I didn’t have any IT education growing up. However, I did have some computer-loving friends who showed me things and that’s what got me started in IT. Even though they were only middle school kids, they could build computers and solve so many problems. I couldn’t do that and would love to.
Although this got me interested, I didn’t actually take any steps towards it until a little over a year ago. I was in the Marine Core but was on a Navy vessel for that deployment. My contract is almost up. I was about to embark on my second deployment, and I decided to read an old book. I also downloaded “Introduction to Networking: How the Internet Works” by Charles R Severance. It talks about old-school thick-net, thin net stuff, and token rings. I found it fascinating, and now I know how data travels from your computer to another person’s computer. After reading it more, I became interested in the subject and decided to pursue an education after I returned from deployment.
I began college online at American Intercontinental University in order to obtain a Bachelors of Science and Information Technology with a specialization in Networking. This was a surprise because I did not do well in high school and barely earned enough credits to graduate. Their online program was very simple and good. I took 6 classes, two of which were IT-related, and had a 4.0 GPA. I also passed all six classes with straight A’s. I didn’t make it very far because NexGenT was so much more than college.
I was scrolling through Facebook when I saw an advertisement from NexGenT. It said Network+ course $10. I checked it out, and completed almost all of it. I was curious about what NexGenT had to offer. They had success stories of people who either didn’t go to college or did the program and were successful. Some of these people did go to college, but they accumulated a lot of student debt. They claimed that the program taught them more than what they had learned in college. It’s almost like they get to the core of what you will actually do, and that’s the juicy stuff I want to learn.
Even though the Marine Corps is where I learned my job, they send me through schools to help me. But, you don’t really learn it until your actually do it. It’s almost a waste. I thought, “Maybe this is something.” I read those stories when I first started to read them. This can possibly teach me something practical. Maybe I will be able get a job out the way I want sooner and start my career. I was able get half off because I was in the military. I decided to give it another shot and I got a job even though I was only in phase 2.
My job title is Netops Lead Mid. It is at Avening Tech, a contracting company. They work under Perspecta, the main contractor that serves as the IT department for the Marine Corps. NexGenT was the key factor that brought me to this position.
It was very fortunate that I was able get a job. Perspecta’s western regional manager happened to be there on the second day that I was shadowing employees. I had just helped them fix a network problem and they noticed that I knew some commands and what to look out for. We were asking each other a variety of questions, and we both seemed to understand that I had a general understanding of what was happening and that I knew what my job was. Since he was there that day and my supervisors had referred me, he pulled me aside to offer me a job. Without NexGenT, this wouldn’t have been possible. It would have been possible to do it without NexGenT. However, you can’t trust the information online and you need to look at multiple places to find all the information. NexGenT made it easy to find everything and was able to show you how to teach it, from beginner to engineer.
I would like to become a senior network engineer, and then move up. I am interested in ICND2 and then CCNP immediately after, and would highly recommend the Full Stack Program. The group coaching is invaluable. It really helps you understand the subject by asking questions and getting fast responses from subject matter specialists.