My Career Step: Rick Amaro
At 45 I definitely didn’t want to change careers. However, I was working for an office equipment company, and I could see the decline coming. I was already in school and working toward a degree, but I needed something that would get me into a new job faster.
With this goal in mind I began looking into careers in the computer technology field. I have always had an interest in computers, and as a kid I loved taking things apart. In the various jobs I’ve had throughout my working years, I’ve always gravitated to working with tools, and I love the troubleshooting process, especially if I’m given the opportunity to find a solution that others haven’t been able to puzzle out. It all just comes natural to me.
With all of this in mind, I began searching for a training option that would help me quickly start a career in computers. My wife was already enrolled with Fayetteville Technical Community College, which offers steeply discounted Career Step training programs for North Carolina residents as well as military service members and dependents, and she noticed that the Computer Technician program could be the perfect fit for what I was trying to do. The price was awesome, and the ease of the process and opportunity to study at my own pace and at home just cemented it for me—Career Step was the answer for me!
Studying with Career Step
The Computer Technician course fit perfectly into my life even though I was already working full time and studying. The way the program is written, the lessons flow and it slowly got you thinking like a computer tech. There is a personal touch in the lessons that just makes you feel like you are in a classroom.
Don’t get me wrong. The course is also challenging—it makes you think and memorize—but there are plenty of visual aids to help you through the process. I also found the forums very helpful. They were a great resource for dealing with questions and to see what my peers with struggling with and find help myself. Overall, I was left with no doubt that I was being prepared for what I would see in the real world.
Graduating and Starting a New Career
This may sound like I’m just saying what you want to hear, but there was never a point in the course where I wasn’t on a learning high. I was always focused on what I was gaining and what it would do for my personal growth. The way the program is organized allowed me to keep that personal motivation and meet (and sometimes even exceed) my goals and deadlines. With this momentum, I was able to finish the course about a month before the final deadline—or after just about 3 months of study.
I began interviewing the last month or so of classes, so I was employed immediately after graduation because the entire process went very quickly. Career Step’s graduate support team was amazing! They were always in communication with me, checking my status and offering their help with finding jobs and opportunities. You can feel that they truly care for us as students and graduates and that they are there to help. They were a great asset.
Now that I’m working, I can see even better how well the Career Step program prepared me for the reality of the workplace. I’ve been able to handle anything and everything that’s been thrown at me, and even though it’s not always easy I have been able to fix all of the issues I’ve been presented with. I’m now the IT manager for our company, and I love the growth we’re seeing as well as the company’s family atmosphere.
Career Step is the way to go. The course properly prepares you for real scenarios you will find in the field, and with the ease of the process, the price, the help after graduation it is the full package. If you want to quickly advance or move to a rewarding and in-demand career, this is the way the go!
If you’re already working through a Career Step course, I have a few words of advice. Do not get discouraged. Find the time to do your work, and use the tools handed to you. This is a once in a lifetime chance to change your entire world for good. It is a sacrifice sometimes if you have to juggle life, family, and work. I was there guys—do you think that at 45 I wanted to change careers? No, but I had no choice, and thankfully I was able to find Career Step.
The short sacrifice now will pay dividends in the end. Pay attention to your lessons and follow the advance of the course and from Career Step’s instructors because it will save you time when you get out there in the field. I can’t wait to run into some of you out there making a difference in your jobs and communities as you help them out of the frustration of a non-working system!