2009 September - Career Fuel2009 September - Career Fuel

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September 2009
In This Issue:

Out of the Ashes
Tomorrow's Heroes
Cyber Sleuths
Call Security
Resource Corner

Out of the Ashes

Last month, our country marked the passage of eight years since terrorists took the lives of 2,995 on September 11, 2001. Included in the many harsh lessons of that day, was the recognition that America needed to have more unified preparation and faster, more targeted response to disasters of all kinds. Thus was born the federal Department of Homeland Security and the New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness. Challenges to our nation's security placed a renewed interest on related careers. The range of occupations and a sampling of specific jobs include:

  • Emergency preparedness and response
          √ police officers, firefighters, medical emergency responders
          √ employees of the Federal Emergency Management Agency
  • Border and transportation security
          √ border patrol agents
          √ transportation security officers at airports
          √ air marshal protective services
  • Infrastructure protection
          √ communications managers
          √ information technology analysts
          √ public health administrators
          √ utilities managers
          √ employees of the FBI, U.S. Department of Energy, U.S. Department of Homeland Security
  • Information analysis
          √ analytical chemists
          √ cartographers (map specialist)
          √ imagery analysts
  • Homeland defense
          √ immigration and customs enforcement officers
          √ Coast Guard officials
          √ criminal investigators

While many of these homeland security opportunities are with federal, state and local government agencies, jobs can also be found in nonprofits and the private sector. For more detailed information on certain homeland security careers, visit http://www.bls.gov/opub/ooq/2006/summer/art01.pdf.


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Tomorrow's Heroes

For many, the notion of homeland security starts in our hometowns and cities with the women and men who protect us each day. When Richard Herbe was preparing to graduate from Notre Dame High School in Lawrence a few years back, he thought he might like to join the military. As a student pilot with the civil air patrol, he felt comfortable with military customs and courtesies. But after giving it some serious consideration, he decided instead to pursue law enforcement.
      Rich graduated from Mercer County Community College with an associate's degree in criminal justice and then took the civil service exam, a required test for anyone who is thinking about a job as a police officer. "You sign up for an exam a year in advance and then take the test," says Rich, who has been on the force in Ewing Township for a few years. "It took about three years after I took the civil service exam for me to get hired and go to the police academy. I spent that three years getting as much work experience related to law enforcement as possible."
      Rich says his job has been interesting and exciting so far because he never knows what to expect from one day to the next. "I've got an open mind and plan to go wherever my career takes me," he says. If you want to be a police officer, Rich has three important tips:


  • Stay in good shape. It can be pretty daunting when you go two or three years without getting hired and then suddenly you're thrown into the academy. Stay prepared!
  • Go to college and keep your education going. A lot of towns hiring police officers, especially in New Jersey, won't even look at you unless you have a college degree. Rich, who has a two-year associate's degree, plans to go back to college to get his bachelor's degree in psychology.
  • Get work experience. It doesn't need to be law-enforcement related, but you need to have good references to prove you can stay with a job for a while. Rich worked retail during high school and college and then got a job dispatching with the state police when he knew he wanted to become a police officer.

      Read an expanded version of this article by visiting http://www.njnextstop.org, clicking on the Real People column's Show All feature and selecting "Richard Herbe."

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Cyber Sleuths

The news hit the wires in late August, 2009: "Largest Corporate Identity Theft Case in History" goes down in New Jersey. Three men were charged with conspiracy and conspiracy to engage in wire fraud and accused of using a sophisticated computer hacking technique to get around corporate firewalls and steal the credit- and debit-card information of store customers.
      Where there are computers, there is cybercrime. Information security is a critical part of the homeland security job market. Info security experts protect all types of information and the systems that move this information. They make sure that important information gets to the right place and doesn't get into the wrong hands. More specifically, cybersecurity specialists are the workers who protect the data and systems in networks that are connected to the Internet. Cybersecurity is considered to be a growing career field and is in demand in almost every industry.
      Starting this fall, Middlesex County College is offering a certificate in Information Systems Security. The program will prepare students for entry-level jobs to protect the nation's information infrastructure. Students who receive the certificate after one year of courses are eligible to take the COMPTIAA Security + test and become certified security technicians.

      Read an expanded version of this article by visiting http://www.njnextstop.org, clicking on the Lifeline column's Show All feature and selecting "Cyber Sleuths."

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Call Security

Maybe you're eager to get into safety and security straight out of high school. You have options! The security industry, including companies like Gateway Security in Newark, hire thousands of security officers to guard corporations and provide customer care at airports. You are eligible for a job in the security industry if you re at least 18 and have either a high school diploma or GED.
      As a security officer, you're trained to have a heightened sense of vigilance in everything from report writing, patrolling techniques, controlling access and using communications equipment. The security industry also focuses on good public relations skills and the importance of having a positive appearance. Candidates get a well-rounded education in all areas of security before they are approved for a specific client site. The State of New Jersey is now requiring that security officer candidates receive a minimum of 24 hours of security training before they can be hired. What else do you need to know? Here are some highlights:

  • Skills required to be an effective security officer include being a good listener and being able to respond to questions accurately, having a good sense of smell, sight and hearing.
  • The median rate for entry-level security officers is $10.50 an hour with an officer's earning potential at $16.00 an hour.
  • From the role of security officer, many employees are advanced into positions with more responsibility, like management. The security profession can also be a steppingstone to a career in law enforcement, corrections or executive protection.
  • Officers are trained to use the minimal amount of physical force at all times. Only top-level, well-trained security officers are armed.

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Resource Corner

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