Get A Computer Science Job With No Degree

How To Get A Computer Science Job With No Degree

To get a good job and make good money these days, it’s textbook that we have to go to college, get a Bachelor’s degree at a minimum, and start working in the field we studied. It’s what our parents, family, and school guidance counselors have been preaching our whole lives. However, times have changed, and there are so many alternatives and non-traditional ways to start your career, especially in tech, with no degree. It turns out that needing a degree to succeed in tech is a myth, and training courses such as Per Scholas’s cost-free tech training can prepare individuals for computer science jobs without a degree. For so long, there has been a stereotypical emphasis on the necessity of a college degree when individuals can launch a successful career without a degree, just like Per Scholas graduates have been doing for over 25 years. 

The difference between the two education routes to getting a computer science job is the approach to the material. For example, Per Scholas prepares our learners to start their career in tech by hosting courses such as IT Support, Cybersecurity, Software Development, and AWS re/Start in a boot camp-style full-time curriculum. Our learners complete their training, which is typically covered over four years in college, in 12-16 weeks. Our experienced instructors have industry knowledge that aids our learners in getting a tech job with no degree. Additionally, Per Scholas connects our graduates to industry professionals for resume help, mock interviews, and networking opportunities to get their foot in the door and take away the stigma that to get a computer science or tech job, you have to have a four-year degree.

What Is Computer Science?

Computer Science is the study and development of computers that includes networks, hardware, software, databases, and much more. People with Computer Science training can obtain an array of potential careers within the field, from software engineering to computer programming or system analysis. 

Additionally, there are also UX Designer, Mobile App Developer, and Systems Architect tech career opportunities with Computer Science training. Computer Science is often referred to as programming as well, using different technical languages to build computer programs. Here, we can discuss how to get a job in computer science without a degree and the different career paths one can make with such training to determine which route may be the best for you. 

Computer Science Skills

As in any field of study, there are different skills that are imperative to start in any of the various computer science jobs without a degree. Through different computer science courses and training, such as Per Scholas’s Software Engineering or Full Stack Java Developer courses, you can acquire the necessary skills for a computer science job. When looking at the following list of skills needed, you may wonder, ”is a computer science degree worth it when there are such great opportunities through alternative skills training programs like Per Scholas?” 

  • Programming Languages
  • Data analysis
  • Software Development
  • Creativity
  • Coding
  • Technical writing

Now, you can absolutely get these skills through a four-year degree program, but they are also available through courses like those we offer at Per Scholas. Is a computer science degree worth it? Let’s explore how you can get the same skills through other options.

Computer Science Certificate Programs

  • There are various courses offered through Per Scholas that allow individuals to learn hands-on how to be successful in computer science. Check out these courses available and the skills learned through them. Per Scholas has partnered with CompTIA for our post-graduation certificates that are essential for this field. 

Software Engineering

      • Through a Software Engineering course at Per Scholas, you will learn about web development, data analysis and structure, and computer science concepts. Then, you can choose a route to go through to start a career path as a web developer, web designer, or app developer. 
      • Skills obtained through this course are HTML, CSS3, JavaScript, and more. Learners also learn more about programming and computer science fundamentals. 

Java Developer

      • Per Scholas’s Full Stack Java Developer course is another computer science avenue to go through to get a job in computer science without a degree. Following graduation, our learners start jobs as Java Developers and Computer Science Data Analysts. 
      • The advanced skills our learners get from this computer science course are transferable through many tech industry avenues. From full-cycle development and more than 400 hours of training, this course is a quicker way to start a career in tech without a degree. 

Data Engineering

      • With a Data Engineering course under your belt, you would have experience in critical thinking, data analysis, computer science languages, and more. 
      • Learners who graduate from our Data Engineering course often start careers as Data Scientists, Data Engineers, and Data Reporting Analysts. 

How to Get a Job with a Computer Science Certificate

Per Scholas’s cost-free tech training helps place learners into roles after completing our courses so they won’t need degrees to help them launch their careers in tech. Through our rigorous boot camp-style curriculum, we often show our learners how to get a job in computer science without a degree. We offer a specialized curriculum for each course that gives our learners specific skills that are pertinent to entering into the computer science route in tech. We focus on what is necessary, provide hands-on training, and give professional development opportunities, so our learners have a well-rounded approach to entering the tech field. Not only will our graduates have the hard skills but also the soft skills needed to land computer science jobs without a degree.

