In the past decade, IT vocational schools have popped up all over the country and internet. Online classes, online-live, instructor-led, all key terms in choosing a class. Students have endless resources from boring books to eight hours video lectures, irrelevant blogs and outdated snippets from old CompTIA exam prep videos. How do you know which school is best? This is a major investment of time and money. Here are a few steps to ensure you make the right choice.
Do not be a victim of a great marketing campaign and end up in classes with failed instructors.
Some of the most important questions include:
What is the instructors student exam pass rate?
This will tell you how many of the instructors students are passing the actual exam. Some school measure pass or fail by attendance. Imagine a 1 week course - a student shows up for 4 days, they get an 80% in course and never pass their exam. Technically that student passed the class. You need to know how many passed the test!
How many student pass the exam before they enter the next class?
Some schools will allow students to take every course in their program without ever attempting an exam. Students can attend their basics, intermediate and advanced courses without ever earning their entry level certifications. Why are you spending time in CCNA and CEH courses if you have not earned your CompTIA A+? You should not be funneled through a program at a pace that is unrealistic. Make sure students are testing and passing instead of being pushed through advanced classes before understanding the basics.
How many students got a job - in tech - in the last 6 months?
Schools often have a long list of student success stories that reach into last decade. You need a job in the near future. Ask about student placement rates and what the average entry salary is for current students. Also, are students getting jobs before they graduate? If a school has a good reputation, they are able to get their students into great entry-level jobs DURING the program. In those cases, students graduate with experience, certifications, and income!
Never hesitate to ask questions. Speak with other students and alumni to get insight into their experience. Your future depends on your choices and effort, make sure you invest your time in a school that will invest in you.
From email phishing to Denial-of-Service (DOS) attacks, we live in a world where our data is being breached or corrupted every second. Security our data and our clients data is crucial. There are some very simple steps every person and business can take to increase their security posture. Here are a few:
Implementing strong passwords is the easiest thing you can do to strengthen your security.
Use a combination of capital and lower-case letters, numbers, and symbols, and make it 8 to 12 characters long.
Change your password every 90-120 days
personal data (such as your birthdate)
common words spelled backwards
sequences of characters or numbers, or those that are close together on the keyboard
Install Antivirus Protection
Antivirus and anti-malware software are essentials in your arsenal of online security weapons. Do not depend on the expired trial or software included with your computer.
The free tools are worth what you paid for them...
Update your Programs Regularly
Making sure your computer is patched and updated. Why install all this great software if you're not going to maintain it?!
Scheduling regular backups to an external hard drive, or in the cloud, is a painless way to ensure that all your data is stored safely.
Create a complete backup weekly.
Educate your Employees
Teaching your employees about safe online habits and proactive defense is crucial.
Educating your non-IT staff is a more effective strategy than expecting your IT security staff to constantly react to end users’ bad decisions. Make sure your employees understand how important your company's data is, and all the measures they can take to protect it.
Check out our Data Security Basics Course
High fives and congratulations to our recently certified individuals. Each of these students have worked hard and earned multiple certifications. They have also gained employment in the IT field. From Data Analyst and System Administrator to Director of IT, these students are on their way to a long lasting and fulfilling career in technology. All four of these students are gaining IT experience from their new roles and sharing their knowledge with our community.
Thank you for investing in yourself and investing back into your community.
There are plenty of technology jobs in the Memphis area and we are here to get you trained and employable. Job readiness is vital. Are you ready to earn your IT certifications? Start your IT career and get a great job like these successful students.
Get Certified. Get Paid.
Networking - both human and digital. I am IT hosted a hardware tech lab night which allowed our alumni, current students and potential students to come together and speak about the program, job opportunities and future learning opportunities. We had a great time meeting motivated individuals and discussing technical certifications, updates to CompTIA and Cisco training as well as the technical job market in Memphis.
Thank you to all of our volunteers and sponsors. IT professionals from FedEx, Data Maxim, Jackson Hewitt, Shelby County Schools and Hilton Worldwide joined us to mentor and lead the motherboard exploration activity.
National Society of Black Engineers Memphis Junior Chapter hosted a wonderful technical learning and activity event. I am IT teamed up for the event and hosted a hardware tech, computer breakdown and rebuild activity. We explored technical career paths, certification options and networking opportunities for students interested in pursuing computer networking and cyber-security careers. With over 30 students and 10 volunteers, we had a great time learning about computer hardware, meeting future IT professionals and encouraging these young adults to pursue their dream careers.
Thank you to the Memphis Junior NSBE Chapter, all of our students and volunteers.
We look forward to your success!