Meet Carlos, a Data Center Technician at Amazon in the US. Before getting a job at Amazon, Carlos worked as an award-winning studio musician. But when the pandemic hit, he suddenly found himself without a job—so he decided to set a goal to pursue a tech career during his downtime. Despite not having previous experience, Carlos enrolled in the Google IT Support Professional Certificate program on Coursera and launched his IT career. Read his full story below.
My name is Carlos Calderon and I’m a Data Center Technician at Amazon. Before my new job, I was a professional tour and five-time platinum award-winning studio musician, working with Sony and Warner Music artists. But when the pandemic hit, all music-related activities were halted. I was about to leave on tour for Europe, but could no longer go.
I soon found myself unemployed with no source of income. With everything shut down and since I had more free time than ever before, I contemplated switching careers into tech. Although I had no related experience, I felt ready to make the switch and set a goal to pursue a career in IT. So I enrolled in the Google IT Support Professional Certificate and used my downtime to complete the program. At no point did I have any doubt in my mind that this would all pay off in the end. As I reflect on my journey, I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to earn a dual credential from Google and CompTIA on Coursera.
After receiving the Google IT Support Professional Certificate, I began applying to IT jobs all over the country. I was able to prove to potential employers that I have a solid understanding of computers and hardware—and started to receive real, viable offers.
I was invited to interview with Amazon. The interview process was a bit lengthy, involving many technical and situational-type questions. I kept a friendly demeanor, was honest, and maintained a positive attitude throughout the entire process. I think that they saw I had potential and fit the company culture. After accepting the offer, I relocated from South Florida to Eastern Washington.
I believe that the Google IT Support Professional Certificate and CompTIA certificate helped me demonstrate my knowledge to recruiters and enhanced my standing as an applicant, leading to several life-changing work offers. Now, I love my new job in the tech industry; technology is always evolving, and I continue to learn something every day.
My advice for anyone considering starting the program would be this:
Set your goal, and go! I was determined to study and prepare for the certificate courses like my life depended on it, and that kept me motivated.
Discover your learning and studying style. As soon as I found mine, my ability to study and handle the course material increased tremendously. There’s actually a Coursera course on this. You can also find some great videos on YouTube.
Have fun with it! Be open to relocating for work and starting a completely new career.