Careers in Computer Networking

Computer networking is a rapidly growing field that contains a variety of career paths, and the skills of network professionals are vital and in high demand across many industries. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicted in a 2016 study that network engineer employment would grow by 6% over the following ten years, and studies suggest that the number of network jobs in the field currently exceeds the number of qualified candidates, presenting an excellent opportunity for interested and qualified applicants. 

To become a qualified computer networking professional, there are a number of skills that must be mastered and several certifications that you can obtain to indicate to employers your level of knowledge in the field.

Below, we will discuss the roles and responsibilities of computer networking professionals, as well as the certifications necessary to launch a career in the field of networking. 

What is Computer Networking?

According to Amazon Web Services, “computer networking refers to interconnected computing devices that can exchange data and share resources with each other. These networked devices use a system of rules, called communications protocols, to transmit information over physical or wireless technologies.” Computer networks link millions of users and devices, making it fast and easy to transmit data securely. Virtually all of today’s organizations use networks to deliver and distribute information to their customers, employees, or clients. It is vital for these organizations that their network systems run smoothly, so skilled network engineering professionals are in high demand.Per Scholas learners in class

IT Specialists who work in Computer Networking are responsible for the maintenance and facilitation of these computer networks, including the tasks of analyzing, troubleshooting, and evaluating arising computer network issues and keeping the networks secure. 

There are a number of different responsibilities that go into creating and maintaining a network, and these duties are divided between roles. More specifically, network specialists and administrators are responsible for overseeing day-to-day operations, and network architects and engineers take part in “designing and building local area networks (LANs), wide area networks (WANs), and Intranets.” These roles may be combined in various ways, depending on the size of the organization.

What Do Network Professionals Do?

There are a number of responsibilities that network professionals tackle on a daily basis. Below we will outline a few.

Maintain and monitor computer networks

  • One of the primary responsibilities of a network professional in any capacity is to ensure that network communications between resources and users are running smoothly. “Resources” here may be defined as “workstations, servers, remote devices, printers, or any device with Internet (IoTs).” Network professionals ensure that user access to these resources remains reliable and fast, and they investigate and address any inefficiencies or faults in the network.
  • According to IT career development website PCWDLD, “maintaining a network sometimes entails dealing with third-party providers such as Cloud, ISPs, CDNs, VPNs, mobile networks, etc. Also, as most servers and networking equipment runs on Linux, learning how to install, update, and configure Linux using CLI is vital for any network professional.”

Design Networks

  • Higher-level network engineers or architects can be responsible for designing new networks or updating and adjusting existing networks. These network designers must consider several factors in the complex design process, including the physical layout of their buildings, the network’s expected capacity, any wireless or voice considerations, and the budget at hand.

Innovations and IntegrationsPer Scholas learners in class

  • Like all branches in IT, the computing networking field is constantly evolving and changing rapidly. Network professionals are responsible for researching and adopting any new technologies that protect or maintain their networks more efficiently. They must use their skills, knowledge, and any constraints such as budget to find the right balance between exciting new technologies and effective, well-established technologies.

Networking project management

  • Sometimes, network professionals are assigned to oversee networking projects. In these cases, “a network manager may participate in anything, from designing, dealing with providers and personnel, managing hardware and software deployment, and doing testing procedures.”

Types of careers in computer networking

Many different jobs fall under the umbrella of computer networking. We will outline some of the common ones below.

Network Engineer 

  • Network Engineers are responsible for designing and managing computer networks and maintaining those networks for optimal performance. They also lead operations such as installation and configuration of network devices, troubleshooting issues, and technical support and assistance.

 Network Support Specialist

  • Network support specialists analyze, troubleshoot, and maintain computer networks and provide guidance for users on a daily basis.”

 Network Technician

  • Network technicians are responsible for setting up internet connections, establishing different types of networks, and connecting them. They may also troubleshoot and repair hardware and software devices.

 Network Architect

  • Computer network architects build data communication for companies. They create layouts for a communication network, explain to management how it will work, keep information security at the forefront of the design, upgrade hardware, research new technologies, and more.” 

Computer Systems/Network Analyst

  • Computer systems or network analysts study the technological infrastructure of a company and determine how effective it is at meeting the organization’s goals. They also work to repair, maintain, and improve these systems to ensure their security and efficiency.

Computer Networking Certifications

There are multiple ways to enter the field for individuals interested in getting involved in computer networking. Although helpful, a college degree is not required. There are, however, certifications that are necessary to land an entry-level position in the field, as well as a wide variety of more advanced certifications that can allow networking professionals to specialize in certain areas. Per Scholas learners in class

The two most basic certifications that provide a candidate with the skills necessary for an entry-level position in networking are the Cisco CCNA certification and the CompTIA Network+ certification. These two certifications can act as a prerequisite for obtaining more advanced certifications in the future.

