KLAMATH FALLS − High school students can now launch careers in technology by earning a specialized computer network certificate at Klamath Community College.
“This is a tremendous opportunity for our students,” said Klamath Falls City Schools District Superintendent Paul Hillyer. “Technology-related jobs are some of the best, most interesting, and fastest growing in our country.”
The one-year Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) certification is being funded by a grant awarded to KCC by Oregon’s Higher Education Coordinating Committee. The program gives students hands-on experience building and repairing computer networks, preparing them to immediately enter the job market after high school or setting them on a pathway to transfer to the Oregon Institute of Technology.
“We are greatly looking forward to recruiting, retaining and supporting underserved students for programs like these, which lead to high-wage and high-demand tech jobs,” said KCC President Roberto Gutierrez. “This certificate will give young adults the competitive edge they need to compete in today’s job market.
As part of KCC’s College Now collaborative learning initiative, high school students pursuing Cisco certificates will be bussed to KCC to take courses and to be immersed in the college experience.
The Cisco program will also cultivate local talent that can fill positions requiring computer and technical skills missing in the current available workforce, according to KCC Vice President of Academic Affairs Jamie Jennings.
“KCC is being very intentional about developing programs that are industry relevant and recognized, and that have a high probability of helping students gain employment,” she said.
KCC Computer Engineering Instructor Pete Brandsness said the Cisco certificates will help young adults keep pace with today’s tech industry job requirements, which now often require applicants to possess specialized certificates or a four-year degree.
“And that’s just to get your resume read. This is all about jobs, and we are making our students competitive,” Brandsness said. “It’s a game changer – not only for kids in school, but for the community, too.”
Klamath Community College is an Equal Opportunity Educator and Employer.