IT Helpdesk Training
SWCC leads in Virginia e-Region initiative for IT jobs in SWVA
Southwest Virginia’s evolution as an information technology hub grew leaps and bounds in May when Virginia Governor Ralph Northam announced that 40 information technology service jobs were coming to Dickenson County this fall. According to Secretary of Trade and Commerce, Brian Ball, the hiring agency for these jobs, Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), “will provide support for over 55,000 state employees who need assistance with IT as they serve citizens of the Commonwealth.” The Secretary went on to add that “SAIC will be a valuable employer in Virginia’s e-Region and advance the region’s position as a leader in this critical 21st century industry.”
There is a successful track record for IT helpdesk support companies in the coalfields, as international corporations like Northrop Grumman, CGI, AT&T, Sykes, and Frontier have seen substantial return on their investments in the region. Having the properly skilled workforce to continue this trend is essential for Southwest Virginia.
Southwest Virginia Community College’s Workforce Solutions is responding to the need with the IT Helpdesk Technician training program. Beginning this fall, this class will develop the area’s workforce with the needed skills to succeed in this fast-growing industry. According to Workforce Solutions Program Developer, Tom Lester, “Technical support and help desk positions remain traditional points of entry into IT; therefore, in order to stand out as a help desk professional you must validate knowledge and skills with the proper nationally recognized help desk certifications.”
According to Business News, “Knowing which certifications that employers want their employees to have can be a big help when choosing the best certification . . .” LinkedIn lists more than 1 million IT professionals have earned the CompTIA A+ credential. The popularity of this credential with IT professionals and employers alike remains unquestioned. CompTIA A+ is an excellent entry-level certification for those entering the IT help desk and hardware support professions. It’s the ideal foundational certification for candidates pursuing a wide variety of other IT certifications.
A+ credential holders are technical support technicians, either in-house or field techs, who can install, configure and maintain PCs, laptops, printers and mobile devices, dig into PC and mobile operating systems to configure and troubleshoot those systems, and perform basic networking tasks. Candidates pursuing the A+ certification must pass two exams: one with a focus on PC hardware, networking and mobile devices, and another on operating systems (desktop and mobile), security and cloud computing.
Participants in the SWCC IT Helpdesk class will learn how to successfully diagnose and resolve technical issues, provide remote and on-site support, install and upgrade software, have the skills and knowledge to work a technical helpdesk and a solid introduction to the knowledge and skills required for a Network Operations Center (NOC) position. The Course includes 72 hours of classroom instruction and certification in CompTIA A+. Classes are available at SWCC’s main campus and the Dickenson County Center for Education and Research. Tuition assistance is available for qualifying Virginia residents.