College choice: Robinson earned his associate degree in computer and networking technology in the Ivy Tech ASAP program, which offers the opportunity to earn an associate degree in just 11 months. He said the ASAP program was the best choice for him “due to life and family situations. I had a part-time job and was looking to get working right out of school to help out. One of my guidance counselors at Tech said, ‘This would be a perfect program for you: a degree in a year with no student loans.’”
What it was like: “It was a 9-5 routine—go in the morning and take a full day of classes. That was our job: to go to school. We were a pretty tight-knit group since everyone in the program had classes together. We really incorporated teamwork and helped point people in the right direction.”
Why it worked: “It was a great confidence boost —the mere fact that I was able to get a degree in 11 months and say, hey, I can do this. It really gave me confidence going into a career. It gave me real-world training. I landed a job immediately after the program and felt I had enough technical background. [Ivy Tech] gave me a good foundation to go on – I didn’t have much IT experience before that.”
Career path: Tre started in an entry-level job as an analyst at Interactions LLC, where “I picked up on anything anyone was willing to teach me.” He was promoted to systems analyst, then was hired at Salesforce, where he works on software engineering projects. “I’m currently enrolled at WGU online to get my bachelor’s degree in software development. I fit it in during lunch and on weekends. Thankfully, I work at a place where they’re more than supportive of me going to school.”
Advice: “Try to discover a field that has a healthy balance of something you love, can get paid to do, and that you are actually good at. You might not know what that is right away either, so don’t be afraid to try something new.” Earning a degree in 11 months “could be a little intimidating, but don’t let it scare you. Stay on track and don’t procrastinate. Be inquisitive and ask questions. Don’t fear change, don’t fear failure, and be persistent.”
Achieve Your Degree
Ivy Tech partners with more than 100 Indiana businesses and institutions to help their employees receive a free community college education. Ivy Tech’s Achieve Your Degree program offers assistance with the application process and defers billing until the end of the semester as enhancements to the employer’s tuition-assistance programs. For more information, visit www.ivytech.edu/achieveyourdegree.