Spotlight on Security’s Unsung Heroes: A Conversation with Ancel Ramos

Spotlight on Security’s Unsung Heroes: A Conversation with Ancel Ramos
Electronic Security Association — May 28, 2024

In security, the true champions often work behind the scenes, their contributions crucial, yet rarely in the limelight. Today, we’re shining a spotlight on one such individual, Ancel Ramos, Security Projects Programmer with Preferred Technologies (Pref-Tech). Ancel’s path into the security industry demonstrates that there are many routes that lead to meaningful and impactful careers within our field.

As part of our ongoing work to highlight the talent in the security industry, FAST’s Executive Director, Aiden O’Brien, caught up with Ancel for a conversation about his path to becoming a Security Projects Programmer, his thoughts on the industry and the advice he has for those considering a similar path. Here’s what Ancel had to say:

Q: How did you first get into the security industry?

Ancel: It was a bit of a roundabout way for me. I dropped out of high school initially because school just didn’t seem like my path. After a few odd jobs, I was inspired by my brother, who went to college for computer science. I went back to school, where we visited Pref-Tech on a field trip. I joined an apprenticeship program at Pref-Tech that introduced me to the IT and security side of things. I was curious, they saw potential, and I was eager to learn more.

Q: What has been your experience in the security industry?

Ancel: It’s been great and much more technical than I expected. The role involves a lot of networking and other technical knowledge, which I find fascinating. You also have the opportunity to do a little bit of everything, from web development to customer service, and lots of other things.

Q: Can you describe your current role?

Ancel: I’m a Security Projects Programmer. My day-to-day involves configuring cameras for projects, making sure they are up to date and ready for deployment. I handle a lot of IT aspects, like server configuration, which was something new to me when I started. I’m Genetec certified and working on other manufacturer certifications. Honestly, I did not know a lot of this was going to be part of my role when I started, but it is very exciting and different every day.

Q: Where do you see your career going in the future?

Ancel: I see a lot of great paths in the industry. The security industry is filled with cool projects and work opportunities. It’s always exciting, and you never know what project will come next. You have the opportunity to work on projects that are very unique and important.

Q: Looking back, is there anything you wish you had known earlier in your career?

Ancel: Definitely the importance of focusing and the value of education. I did well in my apprenticeship, but working to understand networking and being open
to learning in general was crucial. Pref-Tech was welcoming and ready to teach me because I was willing to learn. Having a genuine interest in the industry and technology has helped me grow in this role and my career.

Q: Were you prepared by your schooling for this industry?

Ancel: Honestly, not really. School gives you a base, but there’s a lot that’s specific to the industry that you can only learn on the job at this point. My advice to anyone looking to enter this field is to do what you enjoy and stay curious, there is so much you can learn here.

“Having a genuine interest in the industry and technology has helped me grow in this role and my career.”

At FAST, we believe that stories like Ancel’s are instrumental in showcasing the diverse opportunities in security. From technical positions like Security Projects Programmer and Installation Technicians to roles in management, sales, and beyond, the security industry is not just about cameras and locks; it’s about creating a safer world through innovative technology and skilled professionals.

This conversation also highlights the need for industry-specific education and training programs that can better prepare students for the technical challenges and opportunities in security. Our industry needs talent like Ancel, and FAST is working to equip students with the skills and knowledge of security they need to join our field. FAST’s work in this space, along with building awareness of the career paths in security is ongoing, and we invite you to connect with us and help spread the word.