Entry-Level IT Support Learning Program
Learn IT Skills and Advance Your Career
***Please include a current copy of your resume with your application***
Do you want a better career but are not yet qualified? Do you think about going back to school, but worry about the time and cost, or whether you'll learn anything that actually helps you advance? Are you being overlooked because you don't have a Bachelor's degree?
Merit America provides a pathway to skilled technology careers, designed specifically for busy working adults - with programs that are fast, flexible, and focused on what employers need most.
The IT Learning Program will help you learn in-demand IT skills and gain valuable credentials, while preparing you for a new career and connecting you with employers. We are currently recruiting talented individuals to participate in our January 2020 cohort launch in the Dallas - Fort Worth metro area.
Through this Learning Program you will:
1) Learn new technical skills for in-demand IT careers and earn the Google IT Support Professional Certificate;
2) Polish your professional skills and get help finding a new job, through coaching on your resume, cover letter, and interview skills; and
3) Get connected to our network of employer partners with active hiring needs.
You are expected to commit to learning 20-25 hours per week for 13 weeks. This includes 15-20 hours per week of online learning (on your own schedule), and 3-5 hours per week of in-person meet-ups with your coach and a small group of peers (weekday, weeknight, and weekend options at varying locations). The majority of our participants work full-time or part-time while participating in Merit America, and our program is designed to be flexible for working adults.
Merit America provides a unique opportunity to advance your career without quitting your day job. We encourage you to read this overview in its entirety and to learn more at meritamerica.org before applying. Commit to learning, and Merit America will help you get ahead.
What You'll Spend Your Time Doing:
- As a Merit America participant, you will spend your time in a learning program that combines online learning with in-person meet-ups for 13 weeks for 20-25+ hours/week. The program is designed to get you ready for an entry-level role with titles like IT Support Specialist, IT Helpdesk, etc., with opportunities for ongoing career advancement. The key components of the program include:
- Online Learning, including courses and projects to develop in-demand IT skills
- In-person Coaching, including help writing a professional resume/cover letter, and opportunities to practice your interview skills
- In-person "Squad" Meetings with your peers - weeknight, weekday, and weekend options available at varying locations
- Virtual Support and mentoring from IT professionals
- Community Events, including networking, mock interview events, and graduation
- Job Search Support, including access to our network of employer partners
- You can learn more about the different components of the program at https://www.meritamerica.org/career-seekers/.
Skills and Abilities:
- Interest in technology careers: You have an interest in technology and are highly motivated to prepare for an IT-related career.
- Exceptional workplace skills: You easily work with all types of people and you're the person teammates call on to help fix problems; you love a good challenge and communicate clearly.
- Excellent time management skills: You are great at balancing and meeting your personal and professional commitments, even when it seems like there’s not enough time in the day to get everything done.
- Passion for learning: You pride yourself on learning new things and taking control of your education through self-directed learning and ongoing professional development.
- Strong self-motivation and “grit”: You are ready to commit to building a better future for yourself and your loved ones through an IT career and you rarely give up when faced with challenges.
Education and Work Experience:
- You have professional work experience, with colleagues and/or managers who would strongly recommend working with you
- You have a high school diploma or GED, but no Bachelor’s degree. While those with Associate’s degrees are welcome to apply, those with a Bachelor’s degree or who are currently enrolled in a Bachelor’s degree program are not eligible.
- You are a fluent English speaker, reader, and writer.
- You are authorized to work in the U.S. and able to pass a background and reference check.
- You live within 40 miles of downtown Dallas, with access to public transportation and/or a car for any meet-ups in the greater Dallas region.
- You are savvy using modern technology with consistent internet access through your personal devices or nearby public spaces (e.g., libraries, coffee shops).
What The Interview Process Will Look Like:
- Phase 1: Online Assessment - a 1 hour online aptitude test of logical reasoning, numerical reasoning, reading comprehension and behavior
- Phase 2: Video Interview - an 8-question recorded video interview
- Phase 3: In-person Group Interview - a 1 hour in-person group interview with your potential future program peers; will be scheduled within a few weeks of completing the video interview.
- Phase 4: Online Course - a short online course to prepare for the Merit America learning experience
- Phase 5: Background & Reference Check - a standard background and reference check completed prior to acceptance.
- Total Application Timeline: 5-6 weeks, depending on how quickly you complete each requirement! Note that our next cohort is scheduled to launch in January 2020, but we recommend applying as soon as possible.
What You Will Learn:
- In Merit America's IT Support learning program, you will earn credentials including the Google IT Support Professional Certificate.
- Your skill development will include: technical support and troubleshooting, computer networking, operating systems, systems administration, IT security, and Office 365 administration and deployment.
- Previous IT Support graduates are now thriving in roles such as Helpdesk Technician, Computer User Support Technician, IT Specialist, System Administrator, Data Center Engineer, and more.
Merit America Success Sharing Program:
- It boils down to this - If you do not get a job making $40,000+ after completing our program, you will not pay anything for your professional and technical training. No loans and no upfront costs. Simple as that.
When you do land a great new job making over the salary threshold, we ask that you pay it forward and contribute a small portion of your post-program earnings so future learners can enjoy the same success that you did.
Our core belief is that talented, ambitious adults should not have to face years of debt without guaranteed outcomes. We are so committed to our learners’ career outcomes that we bear the complete financial risk of educating learners. That is how much we believe in your ability to succeed.
The Merit America Success Sharing Program enables working adults to get the skills employers want with a flexible education program, funded by a combination of 1) philanthropy, 2) employers, and 3) alumni who have successfully made career transitions following our program and pay it forward.
How Does the Success Sharing Program Work?
- Learners participate in the Merit America program with absolutely no upfront costs or loans, and can even receive weekly stipends of $100/week to help cover any possible associated costs for their participation (e.g., transportation, childcare, foregone work hours, etc.).
- If learners choose to receive the optional cost-of-living stipend of $1,000, learners will make 24 monthly payments of $163, for a total contribution of $3,900.
- Monthly payments pause when alumni are making below the income threshold. After 48 months, payment or no payment, the obligation ends.
- If a graduate fulfills our post program requirements and is not placed in a new job with an annual income of 40k or more within one year, the entire cost of the program is waived.
- 100% of payments from learners go towards ensuring that future learners are able to participate in Merit America programs.
- If you have any questions about the Success Sharing Program, there will be numerous opportunities to discuss the program details throughout the admissions process.
Learners in the IT Support track who secure new jobs after the program with annual incomes of $40,000 ($3,333 a month) or more will make fixed monthly payments of $121 over the course of 24 months, with a maximum total contribution of $2,900.
One last thing: Diversity is integral to our success and we are proud to be an equal opportunity employer. We believe that all workplaces should be truly inclusive of underrepresented individuals in terms of race, gender and/or socio-economic status, and any other characteristics protected by applicable law. We strongly encourage individuals from underrepresented groups to apply.