Computer technology offers career opportunities

Aug 12, 2017

One would be hard pressed to find a business today that does not rely on technology to operate, especially computer networks and software.  Those businesses need qualified people who know how to maintain or even create those networks and properly use the software.

The Computer and Information Technology (CIT) program at Ashland Community and Technical College has several different track options and certifications to ensure students are job-ready in the increasingly competitive field.

“We update our classes often to make sure we are teaching the most current material that students will need on the job,” said David Childress, CIT program coordinator.

 “Most companies today need qualified personnel to either create, manage or update their networks to keep them running smoothly and securely,” said Childress. “There are also positions such as Helpdesk, network security and many other computer-based areas for which a CIT graduate could apply.”

ACTC’s two-year Associate of Applied Science degree, available fully online, offers four main track options.

“Those options are networking, both Microsoft and Cisco tracks; network security; applications; and internet technologies,” he said. “These areas are important to keep the Information Technology (IT) area running smoothly and efficiently. Students learn what it takes to create, maintain and troubleshoot computers and networks.”

In addition, students can earn several KCTCS certifications, including digital forensics, CIT fundamentals, web programming, web administration, social media specialist and more.

ACTC is also a certified Pearson-Vue/Comp-TIA IT testing site. “In many cases, we can offer our students significant discounts on the exams,” Childress said.

Once students earn their associate degree, they can transfer to Western Kentucky University through a 2+2 agreement. The WKU program leads to a bachelor’s degree in CIT.

CIT students Steve Workman of Flatwoods and Daniel Farley of Ashland said they plan to transfer to WKU once they complete ACTC’s program.

Farley, a 2014 homeschool graduate, expects to graduate from ACTC in May with a CIT degree concentration in information security.

“I have been interested in the concept of computers and networking since a very young age,” Farley said. “Most of the knowledge I had about computers before going to college was self-taught. ACTC has given me an easy way to increase my knowledge of more advanced computer topics and also get a degree, all while staying close to home.”

Workman, a 2004 graduate of Russell High School, is also on the information security track and expects to graduate after the fall 2017 semester. He attended ACTC about 10 years ago but recently realized he wanted to finish his education to “make a more stable future a possibility.”

“After realizing that finishing school was the best option for me and my family, I decided to go back to ACTC and finish what I started,” Workman said. “The school now offers an improved CIT program, and I personally think it's very nice. They also offer transfer programs, where you can earn your associate degree at ACTC and transfer your credits perfectly to another university, which is what I decided to do.”

Workman is getting hands-on learning while taking an internship at King’s Daughters Medical Center in the information services and technology department.

“I am observing the techs as they work a normal day while participating with the hands-on stuff, including putting together the cart terminals that are used throughout the hospital,” he said. “I am using it as a learning experience for not only how a career in IT really is, but also for gaining extra technical knowledge from the job and from the crew themselves.”

For more information on the CIT program, contact Childress at david.childress@kctcs.edu or visit ACTC’s website at https://ashland.kctcs.edu and click on Academics, Programs of Study, Computers and Information Technology.