“Getting a Good Job in America” Part 13 – Cybersecurity

There is an article today that shows one high-paying job category that has a lot of unfilled positions. That category is Cybersecurity and here is the article:

U.S. has almost 500,000 job openings in cybersecurity

From the article:

“There are about 465,000 open positions in cybersecurity nationwide as of May 2021, according to Cyber Seek — a tech job-tracking database from the U.S. Commerce Department — and the trade group CompTIA. The need for more web watchmen spans from private businesses to government agencies, experts say, and most of the job openings are in California, Florida, Texas and Virginia. That means for anyone looking to switch careers and considering a job in cybersecurity, there’s no greater time than now to find work, the job trackers said.”

It is fairly easy to learn to be a truck driver. Cybersecurity requires a little more brainpower, and it is best fitted to people who enjoy technology and computers. But if you are that kind of person, Cybersecurity is probably easier to learn that, say, software development. The article puts it this way:

“You don’t have to be a graduate of MIT to work in cybersecurity,” said Tim Herbert, executive vice president for research at CompTIA. “It just requires someone who has the proper training, proper certification and is certainly committed to the work.” Switching careers to cybersecurity could be as easy as grabbing a Network+ or Security+ certification, said Michelle Moore, who teaches cybersecurity operations at the University of San Diego. An  eight-week online course could help someone land an entry-level job as a “pen tester,” a network security engineer or an incident response analyst, Moore said. Those jobs pay between $60,000 to $90,000 a year, she added. 

There are many different ways to get the certifications. You could start with a Google search like this:

https://www.google.com/search?q=learn+cybersecurity

If you want to get a taste of what Cybersecurity is about, this 8-hour long (!) YouTube video is a free starting point:

Cyber Security Full Course – Learn Cyber Security In 8 Hours | Cyber Security Training |Simplilearn

Many other free options like this are available. Or if you prefer to pay for a course, lots of options are available there as well. Either way you will need to pay for the certification tests, and once you have passed you are ready to find a job.

More Jobs Articles

Easy directory of all of Marshall Brain’s Jobs-related blog posts:

  1. Introduction to “Getting a Good Job in America”
  2. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 2 – How do you gain skills?
  3. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 3 – Newsweek weighs in with 19 jobs
  4. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 4 – Driving a Truck
  5. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 5 – Information Technology (IT) and Cybersecurity jobs
  6. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 6 – Google Career Certificates
  7. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 7 – Becoming an Engineer
  8. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 8 – Making the most of entry-level sales jobs
  9. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 9 – Jobs to Avoid
  10. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 10 – Medical jobs like Nurse Practitioner
  11. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 11 – Electrical Lineworker
  12. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 12 – Software Developer and “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 12.1 – Software Developer
  13. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 13 – Cybersecurity

“Getting a Good Job in America” Part 12.1 – Software Developer

Let me add on to the previous post with a resource that may be useful to you if you think “Software Developer” is something that you might want to try. Take a look at this website:

https://www.freecodecamp.org/

This is a free site with many different offerings on tap. You can learn about:

The only problem here is that none of these are “beginner topics”. But if you are past the “beginner” phase, some of these are fantastic and can lead toward high-paying jobs. For example, anyone good at Machine Learning right now is in high demand.

If you ARE at the very beginning, this offering from Apple may be helpful:

https://www.apple.com/in/everyone-can-code/

It starts in an extremely simple way and then builds up to the more advanced concepts. Also free. Or try the beginner offerings here:

https://www.codecademy.com/

If none of these work for you, hop into Google with a search like this:

https://www.google.com/search?q=learn+to+code+for+free

You will find hundreds of resources – one of them will be right for you.

More Jobs Articles

Easy directory of all of Marshall Brain’s Jobs-related blog posts:

  1. Introduction to “Getting a Good Job in America”
  2. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 2 – How do you gain skills?
  3. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 3 – Newsweek weighs in with 19 jobs
  4. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 4 – Driving a Truck
  5. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 5 – Information Technology (IT) and Cybersecurity jobs
  6. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 6 – Google Career Certificates
  7. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 7 – Becoming an Engineer
  8. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 8 – Making the most of entry-level sales jobs
  9. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 9 – Jobs to Avoid
  10. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 10 – Medical jobs like Nurse Practitioner
  11. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 11 – Electrical Lineworker
  12. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 12 – Software Developer and “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 12.1 – Software Developer
  13. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 13 – Cybersecurity

