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Workforce Wednesday: Tyler Thompson plans GRCC Computer Support Tech classes around work schedule, now has new career

June 8, 2022, GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- Tyler Thompson graduated with a marketing degree from Ferris State University in 2017. He continued as a manager at a local restaurant as he looked for work in the marketing field

When the pandemic struck, Thompson paused to think about what he really wanted to do in the future. A friend who previously took a Grand Rapids Community College Workforce Training program and is successfully working in the technology field told him about the Job Training Computer Support Technician program.

GRCC Workforce Training programs provide in-demand skills leading to rewarding careers. We are introducing students who are heading down an educational pathway and changing their lives by earning occupational certificates.

Thompson connected with instructor Moss Ingram. He began the program in January and has already completed it.

“One of the biggest factors to enrolling for me was the fact that it is completely online. It allowed me the time to do the school work and still balance my work schedule,” Thompson said. “I really liked the format – we started with an 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. Zoom meeting and then the rest of the day I worked on the lab work.”

Although the Computer Support Technician Job Training Program is offered in an entirely remote format, there is still a personal element to the program. Instructor Ingram stresses that entirely online should not deter anyone from taking the program.

“We have structured the program in a way that provides flexibility but keeps the personal interaction necessary to be successful in the program and in the industry,” Ingram said.

The Job Training Computer Support Technician program prepares students to achieve two certifications: the CompTIA A+ Certification and the Network+ Certification. Both of these IT certifications are globally recognized and represent in-demand skills sought by a wide array of employers.

“The biggest difference between this program and my bachelor’s degree program is the hands-on skills I learned and the certifications I gained,” Thompson said. “In this program, you learn how to actually do real world work. By learning this way, you feel like you really know what you are doing. I gained skills I never thought I could. That gave me confidence so that I didn’t feel like an imposter. I have already received my A+ certification and plan on pursuing the Network+ certification as well.”

Thompson credits his instructor for inspiring him.

“Moss is amazing. He is the most inspiring and compassionate person I’ve ever worked with. I’ve never met anyone so genuine.”

This program is designed to address Computer Support from four perspectives: technical, professionalism and employability, business innovation, and design. Students regularly meet local IT technicians, engineers, business owners, and recruiters via Zoom to learn from their experiences and current market expectations.

One of the projects in the program is building a resume and getting comfortable in today’s style of job searching. While working his project, Thompson noticed a posting for an IT Customer Support Technician at GRCC. He applied.

“I just figured I am doing this project anyway, I might as well apply. I was contacted by GRCC and went through the interview process. I start on Monday!”

Looking forward, Thompson is excited to join the GRCC IT team. He is delighted to work a regular daytime schedule. He has even recruited his brother who is currently enrolled in the CST program.

 “I was very hesitant to do this at first. It was a shot in the dark but I couldn’t be happier.”

GRCC has an unmatched reputation among employers for supplying West Michigan with work-ready technicians. Our graduates specialize in providing empathy for the people they support while solving complex problems using troubleshooting and design thinking methodologies. Students are also taught to focus on human-centered solutions and technology-based innovations for both colleagues and customers.

Next Computer Support Technician program begins August 8, 2022 with details at grcc.edu/jobtraining

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