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#Career Forward Alabama | #Information Technology

Jake Downard | Career Forward Alabama

One of the most in-demand career options in Alabama is the IT industry, which has a wide range of pathways for job seekers. After graduating from Mountain Brook High School, Jake Downard served in the United States Marine Corps for four years, which included deployments to Afghanistan and Iraq.  After returning home, Jake heard about the free, three-month coding bootcamps that are offered at Innovate Birmingham. He completed the bootcamp with the winter 2017 cohort, earning a certificate backed by the UAB Collat School of Business. He is now working at BBVA Compass as an Application Programmer Analyst. “I have an awesome salary [and] job. I have benefits, insurance.... I’ve got vacation days. I can finally afford a one-bedroom apartment. It’s walking distance from the office, so everything’s just going very well.” Annual income for system programmers ranges from $55,878 to $113,297, with an annual mean wage in Alabama of $103,380. Anyone who is interested in pursuing a career in IT is encouraged to reach out to their school counselor or career coach. Interested adults are encouraged to connect with their local career center for more information.

View more about Jake Downard on the Spotlight on Education American Graduate episode.