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The Advantages and Disadvantages of Cloud Computing

By IT No Comments

Believe it or not, once upon a time employees of various companies would only be able to access data, messages, files, and information by logging onto a physically chained network that would be interlinked from computer to computer using actual cables.

Pretty old school, right? Not only this, the data was then kept on massive machines that had their own separate room, a space that had to constantly remain well-ventilated in order to prevent any potential overheating.

One wrong move could be fatal; if a device were to overheat, next thing you know company data would all be lost which could lead to complete catastrophe. For this reason, an entire IT-support team would be required to work in-house, simply in the event that something could go awry.

Times have changed, and now companies turn towards systems such as cloud computing for their data storage. Cloud computing carries many advantages, which we will go into further detail about shortly, but as with all things in life, the pendulum swings both ways.

With the presence of hackers and threats to cybersecurity on the up and up, cloud computing can carry risks, such as information being compromised by those with malicious intent. In this article, we discuss not only what cloud computing is all about, but also how one can better protect confidential or sensitive information when using such a modern and potentially vulnerable service.

 

What Is Cloud Computing?

Simply explained, cloud computing refers to a third-party online service that hosts applications, data, files, software, and more for an individual, an entire company, a business, or other needing organization on a virtual system known as “the cloud.”

Those who are Mac or iPhone users will already be familiar with this term, for the Apple Cloud has grown immensely over the past decade. Cloud computing providers tailored towards organizations and businesses are typically on a much larger scale because the amount of data that must be stored reaches grandiose sizes and often a big network of employees must be able to access various information.

Data and applications are accessed from the outsourcer, the service provider, by logging in through any computer that has an internet connection, which means that no matter where in the world an employee is located and no matter what physical device they are hooked up to, they will still be able to view the same content and details, freeing them from many potential complications that once existed prior to the cloud is a thing. Considering that physical proximity used to be a massive concern for employers, this restrictive physical presence is no longer needed.

Cloud computing is paid for typically through a subscription, which is normally billed on a month-to-month basis, meaning that this service can be canceled at any point in time. This contrasts the prior option of needed to buy a license for a specific program, which could end up costing a company large sums of money upfront with no refund policy in case a business decided to suddenly shut its doors.

The most important aspect of cloud computing to remember is that maintaining upmost security with this type of service is an equal responsibility between the provider and the consumer.

The cloud computing service provider ensures a network is safe on their side (the infrastructure or core of the system,) but the consumer must monitor their platforms, data, and operating systems which remain in their direct hands.

The reality is, a cloud computing service provider could take all the precautions necessary, but if the consumer is not also in cooperation, a cyberthreat could unfold, leading to compromising circumstances. One such example of a consumer mishap would be a hack happening from the inside by an employee with full access to sensitive data.

 

Advantages of Cloud Computing

The reason why funding for cloud computing services has reached $39.5 billion in 2019 is due to the copious amount of advantages this option does offer. Companies and businesses are happy to spend money on cloud computing because of how much cash it saves them in the long run.

The biggest advantage of switching to cloud computing has to be that it not only saves money but also time. Having a database of information available on a secure, online platform allows gigantic, international companies to effortlessly share and send data between one another, deeply extending global reach. This entails grander expansions and maximizes the potential for multi-national businesses and organizations.

Next off is the service’s protection against data loss. No longer do businesses have to worry about unforeseeable circumstances or natural disasters demolishing all of their saved data. Unless the internet was to completely be erased, there would be no way for files to just disappear in a moment.

Additionally, the need for physical backups is no longer a fundamental practice for companies storing information because third-party cloud computing services are responsible for backing up data digitally.

As the world turns more and more into virtual reality, we’ll be seeing cloud computing grow in size, use, and popularity, with predictions of it turning into a $63 billion industry by 2021.

 

Disadvantages of Cloud Computing

The biggest disadvantage of cloud computing has to be the fact that when utilizing this service, you are placing substantial responsibility into the hands of third-party service. For this exact reason, when choosing a cloud computing provider, one must ensure that they are selecting a trustworthy source.

In order to avoid any mishaps or threats to security due to trusting the wrong individuals, all cloud computing service providers must be thoroughly checked and preferably selected based off of a recommendation from another company or dependable network of individuals.

Some of the most popular cloud computing providers are as follows (but as always, do scope out the company prior to paying for their service):

  • Amazon Web Services
  • Microsoft Azure
  • Google Cloud Platform
  • Oracle Cloud
  • Verizon Cloud
  • Dell Cloud Marketplace
  • Alibaba Cloud

Many other service providers do exist, but again, fully vet any cloud computing company you are leaning towards subscribing with. Often times, the bigger, notorious names have extra security measures set into place, which is what makes them a potentially more reputable decision.

 

Why Is Cloud Computing a Modern Choice?

Let’s be honest, companies do not want to have all of their sensitive data stored anymore on a device that could overheat and create catastrophe; they would much rather have a network that can be widely accessed by all who need to receive specific information.

Long gone are the days of massive servers kept in isolated, well-ventilated rooms with an always on-call IT support team ready to jump in at any sign of potential disaster. The idea of a natural disaster such as a flood or fire destroying all information also helps to convince businesses to move towards the modern choice of cloud computing.