Cisco CCNA

  • The CCNA or Cisco Certified Network Associate certification is one of the fundamental certifications for entry into the networking field. This certification prepares candidates for the processes of installing, setting up, configuring, troubleshooting, and operating a routed and switched computer network.
  • According to the Cisco website, the “CCNA exam covers networking fundamentals, IP services, security fundamentals, automation, and programmability. Designed for agility and versatility, CCNA validates that you have the skills required to manage and optimize today’s most advanced networks.” Like all Cisco certifications, this certification expires after three years and must be regularly renewed. 

CompTIA Network+

  • The CompTIA Network+ certification is another fundamental certification for entry into the field of networking. This certification covers networking fundamentals, security, implementation, troubleshooting, and operations. According to the CompTIA website, “Network+ validates the technical skills needed to securely establish, maintain and troubleshoot the essential networks that businesses rely on…Unlike other vendor-specific networking certifications, CompTIA Network+ prepares candidates to support networks on any platform.”


Plinio Ayala Featured on NFL Foundation’s Inspire Change Panel

On July 25, Plinio Ayala, Per Scholas President and CEO, took part in a panel discussion put together by the NFL’s Inspire Change initiative.  The panel, NFL Presents: Advancing a More Equitable Workforce, featured Plinio Ayala and Anti-Recidivism Coalition’s (ARC) Executive Director, Sam Lewis as panelists, along with NFL Legends Warrick Dunn and Jason McCourty. 

The panel was moderated by Kimmi Chex, NFL Network on-air personality, and focused on creating equity in the workplace and the opportunity for employers to break down barriers and build a more inclusive and diverse workforce. Plinio took the opportunity to highlight Per Scholas’s approach to advancing economic equity, our skills training, and creating a thriving tech industry. “Economic mobility isn’t just a good thing to do; it is an economic imperative,” mentioned Plinio. “With the help of the NFL Inspire Change initiative, we continue to move the needle on diversity in the workforce. It’s a triple-win; companies get skilled talent for their in-demand roles, our learners advance their careers in tech, and the economy sees a boost.”

Watch the full event here!

Additionally, we showcased one of our top employers who is working on breaking down barriers, TEKsystems, and featured our Per Scholas New York graduate, Dorothee Cadet, in a short video. We are excited to have the support of partners such as TEKsystems, who are breaking down barriers to fill their talent pipelines with diverse and highly skilled workers. 

Plinio Ayala on Inspire Change panel discussion via Zoom

We look forward to more opportunities with the NFL Inspire Change Initiative to address economic advancement and mobility as they are one of Per Scholas’s Catalyst Partners. To stay up-to-date on our upcoming events with the NFL Foundation, be sure to follow us on Twitter!


The Allstate Fellows Program Partners with Per Scholas

The Allstate Foundation, a Founder’s Circle partner of Per Scholas, has funded our cost-free tech training programs since 2021. The Foundation proudly supports Per Scholas through its racial equity program. Our partnership will allow Per Scholas to provide rigorous IT job training and connections to employment opportunities for diverse adult learners from low-to-moderate income households across seventeen of our training campuses and has additionally extended to include us in their Fellows program.

The Allstate Fellows program is a skills-based volunteer initiative designed to strengthen the nonprofit community and invest in the professional development of Allstate employees. The program helps nonprofits address critical organizational challenges in a wide variety of areas by matching them with skilled employees for 3-month volunteer projects, leveraging employees’ professional expertise while addressing nonprofit needs. 

Recently, the Allstate Fellows program, in partnership with Common Impact, identified a Fellow to work with Per Scholas on strategy and cross-functional projects. Our Fellow, Gina Pell, conducted external research, created criteria for assessment and provided recommendations to help Per Scholas determine the conditions under which we would want to establish our own apprenticeship programs vs. partner with other nonprofits and/or companies to expand opportunities. The Allstate Fellows program ran from March through June and involved three phases of work centered around data collection, insights synthesis, and guidance for our path forward; and was ultimately an innovative way to get involved as one of our partners. 

In pairing Per Scholas with our Fellow, Allstate ensured that our Fellow had the necessary business skills needed to provide strong recommendations and had experience in business development, market research, business analysis, and cost-benefit analysis. 

“Our Fellow jumped in at a critical time when we needed to do a lot of learning very quickly,” remarked Alanna Hughes, Vice President of Innovation at Per Scholas. “She put in an immense amount of work to expand our knowledge and inform our decision-making, and leave us with materials we will continue to use. She was also so collaborative, committed to our mission, and receptive to guidance as she worked within a new subject area. We are truly grateful for the opportunity to work with her.”

