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Career development / Guest posts

CompTIA’s nonprofit arm is bringing discounted IT certification classes to Philly

For the first time, the Creating IT Futures Foundation is bringing its IT-Ready program to Philadelphia.

From a CompTIA event in 2012. (Photo by Flickr user Grant Wickes, used under a Creative Commons license)
This is a guest post by the Philadelphia Museum of Art's Laura Webb.

Gaining IT certification is often imperative for recent graduates and individuals who are unemployed (or underemployed) and want to begin a career in information technology.
Passing the CompTIA A+ 220-801 and CompTIA A+ 220-802 certification exams is a strong first step for anyone interested in beginning the IT certification process. These certifications are often a requirement for any job in an IT help desk capacity. If your interests in IT lie elsewhere, CompTIA has certification paths that build off the CompTIA A+ 220-801 and 220-802 and can lead to high-level security, server, cloud, mobility and network-focused careers.
But financial barriers to entry abound.
Training courses for CompTIA exams can reach $3,000, and the cost of taking the exam itself is nearly $200. For the first time, the philanthropic arm of CompTIA, the Creating IT Futures Foundation, is coming to Philadelphia to address this problem with IT-Ready, a free eight-week course that focuses on education and career placement.
The majority of students who complete the IT-Ready course interview qualify for a six-month paid apprenticeship with a local participating company. Student tuition is free, books are free and students receive a voucher to take the CompTIA A+ 220-801 and 220-802 exams for free.
Since the program was established in 2012 in Minneapolis and St. Paul, 95 percent of IT-Ready students have earned their CompTIA A+ certification and 80 percent have gained paid IT jobs. Philadelphia’s branch of IT-Ready is partnering with workforce development organization Philadelphia Works, which is actively recruiting employers to commit to interviews and internships with IT-Ready graduates.
According to the IT Futures Foundation website, “Among those we specifically recruit for apprentice training are military veterans and their spouses, women, African-Americans and Hispanics.”
The prerequisites for the program are minimal, and the benefits are significant. Over the eight-week course, students are paired with a mentor who is deeply embedded in an IT career. There they learn about computer technology and hardware.
Employers who want to step up to support IT-Ready graduates should contact Meg Shope Koppel at mshopekoppel@philaworks.org. Here’s more info on how to support the program.
The application deadline is April 13, 2015. There’s a May 4 start date for the Spring 2015 class, which takes place Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., for eight weeks.
This is an incredible opportunity for future IT professionals!
Apply now


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