In the information technology field, it's not about having your bachelor's or master's degree — but instead, what you're certified in to get you ahead in your career. A local program in the Shenandoah Valley can help get you just that.
"Every day is an adventure," said Nathan Redmond, a field network engineer with E-N Computers. "It's nice that I'm not showing up to work and I'm not doing the same things everyday, it's different everyday. You never know what you're going to get."
For Nathan Redmond, a career in IT has been years in the making. Having an interest in cyber security since his high school years has ignited a passion and led him to his current role at E-N computers.
"Some days, it could be very low key and you're kind of just answering trouble tickets and doing things like that," said Redmond. "Other days, you might have like a virus that's taken over an entire company, just based off of one system and spreading."
Nathan completed a cyber security program at Blue Ridge Community College. After he graduated, he was recruited for a certification funded by a "Go Virginia" grant. Money from the grant picked up most of the costs for his "security plus" certificate and the rest of his time was spent working with local businesses, giving them an insight to make sure they don't just lock their front door at night but leave their data unsecure.
"Data is everything and if it's not secure, than you're going to lose it," said Redmond.
According to statistics gathered by the Shenandoah Valley Workforce Development Board, salary for this position can range from $36,500 to $65,700. There is a projected growth of 156 jobs over the next decade in our region. Most of these positions require a certificate, an associate degree, or a bachelor's degree.
"It pushes you to get your certification, which, any and all certifications, I'm all about," said Redmond.