Opportunity in Tech Careers

it-ready-slider Apply Today

Inspiring Teens in Technology

next-up Learn More

Empowering Girls in Tech

techgirlz-white Learn More

Our Mission Is Your Mission:

Getting people into jobs and changing lives.

Grow. Learn.

Apply to

it-ready

Our FREE 8-Week Training Course will prepare you and help place you in your first paid role in the information technology (IT) field. 

Apply Today

Inspiring Success

Learn more about how IT professionals achieved their dream careers.

Back to Listing

June 7, 2018

Bartender trades in taps and glasses for tech career

A bartender for 10 years, Matthew Kerr worked in two different bars just to cobble together full-time hours.

 

“I was making OK money,” he said. “But I had no benefits and no real career goals.”

 

Kerr was searching on Craigslist for other bartending gigs when he found an advertisement for IT-Ready. He disregarded it. For starters, he thought it was a scam. Secondly, even if it wasn’t a scam, Kerr didn’t have a wealth of tech experience.

Matthew Kerr

 

“My main IT experience was setting up video games with friends online — it wasn’t anything professional,” he said. “Every once in a while, I would fix a computer for a friend. But that was the extent of it.”

 

But the women in Kerr’s life — his then fiancé and now wife, and his mother — felt differently. And they made their opinions abundantly clear.

 

“My wife and my mother pushed me to sign up for the program,” he said. “It took a lot of convincing. My mom was always trying to tell me to go into IT. She said I had good people skills and that it would be a good field. It took them nagging me for a while before I applied.”

 

But apply Kerr finally did, and he was admitted to the IT-Ready program taking place in the Twin Cities in the winter of 2015.

 

Learning the IT fundamentals

A program of Creating IT Futures, IT-Ready is eight weeks of intensive, classroom-based IT education and training, provided at no cost to participants.

 

During training, IT-Ready students learn a wide range of hardware and software skills, including how to build a computer from parts, install new applications, troubleshoot problems, and set up and manage networks.

 

“IT-Ready taught me the fundamentals of working in technology,” Kerr said. “Whether it was troubleshooting problems, training large groups of people, or dealing with computer issues I’ve never seen before, IT-Ready prepared me for all of it.”

 

IT-Ready participants also cover critical professional comportment skills, such as workplace etiquette, communication, customer service and job interviewing.

 

“I have to say the one thing that really stood out with me was public speaking,” Kerr said. “I know, it doesn’t seem IT related, but that is one thing IT-Ready helped me with more than anything else. You do not realize that you may stand in front of a large group training them in new technology. Before the program, I would have stood in front of a group shaking and sweating. But IT-Ready prepared me for the situation and it is a breeze now.”

 

At the end of his classroom training, Kerr took the CompTIA A+ certification exam, successfully securing the certification needed to launch his IT career.

 

Benefits — and career goals

Kerr has worked in the tech industry full-time for three years now. During that time, he has taken advantage of professional development opportunities offered through IT-Ready — namely, learning more about IT specialties and securing additional certifications such as CompTIA Network+, CompTIA Security+ and CompTIA Server+. Currently, Kerr works as a PC support tech for the City of Chanhassen, located outside Minneapolis.

Matthew Kerr Certificate

 

Asked how his life is different today than it was three years ago, Kerr said, “I can’t credit IT-Ready with buying my house or having my baby. But I can’t imagine being able to accomplish either without IT-Ready. It’s given me the ability to support my family and the freedom to do what I want in my life.”

 

And Kerr encourages other people to consider IT-Ready, even if they don’t have a great deal of experience in technology.

 

“Don’t think that you know too little to be able to get involved with IT,” he said. “If you’re willing to learn and you’re willing to put in the time, then you can succeed. IT-Ready really changes lives. And it’s not a scam. It seems too good to be true, but I guess sometimes in life, things are what they seem.”

View More on our Blog

Partner With Us

As the tech workforce charity of CompTIA, the world's largest IT association, Creating IT Futures is taking on the skills gap challenge through research, program development and partnering.

88

of IT-Ready students graduate

86

of IT-Ready graduates are placed into IT roles

85

of IT-Ready graduates placed into IT roles stay in tech for at least 2 years

Invest in an IT-Ready Student

You'll invest in hard work and create career opportunities for unemployed and underserved adults.

Through IT-Ready, we help to  diversify the tech industry and open career doors to a wider demographic. We particularly encourage populations that traditionally have been under-represented in the IT workforce, such as women and people of color, to launch their tech careers.

Hire a Graduate

Ways to Give

Your gift will enable thousands to take the first step to a tech career.

Career Program

Creating IT Futures’ IT-Ready program assesses, trains, certifies and places unemployed and underemployed adults into tech careers for free. We’ve invested more than $3 million in developing, testing and proving our eight-week, full-time classroom training program.

 

Since our program launched in 2012, IT-Ready and our partners have trained hundreds of motivated Americans with an aptitude for technology. We’re putting hard-working adults back into the workforce where they can earn family-sustaining wages and drive the economic growth of this country.

Inspire Teens

We have the ability to inspire the tech workforce of the future, but we must go to the students. Funded by CompTIA and STEM-focused donors and managed by Creating IT Futures, NextUp introduces teens to the many possibilities of technology careers and guide them to the tech career of their choosing.

 

Through curricula, projects, partnerships and mentorship, we aim to spark curiosity and passion for technology through meaningful engagement. By connecting teens to the promise of technology today, we hope to build a generation of technologists for tomorrow.