“Getting a Good Job in America” Part 12 – Software Developer

One of the better jobs available in America today is a job where you “develop software” or “write code” for a company. These jobs tend to be higher-paying, and also tend to be jobs that have benefits. The code that write might:

  • Control the behavior of a web site
  • Control the functionality of an App
  • Control the actions of an embedded processor
  • Control business processes in a place like a bank or factory or small business
  • Help with data analytics or machine learning
  • And so on…

Software is used in so many different ways today that there are now thousands of ways to “develop software” and millions of companies/people who need software developed.

Ways to become a software developer

So how do you become a “software developer”?

  • One way is to get a 4-year degree at a traditional college. This is by far the most expensive and time-consuming route, but if you choose a school with a good reputation your chance of finding a job right now is approximately 100%. A good state school will have a lower price than a private school.
  • A community college will typically offer 2-year associates degrees that are nearly equivalent in some ways. These degrees are far less expensive, and take half the time.
  • You will hear a lot about “coding bootcamps” that might take 3 months or 6 months to complete and charge pretty high rates for that education. Some of these will make job placement promises, some won’t. We will come back to this idea below. It is possible for this path to go well or to go badly, depending on the program.
  • You can teach yourself. There is so much demand for talented software developers, and software development is such a meritocracy, that a self-taught person who can do the work is usually able to find a job. If you want to teach yourself, there are books, online courses, “micro-degrees”, free online classes (from famous places like Stanford and MIT down to much smaller schools), tutorials, etc. You can build a portfolio of projects and use them to get a job. A person with some drive and initiative could easily teach themselves using all of the resources available.

Your next question will be “what should I learn?” There are many, many different niches in the realm of software development. For example:

  • Do you want to write apps? Many apps are written in languages like Swift (Apple iOS) or Java (Android). So you would need to learn one of these languages and then the tools typically used to develop apps. There are lots of options besides those two as well.
  • Do you want to help companies create websites? You need to learn and become familiar with a “stack”, which can be much more involved. An article like this can help you learn about the possibilities.
  • Do you want to learn a starter language that can help you get your feet wet? You might start with something like Python or Javascript.

If you are now thinking, “wow, this is getting complicated”, you are right to a degree, and this is one reason why the pay can be high for software developers. This is not something you are going to learn in a week. In addition, you have to decide what you want to learn, and then go learn it.

The good news is that Google is your friend here. Just about any question you can think of, you can find answers in Google. For example, I asked Google, “what do i need to learn to be a software developer” and it gave me hundreds of articles to choose from. Here is one that seems appropriate:

11 Steps to Becoming a Software Engineer (Without a CS Degree)

It offers this optimistic motivational perspective:

According to US News, software developers have a median salary of $107,510 per year, and an unemployment rate of 1.4%, making it one of the most lucrative technology careers. Additionally, the profession offers an above-average work-life balance.  

Even more, the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that between 2018-28 there will be a 21% growth rate. Meanwhile, the average growth for all occupations is 5 percent. This translates into 284,100 job openings.

And guess what? Despite the positive outlook and abundance in opportunities, only 3% of college grads study computer and information science. As you can see in the image below, in 2020 there were 1.4 million computing jobs versus the 400,000 CS students.  

If you read say 10 articles along this line, you will begin to see the lay of the land.

If you are thinking, “wow, I don’t want to have to do a bunch of Google searching and read a bunch of articles!”, then chances are that software development is NOT for you. You will have to be doing a lot of reading and searching to become a software developer.

A quick note on boot camps

As soon as you start using Google to learn about software development as a career, you will start seeing ads for boot camps and other educational services. Here is what I see today:

Are these kinds of programs, and especially “boot camps”, a good idea? You can find a thousand opinions on Google, and some good discussions on Reddit. Here is a typical discussion:

https://www.reddit.com/r/learnprogramming/comments/hfo9r4/do_coding_boot_camps_make_you_employable/

The first thing you discover is that there is a r/learnprogramming subreddit with a big community (2.2 million members today!). And there are subreddits for every language, stack, etc. where you can see thousands of questions being asked. Lots of advice to go around. If you go look at the 300 comments in that thread (and search for other similar threads in Google) you will learn a lot.

