For Immediate Release
Contact: Brianna Williamson, Recruiter/Alumni & Development Specialist
Mail: 1800 Bronson Blvd., Fennimore, WI 53809
Date of Release: April 25, 2022
Alumni Spotlight: Grant DigmanFennimore -
Grant Digman graduated from Southwest Wisconsin Technical College’s IT – Network Specialist program in May 2020. Digman was first interested in IT (Information Technology) when he was in high school. He had learned of Southwest Tech’s dual credit programs which would allow him to earn college credit while also earning high school credit. This gave Digman the opportunity to take a couple Southwest Tech courses, including a first year Network Specialist course, while he was in high school. The exposure to these courses solidified his decision to pursue a career in IT after high school. When it was time to explore colleges Digman knew he’d have the option to attend either a two-year or a four-year college. After doing some research his decision was made. “I chose Southwest Tech because I was really looking forward to a hands-on learning experience,” he said. “I knew at a four-year college it would take longer to get into the IT classes and I was ready to dive right in. I had very good first impressions of Southwest Tech and was really impressed that I would be out of school and working within two years of starting my program.”
As part of the IT – Network Specialist program requirements, Digman began searching for an internship after his first year in the program. He accepted an internship at Southwest Health in Platteville, Wisconsin, which allowed him to complete his internship requirement and continue to work part-time in the field while finishing his degree.
Similar to his Southwest Tech peers, Digman’s internship and academic success led to a full-time job offer with Southwest Health before he graduated. Digman still works as an IT specialist and he said his job is very reflective of what he learned in Southwest Tech’s IT – Network Specialist program. While every day is different, Digman said a typical day includes providing general IT support and troubleshooting as well as a good amount of networking and physical cable work.
Outside of his classes and internship, Digman was also a part-time student employee at Southwest Tech. He worked with the marketing and recruitment teams as a student ambassador. Student ambassadors represent and promote the college in a variety of ways including event participation, student panels and assisting with campus tours.
Digman’s advice to anyone trying to decide between a two-year or a four-year college is, “I found it really helpful to compare the classes within the programs at each college. When I reviewed the classes I’d be taking at Southwest Tech, I realized I’d be starting my IT program classes right away.” He also stated that comparing cost per credit between colleges was another important deciding factor for him.
Southwest Tech offers two IT programs. The one-year Computer Support Technician Technical Diploma program prepares students to provide first-line technical support for PC, Mac and mobile users. The two-year IT – Network Specialist Associate Degree prepares students to maintain and support local and wide area networks, computer communications systems, hardware and software infrastructure management/design, video over IP, private telephone systems, voicemail systems and video production. Since Southwest Tech’s IT programs are part of the career pathways model, students who complete the one-year Computer Support Technician Technical Diploma have already also completed the first year of the IT – Network Specialist Associate Degree program. Therefore, someone who completes the two-year IT – Network Specialist program graduates with two degrees. Of this Digman said, “it was really satisfying after one year of school to have a degree and then after two years I had two degrees.”
As someone working in the field as an IT specialist, Digman said, “Southwest Tech’s two-year program really set me up to be a well-prepared IT specialist. I’m really glad I stuck with the two-year program because it was so worth it.”
| Southwest Wisconsin Technical College is one of 16 institutions that comprise the Wisconsin Technical College System. Southwest Tech offers more than 60 programs in a wide variety of disciplines. Courses are offered on campus, online and in a blended format. The college provides apprenticeship, certificate, technical diploma, and associate degree programs that respond to district workforce needs and prepare student for family-sustaining jobs and career advancement. |