From Classroom to Leadership Role Former EOC Tech Student Excels in IT Career
Kade Hill, former Choctaw High School student, Eastern Oklahoma County Technology Center (EOC Tech) Computer Repair and Technology program graduate and current Director of Innovation and Technology at EOC Tech, is a young professional who – through education, hands-on training, mentoring and a variety of work experience – exemplifies the multifaceted skill set obtainable through trade school programs. He is a dedicated employee whose career has truly been powered by CareerTech.
Hill began his education at EOC Tech as an Explore student in the Fall of 2011. Through the Explore Program, he became familiar with the assortment of opportunities available to study and while several caught his interest, he said he wanted to learn something he hadn’t been exposed to before.
“I grew up watching my dad work on things; specifically cars, but I wanted to learn a new skill, something that my dad didn’t know.” Hill said. “I wanted to learn how computers worked and how technology operates.”
As a Junior and Senior in high school, Hill attended the Computer Repair and Networking Program which exposed him to the fundamentals of technology, general computer repair and troubleshooting and the basics of cyber security. Exposure to such classes gave him the knowledge to work as an intern at EOC Tech three days per week during the summer before his senior year of high school.
“My first job responsibilities were basic I.T. support,” Hill said. “It often involved dirty work like getting into ceilings and messing with network cable. It was a lot of hands-on learning which, fortunately for me, was the way I learned best.”
Following his senior year of high school, Hill began looking for part-time work while he pursued his Associates Degree at Rose State College.
“I was out looking for jobs one day when an Administrator at EOC Tech called and offered me a part-time position,” Hill said. “They needed an assistant to help with installing some new technology they had purchased for the new school year, so it was just going to be a temporary gig.”
As the assistant position was wrapping up that summer, Hill still found himself in need of a job while he began college classes.
“When I only had a couple days left of the temporary job that summer, I decided to ask the administrator if this could be more of a long-term job and it turned out they were able to extend the position for me,” he said. “So we set a schedule and I was able to work part-time in the evenings 5 days per week while I took classes at Rose State during the day.”
Hill held the part-time position at EOC Tech for 3 years while he earned his Associates Degree in Cyber Security/Digital Forensics. Hill said he then decided to take a break from school and work full-time before pursuing his Bachelor’s Degree.
“I was planning on leaving EOC Tech and taking on a full-time job elsewhere but they ended up offering me a full-time position as an I.T. Assistant,” Hill said. “I decided to take the opportunity and I did that for about a year before I started back to school for my undergrad.”
Hill received his Bachelor in Technology in Information Technology with a specialization in Network Infrastructure from OSU Institute of Technology (OSUIT) in Okmulgee, in the Fall of 2020. Upon finishing his degree, Hill was again looking for other job opportunities and ended up taking a job promotion offered by EOC Tech as an I.T. Coordinator.
Hill worked as the I.T. Coordinator for a few years, meanwhile contemplating going back to school for his Master’s Degree.
“I knew when I finished my Bachelor’s that I eventually wanted to get my Master’s, but I was thinking I would wait a while,” he said. “With persistent encouragement from co-workers, I was convinced to look deeper into getting my graduate degree and decided to pursue it online through Western Governors University.”
Hill completed his Graduate degree and earned his Masters of Science in Information Technology Management in the Spring of 2023. It was a busy season of life for Hill as he graduated with his Masters, became engaged, bought a house and married soon after.
“I started my Graduate degree in April of 2022 and finished in 380 days,” he said. “I knew that if I wanted to do it, I needed to get it done quickly so I did all the things, all at once, and it was intense but it worked out really nicely and I’m really proud of that accomplishment.”
Through the culmination of work experience and training provided by EOC Tech as well as at the undergraduate and graduate level, Hill became confident in his capabilities as a young professional and was soon offered another job promotion with EOC Tech as the Director of Innovation and Technology.
As the current Director, Hill said his responsibilities encompass everything from acquiring new technologies and supporting what is already in place (computer networking, servers, cyber security and desktop support) for the long term. All of which go into providing the best learning experience for students.
“What I love about working for a school is that the mindset of everyone who works here is ‘what are we doing to help students,’ he said. “I may be known as the ‘I.T. Guy,’ but I’m still doing something in my area of work that is benefiting somebody else’s education, so I’m always looking at what I can do to make the current students’ experience better.”
As a young professional in the field who ideally has many years of work experience ahead of him, Hill said he appreciates the exposure to the workforce provided him by instructors, co-workers and mentors alike, who not only invested time into his education but trusted him to take the knowledge gained and carry out job expectations in his given professional setting.
“I’ve been very blessed with many different job opportunities to learn and grow and it all started with staff members here at the Tech Center,” Hill said. “It’s always been mind-boggling to me that I work at a place where my coworkers value my opinion and trust me to do my job. Personally, I want to be happy with what I do and who I work with and I am genuinely happy here at EOC Tech.”