Learning Computers from the Inside Out

Special to Devils Lake Journal

Bottineau, ND - As a student majoring in computer science at a four-year university, Daniel Wilke realized he didn’t know much about the hardware inside the computers he worked on. “I was learning about database design and software development, but I also wanted to know about how the parts fit together and how it all worked,” says Daniel. So, he transferred to the Information Technology (IT) program offered by Dakota College at Bottineau on the Minot State University (MSU) campus.

Computer screen divided into quadrants with a different person's face in each one.

Convenience and affordability were driving factors in his choice of Dakota College at Bottineau. “I could take classes in Minot so I didn’t have to move, and the program was affordable.” Additional distance learning opportunities offered this semester made the program even more convenient. Daniel enrolled in 2019 and is looking forward to graduating in late 2020 with his IT degree and possibly some certifications in PCs and servers.

Man with surprised look, hands to his face, as he looks at computer screen

The flexibility of the program at Dakota College at Bottineau was a perfect fit for Daniel’s hectic lifestyle. “I have two foster kids, an 11-month old son and two part-time jobs, but the teachers worked around my crazy schedule.”

Daniel works as a youth care provider at the Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch, and was recently hired as an intern at Magic City Systems. “I have the chance to work with the smartest IT person I’ve ever met. We get calls and emails about all sorts of different computer problems that people are having. There are always different issues to fix so there’s a lot of variety to the work. I also change out hard drives and update operating systems. We’re always busy and it’s a lot of fun.”

A doctor on a computer screen holds up a stethoscope.

For anyone considering a career in IT, Daniel has this advice: “The best information I ever got about it was from my current employer. He told me that people in IT are masters of research. Even people in the IT field still have to look stuff up. There’s entirely too much information about technology to know everything, and it’s constantly changing.”