Tuesday, April 22, 2014

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RHT: Pre-Sales Engineer a Lucrative Role for Experienced Talent

by Robert Half Technology
April 21, 2014

Starting pay for pre-sales engineers will rise 8.4% in 2014.
Pre-sales engineers — sometimes called technical engineers — are technically skilled members of the IT sales team who help customers draw up requirements and select the correct products and services.
They also assist with technical questions or concerns during the sales process and frequently participate in the initial portion of the project specification process.

This position requires a good deal of experience and skills in both sales and technical domains. Nate Mayhill, Division Director at Robert Half Technology in Dublin, Ohio, says, “I have found that pre-sales engineering is an experienced individual’s game. Many people have been in their roles for more than ten years.”
Pre-Sales Engineer Salaries to Increase in 2014

The skills and experience necessary to be a successful pre-sales engineer necessitate a premium salary, Mayhill says. “Often, pre-sales engineers will make in excess of $100,000 per year.” He notes the expectations are high as well: “The individual in this position must provide an excellent rate of return for the company to invest that much money on a yearly basis in a salary.”

The average starting salary for a pre-sales engineer in the United States is expected to increase 8.4 percent this year. Average starting compensation is projected to range from $82,750 to $116,750.* (You can use the Robert Half Technology Salary Calculator to find salary information specific to your city.)
Pre-Sales Engineer Job Description
What does it take to be a pre-sales engineer? Here are some key qualifications:
  • Bachelor’s degree or a combination of education and experience in engineering, information systems, or business administration
  • Five years of industry experience, including two or more years in sales engineering or consulting
  • Proven technology skills, outstanding interpersonal abilities, and strong written and verbal communication skills
  • Attention to detail, plus analytical and problem-solving capabilities
  • Positive, service-oriented personality
  • Willingness to travel
Pre-sales engineers collaborate with the sales support or account team by acting as technical experts in customer presentations. In addition, they determine the technical requirements to meet client goals and act as liaison between the organization’s sales/business development and engineering groups. They also respond to requests for information or requests for proposals from customers, supplying the technical details of proposed solutions. Pre-sales engineers then must coordinate the transition between pre-sales specifications and implementation engineering once contracts have been awarded.
How to Become a Pre-Sales Engineer

Pre-sales engineers supplement their technical expertise with many traits good salespeople possess. Mayhill says, “Sitting across the table from the best ones, you can feel intensity and passion for their companies and the products they support. At the same time, they need to possess strong listening skills so they can help customers and provide the necessary solutions.”

Students looking to become pre-sales engineers should acquire education in both technical and business areas. Mayhill adds, “Taking courses not only on the technical side but also within the business sector will help new graduates to achieve a holistic view of this position.” To those already in the field, he recommends continually improving their overall technical abilities.

Look to Robert Half Technology’s latest Salary Guide for job descriptions and starting compensation trends for a wide range of IT jobs — including pre-sales engineer.

*Pre-sales engineer salaries in Canada are projected to increase 8.4 percent in 2014, ranging from $88,250 to $109,000.

— Robert Half Technology

With more than 100 locations worldwide, Robert Half Technology is a leading provider of technology professionals for initiatives ranging from web development and multiplatform systems integration to network security and technical support. Visit our website at www.rht.com.

The accidental IT pro and the IT-ification of the business user

APRIL 21, 2014

The cliché is that IT is being 'consumerized' by smartphones, mobile apps, and SaaS. But in truth, BYOD and DIY also mean business users must be more tech-savvy

By Eric Knorr | InfoWorld

Credit: byryo
Here's a typical scenario: A line-of-business manager runs out of patience waiting for IT to procure and deploy software for a sales incentive program. Time to head to the cloud and fire up a SaaS app for that.

Except now the LoB manager -- not IT -- is responsible for provisioning users and running reports, passing data to and from accounting and HR, plus keeping that data secure. The 150 pages of documentation for the SaaS app become frequent bedtime reading.

[ Take InfoWorld's Navigating IT survey for a chance to win $500. | Understand how to both manage and benefit from the consumerization of IT trend with InfoWorld's "Consumerization Digital Spotlight" PDF special report. ]

Here's another example: A marketing manager runs out of patience waiting for IT to build a mobile application. So off he goes to a cloud service that enables him to create an application from a template. It works, and his users love it. But it also needs to integrate with an existing local database, not all data should be exposed to all users, some users complain about bugs, new feature requests start rolling in ... and the marketing manager finds himself learning to become a development manager.

More simply, can you honestly say you've never had trouble setting up your work email on your smartphone by yourself?

