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March 14, 2014

Computer Information Technology Program offers students hands-on experience

At least 15 program graduates secure jobs in their field each year

Adams and Nelson

Philip Adams tried two universities before he found the right path at Blinn College.

“I didn’t enjoy the large class sizes and they didn’t offer what I wanted to focus on,” said Adams, a second-year student from College Station enrolled in the Computer Information Technology (CIT) Program at the Blinn – Bryan campus. “I came to Blinn and I’m thriving. I have the highest GPA I’ve ever had. I get up to go to class and I love it. I’m excited to learn and I know I’ll be able to use what I learn after I graduate.”

Blinn CIT courses cover the fundamentals of personal computers, networking and security using CompTIA standards; the installation, configuration and administration of Linux and Windows servers, Cisco switches and routers; and Apache web server hosting a PHP/MySQL application. Those lessons are complemented with plenty of hands-on experience.

Maj. Bob Nelson, professor and CIT program coordinator, said some students are older than the traditional college student, looking to change careers or gain technical knowledge for their current job, and a handful have already earned a bachelor’s degree. On average, students take about three and a half years to complete the program. A handful of the students who enter the program have already earned a bachelor’s degree.

“If a student’s GPA is high enough and they graduate with an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree, they will find a tech management job,” Nelson said. “They don’t have to be vetted anymore. They have been vetted through our courses.”

Blinn’s CIT Program places about 15 graduates in careers each year, many with small or medium-sized local companies.

“My students get solicited for jobs on a routine basis,” Nelson said. “Businesses here in the Brazos Valley have learned that graduates of our program are well grounded in the fundamentals. They can take this broad training and narrow their focus in on-the-job training.”

On track to earn his AAS degree through the CIT program in May, Adams plans to transfer to Sam Houston State University and then work in signals intelligence for the U.S. Marine Corps.

“This program is really giving us the experience we need to be successful,” Adams said. “This isn’t something that you have to come into with prior knowledge. You can come in, do the coursework and know as much as the people who have been tinkering with computers since they could walk.”

Second-year Blinn College student Philip Adams of College Station (left) and Computer Information Technology Professor Maj. Bob Nelson look inside a desktop computer. Adams will earn his Associate of Applied Science degree in May and plans to transfer to Sam Houston State University, then work signals intelligence for the U.S. Marine Corps.

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