Career Upgrade

Craig Salajan, Ypsilanti

IT student comes full circle with WCC

There’s a difference between going to a job that pays the bills every day and having a career that offers better income opportunities and professional and personal satisfaction. Just ask Craig Salajan.

After starting at Washtenaw Community College out of high school, Salajan was offered work at a local factory. The pay was good, and he figured

it was a can’t-miss opportunity. He went for it, leaving college behind for full-time work.

“I was there for seven years before realizing working in a factory wasn’t what I wanted to do with my life,” he said about his time on the job. “Computers and IT have been

my obsessions since I was a kid, and I felt I should be working in that field. WCC was affordable, close to home, and I was already familiar with the College, so it was an easy choice to go back.”

Now, after re-enrolling at the College, Salajan at age 30 is only five classes away from finishing his associate degree. Better yet, he’s already working in his field.

On-the-job training

“I worked as a lab technician at WCC,” he said of his on-campus position where he worked directly on the IT software that WCC faculty and staff use. “The experience led me to my current job as a software developer at Nexient.

“WCC gave me the experience of developing software with a team, and team experience is key to working in the industry. I felt like I had a really good handle on what I was walking into at my new position, thanks to the College.”

While it may have taken a break from college for Salajan to rediscover his passion, he advises others that it’s never too late.

“You can do anything you put your mind to,” he said emphatically. “If you’re unhappy in your job right now, you’re still going to be unhappy in 20 or 30 years. The sooner you get to the career you really want, the happier and more fulfilling life you will have.”

The Web Design and Development program at WCC is a comprehensive, rigorous program for students interested in a career in the web development industry. Students completing this program will have knowledge in the areas of web coding, graphics, user experience, and web programming.

These skills will enable them to pursue a variety of Internet related career fields. Completion of the Web Design and Development Certificate and one of the related advanced certificates is required to complete this degree.

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