Do you really know what a technology career is like? Find out.PathwaysWill Rivera-Fantauzziovercame a medical mishapin the military. Now he’sa rising star in the field ofhealthcare technology.Whyinformationtechnology (IT)could beyour nextcareer pathSee details insideEdition 1 / Issue 1Exploring On-ramps to Tech CareersINside:The HumanElementHow Being aPeople-PersonCan Help in YourTech CareerTech SuccessStoriesof PeopleJust Like YouSittra Battle started aimingfor the stars early.Julius Clark is makingcriminal hackers miserable.
2Fact: Practicallyevery businessand organizationin the worldneeds IT services.Career Snapshots:A career in IT has changed their lives. It can change yours, too.Will (p. 4) Eloise (p. 6) Julius (p. 9) James (p.11) Sittra (p.12) Brenda (p.15)IT Job Spotlights:Mobile AppDeveloperDesktop SupportTechnicianIT SecurityProfessionalNetworkAdministratorIT HealthcareTechnicianP.5 P.7 P.8 P.10 P.13Q:“I was never very good atmath and science in school.Can I succeed in a tech career?”
It turns out that most of the math andscience taught in high school is not what IT(“eye-tea”) workers use in their jobs.IT stands for Information Technology.Most people think about informationtechnology as computers, smartphones, theInternet, networks, hard-drives and servers.But IT is really about people.Getting people the information theyneed, when they need it. Figuring out waysto make their work (and their play) flowwith the technology.Training in IT can prepare you to work in healthcare, sports,retail, fashion, hospitality, banking — or any other industry youcan think of.Are you a people person? Are you a problem solver?Then consider becoming an IT professional, one ofthe fastest growing careers on the planet. High salaries.Career advancement. New challenges every day.Fact: At thebeginning of 2012,there were nearly300,000 informationtechnology (IT) jobsunfilled.(Indeed.com)Learn more. Keep reading — and find your path in IT.3A: You can!More than ever, technology isabout people.
Growing up, Will always prided himself atbeing physically tough. It turned out he neededa different kind of grit for his future challenges.Will’s family moved to the U.S. from PuertoRico when he was three. He hoped to follow inthe footsteps of his father, a U.S. military veteran,so after high school, he joined the Navy.But Will severely injured his toe in boot camp.During surgery, a medical mistake damaged hisheart, leading to a quick medical discharge andthe end of his dream.Veteran benefits allowed him to complete abachelor’s degree in information technology, butemployers weren’t biting. With the help of theCreating IT Futures Foundation, Will was ableto train for several important IT certifications,helping him to land a temporary IT support jobwith the U.S. Department of the Interior.That three-month appointment led to moreoffers. In August, 2011, Will began a positionas a full-time IT specialist at the Departmentof Veterans Affairs Hospital in Battle Creek, MI,earning a salary of more than $50,000.Said Will: “It’s good to know you can. It’srewarding to reach the top.”Beating All the OddsHis military career cut short by a medical error,Will Rivera-Fantauzzi had to come up with a new direction, fast.Watch Will’s Story:www.bit.ly/WillVid4
Healthcare IT TechnicianInformation Technology is vital to thehealthcare industry. Nine out of tendoctors, dentists, and administrators viewtechnology as an important component oftheir practice (CompTIA Report, 2012).Though IT workers do not have medicaltraining, they are a crucial part of patientcare. Whether supporting family practicesor major hospitals with state-of-the-artsurgical departments, healthcare ITtechnicians are in the forefront ofmodernizing the industry.Fact:Venture capitalistsinvested more than$633 million in newhealthcare softwareand IT servicesin 2011.(Dow Jones VentureSource)“If you are naturally drawnto nursing, teaching, orother careers that focuson people, considerinformation technology.Because of the increasingimportance of technologyin healthcare andeducation, IT really isthe newest ‘helping’profession.”— Charles Eaton, Creating IT FuturesFoundationCompTIA Healthcare IT Technician Certification:www.bit.ly/HITtechPathLearn more. Keep reading — and find your path in IT.5
Eloise knows what it takes to be successful ininformation technology. In her late 20s, she startedworking in the mail room at the PhiladelphiaGas Works. Then she began to climb the ranks,working as a database administrator, systemadministrator, the manager of systems services,and the director of tech strategy and support.Now, after 27 years, Eloise leads their entire ITfunction. Her department supports the technologythat powers the huge utility, which means mak-ing sure all 1,700 employees have the technologythey need to keep things running smoothly.Born in Philadelphia, Eloise was attendingTemple University when she began working nightsin the Gas Works. When shefound out she was pregnant,something had to give, so shedropped out of college.“The job was sodemanding, I just couldn’t keep up my classes.”As it turned out, her on-the-job learning andcertifications earned her one job promotion afteranother. It was only later in her career when shedecided to go into management that she realizedshe needed to finish her bachelor’s degree. (As ofthis year she’s started work on an MBA.)Salaries are lower at the gas works than atsome private utilities, but there are upsides, too.“People here have a sense of doing somethingfor the community. They have a sense of publicservice.” The health plan is also excellent, Eloisesaid. And, after 30 years, a person can retire witha pension—even if she is younger than 60.Achieving GreatnessAs chief information officer of the largest city-run utility in thecountry, Eloise Young holds one of the highest positions a personcan achieve in IT.“I was working inthe mail room. I wasabout to go back toschool when I foundout I was pregnant.”6
Network AdministratorToday’s world is built on a digital framework. Those with the technical skills to under-stand it and the people skills to make a network easy to use are the most in-demandpeople in their workplace. Just a few of the ways your talents might be put to work:• In order to save energy costs in your company’s headquarters, you’re in charge ofinstalling and maintaining state-of-the-art sensors that detect human beings suchthat lights, AC units, and even espresso machines automatically power down whenthey aren’t needed.• Working for a professional sports team, you manage a complex database that tracksplayers’ training routines, the team’s statistics, and travel itineraries. You’ve alsoimplemented a system so your team’s coaches can use tablet computers on thesidelines to access their playbooks and record observations on the otherteam.• At a cable fashion network, your job is to make sure video footage ispiped from the recording studio to post-production suites, and thenfinally to satellites that send the perfected video to viewers worldwide.Fact: By 2016, therewill be five billionusers of smartphonesand tablets and 50times the amountof wireless networktraffic as today.(Cisco)CompTIA Network+ Certification:www.bit.ly/NETworkPath7Learn more. Keep reading — and find your path in IT.
