Graduates value technical training, professional development and support system
Feb. 2, 2022 | By TEKsystems
Since 2015, TEKsystems and Per Scholas, a national organization that has been advancing economic mobility for over 25 years, have worked together to bridge the diverse talent gap in America’s technology workforce and help job seekers make a more streamlined, direct connection to in-demand employment opportunities.
We believe our partnership represents workforce development innovation, not just for now but also for what’s next. We’ve helped hundreds of Per Scholas graduates secure full-time career opportunities. Here are just a few of their stories.
Francisco earned his bachelor’s degree in information technology in 2017. Living in Chicago, he worked as a server after he graduated, taking home more income in the restaurant industry than he would from an entry-level IT role. But he enjoyed working in technology and being hands-on, rebuilding computers at his home. He wanted to get his foot in the door in IT. After five years as a server, the COVID-19 pandemic forced him to reconsider his path back into IT. He decided to invest the time into completing an intensive 12-week tech training course with Per Scholas.
I’ve had a lot of IT instructors, and when you compare the Per Scholas instructors to them, there’s just no comparison.
Born in Mexico one of six children, the value of hard work and sacrifice was instilled in him early. Francisco explained that even with his IT background, the training was demanding, and he also had to work a part-time retail job in the evenings while completing the training. He found, however, the entire experience to be incredibly valuable. He said, “I’ve had a lot of IT instructors, and when you compare the Per Scholas instructors to them, there’s just no comparison.”
According to Francisco, the course teaches learners about the corporate world—how to interact in a professional manner. The mock interviews and advice from TEKsystems’ representatives were beneficial for him—they helped him determine where to focus and how to demonstrate his value in the marketplace. “My TEKsystems recruiter said that I need to know my worth,” he described. “The years of customer experience that I have—you just can’t teach anyone.” With his technical skills and customer experience, he has gotten more than his foot in the door. He’s built a network of people who have really been there for him. Francisco explained, “Per Scholas and TEKsystems said they were here for us, and they were and are.”
Advice for Future Learners: Embrace every bit of information—it will come in handy down the road.
After several years of staying home with her two young children, Nandhini wanted to get back into the workforce. She felt it was important to be independent and be a role model to her daughter. Her love of technology began in high school, and she earned both her bachelor and master’s degrees in computer science. Given her gap in employment, she knew she needed to update her skills and learn new technology, but she found it very challenging to do on her own. That’s when she found Per Scholas.
At times some may have found it hard, but everyone persevered, flourished and did well.
The intense training reignited her passion for technology, and the understanding instructors allowed her to succeed all while juggling the demands of a mother with children in virtual school. When it comes to the professional development components of the training, she valued the help with behavioral interviews, resume building and explaining her gap in employment. “They provided us a lot of frequently asked technical questions and conducted mock interviews that really helped us in actual interview processes.”
Nandhini was inspired by her fellow classmates, “Not everyone in my class had a similar background in technology,” she explained. “At times some may have found it hard, but everyone persevered, flourished and did well.” She encourages others looking to enroll in the training or other women like her looking to reenter the workforce to believe in yourself and take advantage of opportunities, “You will find a way.”
Advice for Future Learners: Give 100% of your effort for the entire training. Hard work pays off so never give up.
Anatoly grew up in Russia, and his family struggled to make ends meet. He worked from a young age and made his way through school, earning a bachelor’s degree in computer science. He dreamed of a career in technology. Now in the U.S. with his wife and young children, he wanted to get his foot in the door in the tech industry. He knew he had to sharpen his skills and tried bootcamps and self-guided study, which he found difficult. Then, he learned about Per Scholas.
Anatoly was highly motivated and always wanted to be prepared for class and the assessments along the way. His family supported his weeknights and weekends of reading and studying. “I know my daughters, ages 3 and 5, wanted to spend more time with their daddy,” he said. “But they are smart girls and will understand one day.” He stayed curious and always asked questions because the training really helped prepare him for a career in tech.
The professional development and interview preparation in particular was helpful.
Coming from a different cultural background, where English is not your first language, the training can be tough, but it shows a learner’s determination even more. “The professional development and interview preparation in particular was helpful,” he explained. “In Russia, interviews are conducted very differently than here in the U.S.”
Anatoly is thankful for this opportunity that—according to him— gives people a chance and really helps change their destinies.
Advice for Future Learners: Keep going, you’re not alone—many people feel the same.
Advice for Prospective Hiring Managers: My classmates and fellow Per Scholas graduates would be great employees for any company.
Born and raised in Detroit, Kevin earned his bachelor’s degree in engineering, but he always had an affinity for technology. He worked in the engineering field for a few years and decided to make a career transition into tech. That’s when he found Per Scholas—in fact, Kevin was part of Per Scholas’ first training cohort in Detroit.
Working part time during the end-user desktop support training, Kevin said he had great classmates and knowledgeable, supporting instructors—all wonderful role models. What he learned in training he has applied on the job. He enjoys his current job as an ambulatory tech analyst, which is project oriented, and he is currently helping with Windows 10 upgrade across the enterprise.
Per Scholas and TEKsystems gave me this opportunity. I will pay it forward one day and donate to Per Scholas because it’s a worthwhile investment.
Kevin looks forward to progressing in his career with a passion for software development and interest in cybersecurity. He said that he is indebted to Per Scholas. “Per Scholas and TEKsystems gave me this opportunity,” he said. “I will pay it forward one day and donate to Per Scholas because it’s a worthwhile investment.”
Advice for Future Learners: Don’t give up. Take the coursework seriously.
Advice for Prospective Hiring Managers: These graduates have the most dedicated instructors and the best preparation.