Technology Services

Technology Services is a high growth sector that impacts every target and support industries in the Jacksonville region. Technology Services is imperative in all aspects of personal and professional life.  As a result, people who not only understand technology but know how to build, troubleshoot, and apply technology provide tremendous value. As a major business hub, Jacksonville plays a critical role in the global technology infrastructure, noted by its coastal Network Access Point, the JAX NAP/SBA Edge.

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The Jacksonville region is also a hub for the rapidly growing fintech industry. Due to this thriving environment for financial services coupled with the demands of technology services in the modern-day field, Jacksonville is naturally seeing a shift towards fintech operations. In the last decade alone, JAX has experienced a 40% job growth in the fintech space which is 3 points above the national average.

The Technology Services Career Pathway showcases the educational options available, ranging from certificates to advanced degrees to create a dynamic technology-based career in Northeast Florida.

Leading Companies

Possible Career Paths
  • Corporate IT Operations
  • Telecommunications Infrastructure
  • Software Development

Popular Job Titles
  • Technical Support Specialist
  • IT Systems Administrator
  • IT Support Engineer
  • IT Security Analyst
  • Information Technology Specialist
  • Desktop Support Analyst
  • Service Desk Manager
  • Technical Support Engineer
  • Support Technician
  • IT Manager
  • Help Desk Specialist
  • Network Administrator
  • IT Security Manager
  • Product Support Specialist
  • Integration Specialist
  • IT Project Manager

Technology Services Companies in the Region

I put in a lot of hard work and my manager recognized my drive to be hired. By networking and staying motivated during the internship, I was able to demonstrate why they should have me on their team.

Tierra WatsonProduction Operations Specialist, Bank of America

I find myself at my best when I am challenged to learn new domains, whether they are business or technical.

Noah EmmonsSoftware Engineering Consultant, Entrepreneur

I never thought about going into the financial sector but that was the start of my IT career.

Lex WaltonProduction & Application Support Specialist, VyStar

You can impact every corner of life through data analytics.

Bianca DavisManager of Data Operations & Strategy, Crowley Maritime Corporation

My internship provided insightful learning and understanding of what it means to be a member of the workforce.

Carolyn O'NealAssociate Software Engineer, Forcura

There will be pressure to perform, but the satisfaction of fixing a problem is great.

Jansen HolmesCisco Network Engineer, Bank of America

Melissa Fulmore-Hardwick

Chief Information Officer, CSI/CSI Connect Internship Program

Growing up in South Florida, Melissa Fulmore-Hardwick was inspired by her family and other mentors about the importance of education and pursuing experiences that can positively change your life.

It led Fulmore-Hardwick, CSI Companies’ Chief Information Officer, to numerous achievements and moved her to encourage and motivate others, especially youth, to find value in their talents and explore their interests. Fulmore-Hardwick is passionate about providing others with opportunities for success.

Fulmore-Hardwick, along with CSI CEO Chris Flakus, tapped that passion to develop the CSI Connect internship program, an initiative that exposes students in underserved Jacksonville communities to technology careers and invests in future technology leaders. The program is building a pipeline of technology students, positioning them for lucrative jobs in the technology industry.

CSI Connect originated in response to a global corporate competition amongst 10 co-ops internationally, where they were challenged with the task of introducing a new way of doing business that closes the economic divide and celebrates diversity and inclusion. The program is offered in partnership with four Jacksonville colleges and the Duval County Public Schools.

“CSI Connect has evolved way beyond a contest,” Fulmore-Hardwick said. “The program empowers students to pursue careers in the tech industry, and it has given our interns the opportunity to be someone they never thought they could be.”

The program launched in May 2022 with six students from Edward Waters College, University of North Florida, and Florida State College of Jacksonville. Each intern was provided a laptop and paired with a mentor in the IT department based on their college discipline. They worked in the CSI Companies’ Jacksonville office alongside the employees and participated in various professional and leadership training related to networking, public speaking, building a brand, financial literacy, and wellness.

“This internship is helping me learn and implement the skills I’m learning in school and deploy it in the real world within the computing field. The Tech Talks, Wisdom Wednesday talks, and the open-door policy CSI offers extended exposure to network with other people from all types of backgrounds. My favorite thing at CSI is the people. It feels like we are one big happy family,” said Riyam Yatooma, UNF Student and current CSI Connect Intern.

