Q&A with Liam Goetz

Former UPCI Intern who recently completed the CompTIA data+ course

Q.  Describe your prior role with the UPCI?
I came to the UPCI in 2021 as an AmeriCorps VISTA (Volunteer In Service To America). It is an amazing program similar to the Peace Corps except instead of doing work internationally everything is done domestically. The project I was working on was in collaboration with the Center on Rural Innovation (CORI) where we were tasked with helping to build up the digital economy in rural locations. We had eight VISTAs working in six sites across the U.S. Myself and Matt Jaquez were the two lucky enough to be placed in Marquette for the year. During our year of service, we focused on building relationships with local EDOs, K-12 schools, and industry professionals. We helped to facilitate the inaugural YooperCon which brought roughly 300 students from across the UP to the Northern Center at NMU for a day of cyber exploration.

Q. What inspired you to take the course?
I took the data+ course because it was something new from CompTIA. I went to school and received my B.S. in Accounting so when Doug Miller mentioned the course it instantly piqued my interest. I thought it would be an easy transition from accounting to data analytics.

Q. What was the most valuable takeaway from the course?
The most valuable takeaway from the course was learning about data governance. Data governance is the protection, use, and classification of data. In my current role, I come across this concept often so having the knowledge from CompTIA has really allowed me to excel.

Q. What do you plan on doing with the course?
Now that I have passed the certification, I plan on learning more about SQL. SQL is the language used to extract and transform data. It is similar to programming in my opinion but instead of getting the computer to perform a task, it is used to manipulate data. SQL is touched on during the course but only at a very basic level, I’d like to learn more and become proficient in using SQL.

Q. Do you have any advice for someone wanting to take the course?
I would say if this course seems interesting then take it. Going through the CompTIA
online classwork can be done at your own pace which was really helpful for me cause life happens and sometimes you can't sit down for class on Tuesday at 6, but the flexibility to learn at my own pace was a huge bonus. Also, after completing the course sign up for the exam and get a date set otherwise you’ll end up pushing it off. With the test just be confident and remember it's not the end of the world if you don’t pass the first time.