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Learnings from the CAT

The Center of Applied Technology South (CAT South) is a trade school located in Maryland, and it is home to a number of courses. Jude Poole Jr shares thoughts on the experience, and being part of the Cisco Networking Academy.

What is CAT South?
You start as a freshmen in Career Exploration, move up as a sophomore to a Level One, and then to a Level Two and Level Three for juniors and seniors. Here, you can join a number of programs designed around specific trades, including carpentry, health, cosmetology, media creation, automotive and marine repair to name a few.

Why did I join CAT South?
CAT South offers a number of tours throughout the year where the feeding middle schools’ students get to tour the building and experience all of the programs. I remember coming into the Cisco Lab as a middle school student and realizing: “Yeah, this is what I want to do” and when I became eligible for the program during high school, I applied and got accepted. It was only uphill from there.

What do you do at CAT South?
It largely depends on the program, but all the courses are designed to be hands-on. At the Cisco Networking Academy, you work towards getting CompTIA and Cisco certifications in the IT field. But, all of the classes have unique labs kitted to their trade, and students do most of their learning in an immersive hands-on environment on top of bookwork straight out of training courses designed for that field.

What does CAT South mean to me?
It is something I am glad to be a part of, as it helped me train and prepare for a job in the real world. There is often the stigma that normal public schools don’t teach you what you need to know to function in the real world.

At CAT South, it is quite the opposite. They teach you what you need to know to succeed, and then exceed, in your field of choice, as well as teaching you how to compose a resume, manage finances, be a leader, function in a professional environment, among other things. Overall, it helps students turn into successful people in the modern world, and thus, have an advantage over those who do not go through this worthwhile training.

How does CAT South help me in the real world?
CAT South has allowed me to participate in a number of competitions and clubs, which have helped me improve in my field and as a person, as well as getting recognized certifications in the IT trade. It is a great way to jumpstart your career and prepare you for the real world.

CAT South has been responsible for all of my achievements in the cyber trade, and for that, I would like to thank my two teachers, Mr. Doering and Mr. Kahler, my fellow classmates, the principal Mr. Rose, and all the other staff and students who make CAT South a great place to learn cybersecurity.


Jude Poole, a junior in High School, is currently attending the Cisco Networking Academy at the Center of Applied Technology South in Maryland. Jude is currently a competitor in CyberPatriot (for this year's competition and last year's), a Cisco NetRiders 3rd place North American finalist in IT Essentials, a member of SkillsUSA, as well as CompTIA IT Fundamentals and A certified, and is currently working towards Network and Security .


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