Threats to internet and computer securitydisrupt lives and cost billions of dollarsper year. IT security professionals have thesame cutting-edge skills as hackers, but usetheir knowledge to help people, protectingbusinesses, governments,and individuals.Fact: Some predictthat in the next fiveyears most passwordswill be replaced bybiometric logins suchas retina or fingerprintscans.IT Security ProfessionalAt the front line against attacks, with jobs as diverse as:• Computer Crime Investigation. You trace attacks by hackersand others who have gotten past security.• Security Systems Testers. By hacking for the good guys,you use your skills to find the weak links and back doors insecurity systems.• Security Design and Implementation. You create andmaintain systems that protect software, computers, andmobile devices from spyware, hacking, viruses, and othersecurity breaches.See the video at:www.bit.ly/CYBERvidCompTIA Security+ Certification:www.bit.ly/CASPpath8
Foiling The HackersJulius Clark uses his special knowledge to protect bank assets— while keeping his career moving forward.Julius grew up in Boston and attendedMadison Park High School, where one day ateacher casually invited him to sign up for acomputer programming course. Julius wentalong. “I was intrigued.”Turns out, programming was a fun challengefor Julius. “There was this whole different level ofthinking. You set your variables, and you didn’thave to play with the numbers anymore.” Juliuswent on to earn a bachelor’s degree in electricalengineering and worked a number of differenttechnology-related jobs.After exploring several different avenues,Julius gravitated toward network security. “I saidto myself, ‘I should go to grad school and studyinformation security and get into the field.’ ”Before too long, he knew he had found his niche.Today, Julius is part of the WholesaleTechnology Risk Management Team at Wells FargoBank. He has earned IT security certifications anda master’s degree in IT security management. Hefeels valued for both his breadth and depth ofexperience, loves his work and has moved up inrank and pay.Says Julius: “I’m in the hot seat. I makedecisions every day on accepting risk or denyingprojects from being implemented because thereis excessive risk.”Julius feels valued forboth his breadth anddepth of experience,loves his work and hasmoved up in rank and pay.9Learn more. Keep reading — and find your path in IT.
Fact: A candidate’scustomer-serviceskills are ratedby many techemployers as beingjust as important astechnical ability.CompTIA A+ Certification:http://bit.ly/AplusPATH10
Coming to the RescueJames Depew used to jump out of airplanes.Now he jumps in when technology fails.James left the military in 2003 after 20 yearsas a soldier, jump master, and drill sergeant. He washopeful that a second career in computers wouldwork out well for him. Unfortunately, employerswanted to see more than a bachelor’s degree.Just three months after achieving hisCompTIA A+ certification, James landed his firstjob in information technology. He went on to earnhis CompTIA Network+, Security+ and Server+certifications as well as becoming a MicrosoftCertified Information Technology Professional(MCITP).Says James: “My success in obtaining thosecertificates will lead to something so much biggerthan I would have ever imagined.”Today, James works for the federal governmentas a lead IT Specialist of customer managementsupport professionals at Fort Bragg Army Base inNorth Carolina.“My customer management support teamkeeps thousands of computers, multiple networksand user accounts running smoothly on post.Those workers support our troops and civilianwork force minute-to-minute. If their systemsgo down, it indirectly makes life more difficultfor them and the whole chain of support. So I’vedefinitely got a mission that keeps me motivated.”11Learn more. Keep reading — and find your path in IT.
