* Editor’s note: This is the third in a series of stories highlighting career technical education courses offered at Davis High School.
By Annie Mitchell
Sometimes, knowing what you don’t want to be when you grow up is more helpful.
For Davis High School senior Jillian King, the career technical education class, Internet Engineering 1, gave her this valuable information.
Before signing up for Kevin Anderson’s class in her junior year, King thought that she was on her way into the growing professional field of computer science or information technology.
“Working with tech, figuring out systems, setting up platforms for people in big companies — that’s what I kinda thought I’d like to do because I like to do that for my family’s devices,” King said.
However, after taking Internet Engineering 1, which is sponsored by the Cisco Networking Academy Program, King “just didn’t fall in love with it.”
Students in Internet Engineering 1 and 2 create an account with the Cisco Networking Academy, which provides the course material and offers an opportunity to take an industry examination to become a certified network technician after two years, according to the Davis High course description.
“Cisco has created partnerships with schools and colleges, businesses, nonprofit organizations, international organizations, unions, and government agencies, and works to provide real-world skills for all students in the certification tracks,” the course description reads. “Many students use the training to get a higher-paying entry-level job, or improve their job skills for promotion opportunities.”
Anderson elaborated on the internet engineering courses.
“Students can learn networking system/job skills, receive college credit, prepare for IT industry certification and get a foundation for cybersecurity,” he said. “The curriculum for this class was developed by Cisco Systems (and) courses are designed by experts in information technology, (which) gives students real-world knowledge, preparation for college, and also develops skills for the internet of things (web-enabled smart devices),” estimated to number more than 20 billion devices by the year 2020.
King describes the class as “hands-on, but on the computer.” She appreciated the times when Anderson would visually demonstrate what was going on within the computers.
“Those visual representations that he would do were super cool and helped you understand what was going on when we were coding and sending things through on our packet tracer systems on our computers,” King said.
Though King now knows she does not want to major in internet engineering, she appreciates the effort that the DHS class does to prepare students for computer science careers.
“I think (the class) definitely gives you a feel for what that career would be like,” King said. “It made me realize that (internet engineering) wasn’t necessarily what I wanted to do in college, but for other people, they were like, ‘Oh, I really like this, I really enjoy this.’”
Of course, Anderson also knows of many former students who have used the computer courses at DHS as a career jumping-off point.
“DHS students have used these skills in their college courses and on the job,” Anderson said. “There are former DHS students in the IT industry that are cybersecurity professionals, and engineers that design software drivers for networking equipment, for example.”
The job market is hot, too.
“There is need for cybersecurity professionals as there are not enough people to fill positions in that area,” Anderson said. “Right now the IT industry is facing the ‘Silver Tsunami,’ where a lot of people are retiring and more employment opportunities exist.”
Senior Aaron Margolis believes the class prepared him for the Computer Essentials A AP test. Though, like King, he did not continue with Internet Engineering 2 after taking the beginning class, “it was help on my journey,” Margolis said.
Besides Internet Engineering 1 and 2, Anderson said DHS students also can take Cybersecurity ICT Essentials and programming.
“Students at DHS can take the computer classes here to prepare directly for a career in the IT industry or continue towards college,” Anderson said.
— Enterprise staff writer Tanya Perez contributed to this story.
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