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Virginia native attends NOVA to change career path

Wayne Yee

Northern Virginia Community College student Wayne Yee is not your traditional student. He earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in computer science from Old Dominion University, and he works full time in the computer science field as a government contractor.

So why return to college for another degree when you’re already excelling in your field? When his mother became ill about 10 years ago, Wayne was there to care for his mom along with a home health care provider. Spending that time caring for his mother before she passed away inspired him to make a 180-degree career move by returning to college to study nursing.

Wayne – who currently takes many of his classes at the Annandale Campus – said he chose NOVA to get the education and training he needs to make a career change because it’s convenient and affordable. He was also attracted to the smaller classroom sizes compared to other colleges and universities.

“The first thing was to start taking prerequisites and NOVA was convenient and close, the classes are smaller and the tuition is reasonable,” he explained. “The smaller classes allow for that one-on-one learning experience. That was one of the things that attracted me to NOVA.”

Wayne also chose NOVA because he was interested in a hands-on experience that provided curriculum that would apply to his future career. So instead of going to a research university, Wayne chose NOVA.

“The curriculum is directly applied to future career opportunities. Larger universities are sometimes geared toward research. At NOVA the lectures are hands-on and apply to your field.”

Wayne recognizes that his decision to completely change his career is a daunting task and a very difficult decision. However, the 34-year-old describes himself as very ambitious and determined. He encourages anyone interested in a different career path or in returning to school to manage their time wisely and just give it a try because it’s important to explore other interests.

“Time management always plays a major part. I can’t stress it enough to use your time wisely, especially if you’re doing a complete 180 in careers. Going back to school can be completely overwhelming. It’s OK to try something different or explore a new interest. You can always go back to your career where you have all this experience.”

Wayne is looking at various options to continue his journey to becoming a part of the healthcare industry. He’s currently considering applying at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver.

Media Contact: Raytevia Evans | 703.425.5839 | revans@nvcc.edu

Northern Virginia Community College is the largest institution of higher education in the Commonwealth of Virginia and one of America's largest community colleges. NOVA enrolls more than 75,000 students at its six campuses in Alexandria, Annandale, Loudoun, Manassas, Springfield and Woodbridge, and through NOVA Online. For more information about NOVA and its programs or services, call 703-323-3000 or visit the College's Web site, www.nvcc.edu.