DFW Technology Director Says Experience Is Good But Education Is Better
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Technology is certainly growing in the DFW area. With opportunities becoming more and more available for technology-based jobs, it is good to see that the value of education is becoming increasingly important. Mike Roberts of the Quinlan Independent School District says that education can expose you to new concepts and ideas.
Where do you work and what is your title?
“I have worked for the Quinlan Independent School District since 1995, and my title is director of technology. I hold a bachelor’s degree in information technology and an associate’s degree in information systems. For my particular position, I think a bachelor’s degree is preferable but not always required. In many cases, technical skill and experience can be considered equivalent to a degree and therefore can be substituted in certain situations. When I was first hired, I had an associate’s degree and years of technology work experience instead of a bachelor’s degree. In my case, this combination was considered acceptable. I then later completed my bachelor’s degree while working.”
What do you think was the most important aspect of your education?
“I think there were several important and beneficial aspects of my education. The first aspect was the simple rigor of the schooling. Structured learning, assigned tasks, deadlines and successful completion of processes, events and tests are excellent training for the workforce, as these are all essential skills that helped me excel in my field. In addition, classroom exposure to new technologies and ideas helped me widen my scope of knowledge in a way that isn’t possible via just simple experience. Experience may provide deep knowledge of the tasks you do regularly, but education will show you concepts and thoughts over a broad area and triggers new ideas you may not have thought of previously.”
What do you think is unique about working in the DFW area?
“A great thing about working in technology in the DFW area is the fact that so many major technical corporations are either based out of DFW or have major offices here. This gives me access to nearby training, events and conventions that are not easily accessible for others.”
What kind of advice would you give someone who is looking for work in your field?
“I would recommend that they attempt to acquire both a technology-based education of an associate’s or bachelor’s degree as well as technology work experience. An additional task that would help you find employment would be to obtain one or several industry-based certifications from the major corporations or certification bureaus. These achievements demonstrate both hands-on knowledge and the drive to succeed. As an added benefit, these certifications may help boost you to the top when compared to other candidates with similar experience or degrees during the employment selection process.”
Judy Serrano writes romantic thrillers at www.JudySerraon.com. She graduated from Texas A&M Commerce with a BA in English. She is also a freelance writer for Examiner.com. She lives in Texas with her husband, four boys and five dogs.