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

Office & Customer Service Support (OCSS) -- This 12.5-week, half day program trains computer proficient customer support specialists for entry-level positions such as customer service representative, call center representative, administrative clerk, and information clerk. Students learn technology basics and Microsoft Office 2013 and will test for a customer service certification. 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.
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 24-week class prepares students for jobs on an IT help desk or as a PC or desktop technician. Occupation and salary details can be found at O-net online under SOC code 15-1151.00.
Target certification: Certified Business Professional Customer Service and CompTIA A+. 
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 30-week program includes the TSS curriculum and provides training for TSS positions as well as computer support specialists. Occupation and salary details can be found at: O-net online under SOC code 15-1151.00.  
Target Certification: CompTIA Network+
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 53-week program, which includes TSS, trains students for entry-level positions as network technicians and junior 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) and CCENT.
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 53-week program, which includes TSS and SOHO Networking. Occupation and salary details can be found at: O-net online under SOC code 15-1142.00.
Target certifications: Configuring Windows 8, and MCSA Installing and Configuring Server 2012, Administering Server 2012, and Configuring Advanced Server 2012. 
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. 



Employers that hire Focus: HOPE IT graduates include: AT&T, Comcast, North American Bankcard, Kelly IT Services, Tech Team Global, and Vision IT. 


***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.