“We want to make sure these students gain knowledge and have an experience that’s going to be game-changing in their lives,” Fulmore-Hardwick said.
In January 2022, the CSI Connect program expanded to include high school students. CSI Companies opened the CSI Tech Lab in Andrew Jackson High School’s renovated media center with IT professionals providing education and mentoring to five students, called the Jackson 5, interested in IT at the school.

“CSI Companies is making an investment in the schools and the community,” Fulmore-Hardwick said. “We want to get both college and high school students engaged, and communicate the importance of technology and the technology careers available to them.”

The inaugural class of CSI Connect college interns graduated in July 2022. Interns who do well during the program are encouraged to apply for employment at CSI Companies or one of its clients after graduation. Two students have begun full-time careers as a software engineer and a systems analyst at CSI Companies.

“My experience as a tech intern at CSI was eye-opening. It was the kind of hands-on experience I needed to catapult my career in tech. I gained a range of valuable skills both related to my tech background and nuggets of wisdom I’ve gained along the way with the help of my mentors. The more effort I put into this program, the more I reaped the benefits. Everyone is willing to teach as long as I was willing to learn. CSI Connect was truly an amazingly unique experience!” said Brianna Moreland, former college intern turned CSI Business Analyst.

“We have changed the economic position of several students and introduced others to the tech industry,” Fulmore-Hardwick said. “The CSI Connect program promotes diversity in technology and encourages these students to remain in Northeast Florida after they graduate.”

Tierra Watson

Business Analyst, Bank of America

Tierra Watson admits she didn’t know what she wanted to do professionally when she graduated from Jacksonville’s Wolfson High School in 2019.

“All of my friends knew what college they were attending and what they wanted to study, and I didn’t know what I wanted to do,” she said. “It was a discouraging time for me.”

Watson, a Production Operations Specialist at Bank of America, found her passion for financial technology (fintech) and her career path through the Year Up program at Florida State College of Jacksonville (FSCJ). In her role, Watson works closely with users and other tech teams to identify, troubleshoot and resolve technology service issues.

Year Up is a one-year, workforce development training program that provides urban young adults, ages 18-29, with a combination of technical and professional skills as they work toward an internship and career path in business or technology. In Jacksonville, the program serves approximately 160 students per year. The program is designed to give students an opportunity they may not otherwise have.

Watson learned of the Year Up program while attending high school but didn’t apply until a year later. She joined the program but initially did not stick with it. After leaving Year Up and not finding a satisfying job, Watson re-enrolled in the program and discovered an interesting path career in technology despite facing many untimely personal difficulties.

“The program was extremely challenging for me to complete, but I promised myself to persevere,” Watson said.

The Year Up program is available to those who have a high school diploma or GED and have not yet earned a bachelor’s degree. The first six months of the intensive job training program involve classroom learning at FSCJ, along with weekly coaching and mentoring. Students also learn writing, networking and professional behavior skills while in the classroom portion of the Year Up program.

The second half of the program places students in a full-time internship with a local corporation, such as Bank of America, for six months. Students can receive a stipend of up to $2,100 after signing a contract, as well as an opportunity to receive entry-level career offers upon completion of the program. Watson was able to transition her internship into a full-time position at Bank of America.

“I put in a lot of hard work and my manager recognized my drive to be hired,” Watson said. “By networking and staying motivated during the internship, I was able to demonstrate why they should have me on their team.”

Year Up students earn up to 30 college-credit hours in one year at FSCJ. Watson is currently pursuing an associate’s degree in information technology and a bachelor’s degree in computer science at FSCJ.

The Year Up program prepares students for the workforce and all the expectations that occur on the job. Watson says the program has been life-changing, and highly recommends interested students apply and approach the internship as an opportunity to launch their future career.

“I credit my success to Year Up,” said Watson. “The program taught me to advocate for myself and provided me with everything I needed to succeed.”

Carolyn O'Neal

Forcura Associate Software Engineer

Internships are becoming an increasingly essential tool for finding full-time employment. In addition to learning on-the-job skills, Carolyn O’Neal, MSHI, maximized the internship experience to establish herself as a valuable team player at Forcura, a leading healthcare technology company headquartered in Jacksonville.

“There’s a big learning curve in the transition from bachelor’s degree to master’s degree to professional employment,” O’Neal said. “My internship provided insightful learning and understanding of what it means to be a member of the workforce.”