Additionally, now there are so many opportunities for global access to all information, in addition to saving employees time without needing backups to be constantly generated or for duplicate versions of documents to be created.

The modern choice of switching from physical software to cloud computing has not only saved companies time but in turn also a ton of money.

 

How Can Confidential Information Be Better Protected When Using Cloud Computing?

Because cybersecurity is just as much the responsibility of the user as it is a cloud computing provider, there are specific steps that can be taken in order to better protect confidential information when utilizing this type of digital service.

The following courses of action can be implemented for improved security:

  • Monitor and audit all movement happening related to the cloud. Regularly view all authorized and unauthorized log-ins, and track employee usage of this virtual service.
  • Keep tabs on privileged accounts so that there is an air of accountability. Make sure each one of your employees logs into the shared network with their own information so that you can avoid any breaches from the inside.
  • Limit privileges and allowances to only what is necessary. Do not give every one of your employees the same access to information and data. Instead, only permit the actions they can select to what is appropriate for their job description and work responsibilities. Only give your most trusted employees full access.
  • Enhance security by implementing multi-factor authentication. Require multiple steps and passwords for employees to log into the cloud and opt for vaulted passwords.

Some of the most detrimental cyberattacks involving cloud computing occur because of someone on the inside who is granted substantial access to the network and its data. In this manner, the individual gains the keys needed to unlock many precious doors, which can lead to massive security breaches.

Avoid this by knowing all of your employees with in-depth access to any cloud computing services and complete thorough background checks if the data they will be accessing is particularly sensitive. Additionally, proper tracking will help to keep tabs on which actions are performed by which employees.

 

Mistakes to Avoid with Cloud Computing

When running any business, it is important to remain trusting of your team but also still enforce the necessary precautions. Do not assume that you know someone just because they appear a certain way on the surface.

Still be sure to take care when giving people access to sensitive or confidential information, and always monitor what is going on even if you have full confidence in your employees.

 

Our Final Thoughts on Cloud Computing

Although the idea of entrusting a third-party online provider with storing sensitive data, information, applications, and more may seem like a risky ordeal, cloud computing providers have proven time and time again that their services are quite safe, so be it that both the provider and the consumer play an equal role in maintaining responsibility by securing data as much as possible.

As a user of a cloud computing service, there are specific steps that can be taken in order to better protect confidential information, which comes down to properly tracking and monitoring your employees and limiting access to certain individuals.

If you are searching for IT schools in San Diego or for an affordable school for IT, ICOHS is a non-profit vocational college, offering a variety of information technology-related courses, with fully-comprehensive tech programs that includes a Computer and Networking Technician Certification program, as well as trainings to become an IT Network Specialist or an IT Systems Administrator.

For access to one of the leading career colleges in San Diego, reach out to ICOHS today and request more information.

 

Your Systems are Under Attack by Zombies, Bots, and Botnets

By IT No Comments

As the world shifts into more and more of a digital realm, physical threats are no longer the only concern. Now, for many, cyber-attacks are a much more relevant reality. The idea of security threats should not instill fear, rather it is simply an aspect of computer-use and internet surfing that should be always taken into consideration so that all can better protect themselves and in turn their personal information.

What Are Bots?

Bots, a shortened term used for programmed robots, are scripts or software apps that are designed to execute specific auto-pilot tasks. Although bots outside of the hacking world can be utilized for many valuable purposes such as automating user interaction and social media management, when in the wrong hands or applied by individuals with malicious intentions, these robots can become dangerous and a real security threat.

Bots are the core foundational tool utilized for remote cyber-attacks and they make up more serious implementations, such as botnets and zombies.

 

What Are Botnets and How Do They Work?

Botnets are networks of bots used to infect and upload malicious malware onto a chain of devices. Once a botnet has been implemented, the infected device then also becomes the infectee. This all takes place in extreme stealth mode, which is how botnet chains often go undetected, continuing to pose a threat to a long extension of systems.

In some cases, famous botnets have been able to infect many hundreds of millions of computers and networks, and even once they are thwarted they can be modified into new variations that continue to do damage. Because those with infected devices are often unaware of there being any breach of their technology, they can transfer the malware to others quite easily.

A master-bot is typically in charge of giving bots orders, and the bots often report back to manager-bots which then communicate with the master-bot. This system is highly organized and allows for the individual or individuals in charge to easily manage massive networks of botnets, all while remaining heavily under the radar. For this reason, generating botnets is a low risk, high reward undertaking that often proves to be very successful for those who develop solid malware.

One surprising fact about botnets is that the actual operations behind the attacks are minuscule in size, sometimes made up of only one or two individuals, yet the effects of such implementations are on a mass scale and often highly detrimental.

 

What Are Zombies?

Botnets, or a network of infected computers under attack remotely, are also referred to as zombie computers. Zombies or zombie computers, specifically, relate to the computers themselves that are capable of passing along malicious and risky security breaches.

 

What Do Hackers Gain from Cyber Attacks?

