Bemidji Pioneer: NTC GRADUATION: Christensen already set with job in Twin Cities

BEMIDJI — Sam Christensen said he didn’t know much about electrical work before he came to Northwest Technical College, but he’d been told it paid well.

Two years later, he’s set to graduate with a two-year degree in electrical construction and maintenance and said the field grew on him.

“When I first got here I don’t know what I really expected,” Christensen said. “I kind of expected it to be bad, but as I progressed I like it a lot more because I think it’s cool how the science works. I definitely like it now.”

A native of Savage, Minnesota, Christensen said he’s got a job lined up with an electrical contracting company in the Twin Cities area, where he’ll install wiring in new homes.

“You learn almost everything on the job,” Christensen explained. Schools like NTC teach core concepts and real-world companies help graduates apply those concepts more specifically. “As of lately, the trend is hiring graduates…They want to hire people who they don’t have to spend a lot of time training.”

Christensen and and his mom moved to Bemidji when he was 12, and he’s a 2015 graduate of TrekNorth charter school. He said NTC’s appeal was its low tuition and relatively easy job prospects, post-graduation.

“It’s not a question of whether you can be employed or not,” Christensen said, adding that he sees himself in that field as a career. “You pretty much can.”

He and other classmates at the technical college engineered a colorful float for Night We Light, Bemidji’s annual holiday parade, and he said he’s particularly interested in the science behind electrical work — “Just making something work. How the lights come on,” Christensen said.

He added that he’s already had friends ask him to help with small electrical projects in their homes.