McNeal’s Passion for IT Leads to OFTC Teaching Career
Brandon McNeal comes from a family of teachers, but he never envisioned himself becoming one until recently.
After completing his bachelor’s degree in Information Systems and his Master’s in Business Administration from Georgia Southern University, McNeal started his career in the Information Technology (IT) field providing information technology services for firms in the financial and legal areas.
But in August of 2017, McNeal felt a calling to pursue teaching, a career he’s watched blossom in the lives of various family members for generations.
“Sometimes when you work in the IT field you work more behind the scenes than in the forefront,” McNeal said. “I wanted to step out into an area where I could more directly assist others and share some of the things I’ve learned with students that have the same passion for technology and helping others that I do.”
And that’s when he found Oconee Fall Line Technical College (OFTC) and began teaching Computer Information Systems (CIS) programs like Computer Support Specialist, Cybersecurity and Networking Specialist.
With teaching in his blood, the transition from behind the desk to the front of the classroom has been somewhat natural for McNeal. “Teaching allows me to work closely and play a part in shaping the knowledge of our students,” he shared. “It allows me to pass on some of the things I’ve learned from working in the field, and hopefully help our students get jump-started in their careers.”
Besides passing on his real-world experience, McNeal loves watching his students excel in their knowledge and understanding of key concepts. “I love when I see my students take a vested interest in the material and when they ask a question and the light bulb goes off in their head and they come to understand something they’ve been trying to comprehend.”
Hoping to inspire others to consider the CIS field for a career, McNeal says “If you have a passion for technology as well as a passion for helping others, a career in CIS could be a good fit for you. But you also need patience, persistence, and the ability to communicate effectively. Being an effective communicator is important because you will have to communicate daily with those in your organization who are less technical and will also be expected to translate their needs into an effective IT solution.”
To those who may be interested in stepping out into something new like CIS, McNeal says “Don’t be afraid to step out and make the leap! If you have an interest in something and want to pursue a career in it, we have a great staff at OFTC to support you and provide a fantastic environment to foster your learning.”
Referring to OFTC, McNeal said those interested in any of the College’s 100+ programs should seriously consider OFTC as an option. “With our smaller class sizes and our team of instructors we’re able to more personally follow the progress of each student and make sure everyone is provided hands-on training in the field of their choice.”
McNeal is from Alamo and currently lives in Metter.