As a girl growing up in theshadow of rockets in Huntsville,Alabama, Sittra Battle still neverimagined she would someday workfor NASA.But she knew she’d succeed atsomething.“Pointing to her brain, mymother would say, ‘No one cantake what you have up here,’ ”recalls Sittra, now 46. “I was thestudent in class who liked wordproblems, and taking things apartand putting them back together.I like challenges.”Today, as a data center managerat NASA, Sittra makes sure thatthe information that scientists andengineers use is stable and secure.After high school, Sittra enteredcollege where she majored in electricaland computer engineering. Her first jobwas working as an electrical engineerfor the Army Corps of Engineers.With the nation’s space missionfor 21 years now, Sittra has hadmore than her share of excitingmissions. Just as important to her,she said, has been her family andher church.“I am glad that I can serve mycountry as a civil servant, whilebeing aligned with my personalcareer goals. And, yes, wheneverI would see a shuttle mission goup in space and later return toearth safely, it made me smilewith a sense of pride.”Launching SuccessSittra Battle aimed for the stars early.No wonder she’s working for NASA.12
Mobile AppDeveloperKnow how to use yoursmart phone to its fullest?As someone who is quickto adopt technology, youmight have what it takesto design it. People carrytechnology wherever they go,and the trick is to think of ways tomake it even more accessible.Ever thought how you could make anapp easier to use? Usability testingis key to the success of softwaredesign, and it takes someone whounderstands people to makea program work smoothly.If you like to solve problems,have a willingness toexperiment, andenjoy collaboratingwith others inorder to complete aproject, mobile appdevelopment may beyour kind of career.These Folks Get ITCompTIA IT Pros around the countrywere recently invited to share theirreasons for pursuing an IT career.Meet a few of these prosand learn about theirown career pathways.Valeriewww.bit.ly/ValerieVIDLasheanteawww.bit.ly/LasheanteaVIDNarcissewww.bit.ly/NarcisseVID13Learn more. Keep reading — and find your path in IT.
A degree suggests book and classroom knowledge,but a certification proves hands-on mastery of avery specific set of skills and knowledge. Dozensof IT certifications are available, with CompTIA,Cisco, and Microsoft being among the mostpopular. Students may self-teach online or withprinted training materials, may enroll in a courseat school or through a private training company,or find a nonprofit program that helps individualsin-need. Test centers abound where thecertification exams are administered, usually fora fee. Do your homework and see if a certificationis feasible for you.“Certs CAn’tHurt!”The Value of a CertificationComputer Support SpecialistNetwork and Computer Systems AdministratorDatabase AdministratorNetwork Systems or Data Communication AnalystComputer Systems AnalystSoftware EngineerComputer or Information Systems Manager$67,710$71,550$73,250$77,080$92,430$112,210$44,300INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY JOBS – MEDIAN SALARIESThe CompTIA A+ Certification is the centerpiece of theIT-Ready Apprentice Program and many IT training programs offered by other organizations.Find out more about certifications at http://certification.comptia.org/getCertified or go straightto the A+ page (look for the “Get Started Now!” box): http://certification.comptia.org/aplusWhich certification is the best oneto start with?According to Dice.com, the following certifications were thetop 10 most notable among tech consultants looking for work:1. CompTIA A+2. PMP (Project Management Professional)3. CCNA (Cisco Certified Network Associate)4. CompTIA Security+5. MCSE (Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer)6. CompTIA Network+7. MCP (Microsoft Certified Professional)8. CISSP (Certified Information Systems Security Professional)9. ITIL (Information Technology Infrastructure Library)10. MCITP (Microsoft Certified IT Professional)Source: U.S. Bureau of LaborStatistics, OccupationalOutlook Handbook 2010-2011Okay, you’re ready!14
company.We’ve putdown rootsin Cincinnatiand Minneapolis/St. Paul hoping that successin those locations will allow expansion intoother cities. Mainly we want to provide amodel for a training program that otherorganizations can adopt.When a person develops a career with thepromise of upward mobility, everything improves,from family life and health, to financial well-beingand future outlook. That’s why we say,“A Career in IT Changes Everything.”With so many open jobs in the IT industry (over400,000 by some estimates) and so many peoplelooking for a family-sustaining career, it’s crucialthat organizations do all they can to close theskills-gap. The Creating IT Futures Foundationis committed to helping individuals in-need andpopulations under-represented in IT to prepare for,secure, and be successful in IT careers.Since being established in 1998 as the philanthropicarm of CompTIA, the IT Industry Association, theCreating IT Futures Foundation has been workinghard to invent better onramps to IT careers. We’vedone it in a number of ways:• By partnering with online training companiesand providing free testing vouchers, theFoundation helped hundreds of military veteranssuch as Will Rivera-Fantauzzi (cover and page4) and James Depew (page 11) update their skillsand certifications to land their first jobs in IT.• By supporting educational and nonprofitworkforce development organizations suchas the Chicago Tech Academy (a high schoolgeared toward leadership and technology) andYear Up (serving urban youth ages 18-24), we’remaking sure that more individuals have a chanceto reach their high potential.• New in 2012, the Foundation has launched theIT-Ready Apprentice Program, an eight-weektraining program that qualifies graduates fora six-month paid apprenticeship with a localTo take the first step toward an IT career, just turn the page.Our Motto:“A Career in IT ChangesEverything”From GED to corporate climber: Brenda Arroyo completedthe Year Up (www.yearup.org) tech-training program and aninternship to help her land a $50,000-a-year full-time desktopsupport job at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.15