Ministry of Education Internship Reflection

Ministry of Education Internship Reflection

Computer Science Teacher/Technical Support Advisor

Ministry of Education, Saudi Arabia

This report, entitled “Work Term Report”, was prepared as my work report for the two roles I performed at Ministry of Education, Saudi Arabia. This is my only work report. This report contains a detailed description of both of my work terms at Ministry of Education, Saudi Arabia. The primary focus of this report will be my responsibilities at the two positions, the skills I learned, my achievements and my aspirations for the future.

Table of Contents

 

Summary

Analysis and Discussion

First Work Term

Second Work Term

Learning Experiences

Employability Skills for Next Job

Career Paths

Ideal Job

Cisco Values:

Cisco takes pride in its values of diversity and inclusion.

Works Cited

Summary

 

My work experience spans over 5 years, first as a computer science teacher and then as a technical support advisor.

My first job out of school was performing of a computer science teacher for the Ministry of Education in the province of Qassim, Saudi Arabia.  The role entailed teaching basic computer software and hardware to the students and faculty.

The Ministry’s primary functions included Planning and Monitoring Education in Primary, Preparatory, and Secondary schools.

My Second role was that of a Technical Support Advisor with the Ministry. This role was more technical and the responsibilities including data collection, data management, technical support using remote access and hardware troubleshooting of Ministry’s computers.

The main objectives of my work term were achieved through acquisition of a diverse and well-rounded skillset encompassing technical support/troubleshooting skills, database management, interpersonal skills, and organization.  In conjunction with the work term provided me with the hands-on work experience to better understand and learn the core of these (and more) skills and tools which I believe will benefit my academic and professional endeavors.

My work experience also provided me the opportunity to accomplish my goals to learn more about careers in the Computer Science and Government sector. Working in a professional arrangement also exposed me to the world outside University.  I will continue to strive to provide quality work in the field of Networking post completion of my degree at Ryerson University.

Analysis and Discussion

 

First Work Term

 

After graduating with an advanced diploma in computer science that included one co-op term, my first full time job was with Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Education as a Computer Science trainer/teacher followed by my two-year stint as a lab technician.

The ministry of education was established in 1951 with a sole purpose of implementation of the Government’s Educational Policy.  Its primary functions included Planning and Monitoring Education in Primary, Preparatory, and Secondary schools.  In 1975, the ministry’s role broadened as it incorporated higher education as well. Several new Universities, Scientific and Applied Colleges have since been opened and huge funds have been allocated for Higher Education.  Henceforth, the Ministry of Education oversees 26 Government Universities, 10 Private Universities, and 41 Private Colleges. These Universities and Colleges have Scientific, and Applied Majors in different areas.

My position fell under the faculty of Informational technology at Atta school, in the region of Qassim. As my role of a Computer teacher, I ensured to engage students in all activities related to IT, to enrich their overall learning experience and prepare them for a competitive post-secondary education environment and subsequently the professional workplace.  The curriculum mainly encompassed Microsoft office, basic hardware and software knowledge and Internet browsing.

As a teacher, it is my belief that knowledge of MS office to students at a young age (middle and high school) is imperative. According to a recent study conducted by International Data group, the 20 most highly sort after/highly paid skills that the employers are looking for include, proficiency with Microsoft Office at #3, with proficiency with PowerPoint and Word specifically highlighted at #11 and #13 on the list. Moreover, Microsoft Office skills were sought after five times more than any other productivity tools.

I designed and developed appropriate computer instructional material/curriculum that incorporated real world examples by integrating special lesson plans within the core academic curriculum.  This included creating challenging assignments/projects for the students, organizing and conducting IT focused Science fairs and IT competitions in the school.  This enabled me to provide the students with access to real-life experiences, simultaneously developing their key critical thinking and communications skills.

In order to provide the best learning experience for the students, I ensured that the systems were working in proper condition by proper organization, maintenance and managing of class systems. As I was an instructor and also a lab manager, my administrative duties involved supervising support staff, maintaining inventory, ordering hardware and software and budgeting for a computer lab. I regularly verified up to date hardware and software availability to keep students abreast of technological upgrades.

Second Work Term

My subsequent professional stint was working as a Technical Support Advisor with the Ministry of Education.  In a technical capacity, this role was a major step-up from my previous role as a computer instructor as it was a cross between a Database Administrator and Computer Technician for the Ministry of Education

As a database administrator I was responsible for Data collection and database management for the Ministry. My role involved collecting data from various schools that came under the ministry before storing and organizing it. This data was pivotal to the Ministry’s decision-making as it used the information collected from different schools to create Strategic plans.

The other aspect of my role was that of a Technical Support Advisor for the Ministry. As technology becomes more prevalent in the Saudi educational sector, the Technical Support Advisor has become vital for the Ministry to achieve its goals. My daily tasks included assisting in maintaining a large computer network and offering support to a large user base. This involved maintaining and updating Windows operating system, monitoring platforms, performing diagnostics on PCs as well as overseeing the network infrastructure.

My ability to analyze and diagnose problems allowed me to achieve a high level of efficiency and productivity. I also managed the help desk and provided troubleshooting for software issues over the telephone and Internet to remote users. I used remote access to take over using the software knows as Team Viewer. TeamViewer is a software that is used for Internet-based remote access and support.

 Learning Experiences

 

Both aspects of my professional life have educated me in many positive ways. My work experience as a teacher was extremely fulfilling as at a personal level I got an opportunity to touch the lives of my pupils by creating a brighter academic future for them. On top of the technical skills (both hardware and software) that I mastered in this role, the main key takeaway from this role were my soft skills that I acquired through promoting learning effectiveness, enhancing student engagement, appreciating diversity and promoting equality at every opportunity. Henceforth, the experience was dynamic, challenging and valuable.

