Computer Networking Academy student competes at States

by Michele Collins

Aidan Sedor is the kind of kid that enjoys a challenge. When he discovered how much it would cost to buy all the components needed to make his dream computer, he said it would be cheaper to build one himself. This past year, he did just that.

His affinity for computers has only grown since his involvement with the Cuyahoga Valley Career Center’s Computer Networking Academy and subsequent participation in the Business Professionals of America state competition.

Aidan, a Sagamore Hills resident and junior at Nordonia High School, was interested in pursuing a career in the technical field. His mother Dawn said she knew Aidan had an aptitude for computers, but wasn’t sure where to go. Then they found the CVCC’s career technical programs and Aidan got involved with the Computer Networking Academy.

The academy meets daily for half a day during the school year. The other half is spent at the student’s home high school taking regular classes. Students who enroll in the CVCC high school career development programs commit to participating during their junior and senior years.

According to the CVCC website, the Computer Networking Academy is designed to introduce students to computer networking. It stated that computer-networking professionals are “specialists who set up and administer networked computers and related equipment. They acquire the skills used by both PC support technicians and network administrators. They study hardware and operating systems for computer networks and train to upgrade, troubleshoot and administer the system.”

The website also noted that computer networking specialists are in high demand and jobs are waiting for students after college.

“One of the most mature things Aidan said to me was that he could take a college level computer course at CVCC without incurring the college-level debt,” said Dawn. “He said even if he didn’t like the computer classes, he would learn something.”

So far, Aidan said his experience in the academy has been nothing short of amazing. He has learned about hardware and software and has completed projects where he organized servers, routers, and networks. He also takes part in the Business Professionals of America organization, a group that has allowed him to test and be acknowledged for his computer skills.

The Business Professionals of America is a career and technical student organization that helps students develop leadership abilities and promotes interest in business and information technology careers. The club, through its annual skill competitions at the regional, state, and national levels, emphasizes high-level competency in business and information technology skills.

Aidan qualified for the BPA state competition this year in Columbus, which took place March 10 and 11. In addition, his group project for BPA already earned a second-place finish in the regionals.

When asked what happens in a state competition, Aidan said, “Well, we do get to go to Columbus and stay overnight, but the competition is actually like timed testing. You sit at the computer and test how you would handle a problem or solve a network situation. But the good thing is, participating and doing well in states is something that I can definitely add to my resume.”

As a junior, Aidan’s resume is already impressive. In addition to his CVCC classes, he also takes part in Nordonia High School’s Science Olympiad team – that group’s competition is the day after the BPA competition. By the end of March, he will have earned the Eagle Scout designation from the Boy Scouts of America as a member of Troop 882.

Aidan said he is excited to delve into larger networks and Microsoft programs his senior year. He can earn network technician certificates, cybersecurity certifications and internet and computing core certifications, among others. When he is done, as he told his mom, he will have completed coursework and gained experience he doesn’t have to pay for in college. ∞