How Coding Became My Dream Job

February 9, 2021

Lesley Downs

What exactly is coding? Simply put, coding is used to give computers and other machines directions on how to perform. Many of your daily tasks are made possible because of coding. When you drive to work and get to a red light, the light uses a code to know when to turn green for the opposing traffic. Code allows us to search online, play games and filtering images. Increasingly, it’s hard to find elements of our life that are not impacted by coding.   

Technology is changing the way we live and do business at lightning speed. The need for employees with high-level coding skills continues to grow, with few qualified workers available to meet the demand. Within the Lincoln Trail Region, Fort Knox has over 250 unfilled career openings in IT, most of which have salaries starting at as much as $60,000.

The Greater Knox Coding Academy, a 17-week certificate program at Elizabethtown Community and Technical College (ECTC), educates students like me in Java and Security+. Although initially developed to create a talent pipeline for Fort Knox, skills learned during the program put participants at an advantage when approaching a wide variety of employers. Coding is in high-demand in many career fields, especially art and design, science and engineering.

I would be lying if I said the coding academy was easy. The rigorous program was a full-time job, and I spent my free time studying and preparing for my certifications. It was, however, definitely well worth the time and investment. I was finally learning something that put my problem-solving skills to the test and challenged me in new ways. I graduated with coding certifications that are sought after skills all over the world. I was fortunate to be hired by Fort Knox defense contractor CoreSys Consulting shortly after passing my exams. 

At CoreSys, I started my career as an IT professional supporting Soldiers and their families. Fort Knox has been in my backyard all my life so this is especially exciting to me. I love that my new position as an Information Technology Developer allows me a real-world way to problem-solve and leverage my creativity. I feel like I have finally found my purpose.

I am so happy that I did not settle and continued to push myself to find a fulfilling career in IT. It is never too late to jump back into the game and change your career. If you are going to spend most of your life working, you might as well be doing something you love. I found my passion in coding. If you have a knack for computers and problem solving, maybe it is the path for you, too. 

The Greater Knox Coding Academy is a great opportunity for dedicated people interested in a rewarding career in IT. At ECTC, you can also earn an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Computer and Information Technologies. Learn more about how to train to become an IT professional at

Lesley Downs is a Greater Knox Coding Academy graduate and an Information Technology Developer at CoreSys. 

The Kentucky Career Center – Lincoln Trail helps match job seekers with local employment and training opportunities. Our business solutions team offers employers of all sizes and industries personalized support to build a competitive workforce. We are an equal opportunity employer.
Program is funded with Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act Title I funds through the Kentucky Education and Labor Cabinet and the Lincoln Trail Workforce Development Board.
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