We are grateful for the opportunity to partner with The Allstate Foundation and their skills-based volunteerism with Per Scholas and look forward to the implementation of our apprenticeship program planning recommendations from our Fellow. To get in touch with us for volunteer opportunities, email Miguelina Manriquez.

Diverse by Design and Per Scholas Chicago Host DEI&B Event

Diverse by Design, in partnership with ITSMF, TEKsystems, and Per Scholas Chicago, hosted an intimate event focused on diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEI&B) at Cara Chicago. The event had a keynote discussion with Nikki Lanier, Founder and CEO of Harper Slade, featured the documentary The Road Up and a discussion led by Co-Director Greg Jacobs and held two-panel discussions about DEI&B efforts regarding diverse talent.

Diverse by Design Chicago participants

The Diverse by Design Chicago event was led by Damien Howard, Diverse by Design Co-Founder, and Per Scholas Chief Enterprise Solutions Officer. Here, Damien interacted with our esteemed guests to dive deeper into DEI&B challenges and solutions. In the keynote discussion with Nikki Lanier, Damien discussed corporate racial equity and engaging and retaining diverse talent through employee engagement. “The workplace is tremendously powerful in that it can be the source of such joy and replenishment, but it could also be the source of ammunition, muting, and stunting that doesn’t just contribute to how we work, but how we feel about ourselves,” Nikki reflected. “In my HR life, I was always really interested in employee engagement, but there are circumstances that give rise to really rich and meaningful employee engagement experiences, such as do we feel as though we are affirmed and valued and appreciated because of who we are, and not in spite of it.”

Following Nikki Lanier’s fireside chat, Greg Jacobs discussed his powerful documentary, The Road Up, which follows four participants in Cara, a Chicago-based job-training program. The film chronicles their search for stable employment and a pathway out of poverty. He then discussed the making of the film and its impact in the Chicago community. “[Cara] is an amazing place and we were so excited by the work that they do and so excited by the potential of everything that’s happening here that we wanted to tell the story,” Greg discussed. “We wanted to be part of the story to tell, and so as filmmakers, we got to be part of the story.”

Greg Jacobs then joined Jesse Teverbaugh, Cara Collective Director of Student & Alumni Affairs featured in The Road Up and Nikki Lanier for our first panel discussion, The Power of Alternative Skills Training, moderated by Damien Howard. 

Franklin Reed, Executive Director, Global Inclusion, Diversity and Equity at TEKsystems, and Diverse by Design Chair, introduced our second panel with insightful remarks regarding retaining top diverse talent and how the industry is moving towards attracting diverse talent to succeed in their roles.  “For decades, we have dictated where and how we attract and engage talent. That model used to work, and now we can either cooperate with this shift, or we can continue to resist it only to find ourselves on the outside looking in,” Franklin remarked. “However, now we are forced to invest in and engage talent pools that have been marginalized, underestimated, and on the lopsided distribution of opportunity.” 

The second panel discussion, Attraction Strategies and Talent Pipelines, was moderated by Nikki Lanier and featured panelists and Diverse by Design Board members Julie Dillman, Executive Vice President, Chubb Group; Senior Executive, Operations and Technology; and Digital Transformation Officer, Tina Simmons, SVP of Human Resources at Comcast Cable, NBCUniversal, and Maria Medrano, Sr. Director, Diversity Partnerships & External Engagement at Google. Here, this strong all-female panel covered topics on retaining diverse talent through meaningful engagement, attracting diverse talent for a multitude of perspectives, and creating corporate equity vs. equality. 

Diverse by Design panel discussion

Additionally, we heard from Cara Plus Director of Expansion Strategy Liana Bran, who gave us information about Cara Chicago and their initiatives as a training program in Chicago. Per Scholas President and CEO Plinio Ayala closed out the event with remarks to challenge everyone in their diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging initiatives and his experience in doing so at Per Scholas. 

We are excited for our future Diverse by Design events and are thrilled about the important and enriching conversations held in Chicago that will challenge corporate DEI&B efforts. 

Watch the full event here!


Per Scholas Partners with Apollo for In-Person Volunteer Event

Per Scholas recently partnered with Apollo for an enriching and valuable volunteer event in New York.  This event marks the second in-person event since the pandemic struck and featured resume reviews and mock interviews. The event was hosted by Apollo Managing Director Greg Sills and Chief Information Officer Jamey Lamanna. Greg is also a longtime Per Scholas National Advisory Board member. 