Yes, conventional, centralized IT has lost power, and many tech decisions are devolving to LoB and departmental levels or to individual users. Often, tech procured directly from providers is more functional than what IT used to deliver. But now that business has broken IT, it has also bought it. Here's some crazy glue -- you figure out how to put it together.

Opting for the cloud isn't the same as outsourcing. The very nature of cloud computing is self-service. And although initial adoption may seem simple, downstream things have a tendency to get complicated.

Business users can manage that complexity when you're talking about a single application. But business computing doesn't work that way. Whether applications reside in the data center or in the public cloud, there needs to be a framework for security, integration, and best practices. Often, workflows and customer or product data cross many different applications. You really need an enterprise architecture that incorporates self-service and guards against new data siloes and security risks.

I'm a great believer in avoiding bureaucracy and enabling users to adopt cloud or mobile applications to enable them to do what they need to do. Today, at least part of the job of IT -- maybe most of the job in newer, smaller companies -- is to provide a framework for people to engage in self-service and not get hurt.

That cultural and operational shift is already well under way. One the one hand, you can say IT is shrinking. On the other, you can say IT has many more conscripts, since business users' DIY activity means more interaction with a broader range of technology than ever before. To those new arrivals, I say welcome to the club. I would love to hear from those of you who have become accidental IT pros and how we can support you in "getting it done" on your own recognizance.

This article, "The accidental IT pro and the IT-ification of the business user," originally appeared at InfoWorld.com. Read more of Eric Knorr's Modernizing IT blog. And for the latest business technology news, follow InfoWorld on Twitter.

APRIL 2014


NCC Research Team - Conducting Research on Competency Driven Simulation Design
The National CyberWatch Center Research team, in collaboration with the National Cyber League (NCL) Education Committee and the Cybersecurity Competition Federation, is mapping the NCL competition structure (competition events, iSIGHT Partners' Puzzle Graveyard, and the Center for Systems Security and Information Assurance (CSSIA)-developed Security+ and Certified Ethical Hacking lab exercises) to the National Board of Information Security Examiners (NBISE) Security Testing Job Performance Model.

CyberWatch researchers, Dr. David Tobey, Dr. Portia Pusey, and Dr. Diana Burley, will highlight the process and outcomes of the job performance mapping for designing, scoring, comparing, and evaluating cybersecurity competitions; present lessons learned and discuss how to apply the mapping process to other competitions at the 2014 Community College Cyber Summit (3CS),July 21-22 in Chicago.

The session will highlight their ongoing work to investigate the alignment of cybersecurity competition skills with real world job requirements. In addition, it will provide insight intended to inform improvements to professional skill development activities based on simulation and game-based learning.

9th Mid-Atlantic Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition
Each year, the competition involves a compelling scenario meant to represent the non-cyber impacts resulting from cyber-attacks (e.g. electric power, health care, electronic voting). A scenario-based competition provides participants context and focus for their actions and allows prioritization of their efforts within the structure of a controlled environment and scoring rubric. Learn More.

K-12 Division News
The National CyberWatch Center K-12 Division continues to expand its programs to meet the growing demands of the education, government, and business communities. Leveraging National Science Foundation (NSF) funding, and working in partnership with the University of Maryland College Park. Learn More

Community College Cyber Summit (3CS)
Tired of TYPICAL Conferences?

Well, if COMMUNITY COLLEGE and CYBERSECURITY EDUCATION represent your area of interest, then we know just what you need... Learn More

CyberWatch Members
Learn more.

CyberWatch Partners
Learn more.

Contact us!

CyberWatch | CyberWatch Center, PGCC | 301 Largo Road, Room 129C | Largo | MD | 20774

CA Career Briefs: Inspire Final Success

CA Career Briefs

Click link above for video!

“Nine tenths of education is encouragement.”

- Anatole France, French Novelist

Inspire “Final” Success

Did you know?

When students set realistic goals for their final exams and decide in advancewhen and where they will study, they can double or triple their chances for success. That finding comes from a book by Heidi Grant Halvorson, 9 Things Successful People Do Differently. As we head into “final” season, students’ motivation may be flagging especially if they don’t have a clear sense of where they are now and where they want to end up. Taking class time to discuss specific study strategies, like if–then planning, and encouraging students tomodel successful behaviors will certainly help students succeed andincrease course completion rates, too.
Here’s how…
  • Ask students questions about how they prepare for their finals.
  • View video.
  • Distribute Student Activity, review directions and complete.
  • Share students’ goals and have them describe possible obstacles.
Above and Beyond!

Suggest that students take the free online 9 Things Diagnostic Assessment. It’s quick and easy and will get them thinking about which success traits serve them best.