Success Stories
Apr 4, 2024

From a lumber mill hauling chains to a Network Technician | Jacob Stephens

NGT Academy
NGT Academy

From a lumber mill hauling chains to a Network Technician | Jacob Stephens


Jacob was tired of hauling chains at a lumber yard, beating up his body, and missing out on time with his children and wife.

Being in IT was a dream of his when he was growing up. He pursued that dream into community college but dropped out to support his family. Those dreams faded, but he could only ignore them for so long.

Jake's passion for IT has reawakened, and now, he has the tools to act on those dreams.

Jacob got an email about a career services call and was introduced to the Zero to Engineer program. Something lit up inside him, “I was immediately hooked,” says Jacob, “I did everything I could to make sure it [applying to the program] could happen.”  

And make it happen he did.

“I loved every moment of it.” “It was so fun to finally discover what IT and networking really was. To expand on it."

The "behind the scenes" look that NexGenT provides has supported Jacob in his position every day — he knows what goes on around all sides of IT and can tackle anything that crops up with confidence.

He found his new role while asking around for entry-level positions. While waiting for a rescheduled interview, Jake walked into Feynman Group and asked if there was an IT person who was willing to talk tech with him while he waited.

The man that took him up on the offer asked the company to hire him. He saw Jake as a real potential asset to the company.


The spark Jacob holds for IT did not go unnoticed throughout the interviewing process, and it didn't take long for him to earn his spot.

Jake started at $13 an hour, but after just 31-days, once he had gotten his CCNA and proven his skillset without any previous IT experience, he asked for $18 an hour and was offered $20 an hour instead.

He’s doing what he loves every day. Diving into security issues, maintaining operations, and bringing innovative ideas into his work for the betterment of the company. He's able to jump from ticket to ticket and balance it all with the knowledge and skills he’s cultivated through NexGenT.

Jacob feels like he can finally breathe, now that he's no longer getting tossed around between production jobs through temp agencies.

Now, he works in a professional workplace that respects his opinions and strives to incorporate his ideas into his workflow.

“Thanks to NexGenT, my ambitions are limited to my imagination.”

There can be a lot of reservations when it comes to making a career change or following a dream, particularly when it comes to something as vast as IT.

You may wonder “Am I smart enough to do this? Is it worth it?” and the answer is YES!

If you can turn on a computer, you can learn how the ones and zeros pass back and forth. You just need to have the drive to find and use the resources available. We can help with that.

Schedule a call with us today! We'd love to help you flesh out your options.

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