TSTC Student Q&A with Tucker Neal of Jarrell

(WACO) –Tucker Neal, 18, of Jarrell is a first-semester Computer Networking and Systems Administration major at Texas State Technical College.

He is a 2017 graduate of Jarrell High School, where he played multiple sports and was vice president of the high school chapter of the Family, Career and Community Leaders of America.

What factored into choosing your major? “My stepdad is a computer network administrator so I learned about computers from him. When I was 8, I built my own computer. I still use it today. Growing up, I did a lot of research on computers and how they worked. I took one computer class in seventh grade, and in eighth grade I was the teacher’s assistant for that class.”

How did you learn about TSTC? “I had to do a bunch of projects in high school. The teachers asked us what we would do after high school,l and I researched colleges around here and found TSTC.”

Do you work on campus? “I work at the library. I’ll come to work at 2 p.m. and leave at 6 p.m. on my work days and make sure the computers are reset. I’ll monitor computers, making sure nobody is doing what they are not supposed to. I also help students in the lab. I started working in the library in October.”

What advice would you give to high school students? “I would say to make sure you know what to do before you go to college.”

Network and computer systems administrator jobs are expected to grow to more than 415,000 nationwide by 2026, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

There were more than 32,000 network and computer administrators in Texas in 2016, according to the federal labor statistics bureau. Of these, more than 200 were in Waco and more than 4,000 were in the Austin – Round Rock area. The annual mean wage in Texas was $87,790.

For more information on Texas State Technical College, go to tstc.edu.