SCOTT DIAMOND WASN’T EXACTLY AMBITIOUS DURING HIS K-12 YEARS.
“I was always in special ed, but they weren’t really helping me with achieving success.” In high school, he says, the program he was in “did pretty much the same thing every year.” As a result, he says: “I was extremely unmotivated.”
Today that “unmotivated” student is a computer support technician for PayNet Inc., in Skokie, Ill.
“We support the entire company’s infrastructure servers, computers, laptops and software,” he says. “If a computer breaks, I’m the first person to call.”
It wasn’t until his junior year of high school that Diamond was diagnosed with an auditory processing disorder. For his senior year, his parents enrolled him in a high school designed for students with learning disabilities.
When he arrived at Beacon College in 2007, Diamond was ready to learn. He knew he was good at computers; he just wasn’t sure what kind of job he wanted. Beacon’s curriculum and approach were perfect for Diamond.
“Beacon helped me because of the small class sizes and the correct pace,” he says. “I didn’t feel stressed out or overwhelmed like I would have at a regular college.”
Diamond thrived in Beacon’s close-knit community.
“I’ve always been a shy person and very quiet,” Diamond says. “When I went to Beacon, I joined a fraternity and created multiple lifelong friends that I consider part of my family.”
Having earned a bachelor’s degree in computer information systems from Beacon, Diamond had one more hurdle to overcome en route to a career in information technology.
“I went for extra schooling to get certified as A+,” he says.
The A+ training and exam certify the competency of computer service professionals in installing, maintaining, customizing, and operating personal computers. The certification is sponsored by the Computing Technology Industry Association. Diamond knew all the material; it was the test-taking that would challenge him.
“It was probably one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do,” he recalls. “I had to get into overdrive and apply the skills I’d learned at Beacon. With my learning disability, I knew it would be a little harder for me. It took me three tries.”
Once he passed the A+ certification test, the job offers started rolling in.
“I landed my first big contract with United Airlines,” he says. “I worked with them as a contractor in their Chicago office for about three and a half years.”
Next, Diamond worked for Motorola for a year before taking his current job. As a support technician, Diamond enjoys the continual training opportunities.
“As part of my job, they require us to get training every year,” he says, “so I’m always learning something new and staying on top of newer technologies.”
He has found his niche and plans to move up within it.
“Computers have always come easy to me,” Diamond says. “They’re something I’m passionate about. Eventually, I’d like to run my own department or be in charge of a company’s infrastructure as a network administrator.”