Upgrading Her Expertise
IT recruiter boosts her industry knowledge with George Brown certificate
Emily Litt finished her Bachelor of Arts degree with a focus on history. So she was just as surprised as anyone to find herself launching a career in information technology (IT) recruiting shortly afterwards. Although her work is within human resources, her particular sphere requires her to stay up-to-date on the technical skills and emerging technologies valued by IT employers.
“I’m primarily speaking with people and finding them jobs,” Emily explains. “and their jobs just happen to be in technology. I’m researching the technology that’s up-and-coming then finding the candidates who have those skills. I was able to take my past skills in doing research in history and focus that on more technical skills. But I wanted to study IT management so I’d have a better understanding of the processes and workplaces of the candidates I’m working with on a daily basis.”
She found the distinctive weekend-based Information Technology Management Certificate – which explores the role of the modern IT manager and the business impacts of IT – in Continuing Education at George Brown College.
“I wasn’t looking to get too technical, and I wasn’t looking for just business courses,” she remembers. “I was really looking for a hybrid of the two, and this certificate program offered me that. George Brown’s reputation for being a strong school in continuing education was also appealing because, as someone who is working full-time throughout the week, it was important to know my time would be well spent.”
The certificate is made up of three courses: IT Services and Operations Management, IT Solution Delivery Management, and IT Strategic Management. Emily felt it provided an excellent ground-up approach to the subject matter.
“Each course builds on the last one,” she says. “and, because the program requires previous experience in an IT-related field, you’re not totally thrown in there. It was at my level of understanding. It helps you think ahead and be able to look at everything as a whole. That’s something that’s important whether you’re on the IT technical side of things or – like me – on the human resources side.”
Another benefit is that the certificate is geared toward several groups, including business professionals (like Emily) who work or liaise with IT professionals, but also IT professionals seeking career advancement in IT management, and IT supervisors/managers seeking to broaden their management skills. Emily found the classes to be especially engaging because of that mix.
“The experience our teachers brought to the table really helped us understand real-life scenarios. … That’s really useful in terms of thinking about how to work with different levels of people. You feel like you’re already prepared to act in a more senior position because of that real-world, hands-on classroom experience.”
“We often talked about our experiences in our own workplaces,” she reveals. “and it gives a great perspective because, although we all have jobs relating to IT, they’re all different jobs. So you get a good, diverse understanding of the topics and a team-dynamic feel.”
Emily also appreciated the quality of the George Brown teachers. She felt their expertise in the field provided new insight for everyone.
“The experience our teachers brought to the table really helped us understand real-life scenarios,” says Emily. “I know one of my teachers was a Chief Information Officer, and he would go into that role quite often to help us understand the needs of a CIO. That’s really useful in terms of thinking about how to work with different levels of people. You feel like you’re already prepared to act in a more senior position because of that real-world, hands-on classroom experience.”
Having recently completed her certificate, Emily is already applying the skills she gained in the classroom to the work she’s doing every day.
“I can definitely qualify candidates better and find them better job matches,” she states. “The high-quality education I’ve received has made me able to dig deep and really go into the next level at my interviews while simultaneously doing them faster and more effortlessly.”