The event is one of more than fifty volunteer events Apollo has put on around the world this summer and aligned with Per Scholas’s mission to advance careers in tech through tuition-free training.  

Per Scholas partners with Apollo for volunteer event

During the event, one of our learners reflected, “I was so nervous before coming into this opportunity and speaking with professionals in tech. After speaking with them and getting their business insight, there was meaning behind their work, and I feel much more comfortable and better equipped as a professional.”  It was also mentioned that there was a huge value in the event being in-person, as it offered a chance to meet professionals in a real business setting, much like what our learners will encounter when they begin their job searches and interviewing. 

There was great intention throughout the event from Apollo, as they gathered people from their tech teams from another office location versus bringing in team members not familiar with the industry. Their interview advice and resume tips were applicable to our learners and graduates that are looking to enter the tech industry. 

During the volunteer event, Jamey Lamanna reflected on a memorable interview experience that wasn’t just a step in getting a job but a moment to grow, which he has carried with him ever since. The event also featured a question and answer session where Apollo team members provided tips to be more polished as professionals, made our learners more comfortable, and shared ways to be more aggressive and confident when speaking about themselves in an interview. 

We are excited for more volunteer opportunities with the Apollo Opportunity Foundation in the New York community. This was a great way for one of our partners to get involved with our mission and immerse themselves with our learners. We look forward to more in-person volunteer events in the future.  

To learn more about volunteer partnerships with Per Scholas or in-person volunteer opportunities, reach out to Miguelina Manriquez.  

Per Scholas Newark Receives Grant from Panasonic

Per Scholas Newark is the proud recipient of an enriching grant from Panasonic. In the grant, Per Scholas is one of seven organizations to receive funding to further provide individuals with educational equity.

This grant will help further Panasonic’s commitment to preparing young people for success in the global 21st century and support Per Scholas Newark in continuing to train our learners to advance their careers in the tech industry.

Click here to learn more about Per Scholas Newark’s training and courses available. 

Jobs for People CompTIA A+ Certified | Per Scholas

What Jobs Can I Get with a CompTIA A+ Certification?

A CompTIA A+ certification is a valuable certification, widely accepted as the industry standard qualification to begin a career in IT. The certification is earned by passing two exams designed to validate and demonstrate that you possess the skills needed for a wide range of entry-level IT positions. 

There are many advantages to having a CompTIA A+ certification under your belt, and simply earning the certification is often considered sufficient to be hired for an entry-level IT position. Earning the certification can also be a way for those already established in the IT field to level up their skills. As the CompTIA A+ website notes, “CompTIA A+ will either help you get your start in IT or help you get promoted in your current job. It is the industry standard for establishing a career in IT and is the preferred qualifying credential for technical support and IT operational roles.”

Being CompTIA A+ certified can make you an appealing candidate for most hiring managers during your job search. According to research by the International Data Corporation (IDC), “96 percent of human resources managers use IT certifications as screening or hiring criteria during recruitment.” 

Furthermore, IDC research revealed that once hired, CompTIA-certified professionals typically perform at a higher level than their non-certified peers over time. CompTIA-certified IT professionals were found to possess higher levels of confidence in their own abilities and greater knowledge bases on a variety of topics. They also proved to be more reliable in their work over time and reached job proficiency more rapidly than their non-certified counterparts.

What is an A+ certification?

CompTIA (The Computing Technology Industry Association) is an American, non-profit trade organization that has developed and issued professional IT certifications for over 20 years. The organization is currently the leading provider of vendor-neutral IT certifications in the world and has issued more than 2 million IT certifications worldwide.

The CompTIA A+ certification, issued by CompTIA, is a performance-based certification designed to demonstrate an individual’s knowledge base, and validate the skills required for an entry-level IT position. Unlike other certifications, which typically focus on one domain, CompTIA A+ covers a broad range of topics, making it applicable to a wide variety of tech roles. 

