Jamal Williams grew up in Newark, New Jersey, and currently resides in Atlanta, Georgia. For the last 15 years, Jamal has enjoyed great success within the sales industry. Throughout this time, he has learned a great deal about himself and has picked up many skills along the way.
Jamal ran into a roadblock pursuing his goal for growth within the industry due to lack of a college degree. The instability of commission-based jobs and the inability to provide for his family was why he transitioned into the IT field.
Jamal has always loved working with computers, so it seemed like IT support was his calling. Jamal has received his Merit America & the Google IT Support Certificate, a program that allowed him to circumvent challenges from not having a four-year degree.
What You’ll Learn In This Episode
- Google Career Certificate Fund
- Advice for others looking to upscale their skills or change careers
Intro: [00:00:04] Broadcasting live from the Business RadioX Studios in Atlanta, Georgia. It’s time for Atlanta Business Radio brought to you by on pay Atlanta’s new standard in payroll. Now here’s your host
Lee Kantor: [00:00:24] Lee Kantor here another episode of Atlanta Business Radio, and this is going to be a good one. But before we get started, it’s important to recognize our sponsor on pay. Without them, we couldn’t be sharing these important stories today on the Atlanta Business Radio. We have Jamal Williams, and Jamal is a recent beneficiary of something called the Google Career Certificate Fund. And he’s here to talk about that. Welcome, Jamal.
Jamal Williams: [00:00:51] Thank you for having me, Lee. It’s a pleasure and honor. Thank you.
Lee Kantor: [00:00:54] Well, before we get too far into things, tell us a little bit about Jamal. What are you doing and what’s your career been like? You know, prior to getting involved with the Google Career Certificate Fund?
Jamal Williams: [00:01:07] Well, you know, I am originally from Newark, New Jersey. And, you know, back in 2009, I, you know, migrated to Atlanta, Georgia. I’ve come from the cells industry. I have over 15 years of experience in cells, worked my way up through the industry, having some pretty good success all the way to having a role within the business development portion of it. And you know, I was enjoying myself, but you know, I was capped in regards to what I really wanted to achieve as well as provide for my family because I didn’t have a four year degree. Most of the jobs that I had obtained were commission only jobs because I did not have that degree, and thus I really didn’t have the ability to really, you know, have the stability that I wanted, not just from a career standpoint, but also from a financial standpoint to take care of my family. And so because of that uncertainty, I wanted to transition into a different industry, and I always was curious about the I.T. field because I have a lot of friends of mine, close friends of mine that are in the field, and they always encourage me to get into it. And you know, I was, you know, contemplating it for a while, but, you know, decided to take that step. And I’m now currently working for Liberty Mutual as a helpdesk analyst, and so I’m grateful for the opportunity that I have now, and it’s because of the Google IT Support Certificate and Merit America.
Lee Kantor: [00:02:38] Well, talk a little bit about these Google career certificates because a lot of people aren’t familiar and a lot of people have that the same line of thinking that you, you have like, Hey, I don’t have a college degree. So therefore I’m limited, and they may not be aware that there’s a lot of resources out there, including this Google certificate that offer some level of training that can help you get your career to a new level.
Jamal Williams: [00:03:09] Yeah, absolutely. It definitely does. The way I found it was, I was literally on Facebook just, you know, just doing some casual looking on there, checking out my timeline and a ad had popped up for married America. And you know, I saw what they were sharing with the information about the school and about the Google IT support certificate. And, you know, did some research on it, did some background information through Google and through YouTube to just try to see what it was all about. And you know, it was a lot that intrigued me about it, but a lot of uncertainty at the same time because I wasn’t familiar with the school nor the program. But the research that I did find about it was that the Google IT Support Certificate is comparable to the A-plus certification, which is widely known within the I.T. field. And, you know, but it’s still, you know, growing, you know, still wasn’t really, you know, known throughout the I.T. field. So, you know, I was a little concerned that I wasn’t able to really take that transition, as I mentioned earlier into the IT industry. But, you know, taking that leap of faith, I was happy because the overall template as well as the overall, you know, way is structured is directly related to it, to the A-plus certification and will help individuals such as myself transition from a different industry into the I.T. field. So, you know, it was really cool experience to be a part of because of what it all entailed just helping beginners, individuals who really didn’t know anything about it to help you understand the basics and concepts related to it.
Lee Kantor: [00:04:56] And this is something that a lot of listeners maybe don’t understand. The unemployment rate for people that have those kind of I.T. certificates in degree are pretty low. Those people get hired pretty quickly. There’s a high demand for folks with that kind of expertize.
