Two Maconaquah High School seniors earned a certification that will open future doors for them in the world of technology.

Brandon Chance and Jordan Edgington became qualified as Cisco Certified Entry Networking Technicians (CCENT) this summer after passing the Cisco exam. The certification is industry-recognized, and both students studied in class, in extracurricular activities, and outside of class to prepare for the exam.

“I’m really proud actually,” Chance said. “For several years in high school, that was the end goal. Finally getting it was really exciting. You can put this on any application. Cisco is really high up with tech companies. Being able to say you're certified is a big deal.”

Edgington agreed.

“I’m pretty proud,” he said. “I didn’t expect to pass … I was genuinely surprised.”

Chance and Edgington have been in the school’s Cisco Academy since they entered high school, and they have each been a part of the school’s Tech Tribe for several years as well.

Maconaquah High School Technology Teacher Julie Dinn said Chance and Edgington’s “perseverance in ‘staying the course’ and seeing it through to the end has become a great accomplishment for them and our program.”

Dinn said Cisco certifications are well-respected in the job market.

“To be Cisco certified at this age is a rarity,” she said. “This certification can help lead to employment immediately after high school or to help pay for expenses as they continue their academic careers.”

She said the curriculum is “demanding,” and “the expectations are high,” but they both put in the hard work to be successful.

Tech Tribe leader and Maconaquah School Corporation Technology Director Chris Percival said Chance and Edgington are students he picks to lead technology projects.

“They understand the importance of completing the project right the first time to eliminate the need for revisiting technology issues,” he said, adding they “possess great troubleshooting skills and are always willing to go above and beyond, which is great for our younger or less experienced technology students to see and model after.”

Chance and Edgington said their classes with Dinn and experience in the Tech Tribe have worked together to provide a great foundation in their technology education.

Their work in the Tech Tribe is largely focused on repairing corporation laptops, and their classes with Dinn teach them about networking concepts, hardware, and software.

Edgington said he enjoys the world of technology because he enjoys working with new equipment.

“New things are nice,” he said. “ I like working with modern day stuff. The newer and cooler, the (better).”

Chance agreed, saying, “there’s always more to learn” when working in technology.

“You’re never done learning when technology is always developing,” he said.

After high school, Chance plans to attend a four-year college to study computer technology or networking. He said he would like to work as a network engineer in the future.

Edgington is joining the United States Air Force as a Signals Intelligence Analyst.

He said he told his recruiting officer that he wanted a “computer-related job.”

The students’ Cisco certification is good for three years, and Chance and Edgington both noted that in addition to the certification, they also learned a lot in preparing for the exam.