There are many reasons why hackers carry out cyber attacks such as zombie attacks, and most of the time it relates to financial gain. You see, information is often bought and sold on the internet, and commonly for a big price. By stealing personal and financial information, hackers receive compensation for any data they are able to provide to those who are interested.

Botnets can be used to generate intricate scams as well, tricking consumers into providing personal information, along with flat out handing over money. Additionally, those who don’t fall for these scams could be attacked unknowingly and identities can be stolen, which are then used for purchases and running up loans.

One of the worst ways a hacker or cybercriminal can use gained information for financial gain is by extorting money from unsuspecting victims by threatening them with a leak of personal information or compromising photos, documents, etc. This is a technique that has been used on large companies and organizations as a means of blackmailing them into cooperation. Often times, companies can do nothing more than agree to pay the sum, for thwarting a security breach like this is extremely difficult and requires an extensive team of specialists.

Cybercriminals also hire other cybercriminals for their own gain, leasing their botnets and further spreading compromising digital and internet infections across many platforms. For some, the financial gain received from a leased botnet system is far greater than what they are paying the initial zombie attack developer.

 

How Can One Know If Their Device Is Infected?

Because zombie attacks are often rather rogue, it can be challenging to know if any of your devices have been infected. A reputable anti-virus program usually can detect botnets and will alert you if it discovers an attack. Aside from this, there are at times signs that your computer could be impacted. If you experience your computer slowing down significantly, suddenly running its cooling fan without warning, or any other strange behaviors happening, there’s a chance your device has some sort of breach and should be cleaned up.

 

How to Better Protect Your Information

The absolute best way to minimize the chances of your device becoming compromised by a botnet or malicious zombie attack is by ensuring that your computer or network is protected with an up-to-date, highly reliable anti-virus, anti-malware, or internet security software. Luckily, there are many free programs that can do the trick but research is needed to decide which option is best for you and your devices. Run your anti-virus programs on a regular basis for a full-computer scan.

The next step after you have successfully implemented internet security software is to monitor your internet usage. Many attacks can be prevented by using discretion and common sense when browsing the web or downloading files. Never download files from unsecured sources or from individuals you do not recognize, even if you receive an attachment in an email. Do not click on links or download files sent by spam email addresses.

Finally, regularly change your passwords for your accounts. This can help to minimize the possibility of someone accessing your data or profiles and then applying a botnet or other security threat from within the account. Furthermore, regularly updating passwords and further securing your accounts can prevent any of your personal information from getting stolen, such as credit card numbers, social security numbers, home addresses, phone numbers, and more.

 

Understanding Zombies, Bots, Botnets, and Cyber Attacks: Summary

Remaining informed and in the loop with regards to the various extents of potential cyber-attacks is extremely valuable in this day and age when security breaches can affect literally anyone that uses a computer; oftentimes unknowingly and without warning. By understanding zombies, bots, and botnets along with what their presence entails, the proper measures can be set into place for successful cyber protection. Even those who are not interested in IT or computer-related details should be up-to-date with how to better protect confidentially and potentially compromising information.

Having a deep awareness of such threats is even more crucial for those entering careers in IT, software development, or programming because at some point you will likely come face to face with such security threats and the proper actions will need to be taken to foil any potential breaches.

Although there are many career colleges in San Diego, if you’re searching for IT schools or and affordable school for IT, ICOHS is a non-profit, accredited vocational college that offers programs for those fascinated by tech and our growing digital world. Currently, it is possible to take part in our Computer and Networking Technician Certification program, IT Network Specialist program, IT Systems Administration program, and IT Continuing Education program. If you long for a fulfilling career in IT, get in touch today and request more information.

The 5 Best CBD Oils of 2019: The Results Are In!

By Health No Comments

CBD has certainly been a prominent term entering the holistic and more mainstream market these days. The reality of it is, people are going crazy for CBD, also known as cannabidiol. Aside from the obvious fact that this all-natural compound has become extremely trendy and popular, there’s a reason why consumers continuously come back for more.

Many individuals have reported incredible benefits and effects from regular consumption of CBD and CBD products, whether that be in the form of oils, tinctures, gummies, candies, topicals, or by other means. In fact, the very useful resource www.projectCBD.org lists dozens of medical conditions that have scientific studies backing CBD’s potential for utilization and assistance.

As with many natural, supplement-style items, more studies need to be conducted, but the results so far have proven to be extremely promising. Being that cannabidiol is not approved nor supported by the FDA, it may be a while, however, until further mass research is conducted.

For the time being, millions of individuals globally continue to use CBD (cannabidiol) as a helpful supplement.

 

What Is CBD (Cannabidiol) and How Does It Work?

CBD, known officially as cannabidiol, is a cannabinoid primarily within the cannabis and hemp plants. In marijuana, specifically, it is amongst a network of more than 100 unique cannabinoids that exist and works together to offer potentially healing benefits.

It is important to note, however, that cannabidiol (CBD) by itself is non-intoxicating, so it will not generate the “high” typically associated with marijuana consumption. The compound within the marijuana plant responsible for this psychoactivity is known as THC, which is avoided in most CBD products unless specifically stated otherwise.

