Last week wrapped up the first-ever IT-Ready QA class in the Twin Cities. Four students already have received job offers from employers, with the rest of the graduates still interviewing. Throughout the eight-week course, students quickly developed a close-knit relationship in the classroom, constantly holding each other accountable.
Following graduation, students shared words of appreciation for the program. As students took turns sharing, there was a relayed message of love and support received in the program.
IT Ready graduate James McCracken felt IT-Ready helped him to step outside his comfort zone. He mentioned, "I told myself okay, if I do this, I'm personally responsible for helping my classmates, because they're also going to help me."
One of the most important things McCracken got out of the program is how IT-Ready "helped him discover his hidden talents". He said, “The program has given a lot of us, including myself especially, the confidence we need to move forward in whatever we end up doing down the road."
Another graduate Youa Yang explained how the program felt like a family on a journey. From "forming a bond together and sharing meals" to "facing storms and having many ups and downs", they had "reached the final destination" on graduation day.
Graduate Mai Yer Lee expressed her thoughts about IT-Ready QA despite having initial doubts about the program. "This class gave me insight on so many things, that were more valuable than skill sets or exams. After this class, I feel a lot more grounded meeting so many people from different walks of life, and being able to share with each other what we struggle with, has made me more humble as a person," said Lee. "I've learned that when we come together, we can learn from each other."
After graduation IT-Ready QA offers students a foundation as they begin their career search. Graduates take part in a career fair, forming connections with employers. The career fair in the Twin Cities featured Cloudburst, Decision One, DISYS, Perforce, Smart Things and Tap QA. Other employers like Activision also have stepped up to hire IT-Ready QA graduates.
Elliot Tan from Smart Things said, "There is a labor pool of people out there who want jobs in IT, but don't have the frame of reference to guide them. As a manager looking to hire, hand over fist all the time, there has to be an onramp to the industry for those who don't have everything, and IT-Ready QA is the perfect place to do that."
Sherman Lovejoy from Decision One noted, "The biggest thing is that the program is it is so comprehensive. It is really impressive that everyone comes out certified, but most importantly is the positive feedback I received from the students I interviewed. They said that they loved it here, that they learned a lot, and it was a positive environment to be in."
With 100 percent of the class certified in all three software testing certifications, there is no doubt these graduates will be successful in their future endeavors.
Special thanks to the career fair employer participants for supporting IT-Ready and this recent cohort of graduates. Employers who wish to hire our graduates in the Twin Cities should contact Kate Kirschner, employer relationship manager for Creating IT Futures.