Less than a semester after graduating from Polk State College, Dominic Jenkins landed a job in his chosen field. He received his Bachelor of Applied Science in Supervision and Management with a concentration in Business Information Technology in May 2022, and by January 2023 he had achieved every grad’s dream: the start of a rewarding career.
But he hasn’t stopped there. Jenkins is also pursuing a master’s degree in information technology through Florida State University and recently accepted a job as a Technical Analyst for CereCore HCA Healthcare.
“Not only was Polk State commutable, but it was also more affordable for me to go to school,” Jenkins shared about the start of his higher education journey. “It was the best opportunity for me to grow and see if I wanted to go to college or not, because I wasn’t really sure at first.”
His Polk State experience paired with inspiration from his mother, who holds a doctorate degree, motivated Jenkins to continue his educational path toward a career in IT.
“What helped me succeed at Polk State was reaching out to people,” he said. “I had a lot of networking opportunities. I got my first couple internships through Polk State.”
Jenkins interned with Summit Consulting in Lakeland and the Florida Blue Summer Internship Program. He admitted that his goal for the latter was to intern in IT with Florida Blue, but the opportunity to participate in the health insurance sector of the program still yielded valuable experience and connections. He encouraged students to take advantage of all opportunities and to remain open-minded.
Shortly thereafter, he was hired to work in IT at Saddle Creek Logistics. Saddle Creek, based in Lakeland with 54 locations nationwide, provides solution-based, data-driven services in warehousing, fulfillment, and transportation. During the production of his Polk State News feature, Jenkins received a job offer as a Technical Analyst with CereCore HCA Healthcare.
“Not only was Polk State commutable, but it was also more affordable for me to go to school. It was the best opportunity for me to grow and see if I wanted to go to college or not, because I wasn’t really sure at first.”
Positions in IT-related fields range in median salaries from $59,660 for computer support specialists to $102,240 for computer systems analysts, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Additionally, jobs in IT fields are estimated to grow much faster than average, with the need for computer systems analysts, for example, increasing by 10% between 2022 and 2032.
Jenkins explained that his experience in Polk State’s Business Information Technology Program prepared him well for his career. He also expressed gratitude to Sha’Kia Riggins, Program Director for Computer Systems and Business Analysis, for serving as a mentor along the way.
“Once I started going into the program, going through the coursework, and learning hands-on job training…, that’s what made me want to finish the program and got me a job,” he said. “I recommend Polk State to any student who wants to get into IT.”
Jenkins added that Polk State also prepared him for graduate-level studies.
“Polk State bachelor’s classes definitely prepared me in terms of being able to write papers sufficiently – that’s very big in a master’s degree program,” he explained. “Also, just keeping a learning mentality.”
“I encourage people to come to Polk State College because you can find out what you really want to do.”