By Steve Lestarjette

Haidar Altaiar came to the United States in 2008 as a refugee from Iraq. He took English classes at HCC to get better acclimated to life in a new country, then enrolled in A+, and earned his first certificate as a computer technician.

“I stated working as computer technician, then decided to move on to bigger things,” Haidar says. “I took at step into a new field: networking and servers.

“It was one of my dreams to build a server and connect it to a network, and become a network administrator. HCC made this dream come true.”

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, network administrators earn a median salary of $77,810 annually, or $37,41 per hour. They are a critical component of almost every organization, responsible for the day-to-day operation of computer networks. Network administrators organize, install, and support an organization’s computer systems, including local area networks (LANs), wide area networks (WANs), network segments, intranets, and other data communication systems.

Haidar started his Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate 2012 (MCSA 2012) last August, and has already been hired as a network administrator. In his new position, he successfully built and established a new network and server from “A to Z.”

Altogether, Haidar took A+, the four-course Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA), Desktop Support and Network Specialist (five courses), and MCSA 2012 (three courses) in the space of a year and two months.

It was a wonderful experience, he reports.

“The thing I liked most about the courses was the flexible hours. The computer labs and equipment were available when I needed them. We spent a lot of hours in hands-on repairing computers and server equipment.”

Being a student, a full-time employee, husband and father was a big challenge, the 29-year-old admits, but worth the effort.

“When I started, I had no idea at all about servers. But with my challenge to keep studying, and the help of the instructors and staff, here I am today, a network administrator in a good company. I’m getting paid much more than I was expecting.

“This had definitely changed my career and my life for the better.”

Would Haidar recommend HCC’s continuing education computer courses to others?

“HCC has great programs, and instructors who encourage their students to go further” he says. “I highly and definitely recommend these programs to everyone who wants to change their career and life or just learn more about computers and servers.”