Since high school, Susan Zhou had a natural talent for all things information technology. So much so that family and friends would count on her to help set up laptops, computers, and even complete basic troubleshooting whenever they ran into an issue. As she started her college career, Susan said she felt the path into information technology was intimidating , so she pursued another passion of hers – English. Upon graduation she earned her bachelor’s degree in English and entered the workforce. Susan found success in the security industry for several years. However, Susan knew that the career growth was limited and she decided it was time for a change.

Since Susan was so determined to enter the information technology field, she took a leave of absence from her job and jumped into the pursuit of her dream career by attending IT Career Lab.  Susan decided to pursue training through the program that would help her earn one of the industry’s most valued credentials, the Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA). Susan recounts her experience with fellow students while taking the courses in the program, “It wasn’t just about coming to class…We were always asking our instructor questions. We wanted to do a lot of labs, so that we could be hands on…whenever anyone struggled, we worked together to make sure we all understood.”

After completing the course, Susan’s hard work and determination paid off. She successfully passed her certification exam and earned her CCNA! Soon thereafter, Susan began to apply for positions in the IT field. She was even assisted by the IT Career Lab team and took advantage of her networking capabilities. Susan interviewed for the Network Support Engineer position at Jewish United Fund, a local non-profit. They found her personality, professionalism and drive to be just the right fit and Susan was hired!

When thinking of other career changers who are interested in entering the IT field, Susan says, “It’s worth the risk….and being able to help the end user – everything was worth it.”