Sometimes, it can be difficult to get a foothold in the industry you want even if you have the right experience. This is especially true for immigrants, who face unique challenges when they look for work. Certification can help to legitimize the experience that you already have, vastly increasing your chances of getting an interview and a job. Randa had trouble finding work when she first moved to the United States, but she was able to find a great job with amazing pay after IT training with LeaderQuest helped her get a couple key IT certifications. Read on to find out how information technology training was able to get Randa back on track!
Moving to America
2014 – 2015
“I had experience [in Africa]. But here, when I apply for a job, nobody knows me. So I had no work, and I didn’t know where to go, so I started working as an assistant teacher.”
Randa Elfaki was living in Africa before she moved to the United States in 2014. She had experience working in IT, and had her CCNA, but despite this, she wasn’t able to find any work in IT here. To make ends meet, she started working as an assistant teacher. But Randa knew she wanted to get back into IT and continue building her career in the United States. She just wasn’t sure what to do to break through and get some experience working in the US.
IT Training at LeaderQuest
“[LeaderQuest] encouraged me to get CCNA Security because I already had my CCNA. I said, Okay, I can get it. I didn’t know it was going to change my career.”
On Christmas Eve 2015, Roger Adcock, one of our Career Advisers, gave her a call to see if our IT training services might be able to help her qualify for the kind of work she wanted. Randa didn’t have the ability to fund her own training, so we helped her through the process of applying for training funds at her local workforce center. Workforce centers help connect employers with job seekers and also help people get the training they need to get the job they want. They can secure government funding for the long-term unemployed and offer many other services to job seekers.
After navigating the approval process for funding, Randa was able to start training in April of 2016. She started work on her PMP and CCNA Security certifications. We recommended that she get her CCNA Security because she already had her CCNA, and this enhanced level of certification would make it much easier to find jobs. Our Campus Director, Kevin Horton, helped Randa prepare for interviews, polish her resume, and learn about how to negotiate for salary with recruiters. All of this training paid off, and Randa got a job through Robert Half for a short contract in Golden!
Our Network Security Specialist program provides CCNA training along with IINS and focuses on the design, implementation, and monitoring of a comprehensive network infrastructure. This program is best suited for advanced level students. Live, expert, hands-on training with plenty of labs to provide real-world experience will thoroughly prepare you for the CCNA certification exam and the CCNA Security certification exam.
“I believe in LeaderQuest. Every step of my career, I came back so they could advise me if it was a good opportunity, where to go, or what action I needed because I trust them; they helped me get back to my career.”
After a short stint with Robert Half, Randa was looking for more work. She studied for her IINS Exam to get her CCNA Security certification and applied to more jobs in the area. Before long, her cyber security training helped her get hired at Comcast for a six-month contract working on network security.
At the end of that contract, Randa was still working on her CCNA. She liked working with Comcast and wanted to continue there but they didn’t have another contract for her. She spoke to the security engineers, and one of them was able to refer her to the hiring manager at WebRoot, a company that provides services for Comcast.
From Contract to Full Time
“When the manager from WebRoot interviewed me, all of the information from the class was still in my head, and I got all of the questions right. He said, ‘That’s great!’ I told him that I have no experience, just education through LeaderQuest and through one class in Mumbai. And he laughed and said, ‘We’re going to train you! And we’ll help you to succeed in this role.’ So the training with LeaderQuest got my foot in the door.”
When Randa got a call from a hiring manager at WebRoot, she had never even heard of that company. He scheduled an interview with her, even though she hadn’t yet taken the test for her CCNA Security certification. Luckily for her, the class at LeaderQuest had prepared her for exactly the kind of questions that she was asked!
At WebRoot, they really value the IT training and experience that Randa has. She was very glad to find a full-time position for herself and leave contract work behind. Not only that, but she is now making more than $72,000 per year! That’s a pretty big raise from making $12 per hour for contract work!
Randa’s Plan for the Future
After working on a senior engineering project at WebRoot, Randa set her sights on getting promoted to become a program manager as her 5-year goal. She knows that her PMP certification from LeaderQuest will help her grow with WebRoot and eventually secure a high-paid managerial position like program manager. And we couldn’t be more excited for her!
Are you interested in a career change?
LeaderQuest can help! In just a few weeks we can get you the training you need to get an exciting new job in information technology or cyber security. If you’re interested in IT or cyber security training, we can help you set up an appointment with a career adviser to discuss your needs. Our IT programs can quickly qualify you for the job you really want. Don’t wait to start on your career!