The IT field has gotten so big, vast, powerful that STEM fields do not have to be explored as a whole. In the INT program here at UNK, we choose to take this approach. We look at routing, switching, wireless, cloud, data center, voice, and security purely from the networking area. Does networking have application in other IT areas? Absolutely, but we believe that this area, in itself, is so vast that it deserves study on its own merit.
This is what Cisco and others are now calling the Internet: The Internet of Everything (IoE). I like IoE because it's an acronym and where would techies be without acronyms? That's a rhetorical question so don't answer. But, back to IoE, read this blog: http://blogs.cisco.com/ioe/how-ioe-will-shape-the-next-25-years
It's fascinating. March 12th was the 25th anniversary of the Internet now the IoE (which is really close to IE and no further comments on that). The 25th anniversary of a "thing" that pretty much touches every single person in my household on a daily basis. Not only does it "touch" them once but quite frequently throughout the day. Even though they are kids they are surrounded with apps, touch screens and wireless.
So what's my point? Read the blog. It's cool. A degree in networking provides lot of opportunities especially with the dawn of the IoE.
Lately in class we have been attempting to go wireless. And I don't just mean any wireless. I mean wireless-with-a-controller type of wireless. Hard core, corporate, in your face, big wireless. We are using Aruba in the classroom and although it has been slow going, I think we have had successes. We actually had one access point up and running yesterday. Although the SSID broadcasted was humorous, it was taken down and re-sanitized so that it would be seen as "appropriate" on a college campus. We, in INT, are nothing but appropriate.
Speaking of SSIDs (aka wireless network names) and college campuses like this one, this is a note to you students who have nasty wireless labels on your access points. Everyone with a smartphone can see your label. And since a LOT of students have smartphones now-a-days, a LOT of people can see your label. Just saying...