Cannabidiol, a phytocannabinoid, meaning that it is not already present naturally within the body, works by impacting the human body’s natural cannabinoid network, known as the ECS or endocannabinoid system.

The endocannabinoid system is responsible for maintaining homeostasis and balance throughout the entirety of the body. Interestingly enough, it naturally has cannabinoids present, known as endocannabinoids, which are specialized neurotransmitters. When there is an imbalance in endocannabinoids naturally present (either too few or too many), this can potentially lead to health conditions and ailments, or at least recent science seems to suggest this connection.

The endocannabinoid system is responsible for such a large diversity of vital body functions including:

  • Sleep regulation
  • Appetite
  • Pain regulation
  • Fertility and reproduction
  • Mood regulation
  • Memory
  • Immune system management
  • And many other cognitive and physiological processes

When cannabidiol (CBD) is introduced into the system, it interacts with receptors in the brain (two of which have been officially documented: CB1 and CB2.) This introduction of CBD is said to help fill in the missing gaps where there are either too many or too few phytocannabinoids present, acting as a balance-restorer. Although a lot of science has expressed this result, as mentioned before, more research needs to be conducted.

Now that the way CBD actually works within the body has been clarified, we can dive into the results of the top-rated CBD oils of 2019. Considering that the cannabidiol market has become a massive industry, it can at times be challenging to distinguish the best quality CBD from that of lesser value. All of the oils we are about to mention are some of the best that we’ve discovered on the market.

 

The 5 Best CBD Oils of 2019

It was quite challenging to choose because there are simply so many outstanding CBD products on the market, but here are the contenders that top our list:

 

  1. Charlotte’s Web – 50MG CBD/ML – ORIGINAL FORMULA CBD OIL

The company Charlotte’s Web (CW) has been at the forefront of the CBD revolution for quite some time now. They’re notorious for helping a young girl named Charlotte Figi who has a rare form of epilepsy discover relief, and since then the company founded by the Stanley Brothers has only grown and grown.

Although on the pricier side, Charlotte Web’s 50mg per mL CBD oil is not only a go-to for many seeking its beneficial qualities, it’s also an incredibly worthwhile investment for those desiring a potent, full-strength product that can be dosed either in small or large quantities for a variety of conditions.

  • Made from USA grown hemp
  • Currently available in two flavored options: Mint Chocolate and Olive Oil

 

  1. PureKana – Natural CBD Oil (2500mg)

Developing a loyal following over the past couple of years primarily, PureKana has become one of the fastest-growing CBD companies around, and its products follow a high standard of quality and usefulness.

PureKana offers especially brilliant pricing, which is competitive with other top-rated CBD availabilities, and they always strive to provide their customers with complete transparency.

  • Available in an all-natural, earthy hemp flavor
  • 2500mg potency is a money-saving option for all because it offers a higher dose of CBD that can be distributed as pleased for a lower overall cost
  • Made from organic, industrial USA-grown hemp
  • Third-party lab tested for purity and quality assurance

 

  1. Green Roads – 350mg CBD Oil

Known as an original CBD manufacturer, Green Roads has become one of the leading cannabidiol companies globally. Their products are lab tested and pharmacist formulated to ensure the best quality possible, and on top of this, they are incredibly well priced.

Their 350mg formulation is on the lower to the medium side when compared with some of the other oils that made this list, but this smaller dose is best for more minute conditions or day to day consumption for recovery and body restoration.

  • Broad-spectrum CBD oil
  • Made from organically grown hemp
  • Same, top-notch CBD oil is also available in 100mg, 250mg, 550mg, 1000mg, 1500mg, and 3500mg for a potency that suits everyone

 

  1. PremiumJane – MINT CBD OIL (FULL SPECTRUM)

LA-based CBD company PremiumJane is one of the newer additions to the budding CBD market, but they are already taking this world by storm. Based right in the heart of all things CBD-related, the founders of the Southern California brand are extremely knowledgeable about cannabidiol and hemp products in general.

Their products are all full spectrum, which means that various CBD-type cannabinoids are working together for maximum effectiveness. Additionally, PremiumJane’s oils are extracted using a specialized CO2 method without the use of harmful solvents which can be toxic and destroy product quality.

  • Mint CBD oil is available in 300mg, 600mg, and 1000mg
  • Made from organic, Oregon-grown hemp
  • All three potencies are also available in Natural and Citrus flavors
  • Affordable pricing
  • Product arrives in convenient 30mL bottle

 

  1. CBDistillery – 1000mg 30ml Full Spectrum CBD Oil Tincture

Founded by Colorado natives with a mission to offer high-quality, hemp products that are also fairly priced, CBDistillery has become a widespread name, featured in more than 1500 retail stores worldwide.

Offering both full-spectrum and CBD isolate oils, it is possible to discover the exact form of CBD that you desire with this tailored-to-you brand. Their 1000mg full spectrum CBD oil tincture, in particular, is a sweet spot for most daily cannabidiol consumers, because it offers just enough potency without being too strong for those utilizing CBD for more minor conditions.

