What types of software and hardware do students work with?
Students get the opportunity to install and configure a variety of operating systems and software. Operating systems consist of Microsoft Windows Server and workstation offerings as well as versions of the Linux operating system. Students primarily implement these servers and services using hypervisor software such as Xen Server, ESX Server and VirtualBox that allows for the creation of multiple virtual machines on a single physical host computer. Essential network servers that are implemented by the student are: Active Directory Services, DNS, DHCP, Exchange server for email, Apache and Sharepoint web servers, and Endian firewalls.
Students also focus on data storage solutions such as Network Attached Storage (NAS) and Storage Area Networks (SAN), and the securing of data in transit and at rest using fault tolerance technologies such as RAID and encryption technologies such as Encryption File System and Virtual Private Networks.
In addition, students also work with physical equipment such as PC assembly, network cabling, hot swap drives, network switches and patch panels to name a few.
Deciding where to invest your education can be very difficult, and I found that choosing a career in IT made it even trickier. The overwhelming volume and variety of computer hardware and applications is staggering, so it is difficult to know with any certainty that what you are learning is going to be relevant in the field. With IT, it is also crucial to develop awareness of what lies on the horizon, as technology constantly evolves. In these areas, I found that Niagara College’s Computer Systems Technician program excels.
Armed with a new networking lab and powerful student workstations, the instructors actively seek feedback from industry professionals across the region. With it they develop a truly current, personalized program that assists you in mastering the fundamentals necessary to break into IT and that opens your mind to the future of computer networking, hardware and software, and how it will change the landscape of the industry in the years to come. It is this forward thinking that will give graduates of CST a significant advantage when they search.