Former Retail Clerk Discovers IT Isn’t Just for the Boys Former Retail Clerk Discovers IT Isn’t Just for the Boys

In the today’s workplace, being able to fast acquire new skills and navigate through industries is an essential eskill.

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When Tracy Elliot lost her retail job in Glasgow, Scotland, she considered pursuing technology studies. “I was forever hearing from friends and family about the value of the Cisco courses,” she recalls, “but they thought I wouldn’t be able to start the courses with no knowledge of IT.”

“Tenacity is my middle name,” says Tracy, who decided to rise to the challenge and signed up for the Cisco CCNA course. “I have always had an interest in how everything works behind the scenes, and not just from a user perspective,” she explains. “And I thought the courses could help me find a job and progress in my career.”

"There is a perception that IT is a male orientated environment...
I was pleasantly surprised to have an excellent female trainer who made me realise that this isn’t just for the boys!"

"There is a perception that IT is a male orientated environment and that woman find it challenging to progress within the ranks,” says Tracy. “Given that I was the only female in my course, I knew I would need to overcome that challenge. I was pleasantly surprised to have an excellent female trainer who made me realise that this isn’t just for the boys!”

Through hard work and dedication, Tracy excelled in her studies. “Despite her limited technical background, Tracy completed the CCNA courses,” says her instructor, Nessie Oswald from Glasgow Regeneration Agency. “She put all her energy into succeeding and exceeded my expectations.”

After earning her CCNA certification, Tracy moved on to CCNA Security. The NetAcad coursework helped her acquire advanced technical skills, while boosting her self-confidence. This enabled her to secure her first job in the field as a first line IT support assistant for Citizen Advice Scotland, an independent advice network for citizens. A self-proclaimed optimist, Tracy also finds it beneficial to have a positive, can-do attitude toward your studies, and in all aspects of life.

“Don’t give up on pursuing a career in technology, even in a tough economy,” is Tracy’s advice to those who want to get an IT job. She believes that obtaining career certifications and staying focused on your goals will help you achieve your dreams.

What does the future hold for Tracy? She plans to continue along the certification track. “I absolutely love what I’ve achieved and I’ve signed up for the next level: CCNP,” says Tracy. Her sights are set on eventually earning her CCIE.