  • Pure, natural, and formulated without any chemicals, dyes, or harmful ingredients
  • Available in an earthy, natural hemp flavor
  • 1000mg potency in a convenient 30mL bottle
  • Immensely affordable, costing only $60.00 USD per bottle

 

The Final Verdict on the 5 Best CBD Oils of 2019

Although further research is necessary, results and applied evidence pertaining to CBD is extremely promising, which is why the supplement is continuously utilized throughout numerous communities, especially those affiliated with holistic health and alternative wellness.

If you’re located in the San Diego, CA area and are interested in diving deeper into the practice of holistic health, at ICOHS College we offer a fully comprehensive Holistic Health Practitioner program. ICOHS is a non-profit, vocational school, offering a personalized, individualized academic curriculum, suited to specifically meet the needs, goals, desires, and learning styles of all students from all backgrounds.

If you’d like to learn more about our Holistic Health Practitioner program, request more information and get started today.

Outstanding IT Career Options for Veterans – Make your Transition From the Armed Forces as Smooth as Possible

By IT No Comments

Have you just left the armed forces or have a scheduled plan to separate? Transitioning back into usual civilian life might bring up some fears, anxieties, and worries. It is not always easy to go back to how things used to be before you joined the military, but the change does not need to be a source of stress or concern if the right preparations are set into motion.

One of the biggest concerns for veterans is beginning a new career after serving, and thankfully opportunities do exist with G.I. Benefits. Although this article won’t go into depth about the benefits offered from the incredible Forever GI Bill, we will talk about outstanding IT-related career options for veterans.

Why information technology? The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports a job outlook of 28% growth between the years 2016 and 2026. This is remarkably much quicker than average, which means that IT-related occupations are on the up and up.

With such an incredible growth rate, it is safe to say that entering into a career in IT would be a smart decision, especially if you are passionate about information technology to begin with.

Furthermore, ICOHS’s school of IT offers benefits for veterans, which means you’ll be able to study IT to your heart’s content with our non-profit vocational school and still save big while receiving a thorough, personalized education experience.

We are passionate and dedicated to being an affordable school for IT and aim to provide veterans with a comprehensive learning experience that will set them on a path towards success and fulfillment of career goals.

 

IT Career Options for Veterans: The Top Contenders

If you are a veteran and your objective is to begin a career in information technology, here are some outstanding options:

 

Software Developers

With an expected 24% job growth outlook between 2016 and 2026 and an average yearly income of around $105,000, it’s safe to say that becoming a software developer is an excellent choice for those who are interested in such a career.

Software developers are responsible for:

  • Designing, maintaining, and developing software for a variety of organizations, projects, and companies.

This can be an especially versatile and creative career choice, serving as a good fit for those who enjoy variety from task to task and opportunities to work on a project to project basis. Additionally, software developers play an extremely important role in developing applications that allow individuals to complete specific actions on computers and other smart devices. Without these professionals, our capabilities as digital consumers would greatly diminish.

 

Web Developers

Web development is reportedly expected to have a 15% increase between 2016 and 2026 with an average yearly salary of around $69,000. The money may not be as sizeable as it could potentially be for a software developer but website development can, in some ways, be a more fulfilling career.

Web developers are responsible for:

  • The creation and design of websites and web pages.

For those who would like to be able to work from home and on a variety of projects, web development is ideal because it allows for flexibility and offers opportunities to work on fun, exciting assignments. Additionally, you can specialize in web development for a specific field or industry, further narrowing down your passions and interests so that you can show up to work with a spark in your heart on a regular basis.

 

Information Security Analysts

This career choice has a projected job outlook of 28% between the years 2016 and 2026 with an average annual income of approximately $98,000.

Information security analysts are responsible for:

  • The planning and organization of a company’s or business’s systems and networks to ensure that their servers are as secure as possible.

As cybersecurity becomes an even more pertinent challenge in this day and age, the need for security specialists is greater than ever. Information security analysts play a vital role in protecting networks from cyber attacks and security breaches, which is what keeps this occupation so relevant and in-demand.

 

Computer Support Specialists

Possessing an expected job outlook increase of 11% between the years 2016 and 2026 and an average yearly salary of around $53,000, computer support specialists play an important role in a company’s IT team. Compared to many other information technology-related careers, this option requires significantly less education and training making it a quintessential choice for those that would like to enter the IT career field as soon as possible.

Computer support specialists are responsible for:

  • Advising and assisting organizations as well as computer users, typically in the form of technical assistance, especially when problems arise that need to be fixed.

Although working as a computer support specialist is not normally a job with stay-at-home flexibility, it does entail versatile work hours. Most organizations require 24-hour in-house support, which is why many computer support specialists work full-time schedules with varying shifts. With that being said, typically it is required that nights, evenings, and weekends are sometimes covered; therefore, this would not be an ideal choice for those who would like a more consistent 9-5 occupation.

 

Database Administrators

With an expected job outlook of an 11% increase between 2016 and 2026, database administrators contribute to the overall structure, organization, and flow of a company or business. The average salary for this occupation is around $90,000 per year.

