Cristal Carter

It may be hard to start...but don’t give up! Learn as much as you can and excel in every role, gain that knowledge and experience because everything you learn is invaluable.
Per Scholas graduate, Cristal Carter

Systems Analyst II

Apex Systems


Chicago, IL

End User Desktop Support

Cristal Carter has a background in music production and had been working a variety of different jobs before finding her way to Per Scholas. While trying to break into the music industry, she job-hopped through various contractor roles before finding herself unemployed and unhappy during the Covid pandemic.

Cristal decided that she wanted to take her work more seriously and start a stable career that she could see herself staying in for a long time. She thought hard about what she was passionate about, and it brought her back to tech.

Cristal had always been fascinated with technology and electronics and had been taking apart and fixing her own electronics since a young age. While searching online for ways to get started in tech, Cristal came across Per Scholas.

She applied for and was accepted into Per Scholas Chicago’s End User Desktop Support course, powered by TEKsystems. Although she was one of the top students in the class, Cristal initially struggled with adjusting to the huge influx of new material and information. However, she soon learned to love the learning process and found it inspiring that her cohort was so full of women and people of color – both minorities in the tech field.

“I loved the instructors,” Cristal recalled. “There were always resources if you had any questions, and my classmates were very supportive.” 

After graduating, Cristal worked in a contractor role as a Help Desk Analyst at the University of Chicago before moving on to a bigger opportunity as a Level II Systems Analyst with Apex Systems. She believes that the professional development training she gained at Per Scholas helped her a lot with landing these positions and preparing her for the professional IT world.

Going forward, Cristal would like to learn much more and see where her new role takes her. She would ultimately like to get involved with systems administration and cloud computing.

“It may be hard to start,” Cristal says to future Per Scholas learners. “It takes a lot of curiosity to see where you want to be in tech, but don’t give up! Learn your niche in tech. Learn as much as you can and excel in every role; gain that knowledge and experience because everything you learn is invaluable. Make it so they can’t deny you!”

Per Scholas graduate Jenell Weitz

Read the next graduate story

The class really appealed to me because it focuses on soft skills as well as technical skills. The course helps you with interviewing, creating your resume, and job placement. I think soft skills are just as valuable as the hard IT skills I learned.

Meet Jenell Weitz

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