Career Day: Knocker Uppers, Buggy Whip Makers, and Modern Work Life

John McCumber

John McCumber

John McCumber is a cybersecurity executive, retired US Air Force officer, and former Cryptologic Fellow of the National Security Agency. In addition to his professional activities, John is a former Professorial Lecturer in Information Security at The George Washington University in Washington, DC and is currently a technical editor and columnist for Security Technology Executive magazine. John is the author of the textbook Assessing and Managing Security Risk in IT Systems: a Structured Methodology

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4 Responses

  1. Avatar Oscar Gordon

    A more interesting question is how careers have evolved. As an engineer, I do very little pen/pencil and paper work. It’s all software. A career in farming involves a whole lot more bio-science, and the old skills as a mechanic are rapidly evolving into skills in automation and robotics.Report

  2. Avatar Jaybird

    I have several nephews (not all blood related) and, every now and again, I get asked a question adjacent to what they need to do to prepare for the future.

    I used to say “get good at computers” but that’s not even good advice anymore. I mean, it’s like telling them “be sure to eat nutritious food and stay hydrated”. Even the ones who have no intention of getting good at computers know that “get good at computers” is good advice.

    One of the smartest nephews in the group is at the School of Mines and excelling already (he’s on the TA track in his freshman year) and I’m confident that there is no advice I could give him that would help him excel even more at school. “Stay away from romantic entanglements”, maybe. But that’s not exactly advice you can follow.

    He’s smart and capable of reading a document and learning from it and so that tells me that he’ll be employed until doomsday. I have another nephew who cares very little about computers, goofs off a lot, isn’t particularly inclined to put effort into academics, is charismatic as eff, and will likely be a star sales guy in 10 years.

    Both of them will be really good at making someone else even more money.

    Which, I suppose, is the advice I’d give. Find someone good at making money. Make them more money.Report

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