From Laid Off to Hired – How NexGenT Student Turned His Life Around And Broke Into IT

Kent Davis was in the mortgage industry, working as a Mortgage Originator and Processor but the truth was, he didn’t enjoy his job. The money was good and that’s what made it hard to leave.

Kent was unexpectedly laid off but he knew all too well, “The bad stuff always turns good, it’s just a matter of time. So you gotta keep it positive” he tells us. And with this mentality, he knew that he had a choice to make and opportunity was just around the corner.

After some soul searching, he made the decision to not return to the mortgage industry.  “I was dealing with finances and getting people loans but I just didn’t really want that to be my calling and IT is my calling, so I made the switch” Kent explains.

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Kent had been interested in IT and computers since he was young. He never thought to break into the field professionally but was commonly the go-to computer guy for his family and friends, calling himself the “resident techy.” 

In exploring his options, he looked online at IT programs. The one that caught his attention was a Facebook ad for NexGenT’s CompTIA Net+ course.  He signed up and was pleased with the course and how much he was learning from the online videos. “I really liked it so I went and jumped into the full-fledged program and did the rest of the CCNA class with Jacob and Rob. [The instructors] definitely know how to convey information really well and keep your attention,” Kent says. 

And thus began his journey to change career fields through the Zero To Engineer program. 

Staying Motivated

It’s no secret that online courses require discipline. Kent quickly figured out the exact plan he needed to keep himself accountable with his studies. 

Thanks to the instruction given by Terry Kim in the course intro, Kent created a vision board. He organized it by three months, six months and one year goals – aiming to complete Net+ in the three months and CCNA in six.

Although losing a job is never a fortunate situation, Kent took advantage of the extra time and devoted roughly 6 hours a day to the course material. Leveling up was his new full-time mission.

Quick Tip From Kent – It might not work for everyone but I like making notecards for the material. Even little things like the acronyms. For example, on the test it won’t break down “APIPA” in the question, it’ll just mention it. I found it helpful to quiz myself even on the smaller topics.  I also bought a CCNA book and went through and highlighted things for later review. The highlighting really helped.

Related: NexGenT Donates $5 Million in IT Course Scholarships During COVID-19

Getting Hired In His First IT Role

Perseverance and repetition will help you get to where you want to be. “I never thought I would apply so much in my life, let alone for one position,” Kent shares with a sigh of relief knowing that his search was over. After being done with the course, he searched rigorously for opportunities around him and submitted over 100 applications.

One company he heard back from, Mytech Partners, Inc. caught his attention from the first phone interview. This call in particular stood out to Kent – everything about it felt right. Not to mention, their values aligned perfectly.

Kent tells us that after the first phone interview, he had to go through an online assessment. “This thing was brutal!” He was given a 75 technical question test with 45 minutes to complete it.

Thanks to Kent’s hard work and study habits, he completed the assessment with an acceptable score and was called only two hours after completion for an in-person interview.  

Related: 4 Qualities That Will Prove To An IT Hiring Manager That You Are A Great Fit

The skills check didn’t stop there. During the in-person interview, Kent was required to whiteboard a series of technical topics to prove his ability to articulate what he knew.  No sweat off his back – he was grateful for the NexGenT instructors who thoroughly reviewed this skill in the course.

“I thought well, I’m glad I had this training because now I can just stand up here and be familiar with what to do.” Kent exclaims the interview process was rigorous. After all, to land a role as a Tier 2 Service Desk Technician, a company needs to feel confident in a candidate’s abilities. “It was really a good starter for me through that entire interview and I really felt like I related to the engineers who were interviewing me who are now my peers.” 

Kent soared through each interview and challenge and was in fact job-ready.

Getting Acclimated To IT

Kent spends a lot of time on the phone, dealing with calls, working on certain projects, building network diagrams, etc. “Things kind of change day-to-day whether I’m on the phone or on site.”

“When life closes one door it opens another. That really holds true for me”

Kent Davis, NGT ALumni

With a wide variety of work, he is getting a lot of experience and says he is trying soak up all that he can. “I’ve actually installed some hardware already within my first 30 days and I really enjoyed that,” he tells us. Kent calls it a steep learning curve but is thrilled to basically be getting paid to learn while he gets more comfortable in his new career. 

It was a big jump for him – going from the world of mortgages to the world of IT – and sometimes not knowing where to start is the hardest part.  “Knowing what you need to do to make the change is really critical. But [NexGenT] lays it out for you. They set that path and you just have to walk down it.”

He trusted the direction that he was being led in, followed the path and his vision board timeline, and successfully acquired the position he worked so hard for. A strong core foundation has helped him to understand every aspect of networking easily. 

Career Change:Life Change

As cliche as it might sound, if you are unhappy with your life, something around you has got to change. Since breaking into a field of work that gets him excited to wake up in the morning, life has completely changed for Kent. 

He admits he had to take a pay cut to get his start in the IT field, “But it doesn’t matter to me because now I enjoy what I do. I don’t dread a third of my life anymore. Eight hours a day is a lot of time to not enjoy what you’re doing. It’s a world of difference.” With the passion this man has for IT and his new position, there is no doubt that he will move up quickly into an advanced role such as Senior Network Engineer. But in the meantime, getting his feet wet in IT was a serendipitous life-change that he needed. 

“Thanks to NexGenT that I am happy in my life and in my career”

Kent Davis, NGT Alumni

He didn’t enjoy doing mortgages. “It paid the bills for sure, but IT is something I like coming in to work for. I don’t dread coming into work anymore” Kent says with a grin.

If you are craving a career change and want to break into a booming industry that you can be excited about each morning you wake up, reach out to us on our chatbox on our website or click the link below. 

If you or someone you know has been laid off recently, especially in the midst of this pandemic and would like to dedicate your available time to learning a new skill to break into the world of IT, click here.

Related: Want To Stand Out From Other IT Candidates? Read This First! FSNA & FSNP Certifications Could Be Your Answer

1 Comment

  1. Billy J Mitchell



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