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October 27, 2014

IT-Ready helps Marine veteran find work closer to home

Cha_Yang_webAfter eight years of military service, Cha Yang was ready to put down roots closer to home.

“I would have loved to keep serving in the Marines, but the long trips away helped me decide to come back and focus on a career here,” he said. “My military career was satisfying, but I wanted a career that would keep me closer to home.”

Minnesota is home for Yang, 27, who served as an infantryman in the U.S. Marines.

Yang was pursuing full-time a bachelor’s degree in business administration management at National American University in St. Paul when he began researching IT education options. As he can attest, lots of schools and organizations offer IT training.

But when it came to the exact training Yang sought, only one program interested him: IT-Ready.

“I needed a way to get hands-on experience, and IT-Ready advertised that it would provide an apprenticeship at the end,” Yang said. “Also, IT-Ready offered classroom instruction, which a lot of other programs do not. I feel in-class instructions are far superior to online. Those are the reasons I decided to apply; it matched exactly what I needed.”

Yang’s initial impression of IT-Ready was uncertain. “My reaction was probably the same as most other people: I was unsure about the program or even if it was for real. I took a chance and it turned out to be one of the best decisions of my life.”

He graduated in June 2013 and now works as an Information Services Analyst for Ramsey County, MN, whose county seat is St. Paul. He manages application and technology implementation, and reviews new software or hardware that the county would like to begin using. He tests new hardware and software to ensure that they are compatible with the network, current applications, and user abilities.

“My skills and experience in the IT field were very limited before attending the IT-Ready program,” he said. “The in-depth technical knowledge and soft skills that the program provided prepared me for my current position. And likely all my future positions, as well.”

Yang said he is interested in information security management and said IT-Ready laid the groundwork for him to move in that direction.

“IT-Ready has got to be one of the best decisions I have made in my life,” Yang said. “It has provided me a way to learn and grow and move up in the world. I would not be where I am today without the program.”