Job Title: Analyst
Education: BA in Philosophy and in Psychology, Western Washington University
Previous Experience: I was a telephone operator while in college.
Job Tasks: The company is a wireless telecommunications company, but I do nothing specifically related to wireless telephony. I do work related to computer security, but I am not in the formal security organization.
I keep antivirus software up-to-date. If someone encounters a virus, I try to determine how that happened. Frequently, I'll find undetected virus software by looking where detected virus software was found. Undetected virus software gets forwarded to antivirus software vendors. These samples improve antivirus software for everyone around the world.
With information about where viruses come from, you can find patterns. You use this patterns to predict where viruses can be expected to be found, and block access to those locations.
You might think I ask users what they had been doing. Actually, no. That's not particularly helpful when determining what actually happened. Asking users also keeps them from doing their job. It is more productive to use the information at hand to reconstruct the sequence of events that must have occurred.
I keep software up-to-date with security patches.
I monitor for locations that are missing security patches and get them corrected.
I test applications for security problems that could be exploited by hackers or virus writers. I then work with application developers to modify their software to avoid these problems.
I create my own job. I fill in the gaps; I take on the tasks that no one else will do but are generally agreed to be necessary. I've changed my job that way for thirty-one years now; always something involving computers, taking on some tasks and letting other tasks go.
Best and Worst Parts of the Job: Best parts:
I'm doing work that makes a difference, work that is socially responsible. I'm helping keep mothers and children safe, keeping people that I'll never meet safe.
I find out that I can do things I wasn't aware I could do. I wasn't aware I could troubleshoot a web site until I did it.
I'm asked questions about subjects I shouldn't be expected to know anything about. But by taking a question, rephrasing it, and re-asking the question, I find that the person who asked can usually provide enough information to answer it themselves. A well-asked question can usually provide an answer quickly.
Information collecting can be tedious. You can start making mistakes. Organize how you can get the work done in a way that you can stop and switch to something else without losing your place.
1. Liberal arts teaches critical thinking.
2. People with computer backgrounds can't look beyond the computer.
3. Solve problems.
5. Be supportive.
6. Be someone people can picture working with.
7. Listen, but don't accept that what a person says is what they want to say. Take their words and turn them around, ask if that's what they meant. It gives them the impression that you understand, but you're really just listening. Eventually they'll correct themselves and you reach an understanding. Reach an agreement about what the problem is first.
Additional Thoughts: I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up. "When I grow up" ... when's that supposed to be? Be helpful now, not some "grownup" day.
These schools offer particularly quick info upon request, and we have written detailed profiles for each (click school names to see the profiles).
Request info from multiple schools, by clicking the Request Info links.
A degree from CTU connects you to what matters most: powerful professional network, real-world professional faculty and innovative technology. Once you earn your degree you hit the ground running.
Turn your talents into a career at nationally recognized and accredited Platt College.
Earn your graduate degree online with Northcentral University.
The Secret to Getting Ahead is Getting Started
See What’s Possible When You Earn a Degree at Florida Tech 100% Online
Syracuse University’s School of Information Studies offers an online MS in Information Management preparing students to design and manage mission-critical information technologies within organizations.
For over 35 years, Keiser University has provided student-centered, quality career education. Keiser University Online offers degree programs online to prepare students for in-demand professions.
You’re serious about success. With your busy schedule and the desire to move your career forward, you can earn an accredited associate, bachelors or master’s degree at a pace that works for you anywhere, anytime, 24/7.
At AIU, the Serious U, you can get started to get ahead.
Welcome to Argosy University
Argosy University offers doctoral, master's, and bachelor's degree programs to students through its eight colleges: College of Behavioral Sciences, Graduate School of Business and Management, College of Education, College of Health Sciences, College of Arts and Sciences, College of Creative Arts and Design, College of Clinical Psychology and Western State College of Law at Argosy University as well as certificate programs in many areas.
The inside stories from people actually working in the field.
Click a story title to show the story, and click the title again to hide it.
Career Stories are concise, real-world career overviews written by people relating their personal career experiences and wisdom. They provide invaluable insights and mentoring advice to students and career changers.
Most stories include:
Please also see our detailed information about Computer Systems Analysts, including: