By Gloria Zuurveen
Dr. Patrick Dicks, a native of South Carolina, is a celebrity in his own right. Why? Because he is strategic in his moves about what he wants, and he has charted a course to get there just like many Hollywood celebrities who work hard preparing for that big break to shine on the red carpet.
This South Carolinian is walking the red carpet of tech stardom and has the degrees and experience to prove it.
This southern gentleman, born to Chester and Barbara Dicks, is nurtured with a strong work ethic he inherited from his father and analytic skills from his mother. His parents instilled in him respect, integrity, working hard for everything, saving money, and paying his tithes.
Dr. Dicks is bearing much fruit from his parents’ lessons and at 36 he has received his Doctor of Science in Information Systems and Communications from Robert Morris University in Pittsburgh, PA, a Master of Business Administration with an Emphasis in Information Technology Management from Webster University in Columbia SC, and a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from South Carolina State University in Orangeburg, SC.
When asked what were some of his challenges, he faced in completing his education and why he chose to study computer science and technology? He said, “I have always been around computers and putting things together. The Tandy computer we had with a 3.5 floppy drive in 1995 was my introduction to the world of technology. Some of the challenges I faced were not having a strong mathematical background and programming skills. I overcame this and several other challenges by working hard and believing in myself. He said, “I drove to Webster University weekly, I had a full-time job and I had to complete my MBA coursework, so I was able to prioritize. For my Doctorate degree I had to fly to Pittsburgh to sit in class monthly and for 2 weeks a year from August 2017 to February 2020. I did this while working my government job and teaching at several online schools at the same time.
Dedication sums it up! The current state of technology and the impact of new advancements are enforcing a different skill set and thought process. I knew to be competitive I have to attain all the education and skills I can get!”
Dr. Dicks practiced the hard-working skills he learned from his daddy. He said, “We grew up on a farm, I grew up driving tractors and putting cars together with my dad and brother. My father took my brother and I every Saturday morning to either work at our shop or we went to drive tractors in the field. Those lessons of hard work and discipline made me the man I am today!” This “Celebrity Techy” is letting his light shine in positive ways. Recently he consulted with my grandson, many of PACE NEWS readers know Israel Matthews from his weekly “Izzy’s Column” when he was in elementary school. Now he is 16 years old and very much interested in the technology. Israel said Dr. Dicks inspires and motivates young people like himself. Dr. Dicks, when asked about youth and social media addiction, he said, they need to use their brains for something beneficial. Failure to communicate properly leads to poverty and being overlooked for numerous opportunities. “If you have your head down all the time how can you see the path ahead?”
When asked about what he proposes youth and young adults do to prepare themselves for the future which is coming speedily with automation technology, he said “they need to learn much as they can and to stop thinking life is a joke! There is nothing wrong with being smart and having an education. Smart people design the technologies and tools that everyone uses to make their life more productive. In the end smarter people work less and influence the world!”
Because diversity is a hot topic in corporate America today, I asked him, “With all your expertise in the tech industry as a Black man, do you see it as a diverse industry especially as we hear so much about diversity? He said, “It is a diverse field, but we can’t let racism and making excuses hold us back from achieving our goals! Complaints and bitterness mean nothing in life!”
Dr. Dicks hold no punches, and he is shining his light to help others find their way in a very competitive field, that requires the tenacity and guts that he has demonstrated throughout his 25 years of experience. He has been a program manager, senior computer analyst, programmer, simulation He has worked for several government agencies, universities, and private companies.
Since 2014, as an adjunct professor, his resume touts a record of having taught thousands of students, in the classroom and remotely. He has taught hardware and software, database design, computer science, information systems, cybersecurity, information processing and introduction to technology classes.
Dr. Dicks’ credentials are impeccable, and they are to be raised high as a testament to his upbringing and sheer determination to press his way to success and he is doing it his way. He said, “Many people are complacent and are happy with making the bare minimum in life. They are afraid of failing to try something new. Society makes it easy for people to be failures and to accept it. We cannot look up to failures for advice or guidance if we want to progress forward!”
His advice to parents to prepare their children for academic, specifically, and the world in general, “Show children that you cannot cheat your way to the top, you cannot cheat the game of life! Too many parents do not do their jobs of raising their kids and they want the school system to do it for them. You cannot get something for nothing in life! Swag is never listed on a resume.”
Distance learning is the new learning method since the pandemic and some schools and parents alike are still adjusting to the new method of education, Dr. Dicks said that he has been teaching online for 5 years and the pandemic has increased the need for professors with his background, to teach STEM related online classes. Adjustments to online education depends on each student, some students enjoy the new format, and some are struggling to adjust.
Dr. Dicks, the tech celebrity, plays no tricks. He gets right to the meat of the matter when it comes to life and what it takes to chart a course and follow it to completion.
Just as he has done coming from South Carolina as a farm boy to a grown highly educated man, Dr. Dicks is sincerely serious about hanging with his soon to be wife, Candice, so that he can truly enjoy his hobbies of reading, riding, cooking and shooting guns because, what the heck, he’s from the country and that’s what they do!
For an educational, career, tech, or life consultation contact him at http://drdicks.carrd.co/ or on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/in/drdicks. You can also watch Dr. Dicks on the Erika Williams (The Classy Climb) YouTube channel. They talk about life, careers, and reality.