Take a week or two to read and learn the lay of the land. Look at job sites like Indeed and see what kinds of software jobs are available in your area. If there are meetups in your area for developers, consider attending. Think about what you might like to be doing in the software space. And then start learning, either with a formal program or on your own.

More Jobs Articles

Easy directory of all of Marshall Brain’s Jobs-related blog posts:

  1. Introduction to “Getting a Good Job in America”
  2. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 2 – How do you gain skills?
  3. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 3 – Newsweek weighs in with 19 jobs
  4. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 4 – Driving a Truck
  5. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 5 – Information Technology (IT) and Cybersecurity jobs
  6. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 6 – Google Career Certificates
  7. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 7 – Becoming an Engineer
  8. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 8 – Making the most of entry-level sales jobs
  9. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 9 – Jobs to Avoid
  10. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 10 – Medical jobs like Nurse Practitioner
  11. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 11 – Electrical Lineworker
  12. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 12 – Software Developer and “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 12.1 – Software Developer
  13. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 13 – Cybersecurity

“Getting a Good Job in America” Part 11 – Electrical Lineworker

Every time there is a big winter storm or hurricane that takes out the power grid for an area, we suddenly become very aware of electrical lineworkers. These are the people who put all the downed/damaged power lines back together after the storm. But they also do lots of stuff during a normal day as well in the form of repairs, upgrades, installations, etc. Every time you see a bucket truck working on a power line, you are seeing lineworkers in action. Glen Campbell even had a famous song many years ago called Wichita Lineman that made the job famous for a time.

This is not a glamorous job necessarily, and sometimes you end up working in atrocious weather, but the job can pay well. If you look it up on Google you will see a block like this:

A lineworker is a tradesman who constructs and maintains electric power transmission, telecommunications lines and distribution lines. A lineworker generally does outdoor installation and maintenance jobs. Those who install and maintain electrical wiring inside buildings are electricians. Wikipedia

$60,000 a year or $30 per hour is something to think about, and no college degree is required. There is also demand and job openings. But you do need a little training, as described in these videos:

Become an Electrical Lineman in 2021? Salary, Jobs, Forecast
What It’s Like To Be An Electrical Lineman

Getting the training to be a Lineworker

There are different ways to get the training. Community colleges in your area may offer the training, as described in this video:

Power Line Worker Training School
Southside Virginia Community College

There are also commercial options that are easy to find with a Google search.

More Jobs Articles

Easy directory of all of Marshall Brain’s Jobs-related blog posts:

  1. Introduction to “Getting a Good Job in America”
  2. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 2 – How do you gain skills?
  3. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 3 – Newsweek weighs in with 19 jobs
  4. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 4 – Driving a Truck
  5. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 5 – Information Technology (IT) and Cybersecurity jobs
  6. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 6 – Google Career Certificates
  7. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 7 – Becoming an Engineer
  8. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 8 – Making the most of entry-level sales jobs
  9. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 9 – Jobs to Avoid
  10. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 10 – Medical jobs like Nurse Practitioner
  11. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 11 – Electrical Lineworker
  12. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 12 – Software Developer and “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 12.1 – Software Developer
  13. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 13 – Cybersecurity

“Getting a Good Job in America” Part 10 – Nursing and other medical Jobs

There is an article from US News and World Report this week that describes the 100 best jobs in America:

100 Best Jobs

According to the article, here is how “best” is defined:

“No single job suits all of us, but many of the best ones have a few attributes in common: They pay well, challenge us year after year, match our talents and skills, aren’t too stressful, offer room to advance throughout our careers, and provide a satisfying work-life balance. Whether the position is in demand is also a consideration among job seekers. U.S. News uses these qualities to rank the 100 Best Jobs of 2021.”

One thing about the list is the prominence of medical jobs at the top of the list:

The thing about the Nurse Practitioner is that: a) it pays well, b) there are a lot of openings (more than 100K), c) the requirements are much lower than those to become a physician, and d) you can approach it incrementally.

What does incrementally mean? This post from Reddit this week demonstrates the process:

From custodian to nurse practitioner

  • Step 1- start as a custodian (janitor)
  • Step 2 – become a registered nurse
  • Step 3 – become a nurse practitioner making 6 figures

It is not a trivial path, but there is a path and plenty of job openings if you are planning to go to college anyway.

