Inspiring and Hiring the Next Generation of IT
Meet Some of the Newest Hires at NTS
Getting a Head Start in the IT Field
Imagine entering classrooms with computers as early as kindergarten. For many young professionals entering the IT field learning to read and learning computers was simultaneous.
They were tackling coding at the same time they took on trigonometry.
When there’s been a cell phone in your pocket for over half your life, it can make technology seem like second nature.
Many of the newest hires at NTS are putting their IT intuition to work every day. Systems administrators have been able to quickly rise through the ranks, gain new skills and find creative ways to assist our clients.
NTS Director of Managed Services Brad Dunning started with NTS in 2019. Since then he’s filled spots in the Network Operations Center with a variety of top-performing IT subject matter experts. He has recruited multiple driven IT technicians who graduated from the Chesterfield Career and Technical Center.
“The Chesterfield tech center program is amazing, they’re preparing those young men and women for the real world,” Dunning said.
He says not all technical programs rise to Chesterfield’s example of building real world skills and certifications needed to succeed in IT.
While he says young adults have a leg up after growing up with technology ingrained in their society, it’s not the only thing that matters. What you need to enter the IT field is a desire to take it to the next step, the want to learn how each piece of technology works and how to fix things when they’re broken.
IT’s Untapped Resource: Technical Center Graduates
Dunning doesn’t focus on finding someone just because they have a degree. He searches for people with good manners, a positive demeanor, the ability to communicate clearly and baseline certifications.
He says most of the tech center participants graduate with more IT certifications than people who have spent years in the industry.
Kaleb Mohr and Jeffrey Barahona joined the NTS Systems Administrator team with CISCO Networking certifications and numerous others falling under the CompTIA umbrella. In their short time with NTS they’ve already acquired multiple certifications and Dunning says they are both onto their second round of studying and testing for new certifications.
They entered the IT field with a strong understanding of broad concepts and now are learning vendor-specific and higher-level skills. Barahona and Mohr are both eager to learn and extremely curious about how to fix computers.
From Certification Courses to the Help Desk
Barahona says he didn’t grow up around as much technology as other young professionals. He spent a lot of his early years living in Guatemala before permanently moving to the United States at the start of high school.
In 9th grade he started really thinking about how computers operate. He received a Chromebook from his school and immediately wished he knew how it worked and how to deconstruct it. This interest drove him to the tech center and eventually to NTS.
Now he mans the help desk, trying to help people identify what’s wrong with their IT and offer them solutions. After just a few months of providing troubleshooting advice, he feels like he is really able to understand client’s issues and make a difference in their day.
Whether it’s network, monitor, server or printer-related, Barahona says it’s really satisfying to get things back up and running.
He was excited to take the opportunity at NTS after an informative visit to the NOC and the recommendations from another tech center graduate.
Mohr and Barahona both started at NTS in the spring of 2022. Mohr said he always knew he wanted to work in tech. His dad also works in IT and that grew his interest in the field very early on.
After applying to numerous IT jobs, it was NTS’s good reputation and welcoming team that helped Mohr make his decision.
Before starting at NTS, Mohr said he underestimated the value of the help desk. Now he sees how it is the foundation of IT work. Many of the problems NTS takes on start at the help desk.
From there, systems administrators like Mohr work to focus on an individual problem and begin working through it. He says he has learned the value of taking time to get to the root of each issue and using tried and true IT methodologies to get the job done.
The Future of IT Support
Dunning says most companies don’t think to hire technical center graduates, despite the fact that many of these young adults have extensive IT experience. Each hire comes in with a strong foundation and is ready to learn the security-focused IT practices at NTS.
Years from now Dunning pictures his Systems Administrator Ones helping carry the company and providing guidance for the next generations of hires.
For those looking to get started in the IT world, Mohr says start with learning the basics, don’t rush into mastering everything at once, be yourself and never compare yourself to others.