Career symposium prepares students for future

A $2.1 million grant from the Department of Labor to develop, improve and expand adult education in the very lucrative information technology occupations has MATC training students to get “living wage” jobs or start businesses. Four certificate programs are now available that provide immediate entrance into the IT job market.
The certificates range from eight to 12 credits and most can be obtained in one semester. Completion of the certificate can position a student to obtain starting wages of $25 to $28 dollars an hour.
A career symposium was recently held at the downtown campus to assist students in preparation for IT careers.  Résumé reviews and interviewing techniques were offered to assist students in marketing and packaging themselves.
A panel discussion was presented with several successful people who took their certificates and used them to advance quickly into their own consulting business or a better paying position within their company. Most were graduates of MATC, but several were university graduates. The university graduates felt that their technical college training and the certificates they earned got them better prepared than the university degree.
There are great opportunities in the areas of data analytics and cyber security. A good basic understanding of how businesses function is a critical skill for IT success. “Certificates increase your value to the company,” panel member Gershon Pevnick said. Knowledge of the programming languages Ruby, Python, and PERL are helpful, but one does not have to have any previous exposure to programming to take the certificate training.
Regarding cyber security training opportunities, panel member Mark Binkelman said, “It is not if you are going to get hacked, it is when.”
A follow-up event called the iFair will be offered in the spring to assist students who have their certificates with job placements. To get more information about the IT Network Specialist program and the pathways to industry certifications visit: