Richard C Hilburn received his first computer in 2005. One day his computer stopped working and Richard attempted to fix it himself. He took it apart, changed some parts and got it working again. That is when he decided to make computers his new career.
“My parents say that I have been taking stuff apart since I was three years old,” said Hilburn. “For me, a computer wasn’t any different. I love that you can take it apart and only put it back together one way.”
Richard grew up in Central Valley, California and began working in farms and ranches when he was 13 years old. A few years after graduating from a small high school in Orosi, California, he moved to Sacramento where he drove a propane “Bobtail” delivery truck for 26 years. At age 46, he decided he wanted to make a change and go back to school. He enrolled in an online university and graduated with an Associate’s Degree in Information Technology, but that soon wasn’t enough for Richard.
“As soon as I got my degree I knew I needed more. I wanted hands-on training working with machines and certifications to make me more marketable in the workforce,” said Hilburn. “I quickly learned that most places, whether they are temporary or permanent, want certifications. They want proof that you have a basic knowledge of computers.”
Richard visited three different schools and eventually chose Asher College. In 2011, Richard enrolled at Asher College in Sacramento and entered the Personal Computers and Networking program (PCN).
Richard said he appreciated the curriculum and that there were “always people available to help when needed.”
“Asher’s curriculum and hands-on training prepares you so that you are 100% confident that you could pass the certification test,” said Hilburn. “The instructors and staff walk you through everything and keep everything current.” “If I didn’t understand something or needed something they were always there to help.”
Richard graduated from Asher College in 2013 with certifications in personal computers and networking. He passed the CompTia A+ Course/Certification, and the Network+ Course/Certification.
For the first three years after graduation Richard worked many short-term contracts for notable organizations and companies including Apple, California American Water Company and University of California at Davis. He did a variety of tasks from imaging and networking to repairs and migration. Though these contracts were only short-term, Richard wasn’t discouraged.
“I had steady work and I knew because of that I was well on my way to something more permanent,” said Hilburn.
18 months ago Richard got his wish. He was hired for a permanent position as a PC Tech/Master Image Tech for a large national company. His current project includes servicing health clinics and hospitals in the Western United States.
“I like to help people and my job lets me do that,” said Hilburn. “My work affects people’s lives. If I can provide a means (Technology) and save them time, they can spend more time helping others.”
Richard credits Asher College and the knowledge and certifications he gained for his success. Richard even recommended Asher College to his son. After a tour of the college, his son decided to attend Asher College for information technology as well. They went to school simultaneously and ran a clinic on Fridays where they provided a service of fixing computers for the public. Richard’s son also graduated from Asher College and is currently working as a Technician with an engineering firm.
If given a choice, Richard said he would go to Asher College all over again. His only regret is waiting to go back to school and change his career.
“For me, Asher was the beginning of being able to move successfully into the world of information technology,” said Hilburn. “I wish I would have gone back to school a long time ago. I love what I do. I love helping people and affecting them positively.”