Jamal Williams: [00:05:13] Yeah, and that’s what that’s what intrigued me, believe it or not, lead to want to get into it because a lot of times when you don’t have experience, it’s really hard for you to find jobs in a particular field. But within the I.T. field, you know, you know, the resources that are available for you that the that Google offered through this certification certificate program as well as Merit America, was really amazing because it provided you not just the foundation to get the technical skills, but also from a job placement standpoint. You had a lot of opportunities open and available for you that you probably never would have expected to be there. And so, you know, between LinkedIn and indeed and other job, you know, search engines that a lot of people use. You have those, but you also have connections that you’re able to gain by means of the program that allows you to be able to network. Even if you aren’t familiar with that, they teach you they help you to be able to do so. And you know, ironically, that networking allowed me to get the opportunity that I’m at now at Liberty Mutual. It was it was literally because of that networking that allowed me to be where I’m at now. So it’s definitely available for individuals.
Lee Kantor: [00:06:33] And it was one of those situations where as long as you had that certificate, that was kind of good enough for the employer to say, OK, they can probably do this kind of work. They weren’t saying, Oh, you need that certificate and a four year degree, the certificate was enough kind of validation and credibility and proof that you can really help them out in this area.
Jamal Williams: [00:06:56] Absolutely, and mainly the reason why is because from a from a entry level standpoint, they’re more looking at your customer service skills, you know, to help tie you into the technical skills that you learned through the certification of the program. Because a lot of times from a, you know, entry level, you’re going to be dealing with more customer based related issues and technical standpoint rather than the more integral parts of it. That’s where as you grow in the field, you get to that. So just having that foundational structure helps bridge that gap that a lot of people may not think would be needed in order for you to make that transition. And I’m grateful that that sort of certificate helped me learn the technical aspects of it. And then it married perfectly with what merit America was able to offer me from a more, you know, if you didn’t have those skills, the customer service base aspect of it, it helped make everything seem to be seamless and the transition a lot easier than you would expect it to be.
Lee Kantor: [00:08:02] Now is this something that you’ve got to be like a super math genius in order to do this stuff? Or can a person that is just OK in math you think could do well here?
Jamal Williams: [00:08:13] Hey, I can attest personally, I am not the greatest math student there is, you know, I did pretty average throughout my schooling, so it’s totally not required. I myself was thinking at myself. I thought it was going to be a lot of, you know, math and science overall. But but the way the program that the Google IT Support Certificate offers you, it’s pretty seamless because you really get to learn the nuances and just the basic understanding and language about computers, their components, whether it’s the hardware or the software, you know, seeing how it ties in, whether it’s a Windows based application or device, or if it’s a Mac or even a Linux, they help you literally from the very roots all the way to the more intricate things. And even the intricate things were more seamless in regards to understanding because it was like a ladder. You took the steps slowly and they helped you understand everything before they just threw you into it and said, Here, here’s a computer, take it apart and put it back together. They helped you really understand the foundational aspects which helped make that by the end of the program, understand more of the more intricate things that you would need in the field.
Lee Kantor: [00:09:30] So for you, what’s been the most rewarding part of having gone through this program?
Jamal Williams: [00:09:35] I think just being able to know that there is a program, but an overall structure to with that helps individuals regardless of your background, whether you have a work background or if you are literally coming out of high school, you have the ability and the the understanding that you are going to be taken care of, but it all starts with you yourself. You know, one thing that I share with a lot of new students at Merritt America who is taking the Google IT Support Certificate program that your greatest enemy is your inner me, meaning that you yourself is your biggest critic. You yourself is your biggest hurdle that will really show what you’re capable of in the field or just even getting through the program itself, you know, being able to understand that the resources are there for you. You yourself have to take advantage of them and just stick with it from an overall standpoint, you know, follow up with with them. Make yourself available if you do all those things. It would be a lot easier transition than you would expect it to be. And I myself am attest to that. You know, it wasn’t easy when I first finished a program. You know, I, you know, I didn’t find a job for the first three months after the program. And it’s not that I wasn’t looking because not that I didn’t have the resources. It’s just that it just didn’t. It didn’t happen as quickly as I would wanted it, but I stayed the course. I reached out to individuals that would help me, that were leaders of the program and along with their help and with my family, I’m able to be where I’m at today. So that’s what I would say. For them to just do is just trust the overall process and believe in yourself, and you will definitely need, you know, it will be worth your while to do so.
Lee Kantor: [00:11:30] Well, Jamal, thank you so much for sharing your story today. It’s an important lesson for others that there are resources out there, like the ones you went through with the Google Career Certificate you IRL to look for in terms of learning more about this program and other programs that Google has is grow grow. Google G.O.O.D, Glee if you go to. Rogo, Google, you’ll see information about this career certificates and other resources that can help you in your career, your business. There’s a lot of training available. So Jamal, thank you so much for sharing your story today.
Jamal Williams: [00:12:10] Thank you, Lee, for having me. I really had a lot of fun and you know, I appreciate you letting me have the opportunity to share on this platform what the certificate provides for individuals and to be able to share my story in regards to it. I appreciate
Lee Kantor: [00:12:23] It. Well, congratulations. You’re doing important work and we appreciate you. Thank you, Lee. All right. This is Lee Kantor. We’ll see you all next time on Atlanta Business Radio.
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