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Keith Parish - Data Analytics

Data Analyst, Google Career Certificate Graduate
“College isn’t for everyone. I really think there are other ways. And I’m happy I found my way.”

For as long as he could remember, Keith Parish wanted to be a teacher. He loved helping his high school friends with homework, “watching the cogs turn,” he says, as they worked through a problem.

“I loved that AHA! moment when it would all just click”.

Keith knew about that moment. He got really jazzed learning new things. Plus, his dad was passionate about his own career as a teacher, so it wasn’t surprising Keith had a mission: go to college, get a bachelor’s degree in education, and find a teaching job in his beloved Detroit.

So Keith attended college, but almost immediately, he felt a disconnect. 

“There was this moment, when I was signing up for classes, and I had to choose what I’d be studying,” he remembers. “And there was this huge contrast between what I wanted to learn and the school requirements. I made it through freshman year.” 

When Keith was interested in something, he was in, 100%. But when he wasn’t interested? He got restless, couldn’t focus and procrastinated studying. At the time he’d no idea his experience was so common. It turns out to be true for thousands of people who pursue degrees.In fact, more than one-third of college students leave before completing a bachelor’s degree. For many, it’s because of financial reasons, but for others, like Keith, it’s because they do better in a different learning environment. 

“My parents did not like that I wanted to leave school,” he says. “I remember a long, drawn-out conversation with my dad. He wanted to know, ’Did something happen?’ I said no, nothing happened. It’s just not working.”

Keith then tried community college but came to the same conclusion. School wasn’t for him. He moved back home, found a part-time, minimum wage job and to stave off boredom helped a friend build a gaming computer.

In no time, Keith was spending every paycheck at the local computer store buying parts to make his own computer. “It felt good to chase something, having motivation.”

He got an entry level tech job traveling to offices fixing computers, his love of learning propelling his career among the STARs - workers Skilled Through Alternative Routes rather than a bachelor’s degree. He needed to keep learning so Keith started looking into different kinds of certificates and stumbled onto his bliss.

“Data analytics! Stats! I loved it!”

Keith had discovered Google Career Certificates: professional training designed by Google that offered Keith a path to a new career in under six months, with no experience required and the opportunity to connect with top employers that are currently hiring. 

He dedicated his time to completing the newly launched Google Data Analytics Certificate program in just two months. He says he talked his friends’ ears off, “nerding out on the power of data-driven decisions!” He updated his resume with the new skills he learned from the Google Career Certificate and discovered a non-profit that shared his passion for education by working to eradicate illiteracy in Detroit.

Keith Parrish is now happily employed at that non-profit, working as a data analyst and using his skills to help young people learn. Sure enough, in his own way, Keith became a teacher. 

“College isn’t for everyone. I really think there are other ways. And I’m happy I found my way.”

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Top 3 Skills:

  • Data analytics
  • Self learning
  • Microsoft SQL Server