September 13, 2023 - 9:20 pm

New Information Technology Support Class: Earn the CompTIA ITF+ Certificate in Just 8 Weeks

By 20Fathoms

20Fathoms has been working with regional employers and partners through the Employer Led Collaborative (ELC) to address the area’s shortage of tech professionals. Regional employers asked us to focus on IT Support professionals as their critical concern in the tech talent gap.

To address their needs, we’ve collaboratively brought forward a new industry recognized credential class, CompTIA IT+ Fundamentals, which is now being offered through Northwestern Michigan College (NMC) Extended Education & Training and designed and taught by NMC’s Computer Information Technology (CIT) department.  This is the first time the non-credit NMC Extended Education & Training team has co-developed a course with their for-credit NMC CIT department to make this class a pathway to credit for learners who may decide to take additional courses, certificates and degrees.

Why is IT Support a Growing and Stable Career Field?

Informed by national research from the Center on Rural Innovation (CORI) and the best practices from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Career Readiness Talent Pipeline Management (TPM) academy, 20Fathoms used a framework to engage regional employers from across multiple industries to learn what technology talent was their most critical area of concern and create an action plan to address it.

The ELC was clear in their need to focus on growing local informational technology (IT) support professionals. These roles have long been in demand regionally and nationally. The demand for IT professionals is expected to double in the coming years. That growth is based on rapidly evolving complexity of business technology and projected retirements. Those challenges have been compounded by the decline in learners who would otherwise enter training programs and higher education experiencing barriers. Functioning and secure information technology is essential to business operations and makes IT a highly stable career for the foreseeable future.

Why NMC and This Certificate?

In a process called back mapping we asked what source of tech talent our employers preferred for quality candidates hired for IT positions.  They overwhelmingly said they have been highly satisfied with NMC’s CIT program students. This informed the decision to engage NMC and work with NMC’s CIT department to evaluate which industry recognized certificate aligned to employer specifications and design a course to prepare the learner take the credential exam.

Listening to our resource partners we gained important insights into what barriers prevent interested community members from enrolling in traditional higher education. This led us to see a need for an easily accessible “on-ramp” into training designed specifically for those already working full and part-time jobs. After completion of the CompTIA ITF+ course learners can apply for entry-level IT positions. One can continue with NMC’s CIT for-credit courses toward additional certificates and degrees having already earned 3 credits for this pre-approved course.

Who Should Take This Course?

  • Students and career changers considering a move into a career in IT
  • Employees already working with organizations and performing informal IT support
  • Professionals working in roles where additional IT skills would benefit their career

Certificate Information

CompTIA IT Fundamentals+ (ITF+) is an introduction to basic IT knowledge and skills that prepares one for in-demand entry level careers in IT. The ITF+ certification is the only single certification that covers all areas of IT foundations, creating a broader understanding of IT, and making it ideal for learners preparing for entry level careers.

In this course learners will gain basic tech competencies and durable skills in:

  • infrastructure networking
  • applications and software
  • software development
  • database fundamentals
  • network security

Class Details

  • Class: CompTIA IT Fundamentals (ITF+)
  • Location: Attend lectures remotely OR in-person & 2 in-person labs at NMC’s Parsons Stulen Building, 2600 Aero Park Drive Traverse City, MI  49686
  • Complete the interest form: Here for the class
  • Cost: $799* (Includes voucher to take CompTIA ITF+ certificate exam)
    Plus, learners will be invited to explore in-demand tech careers by attending optional networking events hosted by 20Fathoms to connect them directly with regional employers and IT mentors.

What Financial Assistance is Available to Help Pay for This Class?

Northwest Michigan Works!

20Fathoms worked closely during the design and discovery process with Northwest Michigan Works! to ensure this class would both meet the criteria for eligible learners to seek financial support and how the course should be delivered hybrid to be more accessible to working learners trying to transition into full-time year-round careers. Contact your local Northwest Michigan Works! office today to find out what support is available.

Safety Net Scholarship

Safety Net, a member of the ELC, has stepped forward to offer a scholarship and opportunity for a potential internship upon completion of the class and certificate. Those interested will find that application on the class registration page and learners are encouraged to apply for both the scholarship and contact Northwest Michigan Works! to ensure they have explored all their options for financial support.

Employer Paid

Employers with team members informally serving as their “go to IT support” would greatly benefit from paying for this class to have employees using IT best practices with this CompTIA ITF+ certificate knowledge. Or interested learners can ask their employer to pay for this class as these skills will be valuable to their organizations. NMC Extended Education & Training has made it easy for employers to pay for a learner’s course in the registration process. Contact NMC EES with your questions (231) 995-1700 Monday-Thursday, 9am – 4pm or email

Are You Ready?

Questions? Send us an email.

This training was co-developed by NMC’s Extended Education & Training, NMC’s Computer Information Technology department, and 20Fathoms with direction from the regional Tech Employer Led Collaborative and funding support through the Michigan Industry Cluster Approach (MICA) Grant Program.