After 30 Years, a New Career in the Making


Patricia was interviewed by the BBC about why she chose to pursue training and a career in tech.

By Yvette Scorse, Communications Director

In today’s economy, retirement isn’t always the end of a career. Especially in Washington, DC, where the cost of living is twice as high as in other states, Social Security checks don’t usually cut it and launching a second career can be a necessity.

After 30 years working for the government, Patricia Hill retired. It wasn’t long before she needed to go back to work to be able to take care of herself financially. But she didn’t want just any job.

Patricia is congratulated at her IT Fundamentals Graduation, with Derrick Washington, program director, and Elizabeth Lindsey, executive director.

“I had a desire to go into IT and to help people help themselves,” Patricia said. She set a goal to earn her CompTIA A+ certification through Byte Back and work as an IT help desk technician.

Building a second career does come with its own challenges though. For Patricia, tech is a new field that requires new skills and ambition.

“I can’t learn anything in one day,” she admits, but she did manage to gain many new skills in just three months. Recently, she earned her first tech certification – CompTIA IT Fundamentals. She passed the exam on her first try.

Patricia’s Byte Back IT Fundamentals instructor, Andrew Quilpa, wasn’t surprised. He bragged about what a great student Patricia was and how well she scored on the exam.

Patricia has come a long way in her skills since the first time she and Andrew met. She had walked into Byte Back with a broken laptop, in need of help. Andrew was between teaching classes, so he took a look for her. She had no idea how to fix the computer problems then, Andrew said, but “today, she’s on her way to troubleshooting like a pro.”

She’s ready to keep moving up. Patricia enrolled in Byte Back’s EPIC program this summer, and she is now studying for her CompTIA A+ certification. This training will help her reach her goal of being hired to an IT help desk.

“The main key to a new career is technology,” Patricia says. “Technology touches all aspects, and you need tech skills anywhere you go.” And that’s why she’s eager to keep learning every day.


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