My role as a Technical Support Advisor honed my software skills with regards to Microsoft Operating Systems as well as all other Microsoft Office based applications. Moreover, I also learned how to troubleshoot and fix peripheral devices such as printers, scanners, video cards, and other plug and play devices; as well as gained knowledge of basic networking essentials and wireless networks.

I also learned about different types of technical issues in an organizational/ government setting. Furthermore, I was exposed to general professional conduct and the norms of working in a professional organization including hierarchy, team work, time management and taking initiatives. It’s imperative for a teacher and a Technical Support advisor, to have both, a strong analytical side as well as strong interpersonal skillset to be successful. I believe that all these skills will be essential for my future career paths.

Employability Skills for Next Job

I have continued my learning by enrolling in a Degree in Computer and Communications Networking (On going).  My solid technical foundation in Hardware and Software applications are assisting me in my current educational endeavor and shall benefit me in my professional career further.

Going forward I am eager to continue growing and developing my skills and knowledge in the following three areas to make myself more employable

  1. Database Management[1]:  This is the age of Big data, andDatabase management is growing in importance. I intend on learning the following applications such as Oracle Database, SQLite and MySQL to equip myself better for the changing needs of the hour.
  2. Networking Skills: Networking and infrastructure skills are more important today as companies are doing more transactions online. In the field of Enterprise networking, it is imperative to develop expertise in IT infrastructure and traditional networking technologies such as LAN/WAN, VLAN, T-3/T-1 and ISDN.
  1. Security: Security is a very important skill for the future, that includes Firewall, data leak and compliance. Security skills go hand in hand with networking skills, and a well-rounded Security professional must attain certifications such as CISA and simultaneously develop expertise in network, wireless, application, operating system and other IT areas.

Career Paths

As I’ve always liked solving problems and along with my ability to explain complicated technical jargon in an easy to understand non-technical way, with non-technical people, following are the three best career paths I could take

  1. Database AdministratorDatabase administrators analyze, store and organize data using specialized software. Their primary responsibility is the protection of files from loss or corruption while ensuring seamless accessibility.  Database administrators need the problem-solving skills of the computer science major to manage disaster recovery aspects of the databases and to modify systems to as per the needs of the users
  2.  Computer Network Architect: Computer network architects design, implement and build networking and data communication systems, ranging from small office connection to a large cloud infrastructure. Computer network architects need to have a good understanding of communication networks to go with their analytical skills to evaluate organization’s business needs.
  3.  Information Security Analyst[2]Information security analysts create systems to protect information networks and websites from cyber-attacks and other security breaches. Their responsibilities include researching trends in data security to anticipate problems and install systems to prevent issues before they occur.

Ideal Job

Network architect: Numerous aspects of my professional work experience will prove to be valuable in future phases of my career. My professional work experience along with my education prepare me for a role as a Network Architect.

My ideal job is to work as a Network Architect for Networking giant Cisco Systems, Inc. Cisco Systems, Inc. is an American multinational technology conglomerate that develops, manufactures and sells networking hardware, telecommunications equipment and other high-technology services and products.

Typical job responsibilities for network architects at Cisco, include designing and building LANs, WANs and intranets. They are responsible for validating high-level design plans for optimal network implementation.

Computer network architects work from their offices, but occasionally also work in server rooms, as they require they access to the hardware and company’s information network.  They perform well in a team setting, but also work effectively on their own with minimal supervision[3].

Network architects’ main tools include a computer that is required to verify network setting and security requirements using specialized software to test for security flaws and possible intruder doors.

Additionally, network architects provide technical support and guidance for complex wireless and local area networks. They implement new technologies for high-level designs and monitor performance based on specified project requirements. Network architects also determine proper architecture required by the size of existing computer systems[4]. They also must maintain an accurate report to prevent future connectivity problems.

Cisco Values:

Cisco takes pride in its values of diversity and inclusion.

Pay Parity: The Pay parity is an ongoing commitment for Cisco. The company regularly tests for parity and where they see gaps, they fix them. Cisco is also proud to have taken a national leadership role in advancing fair pay for everyone, as one of the 28 founding signers of the White House Equal Pay Pledge.

Social Justice:  Cisco ensures to take a stand on any sort of act that leads to discrimination, threatens the equal rights, safety, and dignity of its employees. Cisco was one of the very first U.S. companies to recognize that marriage inequality.

Cisco also joined forces to oppose the immigration and travel ban from predominantly Muslim countries, and we’re expanding our engagement around the growing crisis of fair and equitable treatment by law enforcement.

Disabilities: Cisco launched LifeChanger project in 2015 and ran its first pilot in California, and subsequently expanded this project into India, Brazil, and Belgium. Since then, nearly 100 talented people with disabilities have been hired to date. This promotes diversity which provides Cisco with a significant advantage, including high talent retention, low absenteeism and error rates, and more than double the productivity of their peers.

Works Cited

  1.  https://www.cbtnuggets.com/blog/2017/10/7-skills-to-complement-your-it-security-expertise/
  1.  https://www.thebalancecareers.com/top-jobs-for-computer-science-majors-2059634
  1. https://collegegrad.com/careers/computer-network-architects
  1. https://www.payscale.com/research/CA/Job=Network_Architect/Salary/cab39a0d/Vancouver-BC-Network-Architecture-Design

[1] https://www.cbtnuggets.com/blog/2017/10/7-skills-to-complement-your-it-security-expertise/

[2] https://www.thebalancecareers.com/top-jobs-for-computer-science-majors-2059634

[3] https://collegegrad.com/careers/computer-network-architects

[4] https://www.payscale.com/research/CA/Job=Network_Architect/Salary/cab39a0d/Vancouver-BC-Network-Architecture-Design


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