David Santos is excited about his future career in information technology thanks to what he has learned at JCC.

Santos, 21, of Clayton hopes to become a computer programmer after he graduates later this year with his associate in information technology and associate in science degrees.

“I really enjoy programming — whether it’s writing my own code or fixing somebody else’s,” he said. “You start with something so basic and grow it into what is envisioned in your mind. It’s very satisfying when you finally get that program to work.”

Santos got connected with JCC as a high school student at Neuse Charter. He took a few business classes through the Career and College Promise (CCP) program and knew JCC was a good fit for him.

“The community college is a really good place to find your way because it’s so much cheaper,” he said. “I have no education debt at all right now, and that is a huge weight off my shoulders.”

In addition to the two-year degree in information technology,
JCC also offers a diploma and certificate options for students interested in specializing in IT and getting into the workforce sooner. The program will launch three new certificates – general PC support technician, Cisco networking administration, and cybersecurity – this fall.

The program is very hands-on, as IT students learn how to build computers, program switches and routers, develop software, and other emerging technologies.

Graduates are prepared for careers as network engineers, system administrators, software/hardware designers, developers, programmers, and support technicians. Earning potential is wide open for IT careers – ranging from $35,088 to $98,540 a year.

Jennifer Servi-Roberts, associate vice president of business and applied technologies, believes the new certificates will fill a market demand for specialized IT training.

“It’s a way to get students through a program more quickly and also aligns with industry certifications,” she said. “Students should be prepared to test for industry certifications by the time they are finished.”

The college also has a testing center on site allowing students to complete industry certification exams in a convenient environment.

The college offers continuing education options through the IT Academy and an IT pathway for high school students.

That’s how Briona Mewborn matriculated into JCC.

The Clayton High graduate received the Stay the Course scholarship last May and will finish her associate degree tuition-free because she completed 12 college credits by the time she finished high school.

“I was so excited to receive this scholarship; it’s been an amazing experience,” Mewborn said. “I’ve always been into building computers and I’ve played video games on them

since middle school, but I never knew there’s so much more you can do with computers until I enrolled in courses here at JCC.”

Santos and Mewborn both said they have enjoyed learning with and from their diverse classmates.

“When I was in high school not a lot of people cared about technology and not a lot of people were interested like I was,” Santos said. “Coming to the IT program at JCC and having classmates that share that same interest makes a world of difference.”

“The people in this program are amazing – students and faculty,” Mewborn added. “We are all different ages, with different characteristics and backgrounds and it’s just been a bundle of joy learning here.”  

New IT Certificates Starting in August

General PC Support Technician Certificate – 10 months to complete
Cisco Networking Administration Certificate – 12 months to complete
Cybersecurity Certificate – 10 months to complete