It’s no secret that tech salaries in San Jose and the rest of Silicon Valley are consistently higher than the rest of the country. But getting a coveted job in the world’s most important tech region may require several job applications, interviews and, perhaps most importantly, a solid academic background. While not every top-paying job in high-tech requires a bachelor’s degree or higher, job applicants that tend to rise above intense competition are college graduates. For career advice, leading Silicon Valley tech expert Gary Davis graciously took time to offer insight on his background and what to expect in a job in the Silicon Valley.

(Photo Courtesy of Gary Davis)

(Photo Courtesy of Gary Davis)

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What is your background and education?

“I’m the chief consumer security evangelist at McAfee, a part of Intel Security. Through a consumer lens, I work closely with internal teams to drive strategic alignment of products with the needs of the security space. I also oversee McAfee online safety education to educate businesses and consumers by distilling complex security topics into easily understandable and actionable advice. During the last five years at McAfee, I’ve held leadership roles in the consumer and enterprise divisions where I’ve helped shape various product portfolios and strategic direction along with advocating for cybersecurity education. Prior to joining McAfee, I held senior management positions for more than 15 years in technology companies. I also serve on the board of directors of the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA). I hold a master’s in public administration from University of Oklahoma and a B.S. in technical management at Wayland Baptist University.”

What do you love most about the tech industry?

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“That it is constantly changing and evolving. Every day we see new malware, attacks, breaches, etc. Knowing that we always need to be changing and evolving to meet those new threats head on makes the security industry a truly exciting space. I also love the team that I have the opportunity to work with. Working with a diverse and highly talented team allows multiple perspectives to surface to on how best to solve the complex challenges that we face every day.”

What career advice can you offer for people interested in entering into a career in the tech industry?

“Find and pursue your passion. I see a lot of people get pressured into pursuing a career that they are not passionate about. I can work the crazy hours that I do because it never feels like work. Because I’m able to do that thing that I truly love doing, every day I wake up genuinely excited about what the day will bring.”

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Randy Yagi is a freelance writer covering all things San Francisco. In 2012, he was awarded a Media Fellowship from Stanford University. His work can be found on