Jacob Rae is a student in the Network Administration/Security program at WVJC Morgantown. He was always into technology as a kid and liked to take things apart to learn how they worked. As he grew up, he decided to look for potential career opportunities that would allow him to work in the field. He has looked into cybersecurity and programming and feels that the foundation that he’s getting in the NA/S program is a necessary step in his career path.
Jacob is originally from Michigan and moved to Pennsylvania after graduating from high school. He attended a local community college in PA, but it was not the right fit for him. In talking with a friend, they recommended WVU or WVJC. He chose WVJC because of the fast-track program and smaller class sizes. He prefers the fast-track program because most of his classes are preparing him for a career in his field. Jacob appreciates the extra time that his teachers take to answer his questions. He said, “You can tell they (the faculty) care about the students and their classes by the time and detail they put into the lesson plans.”
His favorite part about being a student at WVJC is all the people he gets to meet and the diversity of students in his classes. He attends class with young people like himself. However, he also has classes with those starting new careers later in life, as well as those who have been in the field and want to further their career. His favorite class has been Student Success Strategies, taught by Director of Career Management, Samantha Esposito. Samantha has since moved into a new role at the campus as Campus President. He said, “Sam made sure everyone was involved in the class and participated!”
After graduation, Jacob would like to work in an environment with a large IT infrastructure. He used the example of a local hospital. After getting some experience in the technology field, he will decide if he wants to pursue further education. In five years, Jacob wants to be working in his field.
Emery Dean graduated from Braxton County High school in May 2020. He enrolled in the Network Administrator/Security program at West Virginia Junior College, immediately following his high school graduation. He chose this program due to his love and passion for computers. He has been intrigued since he was little about “how a computer really works.”
Emery is excited that this program will prepare him for computer troubleshooting and network structuring, as well as system security maintenance. Emery says that he is very happy that he chose WVJC Bridgeport over the other larger colleges around, because of the small class sizes. Emery is enjoying class so far. Emery said he is looking forward to building a computer of his own to take home with him!
Emery’s instructors enjoy having him in class and are confident in his success. He is dedicated to his work and studying. If there is a concept he doesn’t fully grasp, he will surely ask questions, but he leads with the eagerness to learn. Emery is a great student and is always attempting to explore explanations before solutions are given. He says that “WVJC helps make this possible with the small classes and one on one attention from each instructor.” He mentioned that he feels more comfortable asking questions in smaller classes when there is something he struggles with understanding. Emery says, “communication is seamless between emails with the instructors all the way to communicating any issue with the Campus President.”
Emery grew up playing around with computers and has always been computer savvy. He is hopeful that his future career will include building computers and troubleshooting them with a reputable company within the area. He looks forward to completing his degree and joining the workforce.
To learn more about WVJC’s exciting technology programs, request information here!
Recent West Virginia Junior College graduate Trent Stewart recalls weighing his options and searching diligently for the right college after graduating from high school. He had the opportunity to take some basic coding and graphic design classes during high school at a vocational facility and decided he wanted to pursue a program that he thought was “the right start for getting into the IT field.”
Trent revealed, “I never thought a traditional 4-year college degree program was right for me.” He decided, instead, to attend WVJC where he was excited to pursue many employer recommended certifications and could earn a degree in just 18 months. He chose the Network Administration/Security program because he was impressed by its versatility. “I could learn not only about networking, but computer hardware, software, and databases as well!”
During his time at WVJC, Trent enjoyed his networking classes the most! He said that he received real-life experience and training by learning the inner workings of the Morgantown campus, focusing on the internal part of the network, commands, and troubleshooting. He credits IT/NAS Program Director Robin Addis and instructor Bobby Viands for being knowledgeable, accessible, and helpful guides with any issues he encountered with classroom projects.
Trent is a true WVJC success story! After earning his degree, he secured a position as an IT Support Technician for a local internet service provider company. He claims that, right now, it is “the ideal job with opportunities to grow and continue learning.” In the future, Trent hopes to advance his IT career by earning security clearance and he looks forward to becoming a homeowner.
“I would definitely refer WVJC to a friend,” Trent said. “The small classes allow more dedicated time to each individual student and it creates a family atmosphere! I think those are two really good reasons to recommend it!”
To learn more about WVJC’s hands-on IT programs, request information here!
Omni Strategic Technologies was founded in 1986 as HGO Technology. Omni is a full-service information technology firm, offering a wide range of technology services to clients. They have a particular focus on advisory services, consulting with businesses to choose the best technology products and services to meet their needs, and solve the challenges they are facing. Omni’s services have proven particularly valuable to companies during the COVID-19 pandemic, as many employers look to adapt the ways in which they conduct business. According to Steve Kay, Regional Director, Omni continues to see an upward trend in sales, even during the pandemic.
WVJC’s students who complete their externship with Omni have the opportunity to go hands-on with a wide variety of experiences in the information technology field. From helping to configure and deploy new systems, to learning about management of customers’ advanced servers and networks, students see the real-world application of many of the things they have experienced in the classroom. The information technology field offers many opportunities for growth, and the externship experience with Omni helps prepare students for that growth. As Mr. Kay observed, “A lot of the technology field is about growing people from technician to engineer to advisor.”
Both West Virginia Junior College and Omni Strategic Technologies are committed to continuing this partnership well into the future. Omni is a valuable part of Charleston and West Virginia and continues to offer companies important services, even during difficult times. As Mr. Kay observed, the technology field is ever-changing, but the one thing that is certain is that every company will continue to have technology needs and there will be a lot of potential for graduates in the field.
To learn more about WVJC’s externship opportunities, request information here!
Jeffrey Byrd is a recent graduate from the Network Administration/Security Associate Degree program at West Virginia Junior College Charleston. Jeffrey decided to explore his options at WVJC due to the short length of the program, friendliness of the staff and faculty, hands-on training, and convenience of the location. Jeffrey conducted a lot of research on the job market before selecting a program. He chose Network Administration/Security due to the growing demand for information technology professionals.
Jeffrey had nearly perfect attendance and maintained a 4.0 GPA during his time at WVJC. His dedication to his education allowed him the opportunity to be a Federal Work Study. He was a huge asset to students, staff, and faculty and was always available to assist with technology needs. This position allowed him the opportunity to apply IT skills outside of the classroom.
Before attending WVJC, Jeffrey attended traditional colleges. Jeffrey remembers taking classes that did not pertain to his major. He described his experience at the prior colleges as less personable and he felt more like a number than a person. Jeff said, “At WVJC the faculty and staff really care about my success.” Toward the end of the Network Administration/Security program, Jeffrey completed his externship at a large communications provider, Citynet. He said, “My externship provided me valuable real-world experience with people who wanted to help me learn”. When asked if Jeffrey would refer a friend to WVJC, he said, “Absolutely, I loved my experience at WVJC and the opportunity to be a Federal Work Study.”