fbpx

After high school, it’s important to set yourself on the right track for future career success. One path to career success is through a traditional degree, but going to college isn’t feasible for some and it’s just not the right fit for others. 

In this blog, we’ll cover why IT is a great industry to start a career in right now, and how the WIOA Youth funding program can help you pay for training at LeaderQuest to get started. 

Why Choose Information Technology for Your Career?

Information Technology is a growing industry that offers a lot of career opportunities and doesn’t require a degree to get started. Advanced positions may require some higher education, but employers are mostly interested in skills rather than degrees. Many people get their start in the industry in roles like Computer Support Specialist and continue to advance from there as they gain experience and get additional training.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS), “Because of the wide range of skills used in different computer support jobs, there are many paths into the occupation. A bachelor’s degree is required for some computer support specialist positions, but an associate’s degree or postsecondary classes may be enough for others.”

The BLS lists the median pay for these roles at $25.70 per hour, much higher than the national median pay of $18.58 per hour. They also note that job roles for Computer Support Specialists are expected to increase by 10% from 2018-2028, twice as fast as the national average of 5%. All that data means that a lot of jobs with great pay are being added to the market every day. As more and more companies build networks, buy computers, and store data, there is a huge need for IT workers that will only continue to grow.

Computer User Support is a great way to get started, but it may require more education to continue to advance in the industry. LeaderQuest courses in our Computer User Support Specialist program have been recommended for college credit by the American Council on Education’s College Credit Recommendation Service (ACE CREDIT®). This means that you can get college credit while you attend LeaderQuest, giving you a headstart on any degree you might later pursue and helping you start your career with certifications.

WIOA Funding for Youth IT Training

The Workforce Innovation & Opportunity Act (WIOA) is landmark legislation designed to help job seekers access employment, education, training, and support services to succeed in the labor market and to match employers with the skilled workers they need to compete in the global economy. You can learn more about WIOA in this blog, WIOA: State Sponsored Training.

For disadvantaged youths, this program can provide funding for training to help them get hired into jobs well above minimum wage, such as Computer User Support Specialist roles. 

Eligibility

Eligibility for this program depends on if the youth is currently in school or not. Please note that LeaderQuest cannot qualify you for WIOA funding and you must go to your local Workforce Center to find out if you qualify.

To be eligible for WIOA training at LeaderQuest, you must be…

In-School Youth Eligibility

  • 18-21
  • Authorized to work in the U.S.
  • Attending required  “compulsory school”
  • Family income at or below 100% of poverty line OR Family income at or below 70% lower living standard
    • Alternatively, if your family receives (currently or in the past six months) one of the following: TANF, SNAP, SSI, or other public assistance
  • Also, one of the following statuses will help you qualify:
    • Deficient in Basic Literacy Skills
    • Homeless or Runaway
    • In foster care or aged out of foster care
    • Pregnant/Parenting
    • Offender
    • Has a disability
    • “An English language learner who is deficient in Basic Literacy Skills”

Out-of-School Youth Eligibility

  • 18-24
  • Authorized to work in the U.S.
  • NOT attending “compulsory school”
  • Family income at or below 100% of poverty line OR Family income at or below 70% lower living standard
    • Alternatively, if your family receives (currently or in the past six months) one of the following: TANF, SNAP, SSI, or other public assistance
  • Also, one of the following statuses will help you qualify:
    • School dropout
    • Homeless
    • Receives or is eligible to receive free or reduced-price lunch
    • Lives in a high poverty census tract
    • Required to attend school but has not attended for at least the most recent complete school year’s calendar quarter
    • Homeless or Runaway
    • Pregnant/Parenting
    • Has a disability
    • In foster care or aged out of foster care
    • Youth who (a) received HS Diploma/equivalent and (b) is low-income  and (c) is Deficient in Basic Literacy Skills or is an English language learner
    • Requires additional assistance to complete an educational program, or to secure and hold employment (must also meet low income requirements)

Start on an IT Career Path

At LeaderQuest, we don’t just offer training to help you get certified. After your class is complete, we offer the support and resources you’ll need to study for your exams. Each campus has an Instructor Mentor on staff to help answer any questions you might have on the material, help you run through practice labs, and get you ready for your exam.

Employment outcomes are our #1 goal for every student looking to start an IT career. Each campus has a dedicated Career Services team, including an Employment Development Manager (EDM). Their job is to help you prepare for the job hunt, including job hunting skills, polishing your resume so it’s tailored to your targeted job role, helping you with mock interview practice, and answering any questions you might have about the marketplace. Our EDMs also make connections with local IT employers who are looking to fill roles with certified individuals, so that they can then refer our graduates and help them get hired.

If you are interested in learning more about careers in IT, or you have a child that might be a good fit for our program, get in touch with us! A short conversation with one of our Career Advisors can help you determine how suitable this path might be, and will cover the timeline and cost for training.