Computer Systems students get early start in career

Computer Systems Students
Photo (L-R): Jose Pizana, Amanda Akers and Zachary Gaietto.

The dream of getting an affordable education and starting a career became a reality for three Computer Systems students at Terra State Community College.

Amanda Akers, Zachary Gaietto and Jose Pizana all landed full-time jobs before graduating from Terra State this May.

Akers of Tiffin earned her Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Systems and Networking Support and started working as an IT Technician at Northern Ohio Medical Specialists (NOMS) in January. Gaietto of Tiffin earned an AAS in Computer Information Systems, Systems and Networking Support and IT Help Desk Support and currently works as an IT Technician at Terra State. Jose Pizana, originally from Brownsville, Texas graduated with an AAS in Computer Information Systems and Systems and Networking Support and is the Network Analyst 1 for Firelands Regional Medical Center.

“I’m very excited that I already have a job before graduating!” Akers said.

Associate Professor in Computer Systems Haley Crabtree is thrilled to have so many of her students beginning their career before graduating. “The most exciting thing for me is our students are getting jobs and they’re continuously educating themselves,” she said.

All these students earned a total of 58 certificates in a variety of software and programs—all earned while taking classes. Many of these certifications, like microcomputers, digital literacy and server management can be done in the classroom.

The certifications came in handy while Akers was interviewing. “They were certainly impressed that I had so many certifications before graduating,” she said. “I think that’s a big part of how I got the job.”

Without all the certificates he earned while taking classes, Pizana does not believe he would have gotten his job. “The only thing that landed my job was my certificates. Not having work experience in the field on your resume right off the bat doesn’t look too appealing. Having these certificates shows I went the extra mile to better myself while still in school,” he said.

These students all accredit their readiness for the professional world to their classes at Terra State.

“As part of the program, we work on our resumes, get more certificates and at the end of the semester, we’re good to go for the outside world,” Gaietto said.

“In class, you’re constantly doing something, you’re constantly awake,” said Pizana. “You don’t just have your head in a book. You’re moving around learning new things. The education for Computer Information Systems or Systems Network and Support is mainly hands-on, which makes it easy for me to succeed.”

Crabtree is proud to teach in a program that provides the knowledge students need to be successful. “The job market is in desperate need of hard working IT professionals with cyber security knowledge. I am excited our program is able to provide these skills to our students,” she said.

Pizana wants to encourage anyone to take a step in furthering their education. “The computer program that Terra runs is really great! The hands on learning we do every day whether it be building servers or making programs from scratch will definitely get you ready for the work field,” he said. “Anybody who’s interested in these programs will not be disappointed.”