O’Neal, an Associate Software Engineer at Forcura, earned a master’s degree in Health Informatics and a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science with a minor in Cyber Security from Jacksonville University. Attending as a student-athlete on a softball scholarship, the Tampa-area native used her studies at JU to feed her passion for computers and technology before advancing into full-time employment at Forcura.

“What we do at Forcura is extremely rewarding,” O’Neal said. “It helps providers and patients going through care with software that saves time and money.”

Forcura improves continuity of care via technology, analytics and a deep commitment to enabling better patient care. The Forcura suite of tools facilitates safer patient care transitions and more effective coordination among post-acute health care organizations, physicians, electronic health records (EHRs) and other supporting technology vendors.

O’Neal’s internship at Forcura was the perfect fit to complete her master’s degree in Health Informatics, a relatively new, interdisciplinary field in the healthcare industry that uses information technology to organize and analyze health records to improve healthcare outcomes. She learned about the opportunity from a friend, who is a Forcura employee, and discovered the internship aligned with her interests in healthcare and technology.

“We are empowering patient care with the best technology and information available,” O’Neal said. “It has a real and powerful impact on people’s lives.”

Colleagues recognized O’Neal’s professionalism, dedication and positive contributions during the internship, and the company extended an offer to become a full-time employee. At Forcura, attracting and retaining top talent through innovation and company culture is a high priority. The company has a successful internship program and has converted 70% of its interns to full-time employees since 2018.

O’Neal’s focus is data flow, ensuring that Forcura’s components connect and the information can get where it is needed to improve healthcare delivery and outcomes. Her interest in computers and technology emerged as a student in the STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) program at Buchanan Middle School in Tampa. Engineering was her favorite class and it inspired her interest in pursuing a technology career. O’Neal is proud to be a young female leader in the STEM field and hopes to help equalize the gender gap. She aspires to return to the classroom as a mentor or teacher, empowering young children to recognize the opportunities in some of the fastest-growing and highest-paid jobs of the future.

“Don’t be intimidated by the technology,” O’Neal said. “Anyone who works hard and likes a challenge can enjoy a career in computer science or software engineering.”

Randall Reese

Service Technician, Bridgenext

Internships can be a valuable tool to propel your career. In addition to preparing students with real-world experience, they can lead to rewarding job opportunities.

Randall Reese is a Service Technician for Bridgenext, a global digital consulting company specializing in technology, data and creative marketing solutions that empower clients to achieve digital realization. Reese was a Wolfson High School student in 2016 when he began participating in a summer internship program through the Duval County School District and the company, which was then known as Emtec, Inc.

“I’ve always had an interest in technology and in history,” Reese said. “There is so much to learn in IT.”

The Bridgenext/Duval County School District internship program offers high school students training and hands-on experience. As part of the program, students help complete necessary technology-related tasks for the school district, such as cleaning devices, re-installing software and testing computers.

“The internship is a tremendous learning experience,” Reese said. “My advice to interns is to always be willing to help and take every job – you’ll learn something from it."

Along with acquiring new technology skills, Reese discovered his passion and purpose during his internship.

“I like working with people to help solve problems,” Reese said. “I have an interest in troubleshooting, and I found my niche with repairs.”

After high school graduation, Reese continued in the internship program. Reese was also focused on earning a history degree from the University of North Florida. At that time, he believed teaching history was his ideal career pathway. While attending UNF, he continued to work with the company. The experiences included working on the company’s technology team jobs at the City of Jacksonville and JEA.

“These are the kind of opportunities that you only get through an internship,” Reese said. “I realized I could do this work professionally, and I had an interest in making this my career.”

Although he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in history from UNF in 2022, Reese switched his career pathway and accepted a full-time position on the Bridgenext JEA team.

“I have an affinity for technology,” Reese said. “I realized this type of work happens to be the perfect fit for me.”

In his role at Bridgenext, Reese works in the call center. He is responsible for troubleshooting, diagnosing and repairing technology issues. Callers may be seeking assistance on installations, resets or software issues. Some of the concerns are a quick fix. Others are more complicated. Reese’s goal is to resolve the callers’ problems efficiently.

“It’s customer service in a technology world,” Reese said. “I enjoy that I get to use my teaching skills in this role. My job is often teaching people how to use their technology effectively.”

Reese also uses his teaching skills on employee training assignments. His role on the help desk requires proficient technology skills. Reese says the position also requires the ability to demonstrate empathy, flexibility and patience.

“You have to listen to the caller and keeping your patience is key,” Reese said. “If they are having a technology problem, they are probably not having the best day.”