According to the CompTIA website, successfully certified CompTIA A+ professionals will possess the skills to: 

  • Configure, install and upgrade operating systems, including Windows, Apple OS X, Linux, iOS, Android, and Windows Mobile
  • Install and image virtual machines
  • Set up and troubleshoot peripheral devices
  • Assemble and disassemble computing hardware
  • Set up and support basic home and small office networks
  • Implement cybersecurity controls appropriate to helpdesk and technical support roles
  • Troubleshoot and support end-user access to applications and data

Altogether, the CompTIA A+ exam covers the following topics, verifying skills in these areas

  • Hardware: Successful candidates will be able to identify, use and connect hardware components and devices
  • Networking: Successful candidates will be able to explain types of networks and connections including transmission control protocol/internet protocol (TCP/IP), Wi-Fi, and small office/home office (SOHO)
  • Mobile Devices: Successful candidates will be able to install and configure laptops and other mobile devices
  • Network and Hardware Troubleshooting: Successful candidates will be able to troubleshoot device and network issues
  • Security: Successful candidates will be able to identify and protect against security vulnerabilities for devices and their network connections
  • Windows Operating System: Successful candidates will be able to install and support Windows OS, including command line and client support
  • Other OS Technologies: Successful candidates understand Mac OS, Linux, and mobile OS
  • Software Troubleshooting: Successful candidates will be able to troubleshoot PC and mobile device issues, including application security support
  • Operational Procedures: Successful candidates will follow best practices for safety, environmental impacts and communication, and professionalism

Steps for getting A+ certified

The CompTIA A+ is composed of two exams, which must both be passed in order for a candidate to become fully certified. The two exams, Core 1 (220-1101) and Core 2 (220-1102) are each 90 minutes in length, with no more than 90 questions each.

Once an individual is ready to take the examinations, they will need to obtain a CompTIA A+ voucher for both exams from the CompTIA website, before scheduling each exam at an approved testing location.

Typically, the voucher for each exam costs $232, with potential additional fees for exam retakes and training materials. At Per Scholas, all fees are covered, so our students are able to obtain their certifications free of charge. 

CompTIA A+ certifications are valid for 3 years from the date the exam is passed, after which the certification will need to be renewed – through participating in specific training courses or obtaining new, higher level certifications – or retaken. 

Certifications must be regularly renewed or retaken in order to keep candidates’ knowledge and skill sets up to date and relevant in the rapidly changing field of IT. 

10 Jobs For People with a CompTIA A+ Certification

Because the CompTIA A+ exam covers such a broad range of material, those who successfully become certified are well suited to take on a wide variety of entry-level positions in the IT field. Some of these positions include:

1) Service desk analyst

Service desk analysts provide technical support to a network of users. More specifically, they “respond to incoming requests for IT support and resolve network, hardware, and software issues with computers. They also perform technical maintenance and software installations and updates.” Service desk analysts have strong customer service skills and use their technical expertise to troubleshoot issues and provide support. The median annual salary of a service desk analyst in the United States is $48,620.

2) Help desk technician

Help desk technicians provide technical support and assistance related to computer systems, hardware, and software, either via telephone, in person, or remotely. “A help desk technician might maintain, install, or troubleshoot hardware and software, resolve networking issues, or help resolve other problems for other company employees.” Help desk technicians should be well-versed in all aspects of computer systems configuration, setup, and maintenance. The median annual salary for a help desk technician in the United States is $42,504.

3) IT support specialist

According to the CompTIA website, “IT Support Specialists are responsible for analyzing, troubleshooting and evaluating technology issues. This role may support internal clients, helping to keep employees productive, or external customers of a company.” Some IT support specialists instruct customers on how to use business-specific programs or work with other specialists and technicians to solve arising issues. Others may be responsible for answering questions for non-business customers, such as how to set up internet connections or troubleshoot personal wifi routers. The average annual salary for an IT support specialist in the United States is $55,321. 

4) Field service technician

Field service technicians are responsible for helping clients install, repair, and maintain physical equipment at customer locations. They are responsible for showing customers how to use their equipment, as well as troubleshooting issues and building relationships with customers. Field service technicians work on-site, and may travel to various locations for their work. The average annual salary for a field service technician in the United States is $51,790.

5) Associate network engineer

Associate network engineers work with networking equipment and software to design, implement, and maintain computer networks. They may also be responsible for installing, maintaining, and troubleshooting network systems, software, and hardware such as routers, switches, firewalls, etc. Associate network engineers may also take part in researching and recommending new technologies that can improve network performance, designing and creating new network systems and infrastructure based on company needs or client requirements, monitoring network performance, and identifying problems so they can be fixed quickly, and more. The average annual salary for an associate network engineer in the United States is $61,892.

6) Data support technician

Data support technicians offer a variety of services to help users with arising issues or repairs. These technicians either work as part of a help desk team or specialize in certain types of equipment or programs. Data support technicians, as the CompTIA website specifies, provide assistance for users by “ensuring the functionality and operations of semi-automated systems, executing complex troubleshooting and repairs, tracking, prioritizing and documenting requests using an IT support request system, providing technical support for computers and associated networks, installing, testing, [and] maintaining and upgrading operating systems.” Data support technicians typically maintain computer networks or provide technical help directly to users. The average annual salary for a data support technician in the United States is $45,496.

