2nd Quarter, 2006
Vo-tech Scholarship Winner
Phuc is a Networking Technology student at Pasadena City College and is relatively new to the United States.
A Portion of Phuc’s Winning Essay:
Nowadays the ever-changing speed of high technology, especially in the so-called “Information Age”, plus the globally severe competitions between countries or between companies in economy and technology, make the demand of a well-trained high-tech workforce higher and higher. As a newly immigrated Asian to the United States two years ago, I personally realize that the U.S. vocational/technical education system, especially the major of Communication and Information Technology (CIT), will certainly play a key role in my success in this new life as well as for the improvement of the community or society around me for the following reasons.
First, the United States can not maintain its role as a world-leading superpower nation without the well-trained, professional hi-tech scientists, engineers and also technicians. Each of these groups will take charge of a specific sector of science and technology. More specifically, the highly-educated scientists will be responsible for conducting many theoretical researches to apply them to daily life. The university-level engineers will creatively design new technological models.
Last but not least, the technicians who graduate from the U.S. vocational/technical education system will be responsible for these scientific and technological applications to be deployed, installed and working smoothly. Those technicians will also be eligible and qualified substitutes for a large number of those who retire every year, especially in some industries which can not hire foreign workers for the national security and technological know-how secrets such as governmental and high-tech companies. What is more, if there were only scientists and engineers who graduate from the universities in the U.S. society, who would do the installation, operation, maintenance and troubleshooting on the machines or systems in operation?
This real situation is a headache-causing problem in many Asian countries where the university degree is considered as the summit hope of most young persons and their parents due to the deeply-rooted social view that puts emphasis on the academic distinction. Therefore the shortage of professional technicians becomes more and more serious in these countries whereas the number of engineers who lack the practical skills to operate and maintain machines is very high.
Second, when taking into consideration my strong points (such as hard studying /working attitudes as well as my special long-term interest in electronics technology) and my weak points (such as my late arrival in the U.S. in my middle age, along with my limited ability in English speaking and listening skills), I find it very difficult to choose such other majors as lawyer, doctor or business manager even though these careers used to be of great interests to me since I was a child.
In other words, I have to choose the practical and optimal option to gain success for my life which is to become a CIT (Communication and Information Technology) technician. Communication and Information Technology (CIT) has long proved its important presence and deeper and deeper penetration in every aspect of our life from children’s toys to many sophisticated medical machines in hospitals and even to space exploring technology as well. Especially for the majority of the third-world countries, CIT has been chosen as the shortest and quickest method to make them become an industrialized country.
With these in mind, many people, including myself, decide to devote themselves in this challenging but interesting technology in the hope that they can succeed in their career and have a better life thanks to its predominance and its wide applications in human life. Besides their hope of individual success, those who major in the CIT, also contribute their parts in improving their community’s development by doing their best to offer the best services for the customers or taking an active part in many community-oriented activities which more or less need their technological skills.
In spite of the current less attractiveness of technological majors and jobs due to seemingly increasing outsourcing policies of many American companies as well as the severe competitions of the other countries (such as Russia, India, China, and others), many students, including me, are still interested in CIT. They do not give up their hope of a brighter prospect for this technology (CIT) so they are consistent with their chosen career path. For example, at Pasadena City College, many students, including me, are enrolling in the CCNA (Cisco Certified Network Associate) program which includes 4 short-term classes lasting within only one year but the education is very excellent in terms of teaching quality, academic textbook and online materials. These students strongly believe that the Internet and Networking Technology will soon take its leading role again in the near future when the economic success relies more and more heavily on technology and its applications. Therefore we are studying very hard for our future success as well as for the prosperity of the U.S. society and economy.
As for me, despite my first year in the U.S. college, I got four A-grade (over 95%) for all four CCNA classes, and I am going to register for the CCNP (Cisco Certified Network Professional) program as well as have a step-by-step plan to take such classes as Windows NT Server, Windows NT Workstation, Web Design, E-Commerce, Network Security and IP Telephone Technology to build up my knowledge in the CIT technology. In conclusion, the vocational/technical education system has been playing an extremely important role in the success and improvement of both individuals and community or society, especially for the new and middle-aged immigrant like me. Without the technicians, the U.S. economy will become less developed and competitive, leading to the suffering from the technological and economical dependence on foreign countries in the future. This would be a real tragedy for every individual as well as the community.
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