Our Instructor Spotlight is on Troy Carroll. Troy has an extensive IT background (particularly in the higher education space) and has held a variety of IT positions at UTC since 2003. Troy currently serves as an LMS administrator for the Walker Center for Teaching and Learning. Not only does he teach UTC’s CompTIA IT Fundamentals+ course, but he also is a UTC criminal justice adjunct professor. In his spare time, you can find him cheering on the Tennessee Vols or hitting the tennis courts. Learn about Troy, his teaching style, and his advice for individuals pursuing IT careers.
Marah: What experience or conversation influenced you to teach?
Troy: My wife is a teacher, but I had never considered teaching until I had a conversation with one of my former professors. He approached me about teaching a course, saying that he thought I would be a good fit as the course instructor. I took his advice and started teaching six years ago in UTC’s criminal justice department. I am thankful he encouraged me to give teaching a try because I absolutely love it!
M: What’s your teaching style?
T: I love both interactive and discussion-based teaching. For the ITF+ course, we are together either through Zoom or hopefully in person again someday. I encourage a back-and-forth conversation between my students and I; I need to know if students understand what I am sharing so I can shift gears if we aren’t all on the same page. To me, a classroom should be centered around collaboration and cooperation.
M: What are key concepts you would like your students to take away from the CompTIA ITF+ course?
T: The main takeaway is found in the course name itself. It’s a fundamentals course, meaning that I want this course to lay a strong IT foundation for students. The course doesn’t specialize in one topic, like networking or security. Instead, it’s meant to give students a broad overview of IT basics to help them get their foot in the door.
M: Who would you recommend the CompTIA ITF+ course to?
T: Being a basic course, I would recommend it to those who are considering a career change and are brand new to IT. It’s also a great course for those graduating college that want to get a certification to enhance their resume and skill set with.
The course is also beneficial for individuals who are working in entry-level positions (such as at call centers) who are looking to expand more into the troubleshooting, help desk side of IT.
M: What qualities make a great IT professional?
T: Three qualities immediately come to mind. First, patience. You’re dealing with a wide range of technology and people, and the answers you need will sometimes take time to find. Second, the ability to investigate. There is a problem-solving aspect to IT because you have to translate what someone is telling you is going on or what you see in a system is going wrong. Again, you may not have all the answers immediately, so you often have to take the information you’re given and dig deeper into it. CompTIA uses a seven-step troubleshooting model for all its certifications that highly emphasizes investigating, problem-solving, and the third quality—attention to detail.
M: What advice would you give to someone considering taking the ITF+ course?
T: Be patient as you go through the process of building your IT career. You’re not going to learn everything in the ITF+ course; in fact, learning IT is a process that’s never fully over.
The course will take you 80% of the way to earning the ITF+ certification, but be prepared to work on your own time to study and get ready as well. Between your dedication and the course, you can earn the ITF+ certification!
M: What are three fun facts about you?
- I love playing tennis. I play 2-3 times a week.
- When I am not playing tennis, you can find me at a sports game. I am a big sports fan. I love UTC sports, but I am a huge Tennessee Vols fan. You better believe I am at every football game, every year!
- I traveled to Hawaii pre-pandemic and LOVED it. I also love taking cruises, so I hope to get on a cruise ship soon.
M: Is there anything else you would like to share about IT or the CompTIA ITF+ course you teach?
T: I promise that even if you have never studied IT a day in your life, you can succeed in this course. You just have to be willing to be dedicated to learning! I hope to see many students prepping for the CompTIA ITF+ certification.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Marah Whitaker (think Laura with an M) serves as the marketing assistant for the UTC Center for Professional Education. During the workday, she spends time writing blog posts, creating content for social media, developing email campaigns, and building relationships with CPE’s customer base. During her free time, you can find her getting lost in a good book, having spontaneous dance parties, playing piano, and going to Buffalo Wild Wings on Wing Night. Professionally and personally, she aspires to live by Mr. Feeny’s advice, “Dream. Believe. Try. Do Good.” She strives to use her passions to serve others and contribute positively to the world around her.
Connect with Marah on LinkedIn.