An Aptitude for Technology Waiting to Be Proven

Teela Moua loved to build out PCs. 

“I was always a tech-savvy person. I had been building computers for years, but I never pursued a career in it,” he said. “I always knew I could excel in technology, but when I was younger, I decided it wasn't the career path for me at the time.”

Which was how Teela found himself holding an associate’s degree in criminal justice and working as a technician for an HVAC company. The work was okay, but he didn’t want to troubleshoot issues related to thermostats, heat exchangers, evaporator coils or condensers. 

He wanted to troubleshoot hardware and software.  

He was looking for a new job online when he came across an ad for IT-Ready Technical Support. 

“I decided to just give it a shot,” he said. “I needed an opportunity and my foot in the door.” 

Teela applied to the program and was accepted for the spring 2017 class in the Twin Cities.  

Intensive, classroom-based training

During eight weeks of intensive, classroom-based training, Teela learned both hard technical and soft professional skills. And on the technical side, he learned such things as laptop and desktop assembly, how to install and configure different operating systems, and how to troubleshoot computers and devices. 

Teela said the fact he had the chance to take the CompTIA A+ certification exam was especially appealing.   

“It doesn't matter how tech-savvy you are, how passionate you are, or how fast you can learn. If you don’t have any job experience or a connection in that field, nobody is going to hire you,” he said. “So obtaining certification that said, ‘I know what I am talking about’ was very important.” 

Like so many other IT-Ready Technical Support graduates, Teela said he found professional soft-skills training just as important as hard technical skills.

“I was able to show up to interviews and understand the questions they were asking me,” he said. “I was able to respond effectively because our instructor went over and beyond and taught us more than what we needed to know.” 

Making future plans

Upon graduating from IT-Ready Technical Support and earning his CompTIA A+ certification, Teela secured full-time employment with CompuCom in downtown Minneapolis. There, he works as a network engineer dealing with VPN certificates, firewall validations, change requests/configurations, network hardware, and other miscellaneous issues that arise.  

Teela said the practical experience in network engineering has shaped his career goals.

“In the beginning, I was interested in information security, but after working as a network engineer, switching and routing now pique my interests,” he said. “I already have plans to obtain more certifications to improve on my abilities as a network engineer.” 

While Teela isn’t entirely sure what kind of IT work he will be doing in five years, he is certain about this: IT-Ready Technical Support will play a role in it.  

“IT-Ready allowed me to get my foot in the door where I feel like I can create what I want to be doing in five years,” he said. “At this time, I'm being open to all the paths I can take in IT.”