HANDS-ON EXPERIENCE, A QUALITY EDUCATION – WITHOUT THE LOANSBryan Booth of Hopatcong has been a computer nerd ever since he discovered an online game called RuneScape in fifth grade. He also knew early on that computer information systems was the path he wanted to pursue, given that it would allow him to do something he loves – and in a booming IT job market.
Prior to graduating from Hopatcong High School in 2014, Booth was accepted at several noteworthy four-year universities. However, with those opportunities came the burden of hefty student loans. So he decided to start his higher education at County College of Morris (CCM) knowing that he would receive an outstanding education at an affordable price.
Along with receiving a top-notch education in the classroom, he also has been able to take advantage of hands-on learning opportunities. As a Computer Information Systems major at CCM, Booth was directed by Professor Nancy Binowski, chair of the Department of Information Technologies, to the college’s JobConnect platform to look for internship opportunities. He applied for a part-time internship as an IT support technician at Mendham Borough Schools, was invited for an interview and hired for the position within a week.
As a support technician, he assists the technology coordinator, managing lower-tiered help desk matters. “Be it general inquiries, software updates, broken laptops or non-responding smartboards, I'm typically the one to attend to these issues,” says Booth. “No two days are the same and that is really refreshing!”
He adds, “Without CCM's JobConnect system and Professor Binowski, I would have never found this internship and I am extremely grateful. Mendham Borough Schools is an amazing place to work for and I have already learned so much while working there.”
Once he graduates from CCM, he plans to earn his CompTIA A+ and Network+ certifications and then transfer to a four-year university to obtain his bachelor's degree depending on the availability of academic scholarship offers. As for his future professional goals, he hopes to be a network administrator or a technology coordinator or maybe even start his own technology consulting business.
“Regardless of what may be ahead in my professional career, this internship is great because it exposes me to such a wide range of devices,” says Booth. “I’m on my way to becoming a jack-of-all-trades which is crucial in the IT field!