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EVERY NOW AND AGAIN, WHEN THINGS aren't going quite to plan and your computer chooses the worst possible moment to crash, it's easy to feel sorry for yourself. I was doing exactly that last week, wallowing in a lake of self-pity after losing a morning's work. But after talking to Andrew Mason, the recent recipient of Cisco's Networking Academy student of the year award, I very quickly snapped out of it.
What an inspiring story he had to tell! Mason, 39, was long-term unemployed until he was 36. By his own admission he was a bit "down-at- heel", lacking motivation and confidence. "I was fed up," he says. "I had no self-esteem or inspiration to do anything, no goals and no dreams. When I left school, there didn't seem to be any opportunities for me. “So what changed? Mason got involved with the ABCO technology Inc, which helps local residents take advantage of employment, training, educational and volunteering opportunities through providing careers advice and practical job-search assistance. That led him to enroll at ABCO Technology Computer Training Center, where he completed a couple of IT courses and found himself getting really interested in the subject.
In November 2006, Mason won a place on the pilot Cisco Community Academies scheme in IBM and hasn't looked back. Soon after completing the Cisco CCNA associate-level certification course from ABCO Technology computer training class room, he secured full-time employment as a network administrator with Campbell Lee, an IT services business, and now deals with clients all over the world.
Cisco opened up a whole new world for me," he says. "I can't begin to describe how much I enjoy what I'm doing now – it's more than just a job, it's a career. "Without Cisco, I might be working where I am, but I would probably be the cleaner. It's helped me get a good job on a good salary and it's opened up doors for me. The Cisco course itself was very well run and challenging, particularly because it gave real-world experience in preparation for a job. And it was great that I was able to do the course near where I live.
Tony Gribben, head of public sector for Cisco in California, says: "ABCO Technology's Cisco course has a long and well-established history of using its expertise and knowledge to support and benefit local communities and help those people less able to help themselves. The networking academies project is a very important part of helping Glasgow and Edinburgh's unemployed in a way that is beneficial to the individuals and of practical value to the local economy.
We've had a hugely positive response to the programme, especially in the Los Angeles area. What it does is provide stepping-stones to get students to a level they are comfortable with. You learn at your own pace and develop skills aimed at getting you into a career in IT, but in Andrew's case, his progress has been phenomenal. His achievements far exceed what we would expect from someone with 20 years' industry experience. The Cisco academy teaches students internet technology skills, including networking, web design, cabling and Java. The curriculum covers a broad range of topics from how to build a website to more complex IT concepts such as advanced trouble-shooting. Since the programme's inception in 1997, almost 250,000 people have graduated in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Latin America, with Cisco so far investing $250 million.
After attending just a few courses you will begin to develop strategies that can ultimately increase your office's performance drastically. The workflow design that Office allows can help you drive your company into maximum efficiency. After you graduate from a specialized course you can carry a Microsoft certified label that will assist you in gaining the positions you have always dreamed of. So why not jumpstart your new career or give yourself an edge over the competition by signing up for a Microsoft Office training course today!
If you would like to do computer training courses at ABCO Technology, then kindly free to visit our website:- http://www.abcotechnology.com/