New computer systems degree can take students anywhere

Posted: Wednesday, February 05, 2003

There has never been a better time to look at a career in computer technology. Since computer technology permeates almost every aspect of modern life, the opportunities for qualified individuals is essentially limitless. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics 2000-10 Employment Projections, computer specialists will see a 68.6 percent increase in the number of jobs in the field. That equates to almost 2 million new jobs.

KPC always is looking at developing programs that will give students the best opportunity for finding a job. The new two-year associate of applied science in computer systems technology will do just that. The degree will give students the training necessary to take Cisco certification and Microsoft Certified Systems engineer and administrator exams. These certifications set current industry standards for employment, and students who have both the A.A.S. degree and these certifications are highly sought.

Dan Beeler, KPC computer instructor, will teach the core courses for this degree program. For 14 days in December, Beeler went to Scottsdale, Ariz., where he attended what is known as "Microsoft boot camp." The course was a super-intensive, accelerated curriculum where 35 days worth of course work was taught from 8:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. over 14 straight days. Beeler successfully completed the course work and received three certifications that qualify him to teach the Microsoft Certified Systems courses.

Beeler is quick to point out that this program will put students in an awesome position for finding high paying jobs. The Microsoft Certified Systems engineer credential is considered the premier certification for professionals who analyze the business requirements and design and implement the infrastructure for business solutions based on the Microsoft Windows platform and Microsoft server software. According to Certification Magazine, IT professionals who hold only one certification earn an average income of $49,852. Certificants who hold two to three certifications earn an average income of $53,559 -- a 7 percent salary increase over professionals with just one certification. Those Microsoft Certified System engineers who also hold the Cisco certifications reported an average salary of $72,021.

If this program sounds like what you've been looking for, contact Beeler at 262-0378 or

Who's Who At KPC


Scott Kraxberger

KPC's Who's Who highlights the faculty and staff who work hard to make KPC a college of first choice. This week KPC would like to introduce the chair of the business and industry division.

Who: Assistant professor Scott Kraxberger

Academic background: Scott earned his associate of applied science degree at KPC in 1986. He went on to Northern Arizona University to earn his bachelor of science and masters of business administra-tion degrees in management information systems.

Time in Alaska: "I was born in Anch-orage, in the Territory of Alaska. My parents moved our family to the Soldotna area in the late 1950s and homesteaded just a mile down the road from KPC. My earliest memories are of clearing the spruce trees from our fields and raising oats and hay, milk cows and chickens. I, with my wife and son, have spent considerable time in the Lower 48, working and attending school, but we never stay away for too long."

Hobbies and interests: "I enjoy flying. I think it is one of the best ways to enjoy our unique and beautiful state. My brother and I have co-owned aircraft together for more than 20 years. I also enjoy outdoor activities like skiing, hiking and fishing. I have always loved computers and every other type of electronic gadget, probably to a fault. This is probably why I get so excited teaching programming and other computer topics. Computers are fun!"

Memorable occupation: "How about two? I spent three summers as a DC-3/"Gooney Bird" pilot, hauling tons of fresh salmon from remote Alaska locations to be processed and shipped from Kenai or Anchorage, exciting and exhausting! I also worked as a software engineer at Hewlett Packard's Boise Printer Division, fun and fascinating!"

Five years from now: "I hope to still be teaching at KPC, working hard to keep up with my students and the exploding computer and networking fields."

Favorite thing about KPC: "I like the small class sizes, the ability to really get to know our students and make a difference in their lives. I was a part-time student here after high school, and my KPC instructors inspired me to pursue knowledge in areas I couldn't even imagine before."

This column is provided by Suzie Kendrick, community relations coordinator at Kenai Peninsula College.

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