Tech-Oriented Students Learn About DoD IT Opportunities

Dec. 13, 2017 | BY Terri Moon Cronk , DOD News
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A group of about 60 high school students visited the Pentagon Dec. 11 to learn about future employment opportunities with the Defense Department in the information technology field.

“We’re glad you’re here,” Air Force Maj. Gen. Brian Dravis, joint services provider director at the Pentagon told the students.

“This country needs you, … and the business needs you,” he said in a discussion about the Pentagon’s work in information technology before the students received a tour of the building and attended additional sessions on subjects such as cybersecurity.

The group of freshmen, sophomores and seniors from North Point High School near Waldorf, Maryland, are students in the school’s science, technology and industry program.

“What I’m really impressed by is your energy, inquisitiveness and your questions,” Dravis told them.

“I’ve taken a look at your curriculum. It’s really impressive. Hopefully you are inspired and motivated by what you’re studying to continue that effort,” he added.

A couple of years ago, DoD said cyberspace is an operational warfighting domain, Dravis explained.

“Now as a matter of national security in the DoD, we need people with talent, technical expertise and understanding to help defend the nation in cyberspace,” he said.

Big Business

“[Because] it’s a warfighting domain, adversaries are beating [on] our door,” he said, adding, “That’s a big business.”

Between their technical studies and the growing need in DoD for specialized IT work, the students face immense opportunity, Dravis said.

“This line of work in the operational warfighting domain, no matter what route you choose, is massive,” he added.

Dravis advised the students, who are about to enter the college system and the job market, to keep doing what they’re doing.

“Keep getting good grades. That’s really important. Don’t be afraid of failure. If you know what it is you want to do, and you have the determination to go do it, then just go do it,” he said.

“DoD cares about your talent, knowledge, determination, and what it is you want to do,” Dravis told the students. “You’re in a great place with a great opportunity.”

(Follow Terri Moon Cronk on Twitter: @MoonCronkDOD)