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Mike Valentine, Banking on IT

Mike Valentine came back to Columbus State to learn about computer networks. The skills help his regular career in financial services. Here, he tells his story in his own words.

I work in the financial sector. I received an Undergrad in Business from Ohio State and an MBA from Ohio State. They’re both great programs, and I use the knowledge I gained from them every day. But every new program my employer asks me to deliver has a technology component. I wanted to have a more in-depth understanding of the technology that underpins my industry to enable me to contribute to the best of my ability. So I decided the best way to do that was to go for an Associate of Technology Studies degree.

I had attended Columbus State in the nineties to take several prerequisites for my undergrad. The experience was so positive (good instructors, relevant curriculum, convenient locations and evening classes) it only seemed natural to go back to Columbus State.

But before enrolling, I researched other tech studies programs. When I compared CSCC’s Associate of Technology program to other local schools’, I recognized that the quality of CSCC’s program was every bit as good as the rest, but for a fraction of the cost. And I had worked closely with software developers and network engineers who received their degrees from CSCC and found their abilities to be on the same level as those who had attended any other schools.

Sure, there are plenty of online degrees available, but I prefer the quality of education I can get with hands-on experience configuring equipment and examining hardware, and working with my classmates and instructors in the same room.

The Computer Information Technology department at CSCC has a number of plans of study that drill down into specific disciplines for people who want to specialize. But I chose the Network Administrator track because it gave me exactly what I needed - a good cross-section of the technology elements important to an enterprise, including network communications, database, Internet, business analysis, software, hardware, security and emerging technologies, all vital to my industry. The knowledge I’ve gained has enhanced my ability to understand our challenges and help develop solutions.