Thinking About a Career in IT? 4 Things You Should Know About CCA’s Unique IT Tech and Support Program

IT Tech and Support student Chelsea Bailey works on taking apart a computerSo you’re thinking about a career in information technology. Or maybe you’re already an IT professional but looking to take the next step in your career.

Either way, your professional future looks bright. According to the U.S. Department of Labor’s latest “Occupational Outlook Handbook,” the average salary for a computer user support specialist in Colorado is $60,020, or $28.86 an hour – the fourth highest pay among all 50 states. The entry-level salary stands at $42,130, and experienced computer user support specialists can easily earn north of six figures a year. To top it all off, there’s this: “The computer field isn’t recession-proof, but we’ve had a whole lot better success in keeping a lot of jobs around than a lot of other industries,” explained one local IT vice president.

Great pay, job security, an exciting career … what more could you ask for?


Click here to request more information about CCA’s IT Tech and Support program


Speaking of jobs, according to the Occupational Information Network (O*NET) database, Colorado is projected to have 700 job openings for computer user support specialists over the next few years – the sixth highest number among all 50 states.

So it’s no wonder people are hopping on the IT train or, if they’re already on board, looking to accelerate their IT career.

That’s where CCA’s one-of-a-kind IT Tech and Support certificate program comes in. Whether you’re wanting to get started in IT or take your IT career to the next level, this certificate can help get you there.

Here are the top four things you should know about this program…


#1: It’s competency-based.

This program is the only competency-based program in the 13-institution Colorado Community College System.

Students in a competency-based program work at their own pace and progress through the courses by demonstrating mastery of various competencies, not by sitting in a classroom for a predetermined number of hours. Which means, as an IT Tech and Support student, you’ll receive credit for knowledge you already have and breeze through the program if you so choose. If you already know about IT subjects, you can have your certificate in hand in as few as six months.


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#2: It includes CompTIA’s A+ and Project+ industry certifications.

As a student in this program, you’ll complete CompTIA’s A+ and Project+ certification exams in the Computer Technician I and II and Automated Project Management courses. According to CompTIA, one of the IT industry’s top trade associations, the A+ certification “is the most essential IT certification for establishing an IT career. If you’re new to the IT industry, it will help you put your best foot forward. If you’re already an IT professional, the certification validates your skills and can boost your career.”

And here’s what CompTIA has to say about the Project+ certification: “Project management skills are needed in almost every field and can separate you from the rest of the workforce.”

These two certifications will set you apart from others and prepare you for the IT challenges of today and tomorrow.

“The certifications that I got as part of this program show employers that I have the experience and knowledge they’re looking for,” said CCA student Chelsea Bailey, who will be putting her IT Tech and Support degree to use at Amazon. You can see Chelsea in the photo above taking apart a computer as part of the program.


#3: It prepares you for a career with tons of options.

Computer user support specialist is the entry-level job for IT professionals. It’s also the gateway to the exciting and vast world of IT.

According to the website Careers in Colorado, computer user support specialists have 41 different career options available to them – business intelligence analyst, information security analyst, systems engineer architect, and computer network architect are just a few.

“If you’re not quite sure what you want to do long-term, starting as a computer user support specialist is a great way to go because you can get a job quickly and then explore all the other areas of IT and see what you like best,” said JoAnn Burkhart, a faculty member in CCA’s Computer and Digital Technologies Department.


#4: It allows you to learn how you learn best.

All seven of the program’s courses are online and the content for each is offered in a variety of formats – books, videos, training exercises, and others – allowing you to find which learning style works best for you.

While the courses are online, you still have the ability to meet with your instructors in person twice a week, so the program really is the best of both worlds.


So there you have it – the top four things you should know about this unique program.

The possibilities of what you can do with a certificate in IT Tech and Support from CCA are nearly endless. What will you do with yours?


About the Author

Alex Schultz is the marketing manager at the Community College of Aurora. Prior to coming on board at CCA, he worked as a marketing strategist for a Denver-based energy software company and as a news and sports journalist for a daily newspaper in California's San Joaquin Valley. Alex received a BA in journalism from the University of Colorado Boulder.