Career Switch to IT Paying Off for the Long Term

By Amy Eernisse-Liang

While Joe Sikorski had a supervisor position, he wanted a career with more growth and stability. His story is a perfect example of the long-term success career changers often find in transitioning to an IT. While making a change to an entry-level position in IT would initially be a pay decrease in his particular case, with all the career opportunities in IT, Joe was willing to take the risk and remained hopeful for a bright career and future.

Joe didn’t have any professional technical experience or education, but he always liked technology and, like many other students who enter our IT-Ready Technical Support program, had always been considered the “go-to” person for resolving technological issues in his inner circle. However, despite his familiarity with technology, he realized a training program and certification would afford him more opportunities in the future. So, when Joe saw an article about the IT-Ready Technical Support program in his local newspaper, the Minneapolis Star Tribune, he applied immediately.


Training & Job Connections

While the training was integral for Joe’s success in preparing for and passing his CompTIA A+ certification and gaining knowledge about day-to-day scenarios he might face on the job, IT-Ready also provided direct opportunities for students to connect with employers through mock interviews and prepare for life after IT-Ready, as students search for their first IT jobs.

In fact, it was the mock interviews that introduced Joe to the employer he eventually would work for, Atomic Data. Mock interviews are often a chance for our employer partners to get a first glimpse at students before they complete the eight-week program, and after mock interviews, Joe was on Atomic Data’s radar. Through subsequent on-premise interviews, Joe landed his first IT position as a service desk technician with them shortly after graduating.

After getting some experience on the service desk, Joe also passed two more certification exams: CompTIA Network+ and CompTIA Security+. Due to Joe’s dedication and quality of work, along with obtaining two more industry-recognized certifications, he was quickly promoted to a Service Desk Level II position.

On any given weekday at work, Joe might find himself handling client-specific work, solving complex technical issues, assisting Level 1 technicians with challenging technical problems, or even interviewing and on-boarding new service desk hires.

When Joe’s not at work, one might find him traveling, riding his motorcycle, or playing any number of instruments including the violin, piano and trumpet. And though he’s immersed in technology during the work week, Joe doesn’t leave technology behind when he leaves for the day.  “I enjoy incorporating technology into the musical experience, and my further understanding of the technology allows me to have even more fun with this,” said Joe.

His training exposed him to the vast number of opportunities, types of jobs and pathways one might take in IT. However, he sees his future in information security and is looking to obtain as much information and knowledge in the realm of networking, systems and virtualization.

IT-Ready was a great start for Joe as he pursues his dream career and is grateful for everything he learned. “The fundamental knowledge and the CompTIA certifications allowed me to better understand networks, operating systems, and the intricacies that allow computers to function. This knowledge is valuable when looking at how to secure systems and keep data and sensitive information safe,” Joe commented.


The Pay Off

A couple of years into his new career, it looks like Joe’s risk, hard work and dedication seem to be paying off as he exceeded his prior income in just two years. However, Joe’s increased income wasn’t the only benefit of his new career. His new job also allows him more flexibility and time to focus on spending time with friends and family. And while career changes can be scary, Joe Sikorski has proven that making a move to a career in IT can also be positively life-changing.

The IT-Ready Technical Support course Joe took is now part of the CompTIA Tech Career Academy with all the same great training, certification and career services. The last fall classes for 2020 are still open, but applications are due this Friday, August 14. New students will finish before the winter holidays and start off 2021 in a new tech career. If you want to make a career switch like Joe, apply now.


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