Website’s have become the primary method for companies to conduct business on the internet. Gone are the days when websites were no more than electronic brochures. Today’s websites are dynamic and interactive and they require web developers who can maximize their potential as a communication tool and revenue generator. In addition, websites have become the primary way to communicate and educate potential customers, clients and employees and a place to build online communities that can provide support, help and guidance for a company’s products or services. [Read more...]
2014 Graduate with MS Serves as an Example to All
Thomas Cevora has always been a man of action. An Army veteran, he went to work on tug boats after leaving the service. From there, he moved to rail cars. Fourteen years ago, a clock started ticking and he knew at some point that a physically active life would no longer be his to enjoy. Thomas has Multiple Sclerosis (MS). That fateful day he long feared arrived three years ago. “When I resigned from the railroad, I just didn’t know what to do with myself,” says Thomas. “Everybody said I should go on disability but that just wasn’t for me. I have to be doing something.”
Using Vocational Rehabilitation through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Thomas decided to go back to school. Despite being hospitalized on a couple of occasions, he persevered. Now, he’s preparing to graduate this Saturday, earning a Bachelor of Science Degree in Computer and Information Science with a concentration in Web Development. “I discovered a great deal about myself these past three years,” says Thomas. “First, I am a lot stronger than I thought I was. Sure, I need a cane and, sometimes, a wheelchair, but I have developed mental strength. Second, I have an even stronger wife! She would never let me give up. We came close to losing everything. We barely held onto our house, but we always held on to each other.”
While Thomas is excited to move on, he admits he’s a bit nervous. In addition to graduating, he and his wife are planning to move to a cooler climate up north because heat aggravates his MS. “ECPI University has been like a second home to me. The faculty has been so great, especially Ms. Lanae Harris. She has been an inspiration. Whenever I needed a boost, she was always there with a ‘you can do it!’ And the best thing is: I did do it. I’ve applied for a graduate program with Microsoft. I’ve got my own web design business up and running which is a great source of pride. Each time I finish a website, I know that anyone in the world can type in that web address and see what I built.”
Many people are intimidated by the current state of the job market. In tough economic times, it’s hard to find jobs that pay well enough to live a comfortable life. Many jobs require an expensive four-year degree before you can even get your foot in the door. However, this is not always the case. Many jobs can be attained with only a two-year degree, and often pay more than several jobs requiring an expensive bachelor’s degree.
(All statistics are from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook)
The need for dental assistants is ever-present, with a projected job growth rate of 25%. These valuable healthcare providers play a crucial role in the day to day operations of a dental office including performing x-rays, caring for patients, assisting dentists during procedures, and performing dental cleanings. Practicing as a dental assistant requires only a two-year associate’s degree, and license from the state you wish to practice in. The median income for dental assistants in 2012 was over $34,500 a year, averaging out at around $16.50 per hour.
Just like dental assistants, the need for registered nurses is high and growing all the time. Registered nurses are employed through the healthcare industry in clinics, hospitals, out-patient care, and doctor’s offices. Working as a registered nurse also provides a variety of duties as well as locations. Registered nurses can be responsible for performing tests, assisting physicians, and providing basic healthcare to patients. Entry into this field requires only a two-year degree, with many employers offering assistance to provide further education after employment. In 2012, people working as registered nurses earned an average income of $65,000.
A lot of people choose to go to college because they are looking for a life changing event. For many, this happens right after high school graduation. For Keeya Easley, this happened after pondering her future from an un-inspirational cubicle, processing “mundane work” in a company where she was just another number.
Keeya enrolled in ECPI’s Innsbrook campus in Richmond, Virginia in the fall of 2008. She graduated with honors with a Bachelor’s in Web Development in June 2011 and is now employed with Snagajob, a service provider to help hourly employers find the best candidates, as a web development intern. She now enjoys working for a company that is innovative and has an exciting, fun culture where people know her by name. As an intern in the engineering department, she has the opportunity to learn new technologies and produce valuable work.
Of her studies with ECPI, Keeya says, “the program challenged me to face my fears, and just do it. I had to overcome my issues with public speaking right away because presentations are part of almost every class and common in my line of work. I also had to become prepared to exhibit leadership skills with group projects which was new territory for me.”
While Keeya was taking night classes at ECPI, she worked part-time and managed home life as a single parent. She admits it was challenging, and she had to make sacrifices in her life; however, she exclaims “having my daughter proud of me far outweighs it all.”
After six years in the Air Force, Eric Richardson wanted to transition to civilian life by completing his education. Who better to ask for advice than his father who suggested ECPI University after graduating himself in the 1960s. Eric enrolled in the Web Development program at the Richmond Campus’s Moorefield location in Virginia using his VA benefits. Two years ago he began the process and he completed his last class to obtain his bachelor’s in September. He has already landed an exciting job with Willow Tree Apps.
“I liked the core programming classes that included Java and C# (pronounced C sharp for the less tech savvy),” said Eric. “After I got the hang of it, I knew that is what I wanted to do.” After Career Services assisted with an introduction to Willow Tree Apps, Eric earned employment over lunch with Michael Prichard, the founder and Chief Technology Officer.
Willow Tree Apps was founded in 2007 and is based in Charlottesville, Virginia. They were one of the first companies to launch an iPhone app, and its Spotasaurus app is often featured in Apple’s television and print advertising. “I’ve been attending weekly meetings while I’m still in school prior to making the move,” said Eric. “They have a west-coast start-up feel with an open, friendly atmosphere. It is going to make a great environment.”
Eric admits that the year-round schedule at ECPI was challenging but really appreciated the small class sizes. “I was able to ask questions and actually get a response,” explained Eric. “There was more interaction that the typical school environment.”