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Community college system offers IT options.

Professional training and certification just got easier with Houston Community College System’s recent launch of an authorized ACT center. The center has given students the convenient option to train, test, and become certified for a variety of degrees online. We recently spoke with Madeline Burillo, director of the new center for continuing education, about what HCCS has to offer IT professionals.

What types of training programs and courses does HCCS offer folks who wish to secure employment in an IT-related job?

HCCS offers credit and continuing education courses in the following areas: networking specialist, PC support specialist, computer support specialist-help desk, networking cabling, network administration and support, database management, computer programming languages, and Web design.

We also offer several IT certification preparation courses through our Continuing Education department. Courses offered through the Continuing Education department start continuously and do not follow the traditional semester calendar. Individuals interested in taking classes at HCCS can start at any time according to the specific starting dates for the classes or programs.

HCCS recently launched a new ACT Center. What will this new center offer students?

In the fall of 2001, the ACT Center at Houston Community College System was formed as a result of a partnership between HCCS and ACT Inc., formerly American College Testing. The new center provides state-of-the-art online training and testing to help local firms with their workforce development. It also provides professional online certification and licensure testing services to individuals. The extensive online list of online courses (over 1,200 courses are available), allows individuals to upgrade their skills anytime, anywhere and to earn their continuing education unit requirements, or upgrade their workplace skills at their convenience.

Does HCCS help students with job placement?

The HCCS Career Resource and Job Placement department offers a variety of services to HCCS students including career assessment testing, career counseling services, interviewing and résumé development workshops, job fairs, coordination of on-campus employer recruitment programs, and an online rŽsumŽ data bank.

What other types of career services do you offer?

The college faculty and staff continuously works with local employers and government agencies to stay abreast of labor market trends and workforce skills requirements of the labor market. This information is used to upgrade curriculum and instruction, and to provide career planning and counseling services.

What do you think makes HCCS unique?

The Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools accredits the HCCS, and our programs and courses meet national rigorous instructional quality standards. HCCS faculty are professional individuals who are dedicated to the learning and betterment of the students. In addition, in partnership with industry leaders like CISCO, Microsoft, and Prosoft, HCCS-IT programs meet not only the highest educational standards but also the highest IT industry standards of training at an affordable cost. These are some of the greatest advantages for students.

Also, students at HCCS benefit from new state-of the art facilities and labs, dedicated and quality faculty and staff, and access to all student services and support.

What areas of IT are you still seeing a high demand for workers?

We are still seeing high demand for help desk, Internet security specialists, database development and administration, system administration, and developers.

Do you know a local company we should cover? Let us know about it. Send your local profile candidates to Christy Mulligan.

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