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Saturday, July 25, 2009

Go cyber, young man!

Related Link » Contractor Seeks 'Cyber Warriors' to Help Defend U.S.
“For the Raytheon jobs, all you need are very strong computer skills — a college degree in computer science, math or engineering is preferred, but not necessary — strong ethical standards, and, for most positions, the ability to pass government security clearances, which entails U.S. citizenship.” [emphasis added]
— Raytheon
Horace Greeley's frontier "west" is today's cyberspace. In a depressed job-market such as our current one, especially for young people, there is a golden-opportunity oasis — cyber security, as exemplified by the Raytheon "want ad". It strikes me that there exists a perfect confluence of modern-youth skills, critical national needs, and availability of well-paying positions. Best of all, the excitement of criminal activity is shielded from prosecution. What an enlightened circumstance!

As if all that were not enough, it is actually true that a college degree is not absolutely necessary. I know this to be true from first hand experience. In my first post-doctoral career that focused on large-scale computer applications for the simulation of radiation transport in 3-D environments, it was my privilege to encounter several instances of first-rate computer programmers who did not have advanced degrees. These young men (and a woman or two) did not have the necessary background in physics to contribute to the specifics of the applications, but their programming skills were in most cases greater than those of the physicists.

So, my Greeley advice is, "Go cyber, young wo/man, go cyber."

Post #866 Go cyber, young man!

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