ROCKLIN, Aug. 16, 2019 – To provide students and those currently employed with the skills they need to both start and progress in Information Technology careers, Sierra College now offers four career pathways under the new Information Technology program (formerly Computer Information Systems – CIS): networking, cybersecurity, data analysis and business information. Courses are online and on-campus, and lead to three AA/AS degrees, three Certificates of Achievement and five Skills Certificates, explained Annette Nylander, Department Chair, Information Technology, Sierra College.
There are now more than 39 Information Technology courses leading well paid and interesting careers with many opportunities to advance, according to Nylander. “We updated and added brand new classes that are being offered starting August 24, 2019 including Business Information Systems, Data Analytics/Visualization, Cybersecurity: Ethical Hacking, Cisco CCNA 3 Scaling Networks, and Computer Forensics Fundamentals, ” said Nylander. To browse the class schedule, go to https://ssb.sierracollege.edu:8810/PROD/pw_sigsched.p_Search and search “Information Technology” courses in Fall 2019 at your preferred campus.
Students can start taking Information Technology classes and immediately use those skills to find entry level employment so that they can support themselves while completing certificates and degrees, explained Nylander. “Depending on their previous work experience, students can develop skills to qualify for technician, help desk, analyst and specialist positions,” said Nylander. “And, in just two years, a graduate might fill positions such as systems or networking engineer. Students can earn excellent starting salaries of $36,000-45,000/year to over $100,000 with experience, depending on the field.”
According to Nylander, those interested in cybersecurity can develop powerful skills to battle against hackers disrupting government, business and individual computer systems. “Students who like to challenge themselves, solve puzzles and assess risks are well suited to learning how to protect organizations from cyber threats,” said Nylander.
Networking careers appeal to those who enjoy hands-on work and want to develop trouble shooting skills to connect and maintain computers, the internet & systems, explained Nylander. “Our students have qualified for well-paid network engineering positions with an AA/AS degree,” said Nylander.
Will Adams, Director of Operations in the healthcare technology field, indicated that the Sierra College Information Technology program opened up doors for him. “It answered lots of questions and provided information that I was unable to find by myself,” said Adams.
Students representing many majors can benefit from developing data analysis skill sets to understand and present complicated information, according to Nylander. “Students who have a curiosity to understand what the data means and want to simplify decision making in any field such as health, transportation, manufacturing or social services, would benefit from data analyst courses,” said Nylander.
The business information courses in the Information Technology department can get someone started in an entry level office position, help employees update their skills to new Microsoft® applications or prepare students for college and career success. For example, Amie Plumlee is heading off to California State University Chico to pursue an accounting degree and career as Certified Public Accountant (CPA) but when she started at Sierra College, she indicated that based on her high school experience, she wasn’t even sure if she could do it. “I was a re-entry student who had been out of high school for 12 years and knew how hard it was to make a living with my limited education,” said Plumlee.
Plumlee majored in Business Administration at Sierra College and benefited from the Information Technology department courses in Microsoft® applications. “I knew how important Microsoft Word™ and Excel™ were for businesses as well as for becoming a better student,” said Plumlee. “I discovered that I had a passion for it, really enjoyed the comradery among students and appreciated the helpful Information Technology instructors. The computer lab became my second home.”
Check out the Information Technology classes, encouraged Plumlee. “Information Technology is the future and the skills are used in nearly all careers,” said Plumlee. “If you don’t, you’ll always be a step behind.”
The content of many of the Information Technology courses are aligned with industry certification such as CompTIA™ A+, Network+ & Security +; CISCO™ CCENT & CCNA; Microsoft® Certified Solutions Associate; and EC-Council CEHv9 Certified Ethical Hacker Certification, explained Nylander. “Students will need to put in extra study time before taking the exams but Sierra College offers a discount of 50% on certification exam fees if they are taken within two months of completing the class,” said Nylander.
Recent high schools graduates and first time students who are California residents may qualify for free tuition at Sierra College for two years (www.sierracollege.edu/twoyearsfree), indicated Nylander. “We are looking forward to helping students launch their careers in new evolving technology fields,” said Nylander.
To learn more go to, www.sierracollege.edu/IT