Lauren had been working as a highschool English teacher for a couple of years and was enjoying her job, especially having the summers off. But we can’t always control what’s in store for ourselves or our spouses, and life had a few surprises in store for her.
Check out her story in the video below, or read on to get all the details.
Moving to Colorado Springs
When Lauren found out her husband was going to be stationed in Colorado and they would have to leave Florida, finding a teaching job in Colorado Springs was her first concern. She had about 5 months warning and took all the right steps: she got her teaching certification for Colorado, got references, and applied to every job she could find. But she wasn’t able to find any open positions for teachers in the area, and started to look for other options.
“There’s not a ton you can do with a literature degree so I was feeling kind of hopeless. And I did not want to go back to college because it’s a lot of extra money, and it’s a lot of extra courses you don’t need that don’t help you in a job. So when LeaderQuest popped up on Facebook, ‘You just need these certifications to be successful in an IT career’ I was like, sign me up!”
“The thing about IT that interested me was the massive amount of opportunities. You can create your own career path. If you’re teaching, you really only have one avenue to go down. And it’s a lucrative career! They pay a lot more than teachers get paid.”
IT Career Training at LeaderQuest
Lauren enrolled in the Computer User Support Specialist program. This program is designed to help those with zero experience gain the skills and certifications needed to get started in the IT industry. It also teaches foundational skills that can be built on to help our students to specialize as they advance in their career, going into areas such as networking, cyber security, or management.
“The teachers were very knowledgeable, very helpful, and the resources they offered were amazing. Coming in with zero IT experience, it was a bit overwhelming at first. But they give you every resource and every opportunity to succeed.”
“When you enroll, you’re with the same group of people throughout all the classes. We got to network with each other and make new friends. Everyone was there to support one another and everyone had different levels of experience with IT, so it was cool for me to talk with the gamers or someone who had been in IT for 5 years and just needed the experience.”
There’s no doubt that the material will be challenging for those with no background in IT, but we make it our mission to help anybody who is interested in IT and committed to training complete the classes and get their start. It’s important to pay attention in class and take good notes. Once the class is completed, most students will spend a few weeks studying the material and using the resources provided to make sure they’re 100% ready for the exam. Lauren took advantage of our expert instructors to make sure she learned everything she needed to pass.
“I worked with Greg Gardner a lot and he was phenomenal. When I was feeling super down and overwhelmed by all of the material, he lit a fire in me because he knows his stuff and he wants everyone to succeed. Not only is he a great IT professional, he’s a great teacher. And coming from a fellow teacher, I think that says a lot.”
“He didn’t just present the lessons and go over slides, he dove into it and gave us things to put our hands on, and told us about real life experiences. He’s an author, and I got to look at his books, which as an English person I liked that a lot. You can email him any time, you can meet with him and go over everything before you take the certification exam.”
“It’s hard coming in and sitting down and listening to an instructor talk about IT when you have no clue what he’s talking about. So they give you these labs to do that simulate a lot of things you’re talking about which was easier for me to learn because I can see it in real life terms, I can actually physically do something. So those were super helpful.“
Getting Hired in Entry Level IT
Lauren passed exams for two certifications: CompTIA Security+ and ITIL Foundation v4. She worked with Shari Carroll, the Employment Development Manager (EDM) at Colorado Springs, to look for work in the IT industry in the area. Our EDMs are experts when it comes to job hunting, and offer each of our graduates one-on-one assistance with perfecting their resumes, brushing up on interview skills, and finding jobs that are the perfect fit for their skills and desired career path.
With help from Shari, Lauren was able to get an entry level IT position at Valdez.
“I work for Valdez and they contract with the Airforce here. I’m in Change Management. It’s entry level, and it’s easy to do, so I have a lot of time to study and a lot of helpful people who are super willing to train me and help me get to different positions.”
Next Steps: After IT Training
At LeaderQuest, our number one goal is to help individuals get the education and certifications they need to start a successful career in the IT industry. Support doesn’t stop when you complete your last class. You can come back and resit a course any time for the next two years if you don’t feel fully prepared for the exam. We also have an Instructor Mentor on each campus who is available for one-on-one meetings about the material to help you master it front to back.
“Even though I’ve completed the program, I’m still in contact with Greg, Ken, and Shari. They contact me all the time to ask how my job is going, what’s your next step, can we do anything to help you. It’s more than just a mentorship, it’s a friendship because they care about where I’m at and where I want to go.”
“I would highly recommend LeaderQuest to anybody who is willing to put in the work to fight for their dreams to succeed. LeaderQuest is not a cake-walk. You can’t just walk in here and expect to pass the certification exams, especially if you have zero experience. But it can be done. If you put in the work, if you rely on the resources that they have, if you lean on the Instructor Mentor teacher. If you put in the work, you can do it and you will be successful.”
Curious about training at LeaderQuest?
If you’re interested in starting an IT career, we can help. We offer training on the most in-demand certifications in the IT, cybersecurity, and networking industries. Our courses will quickly give you the skills and knowledge you need to pass exams and get hired. Instructor Mentors are on hand to help you with any tricky material. We’ll help you get trained, certified, and hired.
If you’re ready to take the next step in your career, click the link below!GET STARTED