The AppleCare computer lab sits empty on the MITI building's second floor in downtown Mesa. (Courtesy of Diane Meza)

AppleCare Technician program offered for first time at MCC

AppleCare Technician courses, launched by Maricopa Information Technology Institute (MITI) in early 2020 as part of its workforce development, are now being offered at MCC.  

In one semester, Mesa Community College (MCC) students can gain the necessary skills to fix their iPhones, repair their Mac computers and potentially score a job in Information Technology (IT). 

Computer Information Systems professor Stephen Bowes teaches both certification classes offered at MCC and has played a large role in the program’s curriculum.

“If you take them in conjunction with each other, you are completely certified on all of the iPhones and Macs,” said Bowes of the 8-week programs. “They also qualify you to either independently open your own repair shop or to go to work for a third-party cell phone repair shop.”

Certification course AppleCare iPhone Technician Certification (AITC) trains students to handle iOS devices like iPhones and iPads, while AppleCare Mac Technician Certification trains students to repair Mac devices. Both are three credit courses. 

“It’s a teacher-led, self-paced training course,” said Bowes. “Students go off and do assignments in the Apple Atlas LMS system and complete their courses on a track that Apple provides us.”

MITI director Diane Meza explained how getting a job after completing the course was highly possible, and, according to the Maricopa Association of Governments, very likely, since Arizona currently has a shortage of technology skilled employees. 

“There’s a huge demand gap,” Meza said. “All of these companies are coming over from California. So, we need an institute that is a catalyst.”

At the inception of the AppleCare Technician program, Meza said Bowes became the obvious choice for teaching the courses. Bowes humbly said he had the time to help mold the curriculum whereas his coworkers felt swamped.

“He put in many hours to get that curriculum set, and then Apple changed about halfway through as he was developing it,” said Meza. “He’s a very talented instructor.”

Bowes is certified in both Cisco Certified Network Associate and the Computing Technology Industry Association. He received a Data Analytics degree from Grand Canyon University and was a retired high school teacher before teaching at Glendale Community College and then at MCC.

Above all else, Meza wants students to become knowledgeable about the IT world and go beyond the “haze of mystery” shrouding the IT career path.

“Students don’t know how to get into IT careers,” said Meza. “I’ll talk to students and they say, ‘Oh, I can’t do IT because I’m a people person.’ So what they’ve learned is that IT people just work in the background and keep things running.”

Meza hopes to clarify these misrepresentations through instructional videos. She said, if anything, she wants students to be more informed about their career choices.

“Technology is in everything, and it moves very fast,” Meza said. “You’re trying to train people as fast as you can to get in there.”

Students must complete the prerequisite, AITC, in order to be eligible for the AppleCare courses. Look for it, and other BPC courses, here

While courses offer knowledge for the certifications, students must also complete the certifications at the end of each course and pay a fee that’s been discounted by MCC.

Check out AppleCare Technician courses here.