Many people think of I.T. services as a simple process that just entails maintaining a workable in-house system for a company. However, AHEAD is a company that specializes in the complicated process of moving your company to the next level in this technologically driven world. Senior Technical Architect Chris Wahl gives some great insight on how investing in yourself can improve your chances in obtaining and maintaining an I.T. position with a company that can grow into the future for longevity in your I.T. career.

Senior Technical Architect Chris Wahl (photo courtesy of Chris Wahl)

Senior Technical Architect Chris Wahl (photo courtesy of Chris Wahl)

What is your current position and job responsibility? 

“I have been with this company for two years. I work with commercial and enterprise clients in the Midwest as a technical consultant, with a focus on providing guidance on long-term strategy, architecture design and end-to-end implementation. Much of my work touches on various components in the data center, including virtualization, storage, networking, computing, disaster recovery and shop for cloud storage services.” 

What other positions have you held in I.T.? 

“I’ve worked my way up from an entry-level service technician. I spend a good chunk of my time as a systems administrator, network administrator, network operations manager and senior engineer. Each position was with a different business vertical and ranged from small businesses to massive publicly traded enterprises.” 

What is your educational background? 

“I have BS in networking and communications management and an MBA with a minor in project management. I also hold a large swath of over 30 vendor certifications, including the VMware Certified Design Expert certification. There are 110 globally and I am the only one in Illinois.” 

What are your thoughts on education in terms of success in I.T.? 

“Having a degree was an easy way for my employer to hedge their bet on my skills and gave me the ability to prove myself out in the job market. My hands-on lab efforts and formal training on various products through instructor-led training has been critical for staying relevant and current on technology that customers need to remain successful. I’m a strong believer that everyone should invest in themselves wherever possible and have always put a lot of faith in formal education.” 

How important is it to stay current in learning new technologies in I.T.? 

“I don’t think the word ‘important’ holds enough weight when it comes to I.T. I’ve personally found online training, like TrainSignal for example, to be a great way to hone skills on the job and to prep for certifications. I.T. has begun to transition into a highly integrated part of the business strategy and any organization that doesn’t leverage a highly agile and skilled technical team will be at a serious disadvantage against its competitors. To remain competitive in the field, you have to actively seek out continuous learning resources. This is why I was both a customer and now an instructor at TrainSignal. Investing in yourself through continued education translates into a passion that continues to build and push you into the next level of your chosen career path.”

Sara Lugardo is a professional writer out of Chicago, Illinois. She has a Bachelor’s in Communication and is currently working on her Master’s. Her work can be found on

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