Jay Hunter teaches students in the Career Pathway program in Computer Science - Cloud Computing at Woodstock High School.
The Cherokee County School District offers 38 Career Pathway high school programs, which provide students with a wide selection of job exploration and preparation electives. Through CCSD Pathway Profiles, we’ll regularly share highlights with you from one of these programs. This week’s profile focuses on Computer Science - Cloud Computing, which is offered at Woodstock HS and Etowah HS …
Cherokee County School District students are learning how to navigate the cloud through a computing focused career program.
Jay Hunter teaches the Career Pathway program in Computer Science - Cloud Computing at Woodstock High School, where he works to “make computer science fun and simple to understand for students.”
“There are thousands of high paying, local jobs across the IT and computer science fields in everything from game development to cyber security,” said Mr. Hunter, who is in his second year teaching and previously worked with the National Security Agency while serving in the U.S. Army. “These courses offer students the chance to see what areas might interest them and open up doorways to many different opportunities.”
He said he most enjoys teaching students to code their own applications “because they come up with so many new and interesting ideas.” “They can also share their apps with friends on their phones,” he said, “so it gives them the chance to highlight their skills and creativity.” [Click here to see more photos from his classes.]
Even after only one year teaching the program, he’s already seen his first computer science student success story. One of Mr. Hunter’s students who competed in last school year’s CyberStart America challenge for high school students earned free tuition for a costly SANS Institute cyber security course and a $500 prize to use for buying a computer.
Senior Brendan Rives plans to use his knowledge from the program as he advances to Georgia Tech for college and then a career in the field.
“I want to be a developer, but I am not sure if I would prefer gaming, software or cyber security,” he said, adding that the Pathway courses have helped him better understand cloud systems and technology.
Within the Pathway, classes offered include: introduction to software technology, computer science principles, AP Computer Science Principles, AP Computer Science, cloud computing. Students can earn AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner – Fundamentals industry certification and take the AP Computer Science exam for college credit. They also can compete in Technology Student Association (TSA), First Robotics of Georgia and SkillsUSA state and national career skills contests.
This Pathway prepares students for careers including, but not limited to: IT project manager, computer and information systems manager, computer network architect, computer systems analyst, computer systems engineer/architect, computer and information research scientist, network and computer systems administrator, systems software developer, software quality assurance engineer and tester, web administrator, computer programmer, computer user support specialist.
The average income range for careers in this Pathway in Georgia is $87,000 to $141,000. Local and area employers for this Pathway include, but are not limited to: Cherokee County School District’s Office of Technology & Information Services, Cherokee County and municipal governments, Microsoft, Amazon, UPS, Lockheed Martin Corp., Verizon, Publix, Kennesaw State University, LAT Apparel, Place Services Inc., Lowe Engineers, Competent Systems Inc., Prophecy Games Inc., Priority Ambulance LLC, Haverty Furniture Companies Inc., AMBE Engineering, U.S. Orthopaedic Partners, NPM Digital, snap Tech IT LLC, Morgan Stanley, Meridian Cooperative.