By Karen Ackerman Witter
Lincoln Land Community College (LLCC) is launching a new program in October that is perfect for someone who has lost their job, is looking for a career change or wants to learn a new skill. LLCC is part of a cohort of community colleges that is partnering with Google to offer the Google IT Support Professional Certificate. Those who earn this certificate will be qualified for entry level jobs in IT support, such as help desk-type positions, which are in high demand. Participants must have a high school diploma or GED, but do not need to have previous IT experience.
The Google IT Support Professional Certificate Program is designed to help people build a career in technology. It came about because it was difficult for Google to find qualified people for its own jobs. However, the course is not specific to Google and covers all platforms. While no previous IT experience is required, it is ideal for those who have been toying with the idea of getting into the IT field. While considerable effort is made to link students to local job openings, this certification can also open opportunities to work remotely.
The program is instructor-led and will be taught by Jessie Maske at LLCC’s Medical District location at 130 W. Mason St. in Springfield. Maske has extensive experience as an instructor and conducting computer training. She is well-suited to teach the program, having gone through the Google IT Support Professional Certification process herself. Courses will involve troubleshooting, customer service, networking, operating systems, administration and security.
Students will attend in-person classes on Mondays from Oct. 4, 2021 – Feb. 7, 2022. LLCC Students will also attend class remotely on Thursdays, which will provide additional guidance and an opportunity to ask questions. Participants will learn the necessary skills in order to be prepared to take the CompTIA A+ exam to achieve CompTIA A+ Certification. This is an industry standard for establishing a career in IT for technical support and IT operational roles.
Brenda Elliott is the director of apprenticeship programming at LLCC. She works with area businesses to help build a pipeline between LLCC students and local employers and says businesses tell her that students with technical training often lack the soft skills needed for the workplace. As a result, LLCC added a bonus course to the certification program called Career Development Soft Skills. This can be taken either during or following the certification course.
Students will also have access to participating in mock interviews, building a resume and other assistance offered by LLCC’s Career Services. LLCC will work with local businesses to connect students with open help desk positions. Elliott encourages local businesses to refer employees who may benefit from this opportunity.
“We are excited to offer this timely career training opportunity to residents of the LLCC district,” says Elliott. “A job in IT can mean in-person or remote help desk work, either in a small business or at a global company. Whether you’ve been tinkering with IT or are completely new to the field, this program may be your ticket to a new career.”
LLCC will accept 10-12 students for the first cohort of students starting in October. The cost of the program is $2,995 and includes an instructor-led program, exam readiness, all course materials, exam vouchers, the bonus course in career development soft skills and access to LLCC’s Career Services. For more details and registration information, visit www.llcc.edu/medical-district or contact Brenda Elliot at 217-786-2326.
Karen Ackerman Witter is a frequent contributor to the Springfield Business Journal.