Frequently Asked Questions
Q1How much does the class cost?
IT-Ready is underwritten by grants and financial donations, so that students can attend classes for free. While IT-Ready is offered free to enrolled students, the program costs IT-Ready donors $5,000 per pupil. Our students recognize that IT-Ready is an extraordinary opportunity — one that can pave the way toward an upwardly mobile and financially rewarding career path. IT-Ready students are committed and highly motivated individuals who are willing to work hard for their benefit and success.
Q2How does IT-Ready work?
IT-Ready is a classroom-based IT job training and placement program that’s offered free of charge to admitted students. The program is rigorous and requires each student to take ownership of his or her success — reflecting the kind of personal responsibility necessary for you to secure and keep a professional job. The instructor shares material in a lecture format, but leaves plenty of time for questions, group projects, hands-on labs and one-on-one attention.
Q3How long does the class session last and how many people are in class?
IT-Ready TS and IT-Ready QA classes take place over eight weeks in a classroom environment with one instructor and up to 25 students. IT-Ready CSIS classes run for 14 weeks. The instructor shares material in a lecture format, but leaves plenty of time for questions, group projects and one-on-one attention, as well as hands-on labs.
Q4How long does each class run and is it every day?Classes are held five days a week, Monday through Friday, beginning promptly at 9 a.m. and ending at 4 p.m. Students are required to be on time every day; the program allows only one absence and two tardies per student. Students who have more absences or tardies are removed from the program.
Q5What materials do I need to take to class?
A pencil and paper to take notes are all you need for class. Textbooks and in-class computers are provided for students. However, students must dress as they would in an employment setting in “business casual” attire.
Q6What does the Technical Support class teach?
IT-Ready Technical Support students learn skills such as building a computer from parts, installing software, troubleshooting problems and setting up and managing networks. They also learn softer professional skills such as communication, customer service and job interviewing.
IT-Ready Technical Support covers these entry-level IT principles and skills, all of which are tested in the final week of class when students sit for the CompTIA A+ certification exam:
- Security: Supporting and securing access to data by properly using authentication, access control and encryption for an organization. Help desk and technical support professionals serve as the front line of defense for any organization.
- Networking: Applying core concepts and protocols and subnet mask to set up and support wired and wireless networks.
- Operating systems: Working with mobile, server and traditional operating systems ranging from Android and iOS to Windows and Linux.
- IT Operations: Using the basics of virtualization, cloud computing, desktop imaging and deployment to support today’s IT infrastructures.
- Troubleshooting: Following and using decision trees for diagnosing, resolving and documenting common hardware and software issues across a variety of devices.
- Technical Support: Applying principles of customer service to help resolve IT issues.
IT-Ready Technical Support imparts the knowledge and skills a person needs to successfully complete the CompTIA A+ certification exam, and then secure an entry-level position within the IT industry, such as help-desk technician.
Q7What does the CompTIA Secure Infrastructure Specialist class teach?
In our IT-Ready CompTIA Secure Infrastructure Specialist (CSIS) class, students initially work toward CompTIA A+ certification as in our IT-Ready Technical Support class, but then receive additional training to complete their CompTIA Network+ and Security+ certification.
In IT-Ready CSIS, students use group activities, classroom discussion, interactive labs, role playing and hands-on training to prepare for all three certification exams. Students who pass all three exams are qualified for the thousands of technical support positions open nationwide.
Students receive instruction in the following technical areas:
- Computer hardware, laptops and mobile devices
- Operating system software including, Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, and Windows Server 2008
- Application software MS Office 2010
- Computer assembly, troubleshooting strategies and repair methods
- Internet and networking
- Network implementation, support, media, topologies, protocols and standards
- Network security, compliance and operational security, threats and vulnerabilities, application/data/host security and identity management
As in all our IT-Ready courses, students also receive training in employability skills:
- Creative problem solving
- Conflict resolution
- Time management
- Job search skills
- Resume writing
Q8What does the QA class teach?
IT-Ready QA students learn the best practices for breaking software and squashing bugs. IT-Ready QA teaches you what’s required to test and support software throughout its life cycle, principles of test design, risk management, agile development, and identifying best practices for mobile software testing.
Students who successfully complete this program obtain three certifications that prove working knowledge of software testing and are uniquely prepared to take on an entry-level position as a software QA tester or analyst.
Students train and test for the following industry certifications:
In preparation for this exam, students learn:
- Why testing is necessary
- Principles of software testing
- How to test and support software through the life cycle
- Several types of testing
- How to design various tests
- Test management best practices
- To identify and use the best tools to support a variety of different tests
In preparation for this exam, students learn:
- To identify the differences between testing in traditional and agile approaches
- The importance of communication and constant feedback on an ever-changing project
- Managing risk in an agile project
- Tools and techniques employed in agile projects
- The importance of a people-centered approach to agile projects
In preparation for this exam, students learn:
- What challenges to expect in testing mobile applications
- How to plan and design testing for an increasingly mobile world
- Functional and non-functional testing
- To choose the correct tools and environments for testing
- To automate testing of mobile applications
- Build testing that can change and grow rapidly to meet requirements of an agile mobile market
Eligibility for IT-Ready QA is the same as for our other IT-Ready classes, but prior knowledge of computers and a familiarity with various software packages is preferred.
Q9What is CompTIA A+ certification?
The A+ certification exam is offered by CompTIA, a non-profit trade association and the leading provider of vendor-neutral IT certifications in the world. CompTIA A+ serves as the blueprint for up-to-date skills needed for entry-level IT support and operations positions. It validates understanding of the most common hardware and software technologies in business and certifies the skills necessary to support complex IT infrastructures. The first part of the exam covers PC hardware and peripherals, mobile device hardware, networking and troubleshooting hardware and network connectivity issues. The second part covers installing and configuring operating systems including Windows, iOS, Android, Apple OS X and Linux. It also addresses security, the fundamentals of cloud computing and operational procedures.
