VAN WERT — 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 industry professionals.

The passing score for Linux Pro is 1,360 out of 1,800. Gage’s score was 1,748. The average score for high school students is 677 with a 30% passing rate, and for college students it’s 1,144 with a 59% passage rate, according to Test Out, and these students spend an entire year studying and practicing for this test. Smith did it in 15 weeks and 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,” said Network Systems instructor Larry Regedanz.

Students in the two-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 one 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.

Smith 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.

Smith’s accomplishments earned him a national spotlight through a congratulatory Facebook post from TestOut (@TestOut), which included him photo, along with submitted information by Regedanz.

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.

He 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 also will be completing the CompTIA A+ and Network+ certifications soon after graduation through Vantage’s adult education program.

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