(WACO, Texas) – Dave McMillan, a Web Design and Development student at Texas State Technical College, works a full-time job in addition to being a full-time father and full-time student.
He did not originally plan to go back to school but found the opportunity when helping his son apply to colleges.
McMillan said he was worried about making a mistake on his son’s application for financial aid, so he did his own first in order to learn the process.
“I was so scared that I was gonna mess up his opportunity to go to college,” he said. “I went ahead and put in and did the Pell Grant for myself — and I got approved.”
Once approved, McMillan spoke with his family, knowing that there would be some changes to their routine once he started school full time. His family supported the decision, and he began school.
McMillan said he chose Web Design and Development because of his long-held interest in computers.
“I knew when I got my computer when I was a teen that I was fascinated with the coding side, (and) I bought myself an HTML book,” he said.
Julie Rhoades, lead instructor for Web Design and Development, said McMillan’s interest in the industry shows in his class work.
“He’s got the passion for it that gives him a drive that every employer, as well as every instructor, is searching for,” Rhoades said. “He takes a project and he does it, and then he goes above and beyond those requirements to learn that much more.”
McMillan said one of his favorite parts of attending TSTC is the involvement of the instructors, and he encouraged other students to take advantage of all the resources that TSTC provides.
“Learn what you can, pick the minds of those that are greater than you, and get involved,” he said. “If you open yourself up to the experiences, you will gain so much.”
McMillan will graduate at the end of the semester with an Associate of Applied Science, but he refused to take full credit for the achievement.
“Graduation for me is not just me, but it’s everyone that helped me,” he said.
According to onetonline.org, web developers in Texas can earn a median salary of $77,710 a year. The website projected that there would be a 24% increase in the number of such jobs in the state from 2020 to 2030.
TSTC offers an Associate of Applied Science degree and multiple certificates of completion in Web Design and Development, all fully online.
Registration for TSTC’s fall semester is underway. For more information, go to tstc.edu.