Andrew Ferko has almost three decades of experience in technology. In 1983 he received an Associate Degree in Electronic Technology from Sacramento City College. Andrew worked as a digital telephone systems technician for 15 years, a technician in broadband fiber for four years and several years as a telecom drafter responsible for mapping utility lines.
For the majority of his career, he was able to keep up with technological advancements. But one day he realized that was no longer the case.
“The technical closets I worked in the past were separate – one for data and one for telephone. As technology advanced, those two rooms became one, and data and telephone systems were integrated. It was a completely different animal,” said Ferko.
Andrew knew that he needed to update his skills in order to be more marketable in the workplace. In addition, the souring economy made layoffs a reality and jobs more difficult to find. He decided that he needed a computer certification, specifically in networking.
“I was used to a normal migration of my skills. When technology evolved, I evolved. But technology eventually evolved ahead of me and I needed to play catch up,” Ferko said.
He decided to go back to school. He looked at four-year universities but said it became apparent that four-year college graduates were graduating “behind the curve” because the material they learned in school was already almost obsolete when they entered the workforce. So he decided on a certificate program.
“A certificate is better than a four-year degree in a lot of cases, said Ferko.” “A certificate program offers hands-on training of current technology and relevant skills and a very specific curriculum of industry standards and best practices. I knew it would give me the best opportunity to jump into a networking career in a short amount of time at a relatively low cost.”
Andrew looked at different schools before settling on Asher College.
“It was clear to me from the beginning that Asher had the infrastructure in place to help me reach my goal. They had a variety of programs, great instructors, hands-on training, flexible schedule of classes and resources for financial aid and career counseling. The staff was always friendly, positive and understanding. I really felt that my success was in their best interest. My success was up to me. The opportunity was there and I just had to grab it,” he said.
“I really learned a lot at Asher,” said Ferko. “And not just enough to pass the certification exam, but to actually understand the information and apply it.”
Andrew graduated from Asher College in 2009 with five IT certifications. For the last five years, he has been working as a Staff Information Systems Analyst Specialist with the California Teacher’s Retirement System. Recently he was one of eight employees out of a pool of 1100 to receive the Virtuoso Award, or top employee-of-the-year award. He has also been encouraged to apply for the manager position in his department.
“Asher really gave me everything I needed to be successful,” said Ferko. “There are a lot of universities trying to get your attention and your business. But if you are driven and a good student and you want that personal experience, Asher College is right for you.”