This High Schooler Is Excited About His Future Security Career

By: Brian Rhodes, Published on Jan 15, 2018

A common lament is that smart, young people have little interest in surveillance systems. In fact, discussions like Should Talented Young People Get Out Of The Security / Surveillance Industry? reinforce this concern, with many worried the best and brightest will never even consider it as a career.

However, IPVM interviewed one high schooler who is bucking the trend and shows such a strong interest in security, he is a student administrator of his school's system.

He explained to IPVM:

  • How He Became Involved  
  • Which Features Impress Him Most
  • What He Likes Best About Security So Far
  • What His Goals For A Security Career Are
  • The Aspects Motivating His Interest In Surveillance Work

Based on his answers, would your security company be potentially appealing to him and students like him? Catch our interview with his answers inside.

Profile Background

[link no longer available]

A high schooler named Will Van Wickler (who already has his own LinkedIn Profile) [link no longer available] is a student resource for his school's IT department. Will, a junior, is interning in the department responsible for network administration and general 'helpdesk' support of the school's users.

Among the various systems Will works with, the network video surveillance system is a special interest for him. Over the summer break, Will was heavily involved in a wholesale surveillance system changeover where he worked closely with an integrator to support the upgrade.

IT ********* **** ************ *****

** ***** **** ****, who ********* **** *** normal ******* **** ******** working ** ******** **********, printers, *** ******* ******* admin *****, *** ** has ****** **** * niche ********** *** ******'* video ************ ****** ** ~90 - *** *******.

***** **** ******, **** system *** ** ******, DVR ***** ******, *** Will *** **** ** the **** **** '******** upgraded' *** ****** ** a *** ***** ******* video ******.  ** * student *********, *** **** goal ** ********** ******* with ******* ********* ******* that ** *** ********* eventually **** * ******.

**** ********* *** ********** with *** ***** ************ system *** ******* * desire ** ***** **** and ******* ****** *********, such **** *** *** he *** ******** ** into * ****-**** *** and ****** ****.

Makeup ** ******* ******

****** * ****** *******, his ******'* ******** ****** system *** ******* ** be *******-***** ********* ********* *********** ********.

** ****, ***** ******** are ******** *********** **************. *** ******* ******** both *** ********* *** existing *******. **** ********* the **** ********* ****** using ******** *** *** analog ******* ******* *** to ******** ********** ** the ******'* ****** *********** coax ***** *******.

**** **** **** **** his ********** ********** *** not ******** ** ******* or ****** *********, *** like **** ** ******, they **** **** ***** to ********* *** ******** the ****** ***** *** choice *** **** ** others ** *** ******.

Upgraded ****** ***** *** ********

**** **** *** **** native *** ** ************* of *****'* ****** ** a *** ****, ***** the *****-******* *********** *********** of *** ******.******* ******** is *** ******* *********** of *** ****** ** a *****. ** **** none ** *** ******* parts ** *** ****** are * ******* ******* for *** ** ****.

**** *** *** ***** any ********** ********, ******* us **** ******* ********** with *** ****** ** good.  **** ********* **** his ****** *** ** ongoing ******* ******** **** the ********** ********** *** deeper ******, *** ******* aside **** *******, ******** support *** **** ****** so ***.

Other ************ **********

*************, **** **** *** school's ***** ****** ** not *** **** **********. Will **** '*****-*******' ****** and ******* ** ********* ***** ***** ********** ********* ******** ******** radios *** * ***** business.

*** **** ** **** system ** ***** ***** large, ** ~** *******, but **** ***** *** usability ** *** ****** is ************* *********. **** tells ** *** **** reason *** ******** *** ******** was ******* ** *** pricing, *** *********** ******* of ********.

Excited ***** ********, ****** ***** ***** *******

**** ***** ** ***** that ******** ******** ******* especially ******** ***, *** he ** ******** *** future ********* ** ******* and ******* *** ********* in *** *****.

** ********* *** ****-**** school ***** *** ***** firming ** *** ** is *** ********* ** which *******, **********, ** tradeschool ** **** ******.

*******, **** ** ***** focused ** ********* *** knowledge ***, *** ** is ********* ******** *** CompTIA **************, *** ** generally ******* ** ** certifications *** ******** ***** the ****** ***** **.

Project **** *********

** ***** ** ***** aspects ** ****** **** about ********-****, **** ****** surprising *******. *** "***** ** Finish" ***** ** *********** security ********** ******** ****** from ****** *******, ** install, ** ******** ********** systems ** **** ** what **** ******** ** most *********. ** ******** feeling ************ ** ****** video ************ ********* ** areas **** ********** *** none ** *** *******, and *** ******* ******* to *********** ********* ***** provides.

Video ****** **************

**** **** ***** ** clear **** *** ******** expands ****** **** **********. He **** ****** ************ in '******* ****** ***********' with *****, *** *** it ** ***** **** to *********** *** ******* unfortunate ******. ****** ***, Will ***** ******* ** help ** ***** ** deter '*** *** ****'.

Compensation *** ***** ********... ***

*** ****** *** *********** part ** ****'* ******** in ******* ** ******** as * ******: ******* compensation.

******* ******** ********** ******** *** compensation ** ***** ***** ** a ******* ** ********** ***** young ****** ** ********, because ***** ********** *** frequently **** ******** **** in ***** '**-*******' *******, especially ***** *** *****-******** 'Silicon ******' ******** ******* by ********* **** ******, Google, ** ********.

*******, **** *** *** mention ****** ************, *** for ***, *** ******* first ** *** ********* career ******** ******** *********** and ********* *********** ****.

