Imagine making $30,000 a year right out of high school. Some Beaufort High students are doing just that. They earned national certification for computer repair. High School used to mean just a lot of reading, writing, and arithmetic, but these days students have a lot more choices.
At Beaufort High School, students can learn the ins and outs of computers, by digging their hands in. Now after a year and a half, all nine of the students who stuck with the program passed their A-plus CompTIA Certification test, which could mean high-paying jobs.
"The students could go into the industry and make ten to 15 dollars an hour," said teacher Rick Kates.
And that's what these students and their teacher are counting on. "When I actually passed the test, I was like, I can really do something with this in my life," said student Demetrius Strickland.
"I hope it gives them an opportunity to find jobs in surrounding areas or help them go to college," said Kates.
Although most of these students plan to go to a four-year or technical college, many like Wilma Harp are hoping it will help pay off in the future. "Having this would help me out with some extra change or something to get me through college," she said.
The students are not only learning new skills, but they're using their knowledge to repair and set up computer labs throughout the school. In fact, some of these students are actually helping to teach computer-related classes to their classmates so they too can get their certification.
Some of the students still have another part of the test to pass before becoming completely certified. They tell us they plan to pass that test after the first of the year.