7) Desktop support administrator

A desktop administrator is responsible for the management of an organization’s user workstations, and for assisting clients with hardware and software issues. Their job is to provide technical assistance (on-site or remotely), including the setting up of computer hardware systems, installing and upgrading software, and troubleshooting basic IT issues. The average annual salary for a desktop support administrator in the United States is $58,103.

8) End-user computing technician

End-user support specialists are the first line of help when customers encounter problems or defects with products and programs. They answer telephone inquiries, respond to emails, and perform in-person support sessions. End-user computing technicians are responsible for providing professional support to customers and computer users, and detecting and repairing flaws in computer hardware, software, and equipment. “The major role of an end user support professional is to diagnose a faulty program in the computer systems within an organization and provide immediate solutions to the problem, so that the organization can run effectively.” The average annual salary for an end-user computing technician in the United States is $50,425.

9) System support specialist

According to Field Engineer, “system support specialists provide help desk assistance and technical support for all types of issues affecting end users, such as software problems, network breakdowns, and hardware failures.” They are able to identify ways to isolate and resolve hardware, software, and network problems. The average annual salary for a system support specialist in the United States is $56,924.

10) Cyber security specialist 

According to the CompTIA website, “cybersecurity specialists continually analyze risks and develop strategies to prevent breaches. They rely on teamwork because of the broad scope of security measures that need to be applied to protect the integrity of the network. Cybersecurity specialists must continually adapt to stay a step ahead of cyber attackers. They must remain up to date on the latest methods attackers are using to infiltrate computer systems and IT security.” Other duties include guarding their organization’s networks for security breaches, investigating any violations and running defensive protocols, installing and using relevant software to protect sensitive information, documenting security breaches, and simulating attacks to look for vulnerabilities in their systems. The average annual salary for a cybersecurity specialist in the United States is $95,763.

Per Scholas | CompTIA A+ certifications 

Certifications are an important step in launching an IT career, as they ensure you are equipped with the knowledge to take on a wide range of tech roles and make you a competitive candidate in the job search.

At Per Scholas, we understand that talent is ubiquitous, but opportunity is not. That is why we not only provide free tech training but also cover the cost of certification exams for our learners. Learners in our courses are able to earn a variety of certifications (depending on the specific course they enroll in), including the Google IT Support Professional Certificate, the Cybersecurity Analyst Certification (CySA+), and the CompTIA A+ certification, all free of charge.

  • Apply to Per Scholas today! Learn more about the tuition-free training we offer and apply to IT courses that will help launch your career in tech.
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Per Scholas Hosts In-Person Networking Events

In very exciting news, this month marked the return of Per Scholas’ in-person networking events, which have been held remotely for the past two years due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Our first two events were held in Atlanta and Dallas and created learning opportunities for Per Scholas alumni and an opportunity for them to meet and network with funders, employer partners, and industry experts.

The Atlanta event, Per Scholas Atlanta Homecoming: Level Up, was held on June 2nd, at the Marquis Conference Center and Patio in Atlanta, Georgia. Current learners and Per Scholas alumni had the opportunity to network and connect with fellow Per Scholas graduates, meet our wonderful new Atlanta team and Advisory Board members, and gain insight from Per Scholas staff and special guest industry experts on ways to bring their careers to the next level. 

“The Atlanta Homecoming Event was meant to introduce the Atlanta Alumni to the new staff and to welcome alumni who took remote classes to their home campus,” Sherri Sims, the Managing Director of Per Scholas Atlanta explained. “Our goal was to meet the alumni and offer our support in ‘Leveling Up’ their careers. We offered a networking session and two panel discussions…Overall the event was a huge success and several alumni have received interviews and job offers as a result.” 

In the first panel discussion, attendees learned about great ways to improve their resumes and LinkedIn profiles in a presentation by Per Scholas Atlanta Business Solutions Director Teri Gittens, and Senior Manager of Career Advancement, Stephanie Spencer. Kelly Raper, a Talent Acquisition Partner from Sage Software was a special guest speaker, who provided some additional tips and insight to the eager audience.

In the second panel discussion, attendees were taught some tips on moving to the next level of their careers by Per Scholas Advisory Board Member Nicole D. Smith, from the Harvard Business Review, and Sherri Sims. Special guest speakers for this portion included Prabhu Sadasivam, the Senior Director of Software Engineering, Insurance Technology, at LexisNexis Risk Solutions, and Danielle Joiner McPherson, the Director of Global Reservations, Tech and Innovation at Delta Airlines.