Database administrators are responsible for:

  • Running and monitoring software that collects data, typically in the form of customer records (i.e. shipping records and financial information.)

Just imagine for a minute an online shop that has not employed a database administrator. Simple tasks such as processing customer payments and getting their ordered items shipped would become especially challenging, particularly if the shop has grown sizeably and can no longer keep track of its patrons. Database administrators typically work efficiently with computer programs and are good with organization skills and running numbers. Most database administrators work full-time and often need to show up to a physical office. For those who would prefer to be able to work flexible hours or from home, this may not be the right career track.

 

Tips for Choosing a Career

There are so many options to choose from that are favorable in terms of the information technology industry. When it comes down to making the best decision for you, here’s what you may want to keep in mind:

  • Passion comes first, but paying your bills is important too. We all want to show up to a job that we love, so that is why it is so vital to select an occupation that tailors not only to your financial goals but to your personal intentions as well. It’s all about balance, so if you can find a path that you not only enjoy but can also pay your bills, definitely consider sticking to it.
  • Choose the right source of education and utilize their resources as much as possible. The school or institution you receive your education from should offer you valuable resources so that you may go on to be fully prepared for entering the workforce. Make sure you utilize any opportunities your place of education has to offer; they could be of great use later on in your academic or professional path.
  • Know your rights with the Forever GI Bill. Many changes have recently been made to the Forever GI Bill and veteran rights have greatly improved and will continue to do so. Thoroughly research the opportunities that are available to you and talk with your school about what they offer for veterans in terms of support.
  • Get in contact with potential employers to see what requirements they have so you can prepare accordingly. Have a company in mind that you would like to work for? Get in contact with them and pick their brains a bit so that you can prepare ahead of time for any potential opportunities in being employed for them. Master your resume and find out which skills can be of benefit to your employability.

 

Final Thoughts on Outstanding IT Career Options for Veterans

At the end of the day, it is so important to not only choose a career that you can project will grow more in-demand over time but to also select a path that you are passionate about. At ICOHS we want our students to feel personally fulfilled throughout their studies, so that they may go on to work in a field they admire.

If you have been searching for IT schools in San Diego or career colleges in San Diego that offer tech programs with benefits for vets, we offer a variety of education trajectories including Computer and Networking Technician Certification, IT Network Specialist, and IT Systems Administrator options.

If this sounds like your cup of tea, reach out to ICOHS today and request more information so that together we can get a jump-start on your career goals and intentions.

 

Optimize Your Life with Meditation and Mindfulness – When doing less is really doing more

By Health No Comments

Head filled with brain fog. Productivity slowing to a minimum no matter how hard you try. Difficulty grasping an actual breath of air. Mind overwhelmed with thoughts of a million to-do lists and endless plans for the future that may or may not even become possibilities. We’ve all been there. The mind likes to chat, in fact probably its favorite thing to do is to think in non-stop circles.

With so much internal (and external) busyness going on, it is vital for the brain to receive a well-deserved break. In fact, it really needs to take a breather now and then – preferably daily. For this reason, humans choose to exercise, take walks, draw a bath, read a book, or take part in whatever other activity they desire in order to unwind.

It turns out an ancient Eastern practice seems to do the trick just as well, if not better. Meditation, as it is called, is said to not only assist in slowing down the mental chatter and clearing the mind, science is also beginning to show its holistic benefits that could assist in soothing the mind, body, and soul (since all of it is interconnected anyway.)

With beginnings in India and Southeast Asia, meditation has taken the Western world by storm in recent years especially, with 14.2% of American adults claiming to have partaken in quieting the mind during 2018 according to CNBC. In reality, there is a very good chance that you too have heard of meditation or potentially even practice it yourself.

There are countless ways to cope with life’s stresses, some significantly healthier than others, but meditation, even just 10-20 minutes a day, seems to be bringing about impeccable results.

 

What Are Meditation and Mindfulness?

Holistic health teaches us to come up with life solutions that are in support of not only healing the body but the mind and soul as well. Meditation certainly holds grave potential as a solution for better mental management and resolve. Just as the body must be nourished with nutritious foods packed full of rich vitamins and minerals, the mind too must be fed. Meditation, in many ways, acts as this fodder, a catalyst for profound potential transformation.

One of the world’s most popular guided meditation apps, Headspace, describes meditation as being “…about training in awareness and getting a healthy sense of perspective. You’re not trying to turn off your thoughts or feelings. You’re learning to observe them without judgment. And eventually, you may start to better understand them as well.”

That’s just it – meditation is no miracle tool that will cause you to wake up one day feeling like a completely new person and all of your challenges and frustrations in life have simply melted away. No, that just would not be realistic; rather meditation serves as a way to dig deeper into the underlying reasons for why one reacts the way they do, simply by doing less and observing the thoughts more instead of living right there in them.

When we are living in the here and now, we are being mindful. This is mindfulness; the practice of being here and now. In every activity, in every moment of every day, we can choose to be mindful. This is simply done by watching the breath and bringing awareness back to it when the mind decides to get distracted or go down some strange alleyway.