One path would be to get a bachelor degree in nursing and become a registered nurse. You could do this at a college like ECU:

Bachelor of Science in Nursing

Then move up from there to nurse practitioner:

Family Nurse Practitioner

Associate degree in Nursing

Or a lower cost option would be to start through a community college with something like this associate degree:

Associate Degree Nursing – AAS

The associate degree is described in this way, and would give you an entry point:

“The Associate Degree Nursing curriculum provides knowledge, skills, and strategies to integrate safety and quality into nursing care, to practice in a dynamic environment, and to meet individual needs that impact health, quality of life, and achievement of potential. Course work includes and builds upon the domains of healthcare, nursing practice, and the holistic individual. Content emphasizes the nurse as a member of the interdisciplinary team providing safe, individualized care while employing evidence-based practice, quality improvement, and informatics. Graduates of this program are eligible to apply to take the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN). Employment opportunities are vast within the global health care system and may include positions within acute, chronic, extended, industrial, and community health care facilities.”

100 Best Jobs is a great article to get other job ideas. Some of them only require a high school diploma.

More Jobs Articles

Easy directory of all of Marshall Brain’s Jobs-related blog posts:

  1. Introduction to “Getting a Good Job in America”
  2. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 2 – How do you gain skills?
  3. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 3 – Newsweek weighs in with 19 jobs
  4. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 4 – Driving a Truck
  5. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 5 – Information Technology (IT) and Cybersecurity jobs
  6. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 6 – Google Career Certificates
  7. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 7 – Becoming an Engineer
  8. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 8 – Making the most of entry-level sales jobs
  9. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 9 – Jobs to Avoid
  10. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 10 – Medical jobs like Nurse Practitioner
  11. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 11 – Electrical Lineworker
  12. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 12 – Software Developer and “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 12.1 – Software Developer
  13. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 13 – Cybersecurity

“Getting a Good Job in America” Part 9 – Jobs to Avoid

I will be the first to admit that this is a disheartening article, and depressing. The idea that so many millions of people are caught in this place is extremely uncomfortable. On the other hand, finding ways to get out of these situations is what this series of articles is about:

She Works 2 Jobs. Her Grocery Budget Is $25. This Is Life Near Minimum Wage.

The article contains this paragraph, which is essentially a map of the jobs in America to avoid:

Home and health aides are among the lowest-paid jobs in America. Also on that list are cooks and cashiers, file clerks and janitors, drivers and construction workers. The most common low-wage work is in retail.

We can probably add a few more jobs that are typically minimum wage to the list, like fast food restaurants. Not to be totally negative, if you are caught between a rock and a hard place and simply need any money you can find, these jobs are better than nothing. But it would be difficult to build a life in America around the job categories listed in the article.

But note that the map is not 100% accurate. As we have seen in previous posts, long-distance truck drivers can make great money, and so can certain types of more skilled construction workers (e.g. plumbers).

And if you took a fast food job with the intention of becoming the store manager, that could also work out well:

Chipotle Salary Can Top $95,000 Annually

It is an older article, but still true (see also Reddit comments here). It contains this paragraph:

You might not think slinging burritos is the most glamorous job out there, but apparently it’s possible to make a heck of a lot of money doing it. Climbing the ladder at locations of the fast food chain Chipotle Mexican Grill can result in some big bucks, according to CBS Los Angeles. One employee interviewed by the network, Lidia Castillo, said she worked her way up from a service manager all the way to restaurateur (Chipotle’s title for a general manager) within a year, a position with an average salary of $99,000 annually. That’s significantly more than the median annual salary for fast food workers of around $18,230, according to Daily Finance.

Also note that this kind of pay is completely typical for managers:

That said, according to Salary.com, the median expected salary for a retail franchise manager in the U.S. is $95,764 per year.

What is Chipotle looking for in an employee?

To ensure success, job-seekers would do well to embody the 13 qualities of an ideal Chipotle employee, which Castillo told CBS Los Angeles were “conscientious, respectful, hospitable, high energy, infectiously enthusiastic, happy, presentable, smart, polite, motivated, ambitious, curious, and honest.”

Those qualities would be true for any job.

