Meet Johnathan Walker, who made a life-changing decision to dive into the world of Information Technology at the age of 34. Before this decision, he worked various jobs from restaurant manager to construction worker and even ran his own business.
Then, the pandemic hit and like many others, Johnathan was forced to reevaluate his career choices. He and his wife had decided to foster children and then to adopt. It was time to return to the educational journey he had started more than a decade ago.
Johnathan discovered an interest in information technology despite a rocky start in his first programming class. At first it felt like trying to learn a foreign language. Fortunately, he had an outstanding teacher, Derek Ramsey, who guided him every step of the way. With Mr. Ramsey’s support and instruction, the programming concepts started to make sense, and Johnathan began to relish the challenges.
In addition, the children’s presence in his life became a constant motivator, pushing him to excel in his academic and career pursuits. And it all paid off. He will complete the Associate in Applied Science in Information Technology-Network Technician degree at the end of this semester.
Along this journey, Johnathan enrolled in the Work-Based Learning class, where students earn academic credit for working and applying their classroom knowledge on the job. Through the WBL class, he landed an internship with the IT Department here at Cleveland Community College.
The internship helped Johnathan gain valuable skills and knowledge, and it led to a part-time job as a help desk associate in the department. His WBL experience equipped him with skills like task delegation, troubleshooting, and professional communication. He was also exposed to a collaborative work environment, where he learned to seek help from colleagues when facing unfamiliar problems and to maintain meticulous notes on the issues he encountered.
The connections Johnathan established during his internship were invaluable. The IT Department welcomed him with open arms, and this supportive environment played a crucial role in his development.
Working in IT has been incredibly rewarding for Johnathan. The people he works with, the problem-solving challenges, and the satisfaction of resolving complex issues make it a fulfilling career. His goal is to secure a full-time position at CCC and continue his educational journey.
In addition to the new skills, Johnathan has learned that determination and motivation are essential for pursuing a career through college education. Making the right career choice, even when unsure about your abilities, can lead to a path of fulfillment.
For Johnathan, his education in information technology has opened doors to a fulfilling career that he is passionate about, and he is excited to see where the future takes him.