The job outlook is strong for those entering the IT profession

The career outlook is strong for those entering the information technology profession.  According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics, employment of computer support specialists is expected to increase by 14% from 2008 to 2018 and job growth is expected to be faster than average for all occupations in the IT industry.

Focus: HOPE's Information Technologies Center (ITC) prepares students for careers in this growing area by training them for industry certifications and emphasizing communication and professional work skills.  The ITC is a Cisco Network Academy, a Microsoft IT Academy and a CompTIA Authorized Partner Program which assure that its programs align with high IT industry standards.  It is also accredited by ACCET (Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training).

Students can choose different career paths to enter the field through help desk, computer support, network or server administration. Since opening in 1999, more than 1,900 students have graduated from the ITC. The career training options are:  

Application and customer support

Customer Service Support (CSS) -- This new 15-week, half day program trains computer proficient customer support specialists for entry-level positions such as customer service representative, call center representative, and retail sales associate. Students learn Windows 7 and Microsoft Office 2010 and will test for two certifications. Occupation outlook and salary details can be found at O-net online under SOC code 43-4051.00.
Target certifications:  Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) and Certified Business Professional Customer Service.
Graduation rate: 77%
Placement rate: 72%
Tuition: $3,750. Free to qualified students. Financial aid may be available for others.

HOME and Small Business Technology

Technical Support Specialist (TSS) – A computer technician is responsible for installing and maintaining PCs, laptops, tablets and smart phones and assisting users of these devices. This initial 31 week class prepares students for jobs on an IT help desk or as a computer support specialist. Occupation and salary details can be found at O-net online under SOC code 15-1151.00.
Target certification: Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS), Certified Business Professional Customer Service, and CompTIA A+. 
Graduation rate: 84%
Placement rate*:  78%
Tuition: $7,000.  Free to qualified students. Financial aid may be available for others. 

Small Office Home Office (SOHO) Networking*** – A network technician for home or small business is responsible for LANs (local area networks) connecting PCs and mobile devices, printers, scanners and servers to communicate with each other and the Internet via wireless or cable media.  This 38 week program includes theTSS curriculum and provides training for help desk and computer support specialists, with emphasis on small office environments. Occupation and salary details can be found at: O-net online under SOC code 15-1151.00.  
Target Certification: CompTIA Network+
Graduation rate: 83%
Placement rate*: 60%
Tuition: $9,000 (TSS tuition included) 


Enterprise Technology

Network Administration*** – An enterprise network technician is responsible for providing connection between computerized equipment within and between Local Area Networks and the internet for global networks and the issues involved in managing the movement of data from one device to another.   This 67 week program, which includes TSS, trains students for entry-level positions as network technicians and network administrators. Occupation and salary details can be found at: O-net online under SOC code 15-1142.00. 
Target certification: CISCO Certified Network Associate (CCNA)
Graduation rate: 69%
Placement rate**: 71%
Tuition: $16,000.  (TSS tuition included)

Server Administration*** – A server technician is responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of servers, PCs, mobile devices and printers within a network, and for keeping these essential tools configured for different users. Students prepare for careers as server technicians and systems administrators in this 66 week program, which includes SOHO Networking. Occupation and salary details can be found at: O-net online under SOC code 15-1142.00.
Target certification: Microsoft Certified IT Professional (MCITP) – Server Administrator.
Graduation rate: 86%
Placement rate**: 80%
Tuition: $16,000.  (SOHO tuition included)

Note that the majority of the ITC's students utilize workforce development grants provided to Focus: HOPE students via funding from the Workforce Investment Act and distributed by local Michigan Works agencies. Students who do not qualify for funding from these grants are enrolled when alternative funding is found.  Students are responsible for all tuition not covered by external funders or a scholarship.  

Information on grants, alternative funding and Focus: HOPE scholarships is provided to applicants in the pre-enrollment orientation. Unless covered by funder, the applicant will be charged a non-refundable $25 for the physical and drug screen. Textbooks and lab supplies are provided at no additional cost. Students are expected to provide basic school supplies such as pens, notebooks and a USB drive.

The Information Technologies Center is located in Focus: HOPE’s Center for Advanced Technologies building, 1400 Oakman Boulevard.  A tour can be arranged or questions answered by calling the Admissions office at 313.494.4300. 

All placement rates are calculated according to ACCET regulations. 

*The placement rate is based on 2012 graduates.
**The placement rate is based on 2011 when these programs completed classes.
***These programs will be offered when funding for a full cohort is available.  Please check with Admissions at 313.494.4300 for up-to-date status on program availability. 

ITC Survey

The ITC conducted a survey to identify interest in training classes with alumni and IT professionals. After completing the survey, participants were given the option to partake in a drawing. The drawing was held on Monday, January 27, 2014.

Congratulations to the winners!

First prize $50 gift card:  Tracy Jolley

2 Second Prize $20 gift cards: Jeresse Douglas and Cliff Samuels, Jr.