Finally, attendees learned about networking best practices, ways to upskill in the tech field, and a wealth of alumni resources available to Per Scholas graduates. The event concluded with a Q&A session, a networking mixer, and an opportunity to have a professional headshot taken.

Our Dallas event, Per Scholas Dallas Leadership Connection – Stronger Together, was held on June 9th at the J. Erik Jonsson Central Library in O’Hara Hall in Dallas, Texas. The event offered an inspiring afternoon of exploring the impact Per Scholas Dallas has on the lives of our learners and the workforce community, as well as insight on how individuals and organizations can get more involved with our work. Per Scholas Dallas graduates from 2020 forward were welcome to attend the event, and attendees had ample opportunity to network and connect with corporate and community partners, meet our passionate Dallas team, and hear from our successful Per Scholas graduates.

The event began with welcome remarks and an icebreaker by Per Scholas Dallas Director of Employer Partnership, Monique-Saré Jenkins. Attendees learned some key highlights about Per Scholas Dallas from Dallas Manager of Career Advancement Jason Cancino, Senior Manager of Recruiting and Admissions Ciara Owens, and Manager of Financial Capability Janell Pollard.

Per Scholas networking event

Next, attendees heard from Adedeji Adefuye, a 2020 Per Scholas Dallas IT Support alumni, who now works for Per Scholas as an Instructional Assistant. Adedeji’s story is one of inspiring success, and an excellent example of the ways in which a high-quality, cost-free tech education can change lives. Attendees then heard about “Funding the Mission,” from special guest speaker, Jay McCall, a Program Manager at the Rainwater Charitable Foundation, a private family foundation based in Fort Worth, Texas, that is dedicated to funding initiatives centered around education, and the ways in which it can change lives and communities. Finally, attendees learned about “Partnering With the Mission” from Stephanie Kline, the VP of Client Services at YUPRO, and Tirrany Nettles, YUPRO’s Director of Recruiting. YUPRO is an opportunity talent placement firm dedicated to creating diverse, inclusive workplaces.

Monique-Saré Jenkins concluded the event with a call-to-action for alumni, funders, and employer partners to get involved with making Per Scholas a success and changing the face of the technology industry.

“The Leadership Connection event was phenomenal,” Monique-Saré reflected afterward. “After two years of being apart, we wanted to take advantage of the opportunity to reestablish our footprint within the local community by inviting some of our alumni, funders, corporate partners, and other community leaders to build meaningful connections over lunch.”

We look forward to continuing to hold more in-person events as the year progresses and providing exciting and enriching opportunities to our learners, alumni, funders, and partners.

Per Scholas AWS re/Start Training Ignites in Seattle

This month, Per Scholas’s AWS re/Start cohort launched in a new market in Seattle and also graduated more than 100 learners in multiple cities that are now ready to enter the tech industry with new, in-demand skills. Our graduation featured a keynote address from Amazon Web ServicesPrincipal Solutions Architect, Mojgan Ahmadi and celebrated our learners from our Chicago, National Capital Region (NCR), Cincinnati, New York, Newark, and Boston campuses. 

In her keynote address, Mojgan Ahmadi mentioned that in technology, there are so many opportunities, but with Per Scholas’ AWS re/Start training, our graduates are prepared for success. “Set a goal and work towards that. In technology, you have to continue to study and stay on top of your game,” Ahmadi reflected. “With this education that you have been given, you have all the tools in order to achieve success.” 

AWS event

Shortly after our AWS re/Start graduation, we launched our inaugural cohort in Seattle, where Amazon has a location, including the Amazon Skills Center, where our learners are encouraged to study and advance their tech skills. Prior to the launch, Amazon hosted a kick-off event to introduce our learners to the Seattle Skills Center and encourage the use of any future classes. The event also featured a tour of the Skills Center and a time for our learners to network and become familiar with all Amazon Web Services has to offer. “Per Scholas is extremely proud of our partnership with AWS and we look forward to additional opportunities to help our learners build valuable cloud computing skills,” reflected Brian McRae, Per Scholas Seattle Site Director. “The recent event at the Skills Center has further ignited our learners’ passion and enthusiasm for the AWS re/start program.  It now feels real to them and I cannot wait to see them progress over these 15 weeks with their AWS Cloud Practitioner certifications in hand.”

The inaugural Seattle cohort had a full capacity of twenty learners eager to advance their careers in technology and will end in October. To learn more about our AWS re/Start cohorts and see our upcoming start dates and locations, click here