Computer Technology graduate: Westmoreland ‘changed my life’

Date Published: March 22, 2018

Rick BruceIf you have ever called or visited the Help Desk with a technology problem, Rick Bruce may have been the one to get your computer back up and running. Bruce has been a full-time Help Desk Technician since he graduated from Westmoreland County Community College in 2016 with a degree in Computer Technology.

“It changed my life,” Bruce said. “This place really gave me what I needed to have a career.”

As a single father to a young daughter, Bruce was working for a moving company when he decided he wanted to go to college to study computers.

“I was tired of breaking my back,” Bruce said. “I was already good with computers. I had a knack for it.”

Westmoreland was a good fit because of the affordable tuition and the Campus Children’s Center at the Youngwood Campus.

“I could stop in between classes. They have a two-way mirror and I could look in on her,” Bruce said.

He chose the technical support option for his degree because “tech support is a people job” and he quickly secured a work-study position after volunteering to help an instructor during class.

“He was having trouble with some scaffolding that needed to be moved, and nobody got up to help him,” Bruce said. “I said ‘Need a hand?’ and after class he asked if I would be interested in a work-study position.”

From there, the college hired him as a part-time desktop media clerk.  He worked part-time while finishing his degree. Bruce credits staff and faculty with helping him schedule classes that fit into his life.

“It wasn’t always easy and I had to put in a lot of hard work, but with my proactive attitude and the college’s amazing staff and faculty, I had all the tools I needed to succeed,” Bruce wrote in a review on the college’s Facebook page.

As a Help Desk Technician, he has a variety of duties. Bruce repairs computers, runs network cables, works with software and assists with programming.  He said the most rewarding part of the job is helping students.

“At the beginning of the semester, it can be really hectic,” Bruce said. “It feels good to help, especially a student having trouble. I can relate to that.”

Bruce summed up his experience in his Facebook review: “Before I started here, I was a young dad with no real direction on how to be the man I needed to be for my daughter. Now I am a skilled computer technician and it’s all because of the great staff and faculty at this college.”

Computer Technology is the Program of the Month for March. Learn more here.