Per Scholas got me through a tough time in my life with the focus I needed. I would have delayed my education for years without the Per Scholas team. I have a bright future because of Per Scholas.
Data & Cyber Security Analyst
Purdue University Global
In December 2021, Sharon Harris’ life turned upside down after a severe car crash. Little did she know that would be the force that pushed her to follow a dream she had held for years.
Sharon built a career in nursing, providing bedside care and resolving patient challenges every day. “I loved my nursing career, but my accident limited me. I did not want to sit behind a desk doing data entry – I wanted to solve problems.” Sharon always had an interest in data management and analytics but did not know how to transition her career, so it remained tucked away in her mind.
When both a friend and a career coach suggested Per Scholas during her recovery, she knew it was time. With no formal tech background, she worried about the admissions assessments. Still, she felt fully supported by the Per Scholas recruitment and admissions team. “They put my mind at ease about my age and being a woman.”
Sharon was accepted into Per Scholas Dallas’ Cybersecurity course but still had her doubts as she began the training. “I asked myself, if I can hang in for 15 weeks, will this better my life? After the first three days, I knew it would! I had to study a lot to maintain the concepts, but that wasn’t hard because the coursework was simply fascinating.”
Sharon faced hurdles throughout her course, including her physical recovery and internet failures in her building. She would arrive on campus early and stay late for more reliable internet access. “I am not sure where I would be without the staff. I just wanted to be a student, and life didn’t always make that easy. Per Scholas had top-notch support systems to help me study, stay focused, and finish.”
In August 2022, Sharon graduated with a certificate in Cybersecurity, a lease on a new apartment, and a position in cybersecurity. “I am not sure what I want my next chapter to look like, so I am taking contract positions as I determine my next goal,” which includes the Comp TIA exam. In October, Sharon was offered a contract position with Mastercard for more than $69 per hour.
More than a new career, Sharon has a new confidence and a new group of peers – what she calls her Per Scholas Family. “Per Scholas got me through a tough time in my life with the focus I needed. I would have delayed my education for years without the Per Scholas team. I have a bright future because of Per Scholas.”