Corrections or additions?
This article by Gina Zechiel was prepared for the November 14,
2001 edition of U.S. 1 Newspaper. All rights reserved.
Careers in Computing? It’s Never Too Late
Unless you are truly the last Neanderthal, you probably
use computer technology a dozen times a day. You use computers from
the time you roll out of bed to make coffee (maybe using an electronic
timer) or heat water in the microwave. Watching morning news on TV,
using a calculator to balance the checkbook, dialing up Aunt Em on
the portable phone — computers help you do all this before you
even think about doing a day’s work. You may not actually own a
but there is good news — you are (almost) never too late, too
old, or too dumb to learn how to use one, and to use it to make a
Forget what you have read recently about the demise of the dot-coms.
If you are willing to postpone being a billionaire until you’re 29,
there is still a whole world of excellent jobs available in the
field — providing you have the requisite skills.
First class training is available, and on Wednesday, November 14,
at 6.30 p.m., Mercer County Community College will host a free
in Computing" open house at its West Windsor campus.
If you a high school student looking for job direction, a career
candidate, a 40-something looking to upgrade skills, or if you just
want to learn for pleasure, MCCC offers the opportunity to get
training at a reasonable price, as well as help in putting the skills
"We work hard at demystifying technology," says
H. Maddox, head of the Information Technology curriculum for MCCC.
"Very few businesses today do not require some kind of computer
use, and people can come here and learn how to use computers in a
With 50 computer labs, Mercer has the capability to teach almost any
motivated student. "These are people-friendly programs, designed
to help individuals learn to use technology at sophisticated
says Maddox. "We can teach you how to program, how to disassemble
and rebuild computers, how to repair, how to use, manage, develop
and implement every aspect of the technology."
Maddox, whose friendly, low-key and encouraging attitude may be the
key to the success of these programs, graduated from the University
of Hartford, getting his master’s degree from Bowling Green. He spent
20 years in industry, mainly with GE and Digital Equipment, and
from personnel positions to technology with the help of in-house
"This training was a great opportunity for me," says Maddox,
"It was inspiring — I realized I could help people achieve
at a different level, plus I really enjoyed the technology." And
he makes it sound like fun. "There’s so much you can do with
systems, like connecting two offices, allowing individuals to save
money and time, or using tools like Excel to do a business analysis
in 15 minutes instead of half a day!"
For those considering computer training, Maddox has some pointers:
do. "Don’t be put off by technology," he says. "For
people with a literary background, who can read extremely well, are
prime material for computer careers . With the ability to understand
a complex sentence, you are halfway there. It’s basically a matter
of understanding English."
and the New Jersey Institute of Technology allows students who finish
the programming degree curriculum with a B-minus average or better
to enter NJIT. "The degree curriculum costs about $5,000, as
to two years of college at $12,000 per year," says Maddox. "If
you have a smart kid, it’s a huge saving. Today, people who might
never have considered Mercer are taking a much harder look."
diverse, so you will benefit by becoming expert in a specific field,
such as database administration, network engineering, operating
spreadsheet and presentation applications, or website development.
people use the Internet as a business avenue. The field of website
design and development is growing faster than the supply of trained
professionals. "It’s a cost-effective way of advertising that
is interactive and exciting," says Maddox, "and we teach
how to build websites, from a modest standpoint up to E-commerce
technical help knows that skilled professionals are worth their weight
in gold. The MCCC curriculum offers Microsoft certification, and how
to install, manage, troubleshoot and upgrade computer networks. Good
network people are almost never out of work.
customized training) to be able to deal with the vast majority of
business requirements," Maddox believes. "Programs that are
readily available can solve almost any problem you can throw at them.
We teach people to apply technology to everyday situations."
— Gina Zechiel
Leroy Hood, director of the Institute for Systems
Biology in Seattle, speaks on "Decoding Life: Genomics,
and Systems Biology," on Wednesday, November 14, at 4:30 p.m.
at Wolfensohn Hall on the campus of the Institute for Advanced Study.
The event is free. Call 609-734-8118.
A leading scientist in molecular biotechnology and genomics, Hood
will discuss how the Human Genome Project has led to a new systems
approach for biology.
Hood earned his M.D. from Johns Hopkins in 1964 and his Ph.D. in
from the California Institute of Technology in 1968. On the faculty
at CalTech, he and colleagues pioneered four instruments that
the technological foundation for contemporary molecular biology. One
of the instruments has revolutionized genomics by allowing the rapid
automated sequencing of DNA.
Later, working as head of the department of molecular biology at the
University of Washington, Hood applied the laboratory’s expertise
in DNA mapping to the analysis of human and mouse immune receptors,
and initiated studies in prostate cancer, autoimmunity, and
stem cell development.
Corrections or additions?
This page is published by PrincetonInfo.com
— the web site for U.S. 1 Newspaper in Princeton, New Jersey.