Fix your future in one year

Some of us hit the ground running right from the start, and some of us are late bloomers. You may not find your motivation until after your high school days are over, and that’s ok. If you didn’t get off to the right start, here’s a way to get yourself back on track.

Photo by Daniel Watson on Unsplash

“Can I still get into IT without a college degree?”

“How do I get an internship?”

“I have a criminal record. Will anyone hire me?”

I frequently come across these questions online, so today I’d like to talk about a program that helps folks in these types of situation get into IT: Year Up.

Year Up is a year long program (hence the name!) that is split into two six month blocks. The first block is dedicated to learning the basics about your chosen career path. For the second block, they actually place you in an internship doing the actual job you’ve trained for.

Year Up is free to the participant, and there’s even a stipend to help cover your living expenses! And yep, they have a help desk track!

To qualify, you need to meet the following requirements:

  1. Be 18 to 24 years old.
  2. Have graduated high school or have your GED. Note: you can apply for the program while still in high school or GED classes. You’ll just need to have finished by the time you start the program.
  3. Low to moderate income. This most likely changes based on the area you’re in, so you’ll need to ask if you qualify when you apply.
  4. Be either a US citizen, resident, DACA recipient, or have an employment authorization card.
  5. Not have a college degree yet.
  6. Be motivated.

That last one is important – don’t sign up for this program if you’re not ready to give it 100%. From what I understand, they will boot you pretty quickly if you show up late or skip days. This makes sense because they rely on their good reputation to be able to place students in internships, so they want to make sure they’re only sending very motivated people.

Each Year Up location has different career tracks to offer. For example, the location in my area, Arlington, has four tracks, two of which are in IT: software development, help desk/desktop support, sales, and project management. Nice!

But what if there are no Year Up locations near you? Unfortunately, programs like these really need to be done in person. But don’t despair – there are other programs like Year Up! Try going to Grads of Life’s website and searching for organizations in your area. Then, visit their websites and see what they’re offering.

So to recap, the cost of Year Up is free, you get a stipend, you get six months of training, and then six months of experience.

What are you waiting for? Go get started!

With each post, I cover a new topic to help you get your start (or keep progressing) in your IT career. If it’s your first time visiting this blog, start here. Or, see all my posts about interview questions you should be able to answer.