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By David Day, Director, Global Curriculum, VMware

Considering the high demand for IT professionals who can manage virtual servers and data storage, I wasn’t surprised to learn that the VMware vSphere: Install, Configure, and Manage course offered by the Milwaukee Area Technical College is one of the most popular within their IT Network Specialist degree.

We work hard to make sure our certifications provide IT professionals with the skills they need to help their businesses innovate and grow, so it warms my heart to hear stories from Brian Kirsch, who teaches the VMware course and sits on the board of directors for the VMware User Group (VMUG).

“All of them are working currently,” Kirsch says, referring to past students of the course who have landed anywhere from small local businesses to Fortune 500 companies. In fact, one student had to negotiate to be able to complete the class—the Fortune 500 company wanted him ASAP but he knew the value of finishing the class would ultimately benefit himself and his new company.

“Hiring managers are looking for these students to make an immediate impact on the business,” Kirsch says. “Having the VMware training has opened up lots of doors for students.”

The VMware course prepares students to take the exam to earn the VMware Certified Professional-Data Center Virtualization (VCP-DCV) certification. “Just going through the certification is a huge flag for HR and technical hiring staffs,” Kirsch says. “Of course, completing the VCP certification is even better; it’s one of the few that really can guarantee you a job. ”

Milwaukee Area Technical College added the VMware vSphere: Install, Configure, and Manage class a few years ago, after the advisory board recommended it based on the value of those skill sets in the industry. In the next year, the college plans to add advanced and pro versions of the class.

Kirsch is also helping to develop a class that would prepare students for the new VMware Certified Associate (VCA) exam, allowing the school to help every level of student achieve their VMware certifications—and help them have an immediate positive impact on the companies eager to hire them.