Editor’s note: In a special blog series called “Where Are They Now?”, Creating IT Futures catches up with some of our first IT-Ready graduates to find out what’s new in their lives — and how their IT-Ready experience is shaping their IT careers years after the fact.
Andrea Ring has found mobility and advancement in the IT industry.
A December 2012 graduate from IT-Ready, Ring now works as a security engineer for Service Experts, which sells, installs and repairs heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) equipment for commercial and residential applications throughout North America.
In her capacity at Service Experts, she implements and improves security products —such as vulnerability manager, antivirus, firewalls and so forth — that affect all 4,500-plus of the company’s employees.
“I love being in IT. I wouldn't trade this career for anything else,” she said.
And although Ring has worked in IT full-time for nearly six years now, she still finds herself relying on skills she learned in IT-Ready.
“I remember troubleshooting skills making a tremendous impression on me. This has been a lifesaver,” she said. “If I don't know what I'm looking at, I can Google it and find the answer.”
The other IT-Ready skill she uses daily is documentation.
“We in IT are horrible at creating and keeping up with documentation or putting notes in tickets. It’s a skill I use every day,” she said. “The industry keeps changing every six months or so, and we do our best to keep up. Ultimately, we use our troubleshooting skills and previous knowledge to make it through.”
Ring said she loves the world of opportunity that comes along with her tech career.
“Technology isn’t going anywhere,” she said. “The career field is ever-expanding and there are so many different facets to each position. I don’t know many people that can’t find a path that fits their personality.”
Asked what advice she offers today’s IT-Ready participants, Ring said she would encourage newly minted tech workers to keep an open mind.
“Everyone and everything has pros and cons; there rarely is just one right or wrong or superior product,” she said. “We all make mistakes. Learn from your mistakes and move forward. It will be OK.”