Let’s face it. Not everyone thrives in a traditional academic setting. In fact, as test standards and graduation requirements continue to get tougher, more and more students are struggling.
But just because a student isn’t an honor roll student, doesn’t earn all “A’s” and “B’s,” or isn’t a math or science whiz, doesn’t mean he/she can’t thrive. Sometimes it’s a matter of looking beyond the core curriculum.
Woodshop, auto shop, and CAD are great examples of areas where some nontraditional students have found success, and in some cases, eventually gotten jobs and earned more money than their “more academic” peers.
And several CBT Nuggets trainers said that they believe IT can have a similar appeal and impact for nontraditional students. Some said they themselves were such students.
“That was me,” CBT Nuggets trainer Jeremy Cioara said. “I was a mediocre student. I did enough to get by. It’s not that I couldn’t do it better. I just didn’t see the point of writing, etc. There was no fruit, to say.”
Fortunately, the light bulb turned on for Jeremy after he was introduced to system administration. He said he responded to it quickly, and clearly he hasn’t looked back.
One of the reasons that IT might appeal to nontraditional students is because there’s more flexibility in regards to how content is taught and delivered, as opposed to lecture or textbook approaches.
“(If I am teaching) I like to show them first and then explain the process,” said CBT Nuggets trainer Jim Anthony. ”It’s like working backward.”
Added trainer Anthony Sequeira: “Got questions about a router? Then you can watch Jeremy’s ICND1 series and get up to speed. There’s a lot you can learn outside of the classroom.”
But the biggest challenge is getting IT training in front of students. These days, many school districts in the United States, have been forced to eliminate industrial arts programs as part of budget cuts.
On the flip side, IT training could be more cost-effective than other subjects because it doesn’t require as many tools, as much equipment, or space.
“I feel like like it could be much like other vocational opportunities such as auto shop or wood shop,”said trainer Shawn Powers. “I think more districts should invest in it. The problem is, of course, finding the money to do that.”
Bottom line: If you don’t thrive in traditional education settings, don’t worry. Check out IT–you might be surprised how much you enjoy it and want to learn more!