I prepare the next generation of technologists for their high-tech careers.
I have always been an early riser. This gives me time to do a little research on the subjects of the day from my home office. If the weather is clear, the ride to work is on county roads lined with trees and farms. Arriving at work, it is breakfast with coffee and oatmeal. The rest of the day is spent telling stories of life in technology, and the underlying knowledge that is required to thrive in that environment. I love telling stories, and technology has driven my successful career.
Everything that school taught me prepared me for my next challenging technical problem at work. Today, my focus is passing on this knowledge. Cementing the relevancy of this technical knowledge to today's workplace is the key to my success as a professor. The core concepts and capabilities my students need can rarely be held in the mind until needed. It must be tied to a need that they can imagine happening in the future. I love solving technical problems. Passing this on is paramount.
Here's the first step for professionals
Consider that a career in a technical field might be more important than any degree for educators. The degree may be needed to get into the game, but your experience is what will make the concepts come alive. Tying the conceptual knowledge to real work is key to keeping the education relevant. The combination of real work in the field and education will help lead the next generation of technologists to success.
College opened doors for me. My family was not in a position to help me in any way financially. Government grants and loans allowed me to make the best investment in my life. There is no better investment that you can make.
Enduring endless stories about "Educated Idiots" from my family helped to keep me grounded in why my education was important to everyday life. Don't let anyone tell you that knowledge you gain is worthless.