And it definitely will get distracted at some point – this is what the mind does and this is completely natural. The mindful aspect comes into play when one brings consciousness and awareness to these moments of diversion and instead chooses to go back into the state of observation.

Walking, cooking, cleaning, exercising, listening to music, swimming, driving. Any activity, truly, can be done in a mindful manner. It just takes practice and regular reminders to be in the here and now, often done by focusing upon the breath.

 

What Does Science Tell Us About Meditation?

Although there are numerous personal accounts of how meditation has been of benefit to humans, it is important to also view science. Science rarely lies and factual evidence definitely backs up claims made about meditation and its powerful abilities to transform the mind and body.

Project-meditation.org reports that since 1930 more than 1500 studies have been conducted and published in pertinence to meditation and its effects and impacts. Some of the following conclusions were made:

  • Meditation reduced the production of the stress hormone Cortisol, allowing individuals to better cope with and manage stress down to a biological level.
  • 75% of insomniacs that meditated on a daily basis found they were able to fall asleep within a twenty-minute window of time, a significant improvement for those who potentially would not have been able to sleep even many hours after getting into bed.
  • 60% of people prone to anxiety who meditated for a study found that after 6-9 months they had substantial improvements to their mental states.
  • Those that meditate possess less nervousness and anxiety.
  • Meditating can decrease oxygen consumption, blood pressure, heart rate, and respiration.

These examples represent only a few of the copious studies that support beneficial claims made about meditation.

 

How to Apply Meditation and Mindfulness into Everyday Life

With all this information present, the question still remains: how can one apply the useful potential of meditation into their own life?

There are a number of ways to go about implementing meditation and mindfulness into everyday life, but it does require taking a little time out of each day to do so if you intend to keep a regular practice. Meditation, although always effective, is said to be the most beneficial if exercised on a frequent or even consistent basis.

Thankfully, technology has made it pretty convenient to practice some form of meditation or mindfulness on a consistent basis, with the tools you will need available right at your fingertips.

There are many apps available for smartphones and tablets that offer a variety of mindfulness and meditation exercises, both guided and unguided. A few that have become especially popular includes:

  • Headspace: In addition to regular guided meditations with a variety of useful themes, this app also offers walking, cooking, and cleaning guided mindfulness exercises for those who do not feel like sitting down for practice.
  • Calm: Daily Calm sessions are offered with this app, as well as a plethora of relaxing nature noises for those who get inspired or feel more tranquil from the sound of certain organic experiences.
  • 10% Happier: This is a “no-frills” meditation app that is designed for even the most skeptical of individuals so that they too can reap the benefits of meditation. Various aspects of mindfulness are described with such clarity and bluntness that concepts are made clear even for those who are much more logical/rational-minded and uninterested in esoterics.
  • Buddhify: Designed for the ultra-busy, on-the-go individual seeking more mindfulness in life. A simple design of a wheel separated into relevant sectioned exercises allows you to pick a short guided meditation in a speedy manner so that afterward you can get back to your work and to-do list feeling sharper than ever.

 

If a meditation app isn’t quite your vibe, there are many forms of meditation and mindfulness practices that were used long before smartphones were a thing. Plenty of them are still going strong too.

  • For building self-love and self-compassion, loving-kindness meditation is a wonderful choice. Originated from the buddha and Buddhist practices, this option helps you strengthen your relationship with yourself, so that you can, in turn, strengthen how you interact with others. Loving-kindness meditation tends to suit most people because all of us struggle from time to time with challenges related to the inner self.
  • For a meditation that requires you to get physical, yoga meditation in some form, such as Kundalini yoga for instance, not only helps bring better awareness to the self, it also involves an aspect of fitness that assists with improving flexibility and strengthening the core, all while decreasing stress, anxiety, tension, and leading to a more mindful you.
  • For a complete sensory experience, sound bath meditation applies various noises created by gongs, singing bowls, and other vibrational instruments to get you into an even deeper state of relaxation and rejuvenation.
  • For deep introspection and life transformation, Vipassana meditation serves to guide practitioners down a journey of discovering insights into various human experiences and dilemmas in order to eventually produce transformation. This is an ancient technique and 10-day silent meditation retreats are offered globally for free for those who feel ready for such a testing undertaking.

 

Many other forms of meditation and mindfulness do exist in addition to these, so it is important to do a little research and find out which option best suits your needs.

As we mentioned earlier, just about any activity can be done in a mindful way, and so you may discover a form of mindfulness that works best for you that does not require you to be sitting or lying down with your eyes closed.

 

Optimize Your Life with Meditation and Mindfulness: In Summary

Science shows us that meditation carries a plethora of benefits, and as not only the Eastern world but the Western world as well takes on meditation practice as a daily part of life, this awareness-bringing activity has become more popular than ever globally.

Meditation helps to optimize life to its full potential, whether that’s by reducing stress and increasing productivity, or simply giving the mind a much-needed break. With so many meditation-related options out there, it is important to find one that is best suited to you if your desire is to implement more mindfulness into day-to-day life.

