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New Short-Term Training for High-Tech Careers at PCC

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Most of us have spent time pouring over want ads in the local paper: A recent check in the "help wanted" section reveals row upon row of requests for systems operators, technicians and end-user personnel. In January, PCC will roll out six different training programs, all short-term and designed to give people of varying technical-skill levels the tools and the edge they need to advance in a career.

The Computer Education program at Portland Community College is unveiling six new training programs, available in January, that will help individuals beef up their job skills or retrain for a new career. All programs are short-term, from six to 40 hours in length, and several grant certification. The approach is hands-on, with the goal of acquiring technical-skill expertise.

"The audience for these courses vary," said Computer Education director Rick Aman, "from entry-level support personnel, to software developers and analysts, to application developers. In each instance, we work with individuals and if they need course work to prepare for the training, we advise and steer them to the appropriate class."

One program in particular, Certified Microsoft Office User Specialist, a six-hour class plus a test, is offered nowhere else in the Portland-metro area. Intranet, a Microsoft partner, approached PCC’s Computer Education program to offer the training. "Since 90 percent of the Fortune 500 companies run Microsoft Office, it is highly practical knowledge and should be a popular course," said Aman. The preparation course for either the Microsoft Word or Microsoft Excel certification exam costs $179. And PCC Computer Education soon will offer other Microsoft preparation courses.

Another new preparation course, A+ Certified Training, meets the high demand for certification in servicing and repairing computer hardware. Said Aman, "Individuals with A+ certification are recognized in the computer industry as having superior training and technical skills, and therefore are nearly always hot candidates for job openings."

Other new training programs include two IBM systems courses, "AS/400 System Operations" and "AS/400 System Utilities"; "Oracle System Design"; and "Technical Support for End Users".

The course in "Oracle System Design" follows on the tail of Oracle Corp.’s decision to locate a development center in Portland. The center, which now has 35 employees, will grow to some 150 software developers in the next several years. Oracle is the world’s second-largest software company and the largest vendor of relational database management system software. The 30-hour course is designed for software developers, analysts, designers, project leaders and managers.

Although individuals can sign up for the courses, Aman hopes that companies also will set up training contracts. "We’ve done quite a bit of work in this way, and with these new offerings, we hope businesses will see the benefit of providing the upgrade training for their employees."

PCC’s Computer Education program is located at the Capital Center on the Westside at 18624 N.W. Walker Rd., downtown at the Central Portland Workforce Training Center, 1626 S.E. Water Ave., and on the Eastside at the Southeast Center, 2850 S.W. 82nd Ave.

In order to find out more about the courses and their start times, please call PCC’s Computer Education program at (503) 788-6200 at PCC.

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