Of the world’s networking engineers, only about one percent have earned the prestigious Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE) certificate from Cisco Systems. Lorain County Community College graduate Marcus Barnovsky, 29, of North Ridgeville, is one of them.
At LCCC’s Cisco Academy, students train for certification in computer networking. Barnovsky believes that, had he not attended LCCC — where he also earned his bachelor’s degree in 2014 — he wouldn’t be where he is today. The college’s University Partnership program allowed him to pursue a bachelor’s degree in computer information systems/networking and additional Cisco certifications. He chose to pursue his bachelor’s degree at LCCC due to its 3+1 program, which let him take three years of classes at LCCC’s lower tuition rate and one year through the University of Akron, and take all but one class on the LCCC University Partnership Ridge Campus. And that was only because he was eager to earn his degree.
“They rotate the classes that are available from Akron at LCCC, and I could have waited a year to take my final class, but I didn’t want to,” he says. “So I drove to Akron and finished there.”
After graduation, a classmate called to say a recruiter had contacted him about a job at University Hospitals as supervisor of network engineering, and while the friend wasn’t interested, he thought that Barnovsky might be. The friend asked permission to give the recruiter his name. Barnovsky said yes, and got the job.
Eager to learn
When Barnovsky began classes at LCCC, he was uncertain of his direction, so he met with an enrollment adviser, who outlined two programs.
“I looked at the one for computer information systems/network communications technology and chose it for no reason,” he says. “I just needed to pick something.”
At LCCC, he encountered two great mentors, Professors Doug Huber and Don Huffman.
“He was excited about what he was learning in class, and that translated to him wanting to learn more about how this stuff works,” Huffman says.
Barnovsky’s original plan was to earn his associate degree and end his education, but he was intrigued by the Cisco Academy courses he continued to take with Huber. Like Huffman, Huber thought Barnovsky had potential.
“I saw he was really bright, really motivated and really interested,” Huber says. “I knew he was going to do well.”
Huber says that with Barnovsky’s skills and Cisco certifications, he is a highly skilled employee and will never have difficulty finding a job.
“People like him will always be in demand,” he says.