CompTIA helped me launch my career in IT
Guest Author: Brian Zibricky Vice President Marketing and ProductsNH Learning Solutions
1995 was my second year teaching High School English to “alternatives” students at an alternative high school. “Alternative” was a nice term for “troubled”, as these were kids who had been thrown out of their high schools and were now on a dangerous path that led to the streets and sometimes to jail.
I loved my job, and more importantly, I loved helping kids whose only family was at school. However, at the end my second year, it became clear that the school district budget had been reduced and that all non-tenured teachers would now be RIF’d. I didn’t know what “RIF” meant, so someone had to explain it to me. I would then have to look at other school districts in order to find work.
I was faced with a difficult decision. Should I continue my education or leave the industry and get a fresh start in the growing Information Technology industry? After some soul-searching and some research, it became clear that IT was where I wanted to go. Windows 95 was just being introduced and the PC-boom was about exploding. I was born with a passion for technology and was intrigued to see where a career as an IT professional might take me.
It turned out that my first stop was to be trained. Every year, thousands of students find themselves in similar situations to mine at New Horizons. It’s not surprising that people change careers and start new ones all the time. Surprisingly, the first step many of our students take in becoming certified CompTIA professionals is the same one I took in 1996.
CompTIA was founded in 1982 as the Association of Better Computer Dealers. It has been a career-changer and career-enhancer since its inception. CompTIA teaches the fundamental skills required to succeed in the IT industry.
“My gut instinct was correct. I received my A+ certification and was able to land my first contract job a few days later. My first contract was completed, and my recruiter sent me multiple job offers. One of them was from Castrol Industrial NA. ”
The A+ Certification was discovered while researching for my new IT career. CompTIA’s A+ Certification was introduced in 1993. It seemed to offer a perfect combination PC hardware and Operating System information that would prepare someone for their first job as an IT professional. My intuition was correct. I received my A+ certification and was able to land my first contract job a few days later. After I had completed my first contract, my recruiter sent me multiple job offers. One of them was from Castrol Industrial NA.
After a few months, I was still on contract with them and they hired me as an IT Support Technician. I started studying for CompTIA Network+ certification shortly after. Network+ is a great introduction to networking basics like cable speeds and lengths, network types and TCP/IP. A few years later I was promoted to an IT Project Specialist role, where I managed new technology that was to be integrated into Castrol’s network. I stayed with Castrol for more than four years, and established myself in the IT industry. Castrol was then bought by BP/Amoco and their IT department was outsourced. I was again at a crossroads.
While I enjoyed my time in corporate IT, the classroom was calling me back. IT Training seemed like the perfect fit. While I would still be interested in technology, I would also have the opportunity to train new people and put my teaching skills to use. It wasn’t long before I was hired by New Horizons Computer Learning Centers to be a technical instructor specializing on Microsoft solutions and CompTIA.
I was a Technical Instructor for them for more than a decade, teaching multiple CompTIA certifications like A+, Network+, Security+, which was introduced in 2002. Now, I am the Product and Marketing Manager at NH Learning Solutions. I work closely with CompTIA to keep up-to-date on their upcoming exams as well as their Product Release schedule.
CompTIA was the foundation of my IT career. I am grateful for the many opportunities it provided. They provide the foundational skills needed to succeed in the IT industry for hardworking individuals. They offer IT professionals the opportunity to improve their skills and obtain career-enhancing certifications. The A+ certification was the beginning of my career, just like thousands of others. This certification was the key to my first IT job. These skills were implemented immediately and I then went on to teach others. I now work directly with CompTIA to ensure New Horizons offers the same opportunities for future generations of IT professionals. It has been an amazing journey!
I am grateful for the opportunity to share your story. Please leave a comment below if you have a similar story about CompTIA’s impact on your career. I would love to hear from your story!
New Horizons is a training company that talks everyday with clients and leading vendors about industry trends and real-life problems. Because of our partnership with CompTIA New Horizons can help businesses like yours use our knowledge experts to discuss strategies and implementation as well as troubleshooting.
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CompTIA helped me launch my career in IT