Brucker thriving as lone girl in computer program

Bailey Brucker

Bailey Brucker loves video games.

That’s what initially brought her into the Computer Maintenance and Administration program at the Warren County Career Center two years ago. Thinking that she’d like to pursue a career making the video games she loves to play so much, Bailey thought the computer maintenance program would give her a good leg up. What she found when she got started, though, was that things were a little different from what she expected.

Not only did the program consist of a lot of networking and security skills, said Brucker, but she was the only girl in the class. So learning how to work with computers was only half of what Brucker wound up learning. Learning how to have professional interactions with boys was also one of the skills she said she started learning.

The demographic of her classes is pretty representative of what Brucker will be facing once she graduates from high school if she decides to follow through with her current plan, which is to head to Penn College for a degree from the school’s IT Gaming and Simulation program.

Like many girls in a nontraditional program at the career center, Brucker said she initially had to deal with the assumption that she couldn’t handle the material students were expected to master. The boys in her class, she said, assumed that she couldn’t do well in a male-dominated field. But, said Brucker, she’s excelled not just at learning how to work with computers, but how to work with boys as well. “They’re easier to joke with, they’re more easy going,” Brucker said she’s learned of being in an all-male classroom. “It’s good preparation to go into the male-dominated field of gaming.”

Over the past two years in the career center program, Brucker said she’s been able to nail down some industry skills and even get a couple of certifications that will put her ahead of other recent high school grads who haven’t had the benefit of vocational training going into a bachelor’s program for gaming.

Bailey got her Comp TIA IT Fundamentals certification last year, she said, and in February of this year she passed her Comp TIA A+ exam, giving her professional-level skills to pad her resume with before she’s even gotten her diploma. The Eisenhower student, who lives in Russell, said she’s looking forward to a future in technology and encourages any girl who has similar interests in technology to get involved with the WCCC’s Computer Maintenance and Administration program.