CompTIA training reunites Brian with his passion for IT

May 30, 2023   |  By Fiona Denton and Emily Montgomery

Brian had studied information technology (IT) previously when he was a student at the University of Colorado Boulder. He attended the school on a full scholarship through the United States Navy, but like many young people, had a hard time focusing on school and choosing a major.

“I was passionate about computer science and that’s what I was good at,” Brian said. “But it felt like trying to swim with cement blocks tied to you.”

After a few years, Brian left school and got in some trouble that led to him being imprisoned for a short period of time. He knew it would be a hard path back to employment–he just didn’t realize that path would bring him back to studying IT.

Brian joined the Center for Employment Opportunities (CEO) in Colorado Springs with some reluctance after he was released. All he’d heard was that he’d be picking up trash off the side of the highway, transitional work he needed but also that he knew was not the type of job he was hoping for. However, he quickly learned that this program was designed to build work skills and eventually move on to a better job.

Brian went to great lengths to get to work every day. He doesn’t have his own car, so he sometimes rode a bike through snowy Colorado weather just to show up to work.

His hard work paid off. Brian graduated from the initial transitional work to the Energy Resource Crew. Soon after moving on to the Energy Resource Crew, Brian learned about and entered CEO’s CompTIA training program. In this program, CEO covers training and living costs for the duration of the 12-week course. Brian says it was an unexpected surprise that he’d be able to return to studying the subject he loved in college.

“I’m glad that they were able to see my hard work and allow me the opportunity to do what I would consider the best thing CEO has to offer,” he says.

Brian says everyone in his class has a great attitude. He has excelled in the course, receiving the second-highest score on the first certification test.

“This has been an opportunity for me to take what I learned in the past, and put it together and get up to date with everything 20 years later,” Brian says. He adds that the CompTIA training even helped him understand concepts he couldn’t grasp in college.

“I was paying big bucks to the university to learn some of these concepts, and they failed to help them sink in,” Brian says. Now, not only is Brian able to refresh his existing knowledge of IT, but he has learned new concepts and expanded upon his previous education.

When Brian begins to look for jobs he’s looking to get into coding, which is what interests him the most.

Brian is proud of everything that he has accomplished in the short time since he was released. He says that CEO and the CompTIA training have given him the support to help him get back on his feet and on a path toward a career. “I’m proud I have a nice stable place to live, a really supportive girlfriend, and that I’m doing everything I’m supposed to,” he says.