Student *********** **** *** ********

****'* **** ** * student ****** ** ** example ** *** * student-volunteer ********** *** ** a ***-*** *** ********.

*******, ************, *** ********* organizations ***** *** *** 'extra ****' ** ********** smart *** ********* ***** people. ******** **** ********** in ********** *******, ** in ****'* **** - a ******* ************ ****** - **** ** ***** not *** *********, *** the ****** ****** ******** operational ***** ** ****** ******* **** **** available.

***** *** ********, ***** types ** ************* *** not ********* **** **********, and '****-**-*****' ********* ********* carry *** **** ******.  However, ** ************* *** a ****** *** ** promoting ***** *********, **** potentially ***** ******** ******* interest *** ******* ********* among ***** ********.

Job ********* ** ********** ******

**** ***** ** **** he **** **** * chance ** ***** **** time ******* ** * local ********** ***** * 'job *********' ******* ** his ******.  ** *** focused ** ********* **** remote ****** ********* ******* and ******* ** ******* 'helpdesk' ******* *** * regional **********.

**** **** ******** **** Will ** *** *** it **** *** ****** on ********. ** **** him *** ****!

Comments (25)

Where are these type of kids in my neck of the woods?  Having a fairly specific career choice and interest such as Will’s is unheard of at that age.  Based upon the IPVM introductions thread most of us just fell into these roles.

Based upon the IPVM introductions thread most of us just fell into these roles.

Here is that thread if anyone hasn't chimed in yet: Origin Stories - How Did You Get Started In The Security Industry?

Where are these type of kids in my neck of the woods?

Lol, yes. Credit to Will he actually reached out to us about getting an educational account (we gave him a comp account). Then we looked him up on LinkedIn and was very surprised to see he was just in high school.

Related to that, Rhodes and I had been talking about ways IPVM could help high school or college students that want to get into the industry. We'd be happy to give free accounts and even courses to those students interested in getting into the industry. I am not sure how we would get the word out to high school and college students generally but would be happy to hear suggestions.

Love this article. It reminds me of myself at that age working with my high school IT department installing the first camera system and working on anything related to IT. I had a high interest and wanted to go to school for computer science. Having an IT background in the physical security field is critical to the new technology that is replacing analog systems. Fast forward 10 years, i'll be completing my Masters degree and have a few certifications in the security field. 

I’ve seen Will snooping my LinkedIn profile over the last few days and thought his overview was interesting, so it’s great to see IPVM spotlight him like this!

This is precisely how I got into the industry 20 years ago, running my high school computer labs, building PCs for the district and privately (which eventually translated into building all the 1st gen Vicon Kollectors), deploying the school district’s first LAN, even managing the school’s 60+ analog cameras on their four Image Vault DVRs.  

Great story— the industry needs more guys like Will!

PS, Will... my high school had me on their payroll by my sophomore year (hint hint, cough cough).

Great article! Will also reminds me of myself at his age.  My first real job back in the day (1988) at age 16 was working in a computer store in sales and service.  Building PCs, installing software, troubleshooting, maintaining the store bbs (yes back when 2400 baud modems were still the thing), etc.  The owner who hired me was so impressed at how much I knew and my passion and desire to learn technology that I was hired on the spot.  It is nice to this kid have such desire to learn and succeed and make a career out of  it. 

It is nice to see this kid has such desire to learn and succeed and make a career out of it.

Where there’s a Will, there’s a way...

Will deserves better than this. 2/10

Thank you Brian.

Obviously Brian doesn’t grade on the curve.  

I just hope he doesn't end up like you #3.... :)

It depends on what type of burger you are flipping.

Thank you for all the kind words everyone! Also I would like to thank John & Brian for making this happen! 

Good Luck!

P.S. If you get offered a trip to China, let us know, ok? :)

Welcome to the industry Will! I've been in the space for 10 years and John H/IPVM helped me learn a lot!

Smart of you to create a Linkedin profile! You're ahead of your peers!

Awesome! I was always aspirational but at that age I had no clue I would work in the security industry. I wanted to be an accountant! Glad that didnt work out!

If I could go back and do it I would work under the best and largest integrator in town, starting from the bottom and working my way up to different facets of the organization and paying close attention to how a well ran business works. Then from there you can decide if you want to open up your own business, continue working for your integrator, or pursue another part of the industry that appeals to you.

Congratulations Will!

I got started in the industry at age 14, and more than 40 years later, I am  still loving it. The good news is that, unlike when I got started, there are almost an unlimited number of resources available for someone who wants to learn the business. Finding IPVM was a great move - don't be afraid to reach out to us collectively or individually when you need help.

Thank you so much Michael! I am loving IPVM!

This is a great interview of a very impressive young man.  It is great to see IPVM focus on the issue of how critical it is to engage future industry professionals at an early stage.  Great job!

Hmmm, I'm hiring. Passion and commitment are hard to come by, the rest can be taught.

Not only this, but he is polite, attentive, and professional, which is out of the norm for todays youth (I know Will).

My recommendation for those of you that have potentially interested youth: Invest in CompTIA certifications.  Testout is a couple hundred dollars per year (full set has all CompTIA, Microsoft, and Cisco modules).  I spent thousands of dollars at the local University for MCSE classes.  I found they and the labs were much better presented with Testout.  At a minimum Network, Security, and Server Plus to start.  529 funds can be used for this.  Much cheaper than college.

I am finding now that the network/phone build and design/support companies in the area are starting to move into the physical security space.  Hire the young network centric youth as quick as you can, if you can find them (like Will).

Thank you for the kind words Jeff!

Nice work Will! Keep it up.

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