Inspiring Success

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May 8, 2017

The role of continuing education in workforce development programs

By Tom Liszka

Here’s where our Faces of Workforce Development showcase stands to date:
  1. Opening doors to unforeseen career paths.
  2. Building confidence through workforce development.
  3. Motivating factors in workforce development.
  4. Workforce development helps complete the career mission.
JoshuaPhelpsA career in tech is leading to surreal days for many individuals. After completing their respective workforce development program, more students are pursuing additional certifications, allowing them to gain more knowledge and work on projects that a year prior they would not have understood.

IT-Ready graduates are encouraged to take advantage of the Alumni program, which provides free online training and testing vouchers for other CompTIA certifications, including Network+ and Security+. Joshua Phelps is one of many IT-Ready graduates who have taken the path of continuing education, and we’re happy to share his story with you.

“What makes it crazy is how far I have come in a short amount of time. In April 2015, I was cooking in a Greek food restaurant, and had just earned my CompTIA A+. Two years later and I have my A+, Network+, Security+, Server+, Ruckus Wireless Solutions Engineer, and I am working on my CCNA and a Microsoft Certified Professional Certification for Windows 10 configuration.

“I don't cook anymore, and I just got promoted to a position in research and development for a Fortune 5,000 company. When I am not doing research and development tasks, I am the lead support technician for their government managed services contracts.

“It is almost surreal some days. For instance, I finished designing and testing a process that would mass deploy, install, and configure a back door for remote management. Two years ago, I wouldn't have been able to tell you what that sentence even meant, yet my process goes live in a couple weeks. Thanks to IT-Ready, I built something that two years ago, I didn't even understand.

“Thanks to IT Ready, I have learned more in less than two years than what I did the 10 years prior, and I have an awesome job to prove it.”

IT-Ready not only focuses on the “hard” technical skills, but on the “soft” employability skills that employers are looking for in job candidates. Promotions and pay raises of an upwardly mobile IT career often depend on these soft professional skills. Next week, we’ll find out how PrepareU – a series of interactive, classroom-based, soft-skills lessons and labs – is helping tech workers and students prepare for, obtain, and be successful in an IT career.