Pedro Gutierrez is an Asher College success story. Pedro began attending Asher College in October 2013, and in less than a year, finished the Computer Network Technician program and received his CompTIA A+ and CompTIA Network+ certifications. Pedro has been a Deployment Tech contracted with Sutter Health since October 2014.
Years prior, Pedro began working for a manufacturing company. In 15 years, Pedro worked his way up from an operator to a lab tech to a combined environmental/information technology position. Unfortunately, rising environmental and energy costs propelled the company into financial instability. Pedro noticed that the company was struggling and decided to go back to school. In 2012, he graduated with an Associate’s Degree in Computer Science Network Management. He anticipated that he would transition into a more solid IT position and that he would need current skills and knowledge for any future endeavors. Unfortunately, in 2013, Pedro was laid off from his job.
Pedro took the time to speak about his journey.
Congratulations on earning your associates degree. Why did you decide to get more education a year later?
I was not getting callbacks from interviews, despite putting in lots of applications with state agencies, private employers and federal agencies. I was reaching a level of frustration. With a new degree I felt like I was just beginning my career. As much as I had studied and as much as I understood, it was frustrating not getting a callback for as many applications that I put in. When I got laid off I was able to get federal and state grant funding for retraining. I took advantage of that grant money to attend Asher College.
Why did you choose Asher?
I had 15 years with my previous employer. I was mid-career with a young family. My wife works and my kids go to school. I had a lot of time constraints that were not conducive to a rigid class schedule. With Asher, I was able to more flexible with my lab time and with my school hours. It was a lot more flexibility with regards to schedule than other schools that are available.
What was your experience at Asher?
I had a good experience. I knew what my goals were and what I wanted to accomplish and why I was there. That gave me my focus. I already had a degree in the field and I was really focused on obtaining certifications. I was focused on studying and working with instructors on passing the certifications. I also knew I needed to use the career services department to the fullest. One of the things a school like Asher has as an advantage is that employers look to Asher’s Career Services Department and Career Services team for employment referrals. The Career Services Team have a relationship with the students. They know the personality of the students that come up through their school program and they are looking to place them with employers that are going to be a good match for them. The employers really look to that. Through Asher’s Career Services, I was able to get placed with a staffing agency that helped me get the contract job I have today with Sutter Health.
How did your experience at Asher differ from your experience at the other higher education institution?
With other higher education institutions, they stress your grades. They want you to retain a certain amount of material… but it doesn’t always translate into a really good lab and real practical experience. Asher gave me more lab time and also really focused on certification. Their focus on certifications really made me more well-rounded and marketable.