More Jobs Articles

Easy directory of all of Marshall Brain’s Jobs-related blog posts:

  1. Introduction to “Getting a Good Job in America”
  2. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 2 – How do you gain skills?
  3. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 3 – Newsweek weighs in with 19 jobs
  4. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 4 – Driving a Truck
  5. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 5 – Information Technology (IT) and Cybersecurity jobs
  6. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 6 – Google Career Certificates
  7. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 7 – Becoming an Engineer
  8. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 8 – Making the most of entry-level sales jobs
  9. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 9 – Jobs to Avoid
  10. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 10 – Medical jobs like Nurse Practitioner
  11. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 11 – Electrical Lineworker
  12. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 12 – Software Developer and “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 12.1 – Software Developer
  13. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 13 – Cybersecurity

“Getting a Good Job in America” Part 8 – Making the most of entry-level sales jobs

This is a notable post from several years ago that appeared on Reddit:

Some thoughts on how to make real money when young and uneducated

There are several valuable perspectives contained in here, but the sales theme is especially interesting.

Let’s start at the beginning, with the authors setup:

“I’ve been thinking a lot about this topic, driven by the common sentiment I see a lot from people my age about the job market for young, uneducated, inexperienced, and often underqualified folks, and I wanted to throw together some thoughts based on my experiences and those of my friends. I really do believe that there is a formula for making great money under these conditions, and it doesn’t involve, like, starting a company, working in Multi-Level-Marketing, or blogging for a living. I’m going to use specific examples, citing specific dollar amounts and experiences…. None of us have a degree, none of us did well in high school (3 have GEDs), and all of us came from poor families. Additionally, no one has any highly rare, marketable skills; or at least we didn’t to begin with. We’re all between 24-29, and we will all end this year over 120k.”

When it comes to sales, here is what the author has to say. First he describes two friends that he names as Dan and Carl:

“There are some jobs that this isn’t necessary for, as they’ll hire pretty much anyone. These industries (often sales driven), usually have incredibly cut-throat entry level positions, and that’s how our other two examples got started (we’ll call them Dan and Carl). Dan started selling gym memberships, and Carl worked in a call-center environment for a third-party purchasing company. Both paid minimum wage with some okay incentives for reaching certain goals. Both had very high turnover and were pretty intense. Both of them also got those roles around 18-19.”

According to the author, the key next step is to excel in terms of metrics. Therefore:

“The beauty of sales is that the skills are universal. Sales managers don’t care what you sold as long as you sold it well. Dan worked for a nationwide gym that published sales leaders every month. In the 3 years he worked there, among thousands of salesmen on the list, he was top 10 every month except for the first one. He also worked close to 80 hour weeks. Carl wasn’t so blatantly successful, but he was sure to have clear communication about expectations from his managers and hit the important metrics, which was net margin in his case. So he had sales people around him selling way more in terms of gross revenue, but cutting deals too much, so he focused on keeping his margins solid and management loved him for it.”

Then there is the payoff, after proving yourself in the entry-level roles:

“Dan brought his 3 years of proof of dominating in gym membership sales to the sales job of his choice; he sells windows, roofs and gutters, usually runs 1-2 90 minute appointments per day, and rakes about 150k. He golfs a lot. He’s 27. Carl, upon not getting the appreciation for his contributions that he felt owed, made a few hops through other technical sales roles, always excelling and gaining a wealth of industry knowledge that he then leveraged to get a job selling telecom services to a high-dollar provider for enterprise customers. He’ll do about $140k this year, and far more in the future, and is 26.”

The post garnered hundreds of comments, many of them valuable in their own right. One example:

“SALES: anyone who doubts these numbers has obviously never been in a sales job. The money is there, and the sky really is the limit. Car sales is a great example with low barriers to entry and INCREDIBLY high potentials. I’ve worked with 20 year old car guys (those who are 20 and those who’ve been doing it for 20 years) who are clearing $90-150k/year with commission (Copart Auto Auction, Ford, Honda/Accord). If you’ve got sales chops, you can make however the fuck much you can sell. You can go sell door to door and make $100k if you’ve got the dedication (once again, have worked door to door, I’ve seen the W2’s. Solar and local security systems). Translate this into more specific and technical sales positions, carve out a niche, and you’re fine.

tl;dr sales- if you can sell, you can make however much you want, no education and no formal training.

