Prior to registering for the IT Database Administration program at Nova Scotia Community College (NSCC), Olivia Brine was working for a payday loan company and had no prior experience with information technology.
She originally thought she would take Core Programming, but after hearing more about the courses though a family friend, she realized databases, security and networking piqued her interest the most. The content in Database Administration was completely new to her, which struck some uncertainty in Olivia.
"The biggest challenge that I overcame throughout the course was my confidence in my abilities. While studying at NSCC, I found I was capable of a lot more than I had realized," Olivia says.
Throughout the two-year program, Olivia pushed herself to tackle new skillsets and advance her knowledge in technological systems that are constantly being used in the industry. She completed courses such as Data Warehousing Support, Database Backup and Recovery, Unix OS, Python Programming and more. It was also the benefit of being mentored by experienced instructors and classmates with a willingness to help others that made the program valuable for Olivia.
"I felt so accomplished with each new skill set I added on," says Olivia. "I was learning something new every single day, and everyone around me at the college taught me something."
Olivia worked alongside professionals in learning how to take apart a computer, installing and administering various operating systems, optimizing database performance and eliciting requirements from a customer.
NSCC's IT Campus helped prepare Olivia for what the future held for her. She was given the opportunity to work with enterprise software she otherwise wouldn't have had access to, including systems by SAP, Oracle, Cisco and Microsoft.
"I was also able to directly apply what I had learned in my courses to the specific tasks I was given in my job offering technical support with NSCC," says Olivia about applying her learnings to the workforce. "From asking experienced professionals questions to being given hands-on work rather than just theory, the program strengthened my ability to have a future in the information industry."
NSCC organized job fairs, information sessions with companies, and conferences such as the Atlantic Security Conference and ISACA to give their students the most face-to-face learning.
The well-rounded background from NSCC qualifies Olivia for entry and junior level information technology positions, in such areas as networking, security and databases.
"I hope to work where I may continue to learn something new each day, somewhere I can feel really passionate about the work, and where the work is appreciated," she adds. "These are all things that I experienced at NSCC and have learned are critical to my success."
Olivia would encourage anyone who has an interest in information technology to enroll, despite any doubts they may feel about themselves.
"If you have drive and interest, then go for it! It's worth it for yourself to gain the skills that you do in this program."
To learn more about the IT Database Administration Diploma program or any of the other 130-plus programs at NSCC, go to: nscc.ca/programs.