In this Veteran Spotlight, we spoke with Darren Eller, Network and Database Professional instructor and EIT graduate. Darren served in the United States Air Force before going to school for a career in the IT field.
Where have you worked since you graduated, where do you work currently, and how long have you been working there?
I started my career at Accudyn, Inc. From there I worked at Centerpoint Computers and currently work as a Network and Database Instructor at EIT. I’ve been with EIT since January 2018.
What types of things do you do there day to day?
My day-to-day tasks include applying information technology (IT) training techniques in labs, develop learning methods in accordance with lesson plans, develop routine and complex training assignments, perform and oversee IT troubleshooting and repair, perform advanced testing and troubleshooting of IT hardware and software, provide technical guidance along with instruction on course material, counsel students on their progress, and apply field experience to enhance instruction and lessons.
What do you like about your career?
What I like about IT is that it is a thriving field and offers many career opportunities. It is a fast changing industry. As an IT professional, you have to stay informed of the latest technologies which allows growth and in-turn, creates high-demand for skilled professionals. Also IT professionals are paid well with the right experience and certifications. IT offers a variety of career possibilities because of the overlap to other sectors like manufacturing, education, government, healthcare, retail, etc.
What are your career goals for the future?
My ultimate career goals are in IT training, IT program management and IT project management. The specialized IT training I received through EIT, and my military training and education, gives me a well-rounded skillset to fulfill those goals.
What did you like about attending Erie Institute of Technology?
The Network and Database Program (NDP) was structured very well in the sense that each term builds on itself and is built on a “crawl before you walk” philosophy.
The NDP classrooms are setup with practical laboratory training, which gave me up-to-date experience. The NDP program was a tangible learning experience and gave me a solid foundation in IT.
The staff was always ready and willing to assist. Communication between the staff and students is very open and constructive.
What benefits and support does Erie Institute of Technology provide veterans? Why would you recommend EIT to other veterans?
EIT is the only educational institution in the area that offers a peer specialist from the VA that assists veterans to maximize their earned benefits. The peer specialist is a valuable resource for any veteran who has questions and concerns about their benefits.
Another veteran resource coming soon is the Veteran Resource Center. This will provide veterans an added resource and assist them enrolling in, and validating their eligibility benefits.
I would definitely recommend EIT to all veterans. It is a designated 2018 Military Friendly School.
What advice can you give current students and new graduates that can help them be successful?
The advice I would give to current students is that the faculty is very helpful and flexible. The instructors have a wealth of combined knowledge and experience.
EIT offers job placement assistance to help its graduates locate gainful employment.
New graduates have a competitive advantage and an increased marketability. The new job will build on their current skillset allowing them to take on greater responsibilities and provide them greater advancement opportunities