FAQ

Does a student need prior IT knowledge to enroll?

Prior knowledge is not required, but a high interest in the field is necessary. The IT Career Lab student should also have a drive to succeed and be able to dedicate their time to studies and exams for the full 16 weeks. Students must have either a Bachelor’s Degree or higher, or have scored at least a 9.0 minimum on their TABE Reading exam (10.0 preferred), and an 8.0 minimum on their TABE Mathematics exam (9.0 preferred).

Does IT Career Lab offer internships and/or job placement assistance?

Internships are something the academy continuously works to provide with companies in the Chicagoland area.  While we do not have guaranteed internships to place every student, we have had several participants placed as interns to gain hands-on experience.  We also have a strong management team working in the students’ favor to send job leads and notifications of opportunities. Based on students’ performance, resumes are passed along to employers and references can be made on their behalf by IT Career Lab staff.  All alumni continue to receive these leads upon training completion.

How does one get started?

Click here to complete an online application and sign up for an information session.  If it is deemed that the program is the best fit for the candidate’s needs, the next step would be to discuss funding and most likely refer the individual to a local workforce center in the area.

How long is the program?

The program is a 16 week, intense training experience where students cover Microsoft Windows 10 and Cisco networking materials through the Microsoft Imagine Academy and Cisco Academy with a certified Microsoft and Cisco instructor.

How many IT Career Lab students and graduates are currently employed in the field?

Approximately 75% of our clients are currently employed in the field. Some of these individuals are working with their certifications, and others have had doors open because of their enrollment in the training program, and currently pursuing their certifications as they gain experience.

How much does this program cost?

The training program costs $9,000.00.  Many times students qualify for government funding assistance through either the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) or Trade Adjustment Act (TAA). Determinations regarding tuition assistance is made on an individual basis. The IT Career Lab is also approved to accept Post 9-11 GI funding if applicable to our service members in Illinois.

For students who are paying directly for IT Career Lab, please click here to make an online payment.

Is IT Career Lab’s Chicago campus accessible by public transportation?

Our Chicago campus is conveniently located at the corner of Lake and Clinton Streets in the West Loop of Chicago, in the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) building. The ‘El’ train, (Green and Pink lines), runs directly in front of the building, with a stop at Clinton; it is wheelchair accessible. Students may also utilize the CTA’s bus line, in which they can board and exit in front of the building.

Is IT Career Lab’s Golden Valley campus accessible by public transportation?

Our Golden Valley, Minnesota campus is within walking distance of two Metro Transit bus stops.

The #705 bus stops at Golden Valley Road and Douglas Drive in Golden Valley. From there, it’s an eight minute walk to our office.

The #14 bus stops at Duluth Street and Lilac Drive in Golden Valley, close to the Lunds and Byerlys grocery store off of Highway 100. From there, it is about a 12 minute walk to IT Career Lab.

Is it possible to sit in on a class and/or meet the instructor before enrolling?

Yes.  We encourage all prospective students to visit our facility prior to enrollment.  Our state-of-the-art classroom equipped with new desktops, private work stations and clear, overhead projection are something we are very proud of.  Our certified Cisco instructors are very open to meeting students and sharing the classroom with those interested in determining if the IT Career Lab is the best fit for their needs.

Is the program flexible enough so that a student could work and also attend classes?

Yes, the program meets three times a week (typically two full days, and half day on Fridays). With proper time management and a flexible work schedule, working while attending training is possible.

Is the program offered during various times and/or on weekends?

Currently the program is offered during the day on a rotating schedule of three times per week, either Monday/Wednesday classes or Tuesday/Thursday classes, and Fridays for four hours. Typically a class will meet from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM on the full days, and 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM or 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM on Fridays.

What is the most up-to-date local labor market information for this field?

According to the United States Department of Labor, Computer Network Support Specialists and Network and Computer System Administrators are in very high demand. This field is projected to grow in Illinois +15%, and Nationally +9% between 2014 and 2024, respectively. Please visit www.onetonline.org and use codes 15-1142 & 15-1152 for further information.

What is the program completion rate?

Our current completion rate stands at 93%. Life issues and full-time employment can sometimes hinder a full completion.

What kinds of certifications are available through the program?

There are several certifications you may receive upon completion.  The four main certifications are Cisco Certified Entry Network Technician (CCENT),  Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA), Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP) and Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA).  Successful completion of semesters and materials will allow you to receive a Certificate of Completion from the Cisco Academy and Microsoft Imagine Academy, as well as a Certificate of Completion from National Able Network.

What makes IT Career Lab different from other training programs in the Chicago area?
  • As a student of IT Career Lab you will have access to a “live” Cisco lab training environment in the classroom, using both blended and hands-on materials. Our equipment on site allows students to apply their knowledge as they progress through materials and certification exams. This can also provide invaluable personal branding as students begin to interview for employment with their new certifications.
  • Possibility of earning four nationally recognized IT certifications. (CCENT, CCNA, MCP & MCSA)
  • Unique to IT Career Lab is the career readiness training. Students will be required to attend workshops gauged to assist in finding employment. Topics include how to create an effective resume, proper interviewing techniques, mock interviewing, application tracking systems and social media for an effective job searching.
  • Students are also given a brand new laptop to use while in training. Upon successful completion of the program, the laptop is theirs to keep.
  • IT Career Lab offers specific sessions during training for certification preparation purposes, complete with practice assessment questions and dedicated classroom usage.
When was IT Career Lab launched by National Able Network?

In 2012, National Able Network, Inc. launched IT Career Lab, an accelerated learning program for aspiring information technology professionals. IT Career Lab offers a multi-certification path with the opportunity to earn globally-recognized credentials from Microsoft and Cisco. In 2011, Able was recognized as a certified Cisco Networking Academy and began providing direct training and certification testing to job seekers with tremendous success. Able has also been a CompTIA Authorized Academy since 2012, and was granted a Microsoft Academy designation in 2015. IT Career Lab is a program of National Able Network and is approved by the Division of Private and Vocational Schools of the Illinois Board of Higher Education. IT Career Lab is post-9/11 GI Bill certified through the US Department of Veterans Affairs for Illinois service members. IT Career Lab is also approved through the US Department of Labor as a certified Apprenticeship. The IT Career Lab Apprenticeship Program incorporates classroom training and on-the-job learning and supports two occupational tracks: Computer Support Specialist and Network and Computer Systems Administrator. National Able Network is an authorized Pearson VUE testing center.