New start, new career
Doug Jarvis didn’t expect to attend college for the first time at age 50. After working as a pipefitter for 27 years, a profession he loved, taking the steps to build a new career wasn’t on his mind. That is, until the economy took a downturn. “
At the time, the economy in southeast Michigan wasn’t strong and I had been laid off a number of times,” Jarvis explained. “I was on unemployment and trying to figure out what to do next. I had to support my family.”
Jarvis was fortunate that his personal passion was the path to his new profession,
“When I built my own gaming PC, I fell in love with computers,” he said. “Even when they break down, I like the challenge of trying to figure out what’s wrong and how to fix it. I knew right away that working with computers would be my next career.”
Jarvis began his studies at Washtenaw Community College in 2010 with a goal to finish his degree quickly and affordably. He confesses that as an older first-time student, he was a bit nervous about fitting in.
“The first time I walked onto campus, I was scared,” he admitted. “But right away I noticed I wasn’t the oldest person. I did my testing, stood in line for books; I went through all the motions and found it comforting seeing the wide range of ages of the students around me. Suddenly instead of being intimated, I felt empowered.”
The feeling continued to follow him throughout his time at the College and helped him to not only graduate in 2012 with an Associate Degree in Computer Systems and Networking, but also earn his Cisco Certified Networking Associate certificate Landing a full-time job as a field engineer at Beaumont Health System a week before finishing his final class was the icing on the cake.
“The way everything fell into place, coming to WCC and making a total career change, it just felt like it was meant to be,” Jarvis shared. “And I love IT just as much as I loved pipefitting. I tell everyone that if you really want to learn and are willing to pay attention and work hard, there’s a lot to gain at WCC.”
Computer Systems and Networking
At Washtenaw Community College, students learn about the latest desktop, server and networking technologies. This program has a core of hardware, operating system and scripting that all students must complete. In addition, students select a specialized track in one of the following areas: Local and Wide Area Networking, Microsoft Network Operating Systems, Linux Network Operating Systems, Computer and Network Security or Data Recovery.
Learn more at wccnet.edu