Gage Smith (Paulding), a senior in the
junior Network Systems class at Vantage Career Center, earned his Test Out
Linux Pro Certification, which normally takes an entire school year to complete,
but he achieved it in less than one semester and scored in the top 10% of all
test takers for Linux Pro in the United States, including college students and
The passing score for Linux Pro is 1360 out of 1800. Gage’s score
was 1748. The average score for high school students is 677 with a 30% passing
rate, and for college students it’s 1144 with a 59% passage rate, according to
Test Out, and these students spend an entire year studying and practicing for
this test. Gage did it in 15 weeks & passed.
“Gage spent every extra minute in class working on this elective,
but also skipped breaks to keep working on it, and even studied at home without
any homework being assigned, which was not an easy task,” says Network Systems
Instructor Larry Regedanz.
Students in the 2-year Network Systems program are required to
complete the PC Pro (hardware and software) course their junior year, and the
Network Pro (networking) course their senior year. Each course takes about 1
year to complete, and students can earn industry credentials for each course.
In addition, both juniors and seniors can pick an elective course for extra industry
certifications. Most students pick IT Fundamentals their junior year which is a
pretty basic course and Computer Security their senior year which goes along
well with their Networking course. Some students choose more advanced courses
such as Routing and Switching or Linux Pro.
Gage chose the harder Linux Pro course in addition to the required
PC Pro course, along with a second elective for semester two so he can finish
his senior year Vantage strong with several Information Technology
certifications. When asked why he dedicated every free moment to these electives,
Smith replied, “Because I can.”
"Gage was a student in Interactive Media his junior year. Although he wanted to enroll in Network Systems, the class was full, so when an opening came up his senior year, he jumped on the opportunity and is taking full advantage of getting as much training as he can,” says Regedanz. “Getting all of these certifications in one year is amazing.”
Gage’s accomplishments earned him a national spotlight through a congratulatory Facebook post from TestOut (@TestOut), which included a photo of Gage, along with submitted inforamtion by Instructor Larry Regedanz saying, “Congratulations to Gage Smith of Vantage Career Center in Ohio! He finished out the
school year with a fistful of our Pro certifications.”
TestOut is an information technology and Office
certification company offering TestOut Pro Certifications and innovative
courseware solutions. With LabSim, students get a broad range of
hands-on experience in a safe, simulated environment.
Gage has completed his senior year with PC-Pro,
Network Pro, Security Pro, Linux Pro certifications, and is currently working
on the Routing and Switching Pro certification. He will also be completing the CompTIA A+ and Network+
certifications soon after graduation through Vantage’s Adult Education Program.
Gage is the classroom president, regional Business Professionals
of America (BPA) secretary, and has been awarded the Vantage Network Systems program
Award of Distinction.