From hospitality to tech: How Tyler perseveres


“Having a disability shouldn't limit or define your capabilities.”


Tyler was working in the hospitality industry as a relief cook, as well as baking, catering and expo cooking when the pandemic struck. Because the pandemic hit hospitality hard, and realizing that the lifestyle wasn’t great for his health, he moved to Springfield, Massachusetts, to be closer to his family.

Opportunities in tech

Recognizing the opportunities in tech, Tyler started exploring jobs that were most in demand, and was introduced to the Cisco Cybersecurity Associate Program through the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission (MRC) at Holyoke Community College.

Tyler completed a 12-month course under pandemic lockdowns, training in Cybersecurity end-user safety, management, policy, and device management.

“Being new in tech I see potential, so I keep searching for ways to enhance my growth and knowledge,” he says.

Tyler says he failed many certification tests and faced “a lot of learning roadblocks as far as understanding and comprehending” as a result of his disability, but his will is strong. “It’s taking me longer than most to achieve what I’d like but I’ll get there eventually,” he says.

Leading Associate, defining capabilities

Achievement seems to be in Tyler’s DNA, however. He is now Lead Associate of Tech Development at an IT solutions provider, where he instructs interns in basic PC function, PC builds and networking, as well as basic cybersecurity. And he’s furthering his study at Springfield Technical Community College, studying to be a Computer Systems Engineering Technician, and hoping to obtain a degree.

“Without the guidance of my counselors at the MRC, I wouldn't have gained this job and been able to market myself to achieve all levels of opportunity,” says Tyler. And to anyone contemplating embarking on Networking Academy education, Tyler says: “Give it a shot! Nothing tried is nothing done!”



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