Monday, June 27, 2016

Reboot your IT career with Humber bridging program

This article first appeared in Canadian Immigrant on February 2, 2016

It has only been about eight months since Andrew O. Hewitt immigrated to Canada from Jamaica, and the IT professional quickly found himself plugged in to the Canadian labour market. That is thanks in large part to Humber College’s Mobile Systems Integration Bridging Program.

Bridging program for IT professionals

Hewitt was formally trained in chemical technology at the University of Technology in Jamaica, but then found his “true calling” in the field of IT and furthered his technology training and certifications, including as a certified project manager. “In Jamaica, I had a small consulting business and provided outsourced [IT] services to companies from the automotive, manufacturing, retail and finance sectors and even educational institutions,” says Hewitt.

Despite his success in landing the temporary work, he leaped at the chance to take the Humber program.

Program offers technical and professional development

After graduating from the program, Hewitt quickly landed work as a technical support analyst at a managed IT service provider, supporting clients primarily in the energy industry. “This has provided a great opportunity to apply much of what I’ve learned at Humber across various technologies,” he says.

Hewitt says the career planning skills he also learned at Humber helped immensely. “The resumé and interview preparation was critical and went a long way to preparing me for handling different types of scenarios for interview sessions,” he says. “I have no doubt that my time spent at Humber played an integral role in me attaining my current position and now performing at the highest level.”

The bridging program is designed for internationally trained immigrants with education and experience in information technology, computer science or engineering (computer, electronics or electrical). The 15-week program focuses on training participants in the software demanded by Canadian employers, emphasizing industry-specific concepts and skills in computer networking, information security, installation and configuration of servers in a virtualized environment with an emphasis on operating systems. In addition, the program offers program participants career planning information and strategies, and supports them in their job search up to one year after program completion.

But, after arriving in Canada, finding work in his field was a challenge. “Initially there was some difficulty. Much is said about the need for Canadian experience and it was clear that some companies with which I interviewed wanted more local work background. After much perseverance, I was fortunate to land a six-week position with an IT firm on a project for the Toronto Public Library. This happened to be right around the time I was also accepted for the Humber bridging program.”

“I specifically wanted to broaden my knowledge in the IT field through a program that would also prepare me to utilize that knowledge in the Canadian workplace,” he says. “The program stood out from others, offering exactly what I was looking for in terms of technical and professional development.”

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