From Cable Technician to Field Analyst | Mark O’Keefe

Mark O’Keefe | People of Zero To Engineer


Mark O’Keefe pulled a full u-turn when he realized his career in cable was a dead end. 


The cable industry was going downhill. The harder he tried to move up, the more he realized he was going nowhere he wanted to go. It wasn’t an enjoyable profession for him anymore — It wasn’t worth it. He knew there was something better out there and was looking for more challenging work, somewhere he could see that his efforts are appreciated. He wanted to be a part of something.


Mark started to feel like Sisyphus— in a never-ending struggle, pushing a boulder up a hill only to start at the bottom again. He didn’t want that to be his legacy. To be the guy who was advanced in his career and still showing up at people’s houses to fix their cable was not the picture he wanted to paint for his future. 


When he was let go because of the pandemic, he started applying on every job site he could find. 


Mark saw an Instagram ad for NexGenT and was intrigued. He was going through the initial transition from his previous job at the time, and it gave him something to aim for, something to reach towards.

The IT industry is a rapidly changing and shifting industry. Having a drive and passion for the work is what helps those shifting sands feel exciting instead of daunting. We aim to arm our students with the grit and resilience to face anything that comes their way.


After plunging head first into NexGenT, he became a huge fan of the packet tracer and the labs. “Being able to see the whole map from A to B is a real advantage of the course,” says Mark. 


Having the hands-on experience proved invaluable during his discussion with hiring managers.


For his current role, he was offered the position before he even got home from the interview.


Mark has a renewed excitement to get back to work every day, even after a day off. There’s no dread. His fire for learning reignited in an inferno.


“It’s nice to have a future, to believe you have a future,” says Mark. 


With a pay bump of 5 more dollars an hour than his previous position, Mark is looking forward to the growth ahead. 


“Thanks to NexGenT, I have the ability to have gotten my foot in the door to a very good company where I should be able to grow and not have to worry about not having a career anymore. I can actually legitimately say right now that I have a career, and it’s been years since I thought I could say that.”


Give us a call if you’re tired of pushing your boulder, and you’re ready to make that u-turn. We’re here to discuss your options and help you reclaim your future.


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