Maurice, of Fremont, always wanted a career in tech, but was getting by working in the landscaping industry for 10 years. “You know that when you get comfortable in a place it’s hard to want to start over,” he said.

When his wife became pregnant with their first child, “the fire got put in me to make a change,” he said. “I realized: If I’m going to do something different, it’s going to be now. I’m not going to put the family through a career change while my kid is growing up. I want to have started in the tech industry, even if I’m not yet where I want to be, so I don’t have to take as much time and attention away from my family.”

He started looking at online colleges, “and then I started looking at the cost,” he said, laughing. “Even schools that give you vouchers, you’re still paying at minimum five grand a semester.”

Calbright was different. “At first, when I saw an ad for Calbright, it was like ‘it’s too good to be true!’ But when I looked further and found out what Calbright was doing, I was like ‘who would pass this up?’”

He chose Calbright because it’s free, “and because it’s comprehensive. It’s not just a random class about IT, it’s a program specifically geared towards getting the specific certification you need. I notice a lot of other universities, they teach you all kinds of things. And that may work for some people, but people like me want a streamlined course so they can get the certification.”

He enrolled in the IT Support program and was astonished at “all the resources and support Calbright provides. I’ve never seen any place offer as much resources as Calbright.”

“At Calbright you’re going uphill, but there’s also someone pushing you up the hill too,” he said. “You’re going uphill, but then someone gives you some water. At every possible step, at every moment you can think of, there’s someone to help you. There’s multiple people that will text you. I never felt like I couldn’t do something, because there’s multiple instructors and multiple people giving me support.”

He also appreciated the support that he got from Calbright’s Career Services program. “They don’t really beat around the bush,” Maurice said. “They’re like ‘we use this method because we know that this is what makes people hireable as soon as possible.’ I would say the help from my instructors and from career services was gold.”

Maurice noticed the difference in his job applications immediately. 

“I was told by a lot of people: You want to apply while you’re in school. Get used to applying to a lot of jobs,” he said. “So I did, and I wasn’t really getting hits back.”

Then he had a meeting with Kelty, his Career Services Coordinator. “She helped a lot. She would give me the rundown on my resume and how to tailor my resume so that it won’t just get put in the pile. I didn’t really know how much the format matters. She helped me get the format right. She helped me leverage my transferable skills because I’m career transitioning. Once I learned how to do that, the first job I applied for I got an interview and I got the job.”

Maurice is now a Desk Support Technician at a hospital and has advice for other people considering Calbright.

“Don’t be afraid about taking a leap. This program has so much support and so much communication that you will never feel you’re alone in it. You have other students in Slack who are willing to help, you have instructors, you have resources. They give you resources that are outside of Calbright that can help you, too. It’s a one stop shop for whatever course you’re going for. Don’t be afraid! I was just a beginner, and once I trusted the process it all came together and I learned so much.”