How Mary augmented her skills for a career in tech


“Jump in! There is always something new on the horizon and the Networking Academy gives the groundwork for understanding.”


Having taken time out of the workforce to start a family, and with little IT experience, Mary decided her project management skills could work well in tech, too.

Augmented skills

Mary started her career as a surveyor in the construction industry, eventually moving into project management. When she started her family, she took a few years off to raise her children.

Returning to the workforce, Mary was looking for a path to use her general construction and project management knowledge and skills to include technology as an integral part of projects.

Having made friends with the Cisco Networking Academy staff at Henry Ford College, she was encouraged to study for her CCNA.

“I found as I was going through the academy, with a deeper understanding of network configurations and topologies, it was a path I wanted to transition into—into technology,” she says.

Finding opportunity

While attending classes, KLA Laboratories had a representative come into the classroom to speak about opportunities there.

“I saw that I could use my current skillset, augmented with the Cisco Networking Academy courses, and that was something I wanted to pursue,” says Mary. “The certification opened the door for me at KLA. I can use the knowledge I learned at the Henry Ford College Cisco Networking Academy to further grow at KLA.”

“Networking Academy is a great place to start,” she says. “It gives a great foundation to get started and become familiar with networking. There will always be new and exciting challenges in configurations and deployments.”

“Jump in! There is always something new on the horizon and the Networking Academy gives the groundwork for understanding.”

A new career begins

Mary began her career at KLA Labs as a Change Control Coordinator, where she helped develop and define the role to be what it is today. Mary now works with the Network Services group as an IT Project Manager. She has worked with several high-profile clients in the manufacturing, hospitality, and sports and entertainment industries. 

Mary saw her aspirations come together with a “particularly complex project to deploy for a multi-site network refresh.”

“I was able to use my knowledge from the Networking Academy to assure the configurations were applied and tested, and as a Project Manager, I was able to drive the schedule and team towards a successful completion,” she says.

“I really enjoy working at KLA. Every day is a different challenge—in a good way!”



Explore more inspiring success stories at

Ready to begin your learning journey? Explore all of our courses.