Career & Technical Education Month Spotlights Donlon McGovern
This month, Moberly Area Community College would like to share our success stories of alumni in a variety of Career and Technical Education Programs. They are the true testimony of how an Associate’s Degree or a Certificate can provide a rewarding and financially stable career.
Our first alumnus is Donlon E. McGovern. Donlon graduated from MACC in 2016 with an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Computer Information Technology/ dual major in both networking and programming. He is currently employed with Inter-State Studio & Publishing Co. as a Database Administrator.
When asked what called him to this career field of Information Technology, he responded that he had always been fascinated by computers and wanted to learn more about them. He chose MACC due to the location and since he had grown up in central Missouri, he wanted to stay close. He also added that he had thought about automotive technician training when he was in high school, so Information Technology was a completely different career path from his teen-aged years.
Mr. Rich Bright, CIT Associate Professor presented Donlon as an exemplary alumnus to showcase from this program. He adds “Don was an exceptional student who brought the discipline he learned in the Marines into the classroom. Many students are not sure if they find programming or networking career paths more satisfying. Don jumped into both with vigor.” About one third of MACC IT students flip from networking to programming or vice-a-versa, but in about equal numbers. Only about 10 percent of students tackle both degree plans. Those dual majors often pursue Database Administration or Cybersecurity.
According to Forbes Magazine, if you’re anything like the average working person, you can expect to change careers five to seven times in your life. That’s a lot of change… The best way to be prepared for it is to make a plan! Having a career plan is vital to your career success. The most successful people, such as Tim Ferriss, Jeff Bezos and Mark Zuckerberg, all regularly come up with plans for their career success… And look where it’s gotten them. Career planning is simply knowing your interests and skills and matching them to where you want to be. Seems like Donlon did the same thing!
Our interview continued with a few other questions to dig deep into information that could be shared with our readers:
- What is your greatest memory/achievement in this CTE Program? “Hanging out after class and helping the instructors with little odd jobs.”
- What has been the greatest challenge in this career field? Legacy software.
- What advice would you give others about pursuing this career field/degree program? Learn its history. Lots of trends seem to be rediscoveries or repeated mistakes.
- Is there room for advancement or do you feel you will need a Bachelor’s Degree? I have decided to pursue my Bachelor’s Degree, but it is NOT necessary for advancement in my company.
- Are there any certifications required for this position? It depends on the employer and technologies being utilized. My employer does NOT require any certifications. Some certifications are the Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA): SQL 2016 Database Administration Certification and the Oracle Database 12c Administration Certification.
- Who in this CTE Program or Related Industry (Community/Business) do you look up to as a role model/explain? C. J. Date, Hugh Darwen, David McGoveran, and Fabian Pascal for their contributions to the relational data model. Bill Inmon, Ralph Kimball, Dan Linstedt, Hans Hultgren, and Lars Ronnback for their contributions to data warehousing. Steve Hoberman for his contributions to data modeling.
- What is an average starting salary for this type of position? $50,000/year.
- What would be your professional/personal motto (or quote)? “Strive to achieve the highest quality, effectiveness and dignity in both the process and products of professional work.” (ACM Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct 2.1)
- What is the biggest overall lesson you have learned during your career journey upon completing your education with MACC? Excellence is perhaps the most important obligation of a professional. The computing professional must strive to achieve quality and to be cognizant of the serious negative consequences that may result from poor quality in a system. (ACM Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct 2.1)
Important changes in the labor market support the need for college. A shifting—and increasingly automated—economy offers few jobs for those without some kind of postsecondary training or degree. Within the last decade, however, low college-completion rates led to a rethinking of the “college for all” movement. With only about half of college students actually completing bachelor’s degrees, policymakers began calling for a richer set of options for students who didn’t want to go the four-year-college route.
Recognizing these trends, career and technical education reshaped itself as a new kind of pathway: one that includes some form of postsecondary training. That could mean earning certification or credentials in good-paying fields like cybersecurity or robotics, or it could mean getting an associate or bachelor’s degree. The revamping of CTE means new designs for high school programs, too. The best programs aim to keep the doors to college open by requiring rigorous college-prep classes for CTE students, while also providing them with hands-on learning that lets them apply academics to real-world problems.
The CIT Program offers a two year Associate of Applied Science Degree in networking and/or programming as well as a one year, 32 hour certificate.
MACC values learning. In our vision statement, it clearly presents our institutional values towards students:
“We emphasize a supportive learning environment that fosters student success. Student learning and development are central to our mission. Quality instruction and innovative instructional approaches allow all students not only to prepare for careers but also to embrace learning as a lifelong process. We recognize that learning is a holistic process involving all members of the campus community. We participate in a culture of assessment to improve the effectiveness of teaching and learning.”
Career and Technical Education alongside Workforce Development, supports and empowers individuals, businesses, and communities to start, grow, and sustain business by providing opportunities that enhance entrepreneurship and support business success through educational programs, business services, community partnerships, and cooperative efforts.