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Career & Technical School News

Students prepare for the information-driven future at Capital Region BOCES CTE


Program challenges studentsQui Ahn works on connecting a computer

Buried behind a bank of computer screens, a Capital Region BOCES Career and Technical Education (CTE) student asks his teacher about a network location.

"Look for computer (name of the network)" is the reply from longtime CTE teacher Dave Patzarian.

The student, Collin Rodrigue of Berne-Knox-Westerlo, is one of about one dozen students in the Computer & Network Technician program offered on the Albany CTE campus.

Rodrique and his classmates are deep into a project of creating an entire network from scratch and connecting it.

"It would be like connecting a whole school. It's an intense project," said Patzarian.

The students hail from a multitude of Capital Region Schools ranging from Niskayuna to Cohoes and Berne-Knox-Westerlo to Scotia-Glenville and are learning the latest in information technology skills as they prepare for careers ranging from computer programmers to network administrators and cyber security specialists.

"These guys are the future," Patzarian said bluntly.Two Niskayuna students work on a computer

Indeed, graduates are finding a wide-open job market where their skills are in high demand.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment in the industry is expected to grow 12 percent through 2022 with a median salary for a computer programmer reaching $80,000 last year.

"I like learning stuff that I can use when I go to college," said Qui Ahn Ballou, a senior from Cohoes. "I want a career in information technology (IT) and this will get me there."

"I enjoy the program because you get to solve problems," he added.

Classmate Liam Jajowiw of Niskayuna said taking the program and the career is all  about pursuing a passion.

“I am generally into computers so why not learning something that I want to do for a career while still in high school?” he said.

The top photo shows Qui Ahn Bellou, the bottom photo shows Liam Jakowiw and Tyler Fox.


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