TSTC student hopes longtime interest in computers leads to career

Ben Barkley / Texas State Technical College
Matthew Turney

Matthew Turney has always been interested in computers and decided to make working on them a new career.

Turney is studying for an Associate of Applied Science degree in Computer Networking and Systems Administration at Texas State Technical College in Brownwood with a goal of beginning his new career.

“I was seeking a higher-paying career, and that is the reason I chose to attend TSTC,” he said. “I am halfway through the program and have not been disappointed.”

Turney is not a stranger to TSTC, but he decided several years ago not to finish college. He did know that TSTC would be a good choice if he wanted to return to school.

Instructor Renee Blackshear now sees in him a motivated student who plans to succeed.

“Matthew started his information technology education while in high school and has come to college at TSTC with a positive attitude and incredible work ethic,” she said. “His ability to master complex topics is phenomenal, and we are delighted to have Matthew as part of the Computer Networking and Systems Administration program.”

Turney returned to TSTC because of a new style of learning available to him and other students. TSTC’s Computer Networking and Systems Administration program now uses the performance-based education model, which allows students to have flexibility with their schedules as they master set competencies.

Faculty members guide the students as they take courses. “I enjoy the new accelerated program because we are able to learn at our pace,” he said. “I was surprised by how quickly it can be done. It is very nice getting a degree twice as fast and at half the cost.”

Turney is also surprised by what he has been able to learn during the first half of the program. “I’ve gained a good bit of knowledge about networking and servers,” he said.

Turney has some advice for students beginning the program. “I would tell people to get ahead on your assignments as early as possible,” he said. “It will help you out in the future.”

Turney is motivated to complete the program for his children. “I am trying to be a good example for them and everyone around me,” he said.

Turney knows that he will have job opportunities closer to graduation. One specific opportunity for him would be a perfect fit.

“I think a remote system administration job would be ideal for me and my family,” he said.

TSTC also offers an advanced technical certificate in Cloud Computing. Both the associate degree and certificate programs are available completely online. Computer-user support specialists can make an average of $47,460 per year, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Onetonline.org predicts that this career will grow by 19% in Texas by 2028. For more information about TSTC, visit tstc.edu