Monday, April 12, 2010

From Video Games to IT Wizard

Hanson is the council's IT Support Specialist and reigning king of technology. You can use his experience to jump-start a career in technology.

Q. What exactly do you do at the council and in general, why does it rock?
I am the council's Information Technologies Support Specialist. I basically help everyone in the council fix computer hardware, software, printer, network, internet and e-mail problems. My job rocks because I enjoy solving problems and enjoy helping people. I'm one of very few council employees who gets to work with EVERYONE regardless of department or location. Working with and talking to everyone in the council is definitely the best part of my job.

Q. What education did you need to have your awesome career?
Oddly, I didn't need a specialized education to start my career. I majored in history and have minors in economics and political science...definitely NOT the background that most I/T professionals have. One of my friends owns web design company in New York City and his degree is in architecture. Earning a specialized degree in information technologies would give you even better opportunities than either my friend or I have had.

The bulk of my professional expertise comes from working on my own computers and on the job training. While working for three different technology companies, I had the opportunity to take numerous certification classes - hardware (installation, diagnostics and repair certification) and software (database administration, HTML coding and Microsoft applications). The combination of hands-on experience and certification provide me with the background I need to maintain our network properly.

Q. Other than your job, what jobs in your field are super interesting and cool?
Super interesting and cool jobs related to I/T support are Web development (Web site design, programming and maintenance), network administration (the more advanced version of what I do) and social media / e-mail communications / blogging.

Q. If a high school student wants to be like you when they grow up, what can they do now to get started?
If a high school student would like to begin an I/T career path, learning how to maintain your own computer is a great start. Take as many computer classes that your school offers too. The combination will provide you with a solid foundation for college I/T classes (and a degree!) and/or make you a very valuable asset in the workplace.

Q. Is there anything else about your career and how you got there that you want to share with our readers?
No matter what your interests are, try to find something you truly enjoy doing and turn that into your job. For me configuring computers so I could play video games turned into a career.

-Hanson Ling

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