In-N-Out Burger (fast food. DISCLAIMER- I know this isn’t true for the majority of fast food, but its a very real opportunity to those in CA/AZ/NV): start at $11.50 as a snot nosed kid in high school when you’re 16. Level up (literally. Its what they call their internal promotions, trained on more positions within the restaurant). Lower management within 2 years, $30-50k. Assistant manager 2-4 years ($50-80k). Store manager 4-10 ($100-250+. Yes, you can make $250k as a store manager at in n out).”

One point from this post is clear – under the right circumstances, it is possible to start in an entry level job, excel in that role, and then move up. Sales jobs are especially conducive to this because companies are happy to pay high dollars for good sales people. A good sales person is bringing money directly into the company, and bringing in money is a key activity for any company.

A Second Example

There was a post yesterday that is related:

My partner (18) and I (17) started a sales business in January and we do around $45k a month in revenue…

“Think of us as an external sales team that works for other businesses. We work purely of commission at the moment and our goal is to increase the customer and sales numbers of the businesses we work with.”

They are doing the same kind of thing, where they are turning sales into dollars and making their clients happy.

More Jobs Articles

Easy directory of all of Marshall Brain’s Jobs-related blog posts:

  1. Introduction to “Getting a Good Job in America”
  2. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 2 – How do you gain skills?
  3. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 3 – Newsweek weighs in with 19 jobs
  4. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 4 – Driving a Truck
  5. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 5 – Information Technology (IT) and Cybersecurity jobs
  6. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 6 – Google Career Certificates
  7. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 7 – Becoming an Engineer
  8. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 8 – Making the most of entry-level sales jobs
  9. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 9 – Jobs to Avoid
  10. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 10 – Medical jobs like Nurse Practitioner
  11. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 11 – Electrical Lineworker
  12. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 12 – Software Developer and “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 12.1 – Software Developer
  13. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 13 – Cybersecurity

“Getting a Good Job in America” Part 7 – Becoming an Engineer

I am not saying that this path is for everyone, and I am not saying that this path is easy, but…

If you are in high school right now and you are planning to go to college, consider an engineering degree as your course of study. The advantage of engineering degrees right now is that:

  1. There is strong demand
  2. The jobs pay well right out of college ($70,000 per year right after graduation is not uncommon)
  3. While some engineering degrees require a lot of math, not all of them do.
  4. There is a lot of variety in engineering

Variety in engineering

North Carolina State University (NCSU) is a well-known engineering school. For in-state residents, an engineering degree at NCSU is relatively inexpensive (and we will see a way to lower the cost even more below). The College of Engineering at NCSU has all of these different departments:

With all of this variety, there may be some engineering specialty that you find interesting.

Several of these specialties have particularly high demand at the moment.

Lowering the cost of an engineering degree

Four years at an engineering school can get expensive. One way to lower the cost of a place like NCSU is to do part of your time at a community college. In many cases, the first 2 years of an engineering degree can be done at a community college, with most or all of the credit hours transferring over. With NCSU, a student can work at the local community college called Wake Tech, and the cost of the first 2 years drops considerably. Many other engineering schools have similar programs.

More Jobs Articles

Easy directory of all of Marshall Brain’s Jobs-related blog posts:

  1. Introduction to “Getting a Good Job in America”
  2. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 2 – How do you gain skills?
  3. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 3 – Newsweek weighs in with 19 jobs
  4. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 4 – Driving a Truck
  5. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 5 – Information Technology (IT) and Cybersecurity jobs
  6. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 6 – Google Career Certificates
  7. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 7 – Becoming an Engineer
  8. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 8 – Making the most of entry-level sales jobs
  9. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 9 – Jobs to Avoid
  10. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 10 – Medical jobs like Nurse Practitioner
  11. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 11 – Electrical Lineworker
  12. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 12 – Software Developer and “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 12.1 – Software Developer
  13. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 13 – Cybersecurity

“Getting a Good Job in America” Part 6 – Google Career Certificates

The last post (#5) was about IT jobs. Related to this is the idea of “Google Career Certificates” at https://grow.google/. If you go to the page, you will see a section that looks like this:

This page claims:

  • That there are “1,300,000 in-demand job openings across certificate fields”
  • That $63,600 is the “average salary for entry-level roles across certificate fields”
  • That is takes about 6 months at 10 hours per week to complete a certificate. YMMV.

