Before joining the Information Technology Apprenticeship Program, Kiyah King thought she would get an associate degree, obtain the necessary certifications and then begin the search for a job in cybersecurity or as a field support tech. The apprenticeship program fast-tracked her plans, bringing her closer to her goal.
Kiyah was already a student at Howard Community College when she learned about the IT Apprenticeship Program. “I thought it would be a great opportunity to get into the tech field,” she recalled.
The only program of its kind in Maryland, Howard Community College’s Information Technology Apprenticeship Program helps students become IT, network or information systems field support specialists. Students take college courses and earn industry certifications while also working and earning an income with the college’s partner AT&T.
As an apprentice, Kiyah is already working in her desired field. She benefits from having an on-the-job mentor, and she shadows more experienced techs, so she is continually learning new things while always having support.
“I am currently working full time as an apprentice at AT&T. My day consists of responding to submitted work tickets, and I am guided through the whole process of knowing what to do, when to do it and how to do it,” she said.
Kiyah feels the experience she has gained is invaluable, especially for someone still in school. She shared, “People are patient with me, and I learn as I go, which allows the information to stick. I try to take advantage of every opportunity and soak up all the information my mentor shares with me.”
For anyone considering the IT apprenticeship, Kiyah said, “An apprenticeship really gets you noticed by a company, and it gives you a lot of paid hands-on experience and in-person training. An added bonus is that they help you get your security clearance.”
Kiyah’s future plans include advancing in her career with AT&T and continuously working to become a better tech. She is thankful to have discovered the apprenticeship program. “It has been a really great experience for me. I've loved every moment.”
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