John Wood, CEO/Chairman, Telos Corporation
I am the CEO and Chairman of Telos Corporation, a cyber-security leader headquartered in Ashburn, Va. We deliver solutions that empower and protect the world’s most security-conscious enterprises -- military, intelligence and civilian agencies of the federal government, allied nations, and commercial organizations around the world. We empower customers with secure solutions that leverage mobile communication and real-time collaboration, and protect vital assets that include customers’ critical operational and tactical systems so they can safely conduct their global missions.STEM education is critical because our nation has a serious deficit of skilled STEM professionals. Admitting you have a problem is the first step -- and as a nation, we’ve done that. However, the next step is to stop talking about STEM education, and to begin making the substantive changes necessary to increase the number of qualified computer scientists and cyber professionals needed to be competitive in a global economy. One way of doing this is to keep kids interested in math and science early in their education career, which is just what SySTEMic Solutions is doing.
The SySTEMic Solutions summer camps improve the number of STEM educated individuals in our local community. As the CEO of a tech company, I need our future employee pool to have a specific skill set, which happens to include the STEM disciplines.
Engaging kids in math and science may improve the quality of our future employee pool, but the issue runs much deeper than finding talented software or security engineers for Telos. Putting my company, and even Loudoun County aside for moment, STEM is critical to our nation as a whole. Cyber is a war-fighting domain. Cyber-warriors are in high demand in our country, and without highly skilled software engineers and security professionals with strong backgrounds in math and science, our national security is at risk.
If you are on the STEM path, don’t fear failure. To try and fail is to understand what success looks, feels and tastes like. Without failures, you can’t have successes. When you do fail (not if, but when), do it graciously, learn from your failures and rebuild with the invaluable lessons gathered from your mistakes. With failure comes greater opportunity! www.telos.com