Less than a year ago, Wesley Richardson was studying anthropology at the University of Kansas. He was passionate about his major and had long dreamed of becoming a teacher.
But when Wesley and his partner learned last summer that they would be expecting their first child, he felt a sense of urgency to provide financial stability for his soon-to-be growing family. So he decided to change paths and focus on another one of his interests: Technology.
When he was younger, Wesley owned just about every gaming system. These days, he’s into audio/visual/recording tech and gadgets.
“I have always been a heavy tech user in my personal life,” he said. “So it seemed like a logical step to do it for work.”
In August, Wesley landed a job as a network engineer at Tequa Creek Holdings. He was happy to have the role, but it came with challenge: He had to earn his CCENT certification within 30 days of starting. Fortunately, his boss would make a recommendation that would change Wesley’s life: “Take a look at CBT Nuggets’ ICND1 training videos.”
He did, and it wasn’t long before he was hooked. Welsey said CBT Nuggets makes training more entertaining, and most importantly, more accessible than books. He added that his favorite thing about CBT Nuggets is how quickly it enables him to learn new topics.
“CBT Nuggets makes new information easier to approach,” he said. “Also, it provides inspiration for a lot of rabbit holes (when you hear about something, and then spend hours trying learn everything about it).”
Using a combination of CBT Nuggets video training and textbooks, Wesley dove into his studies. He devoted 40 hours a week to studying, and preferred using a lab environment so that he could get a hands-on feel for the material he was learning.
On Sept. 13, 2013, Richardson passed the ICND1 exam. Passing was even more of an achievement because Cisco was transitioning the exam. Wesley had prepared for the soon-to-be retired exam, but accidently scheduled himself to take the redesigned, more comprehensive exam.
Given the circumstances, his success was a bit surprising. “After finding out about scheduling the new exam instead of the soon-to-be-retired one, I didn’t expect much,” he said.
Nearly two months later, Wesley’s daughter was born.
He’s loving his unexpected career path, and said that he’s making more money than any of his previous jobs.
“I’m just getting started,” he said. “What’s even better is, it’s fun!”
Wesley said he’s not done learning. He’s currently studying IT security topics, and has a list of certifications that he said he plans to earn: Certified Ethical Hacker, CCNA Security, CCNP, and Linux+.
And someday, he hopes to give back just like the CBT Nuggets trainers who helped him during his journey. It wouldn’t be surprising if he realizes his dream of being an educator after all!
“My end goal has always been teaching,” he said. “I’ve just always known, somewhere in there, that teaching is something I’m passionate about. I’m already unofficially training others for the ICND1. I would be teaching the ICND2 class at the local community college if I had more experience.”
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