Linda Kohar Leveraged Her Tri-C Degree to Build a Career in IT
Today, Linda Kohar is in the midst of a two-year term on Parma City Council — something she never envisioned as a young mother studying data processing at Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C®).
“It was quite a shock to go from carefree teenager to the responsibilities of motherhood,” remembers Kohar, who married and started a family soon after graduating from high school. Realizing that she wanted to earn a college degree, she enrolled at Tri-C on the advice of a friend. Affordable, flexible and close to home, the College made it easy to care for her two young children while pursuing her education.
After completing an associate degree in business data processing, Kohar accepted a job as an EDP auditor at Central Bank in downtown Cleveland. Her skills in the cutting-edge field helped her obtain subsequent positions at the Cuyahoga County Data Center and Standard Oil (now BP).
“At BP, I was able to build upon my skills and gain a great deal of experience in the corporate world,” Kohar said. “However, I still only had an associate degree. I wanted to obtain a four-year degree in computer science.”
She enrolled at Cleveland State University but soon realized that balancing a full-time job with school and a busy home life was extremely difficult. When her supervisor suggested looking into a weekend program at Baldwin Wallace University, she jumped at the chance — transferring her Tri-C credits and eventually completing a bachelor’s degree in business administration.
“Both degrees enabled me to obtain a good-paying, professional position where I was valued and respected,” she said.
After retiring from a long and rewarding career in information technology, Kohar decided to pursue her lifelong interest in politics. As councilwoman for Parma’s Ward 8, she responds to resident requests, reviews pending legislation for possible passage and participates in community events.
But she hasn’t forgotten the place that made it all possible.
“Tri-C makes it easy to schedule your education around your other commitments,” Kohar said. “It’s a great opportunity to get a two-year degree and transfer to a four-year institution. With careful planning, your credits will transfer — and you’ll save a lot of money.”