Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Get a Networking Degree

Recently our telecommunications degree was changed to reflect the networking content that we have been teaching for years. The new name, reflected below and hopefully soon above in the header, is information networking and telecommunications (INT). But what does a degree in networking mean? The degree is not social networking. The degree does not teach how to maintain media communication networks--speaker wires, video wiring, or microphone wiring. This degree focuses on the nitty gritty technical details of routing, switching, circuits and multiplexing, as well as, soft skills like leadership, business skills and management skills.

So what in the world do you do with this degree? Many exciting choices exist with a networking degree. Hackers, like Anonymous, have recently made the news with their many exploits. With a networking degree, you could work for a business and try and keep hackers like Anonymous out of your servers and out of your network. You could manage the servers on a network like email, web and DNS. You could manage helpdesk employees. You could manage an enterprise level network including devices like routers, switches, firewalls, intrusion detection and VPNs. The possibilities are almost endless.

The key word mentioned above is management. The degree does not aim to make a network techie but rather a well-rounded person. The degree aims to build a person who knows the technical details but also has the communication and leadership skills to move up into management.

Do you know anyone in IT? Ask them what they do. Interested? Get a degree in networking at the University of Nebraska at Kearney (UNK).

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Women in Information Networking & Telecommunications

As a woman myself, I want to encourage other women to join the information networking and telecommunications field. Women often bring a different aspect and a different viewpoint to the job and many leaders in industry find this view refreshing. In my former position as a network manager, I had the ability to empathize with our user base. This was a powerful connection as it allowed me to implement concepts and make the network better and more helpful to the users. I have found a short video of three empowering women in the technology field. Click here to watch a short video on women in technology. Ford is a big advocate for women in the pursuit of degrees in technology. I am an advocate for the same. So, this is to all you ladies, who want an engaging and rewarding career. Come join us in INT.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Finals Week in Networking and Telecommunications

This week is a source of stress for some students. My students have worked hard and put in much effort. The final that I have given is hard. It is not easy. The final is an accumulation of a semester long immersion in switching and routing. On the final, the students have to put together the big picture. How do you configure a small network with multiple switches and one router? How do you make a connection out to another router from your small branch office router? At the end of this semester, I hope that all of my students can, not only, answer these questions with confidence, but, implement, as well. After all, we do hands-on over here in INT. It's real-world stuff. So, come join us! Take a tour of our lab. It's real-world.