Q10What type of job can I expect to get after completing IT-Ready and where?
Within four months of graduating, 75% students are working in a paid IT role in local area companies. TS and CSIS graduates move into help desk tech roles, building and maintaining a business’s IT environment and assisting its internal and external customers. QA graduates move into software testing and analyst roles. IT-Ready students who pass their certification exams are eligible for a tech job paying up to $15/hour. IT-Ready graduates are effectively employees of that company on a temporary, contract, or full-time permanent basis. IT-Ready staff remain in touch with graduates to ensure all goes smoothly.
Q11Do you guarantee a job placement after IT-Ready?
In short, no. But we have dedicated staff members who work with local employers to connect students to jobs. After students graduate from IT-Ready, they may apply for jobs our partners offer. Those positions are not guaranteed; students interview for those positions. However, our experience has been that the vast majority of IT-Ready graduates secure full-time employment in the IT industry within months of their completing the program and earning certification.
Q12How much money does an IT job pay?
Students who secure paid internships following graduation from IT-Ready generally are paid between $12 and $15 per hour. Full-time, entry-level help desk support positions pay, on the national average, about $48,000 annually for workers with some prior tech experience, with computer support specialists earning an average of $55,000 annually.
What’s important to remember is that when it comes to IT careers, the place at which you start is not the place at which you end. The IT industry offers tremendous opportunity for growth once you “get your foot in the door,” so to speak. Many IT-Ready graduates end up securing additional CompTIA certifications—such as Network+ and Security+ — which, in turn, open new doors of opportunity for them professionally. Systems administrators typically earn $78,000 annually. Your desire to learn and your ambition to succeed professionally can take you great places.
Q13Do IT-Ready students receive any college credit for their training and certifications?
Rasmussen College has partnered with Creating IT Futures to offer a 20% discount on all Rasmussen College Programs for IT-Ready graduates that are CompTIA A+ certified. Programs are offered throughout Minnesota, Illinois and other national locations, as well as an online option. Plus, enroll in the Rasmussen College School of Technology programs and, in addition to your 20% discount, the courses Hardware and Software I and Hardware and Software II will be waived toward completion for qualifying students with CompTIA A+ certificates. To learn more, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 763-496-4596.
Q15Is IT-Ready available online?
IT-Ready is offered in a classroom environment only, led by an IT expert who serves as the instructor. We have found the classroom setting critically important for supporting group discussions and hands-on practical labs that foster our students’ learning and understanding. Currently, IT-Ready is offered through Creating IT Futures in Charlotte, NC; Portland, OR; and the Twin Cities, MN. Our partner Per Scholas offers a similar program in: Atlanta, GA; Cincinnati, OH; Columbus, OH; Dallas, TX; New York, NY; and Washington, DC.
Soon, we plan to pilot a hybrid IT-Ready program with some part of the class done online and some part done in class, to accommodate students who cannot commit to being in the classroom from 9-4 every weekday.
Q16Am I too old for the program?No one is too old to pursue a career in IT, and IT-Ready accepts students ages 18 and up. Currently, the IT industry is experiencing a profound shortage of both workers and job candidates. What matters most to potential employers is not age but, rather, a person’s ability to learn, adapt and do good work.
Q17What are the minimal application requirements? How does the selection process work?
IT-Ready participants must possess a high school diploma or GED. People who are interested in IT-Ready must submit a formal application, which is available online.
IT-Ready officials will interview select applicants by phone to gauge their motivation and interest. Highly motivated and interested applicants will be asked to complete an online workplace personality assessment, which helps IT-Ready better understand an applicant’s skills for working successfully within a professional environment.
Applicants who successfully complete that assessment and are found to a be good fit for our program will be invited to visit an IT-Ready location to take written literacy and basic math tests using the Test for Adult Basic Education™ (TABE). You can prepare for the test by reviewing the TABE Study Guide. Applicants must score at least at the 10th grade level on their TABE tests. If they do, we often conduct a face-to-face interview on the spot, so we can learn more about an applicant’s interest and any barriers to training.
Q18Do I have any options if I am not admitted? Can I apply again?
You can apply to IT-Ready more than once. If you are not accepted into the current IT-Ready class, our staff may consider you for future opportunities. Applicants that do not pass the TABE assessment will be referred to other local programs to help them improve their written literacy and basic math, before being reconsidered for a future IT-Ready class. Applicants that do not pass the workplace personality assessment or interview section of the application process will not be considered for future IT-Ready classes. Some applicants may pass the interview section, but the current class roster is already filled; if that happens, the applicant may be offered a spot in a future class.
Q19What is Creating IT Futures? How is it related to CompTIA?
CompTIA has recognized for quite some time that the IT industry needs more workers —and that more workers need more advancement opportunities. As the IT workforce charity of CompTIA, Creating IT Futures is tackling this industry challenge through research, program development and partnering with companies and other organizations.
We create on-ramps like IT-Ready for more people to prepare for, secure and succeed in IT careers. We particularly encourage IT as a pathway for populations that traditionally have been under-represented in the IT workforce, such as women and people of color.
In 2012, Creating IT Futures launched IT-Ready in Cincinnati and Minneapolis / St. Paul to bring individuals in need of opportunity into the IT field. Our white paper, "Finding a Sustainable Career in Information Technology: First-Year Results of the IT-Ready Program," reports outcomes from the first year.
Founded in 1998 by CompTIA, Creating IT Futures is registered as a 501(c)(3) charitable organization with the Internal Revenue Service.