The certificates are available in fields like:

  • IT Support
  • Data Analytics
  • Project Management
  • UX Design
  • Android Development

There is a spectrum here, where IT Support is likely to be easier than Android Development to attain.

On this page, Google offers free introductory sessions learn more.

See also:

Thousands of Free Certificates from Google, Microsoft, Harvard, and others

See also:

IT CERTIFICATIONS – Certifications to accelerate your career

More Jobs Articles

Easy directory of all of Marshall Brain’s Jobs-related blog posts:

  1. Introduction to “Getting a Good Job in America”
  2. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 2 – How do you gain skills?
  3. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 3 – Newsweek weighs in with 19 jobs
  4. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 4 – Driving a Truck
  5. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 5 – Information Technology (IT) and Cybersecurity jobs
  6. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 6 – Google Career Certificates
  7. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 7 – Becoming an Engineer
  8. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 8 – Making the most of entry-level sales jobs
  9. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 9 – Jobs to Avoid
  10. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 10 – Medical jobs like Nurse Practitioner
  11. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 11 – Electrical Lineworker
  12. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 12 – Software Developer and “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 12.1 – Software Developer
  13. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 13 – Cybersecurity

“Getting a Good Job in America” Part 5 – Information Technology (IT) and Cybersecurity jobs

If you don’t like the idea of getting your hands dirty, or you don’t like the idea of working outdoors, and truck driving is not your thing, then one possibility is a job in Information Technology, also know as IT. This job category can take many forms, but in all its forms you will be working with computers in one way or another.

When I go to Indeed.com this morning and look at this page, I see this range of average incomes in the IT field:

These averages are much better than minimum wage, and chances are that any room containing computers is indoors and air conditioned.

To become an IT professional, you will likely need some training, and you will need to get one or more certificates (which you get by taking a test in a testing center). You need training so that you can learn all of the vocabulary, tools and techniques of the trade. Your local community college may have less-expensive (sometimes free) ways to receive this training. There are also a number of for-profit schools that will happily take your money in return for training and, sometimes, a promise of job placement.

You can start your search for training with a simple search like this:

https://www.google.com/search?q=it+training

You will see a lot of ads, and a lot of options. There are many different ways to receive training, as these examples show:

You will also start to notice some specialties getting extra emphasis. One of these is cybersecurity.

Cybersecurity IT

Right now there is a shortage of people who can help companies and government agencies secure themselves from cyberthreats – everything from teenage hackers to cyberterrorists to foreign governments bent on cyberwarfare.

You can find hundreds of articles that describe the shortage like this:

As The End Of 2020 Approaches, The Cybersecurity Talent Drought Gets Worse

“The information technology industry has a real problem on its hands – and it’s only getting worse. While cybercrime grows exponentially, businesses are facing a severe cybersecurity talent drought. The supply of available, qualified security professionals is insufficient and the competition for services has dramatically increased.”

What this means is that cybersecurity IT jobs fetch a premium right now. If you start probing into the training possibilities, you will again see hundreds of options:

https://www.google.com/search?q=cybersecurity+training

An article like this shows a number of different options:

Best online cybersecurity courses of 2021: free and paid certification programs, degrees and masters

“One of the best ways to do this is by signing up for a free online taster course, which introduce some of the basics. These are a great way of seeing if this is the sort of career you’d like – but if you want to become an industry professional, then you’ll need to sign up for more advanced courses.”

You could also get a taste by simply searching for cybersecurity explainer articles in Google. Jump in with some relevant search terms and see what you find. Things like:

Whether you are interested in general IT or a more specific field like cybersecurity, there are a million options available online to help get you started.

More Jobs Articles

Easy directory of all of Marshall Brain’s Jobs-related blog posts:

  1. Introduction to “Getting a Good Job in America”
  2. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 2 – How do you gain skills?
  3. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 3 – Newsweek weighs in with 19 jobs
  4. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 4 – Driving a Truck
  5. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 5 – Information Technology (IT) and Cybersecurity jobs
  6. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 6 – Google Career Certificates
  7. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 7 – Becoming an Engineer
  8. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 8 – Making the most of entry-level sales jobs
  9. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 9 – Jobs to Avoid
  10. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 10 – Medical jobs like Nurse Practitioner
  11. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 11 – Electrical Lineworker
  12. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 12 – Software Developer and “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 12.1 – Software Developer
  13. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 13 – Cybersecurity

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