My name is Jason Niro, and I live in Las Vegas, Nevada. I graduated from Bay State College, in Boston, with a bachelor’s degree in entertainment management with a recording arts concentration. After graduation, I moved to Southern California to pursue a career as an Audio Engineer. While I was interning at a few record labels, I got an opportunity to work for Panasonic Avionics Corporation. My pursuit of a career in audio engineering soon ceased, and I ended up working at Panasonic for over seven years. During that time, I gained some knowledge about information technology and soon fell in love with it.
I received hands-on experience with Linux servers, MySQL databases, networking, and a multitude of other proprietary technologies. I took a few classes at a local community college in networking and programming that were the equivalent of a CCNA certification, and also received a certificate in network infrastructure. In addition, I gained a basic understanding of the Python programming language. At that point, I really fell in love with all things technology. I kept learning at my job and on my own, but I really wanted to get a degree in computer science. I didn’t have the funds to go back to school, and so I kept looking for other opportunities to learn.
I came across the Google IT Support Professional Certificate in 2018. Google was providing 10,000 students with access to this certificate program for free. I applied for the scholarship and was lucky enough to get it! I completed the Google IT Support Professional Certificate, and around that time, I saw that the University of London was providing a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science through the Coursera platform. I enrolled for the degree program in April 2019 (part of the first cohort of students) and am loving every minute of it!
The Google IT Support Professional Certificate helped me get a head start on my degree in computer science. I did not have to take the How Computers Work class, and my certificate was recognized as proof that I knew some of the basics. In addition, this certificate gave me the confidence I needed to apply for the degree program.
“Knowing I could complete a certificate program provided by Google really inspired me to continue learning.”
The Google IT Support Professional Certificate also helped me on the job. While working at Panasonic Avionics Corporation, I was able to work with Linux in a more efficient and effective way. I was also able to help troubleshoot many issues that arose, from Linux servers to Mac and Windows Operating Systems.
I recently left my position at Panasonic and am currently working at MGM Resorts International in Las Vegas, in their IT department. I am currently working in the IT Risk department, but I will be transitioning over to their Computer Engineering department (which is an advanced technical help desk position) in the coming months. In this position, I will definitely be using everything I learned from the Google IT Support Professional Certificate program.
The reason I decided to get my degree in computer science through the University of London program was that it provided two things that were extremely important to me. I wanted to learn from the best, and I feel that the University of London has provided outstanding content from which I have gained a tremendous amount. Also, compared to other computer science programs, it was affordable, and something I could do from home on my own time. I am thirty-two years old with a wife and a one-year-old. I am currently the sole provider, and I needed to be able to work full time while obtaining this degree.
While it is not easy for me to afford this program, it is a lot cheaper than many other available options. I know that getting this degree will enhance my career, and with it, my pay. Getting a degree in computer science is something I always wanted to do, and I just didn’t know how to do it until I found the London program. I really enjoy learning, and both the Google IT Support Professional Certificate and the University of London program have provided me with ample learning material that I will use for the rest of my life.
While I am in school, I want to work with as many different pieces of technology as I can. I enjoy “getting my hands dirty,” and I believe I am on the right track. My five-year plan is to complete my degree from the University of London and attain a career with one or both of the following organizations: Google, or the government (FBI or NSA). I truly believe that working for these organizations is a way I can use my skills in IT and computer science to make a difference in many people’s lives.4