Furthermore, if holistic health interests you and if you’ve been searching for career colleges in San Diego or massage schools that offer courses of this nature, ICOHS is an accredited, non-profit vocational school with a personalized holistic health practitioner program, as well as a professional massage therapist program. Reach out today and request more information to dig deep into what each program has to offer.

Prevent a Botnet Cyber Attack

By IT No Comments

Now, more than ever, it is vital to maintain cybersecurity. With hackers and threats becoming stealthier and stealthier by the day, malware, viruses, spyware, botnets, and more have become so intricate and complex, they can be difficult to detect by even the best professionals and cybersecurity specialists.

Although a cyber attack is not altogether fully preventable, there are protocols and measures to take that can minimize the chances of such an occurrence. Botnets, in particular, are immensely tricky to discover and then completely eliminate, and for this reason, it is important for anyone intending to enter a career in IT to be fully aware of the presence of this type of cyber threat.

Those who do not intend to enter into an IT-related profession can, too, benefit from this knowledge – recognizing the existence of botnets is valuable information for any individual that regularly works on their computer or surfs the internet.

In this article, we will explain in detail about botnets and how they create cyber attacks, as well as ways in which they can be prevented as best as possible, so that you can minimize the chances of being affected by such a security breach whether at home, in a public area, or at your place of employment.

 

What Are Botnets and How Do They Create Cyber Attacks?

Unlike many cyber-attacks that are generated by stealing and destroying sensitive data by finding weak points in technical computer aspects, botnets are a unique and extremely next-level type of threat. This is because not only does a botnet produce an attack, any system that has been compromised becomes an attacker as well.

Essentially, with botnets, the victim also becomes the perpetrator, usually without the knowledge of the computer owner or manager. For those who are concerned with cybersecurity, the idea of this transfer of roles can actually be perceived as quite terrifying.

A botnet is basically short for a “network of bots,” which, simply put, is what a botnet represents accurately. Botnets infect various computers and software, essentially producing an army of bots that are willing and ready to infect other devices and continue spreading dangerous and risky cyber intruders.

A “bot” is the term used for the type of software program that is run by any device or network that is affected by a botnet. All of the bots and botnets are monitored by a bot-master system, an overseer that observes and counts how many devices have been infected and what the roles of the attacking bots are.

The master commands and orchestrates the movement and undertakings of all the bots, and sometimes another buffer layer is added on in order to manage and oversee some of the more complex and large-scale threats. As the bots continue to infect one computer after another, they report back to their bot-master a count of devices affected, which the master then logs.

Additionally, botnet managers are ready to always update any software that needs to be fixed, removing bugs, glitches, and more. Although this is a common practice in many tech-related systems, to think that such an intricate organization exists amongst a network with very poor or even evil intentions, is unnerving.

Mainly what makes these botnet armies so challenging to detect, has to do with the fact that bots are always running in stealth mode, meaning that they can easily be brushed under the rug.

Furthermore, bot-masters and bot-managers are constantly changing roles as well as countries of origin, in order to provide another layer of undetectability.

In summary, a computer or device is infected by a bot in three organized steps:

  1. The bot-master sends instructions out to bot-managers as to which devices will be infected. The bot-manager or managers then instruct their bot-children to do the real damage.

 

  1. The bot-children are sent on their way as an infection module, one that is fit with the vital task of discovering servers that are non-patched, gluing onto them their latest infectious copy. Each bot is given a special identification number, which the bot-master has constant records and access to.

 

  1. An infected system that has been entered by a bot then mutates into a bot itself but in such a stealthy, unnoticeable manner. This then adds to the bot-army, which is also a system of zombie machines, also known as machines that can’t quite think for themselves or protect themselves and are intruded upon by outside influences.

 

The typical goal of a bot-master is to steal data or disrupt computer systems, and due to a large number of forces that team up, it is often that hackers overseeing a botnet system can accomplish their malicious undertakings with speed, success, and ease once the initial programming is conducted.

Some commonly found bots and their intentions are:

  • CCBot: collects credit card info
  • idBot: collects password and user id information
  • SpamBot: collects address books for email spamming
  • BrowseBot: collects browsing trends for advertisers
  • ChatBot: monitors communication trends by collecting chat transcripts

Although this is only a handful of the many present bots throughout the digital world, it can clearly be seen how potentially compromising many of these bots can be.

Hackers who have developed and implemented botnet systems are often in for a great reward with very few consequences and low potential risk. This is a major reason why hackers have turned towards botnets in this modern era of computers where it is possible to do so.

 

Common Botnets and Their Impacts

Throughout modern digital history, there have been strings of botnet attacks, some of which rose to significant fame due to their detrimental impact that was rather difficult to detect.

BredoLab is one of the newest botnet armies, and it has impacted more than 20 million machines globally. Its intentions were to produce email spam that extended out on a mass scale, but it also involved viruses and spyware. Law authorities have reportedly gotten rid of this botnet, but it is suspected that variations of the same infector are still floating around and have access to sensitive data.

Conficker, another common botnet, was once upon a time considered a virus, but it was also able to enter devices remotely so that they could be controlled. Through file sharing and those fragile aspects, Conficker was able to impact the entire fleets of machines, producing the zombie-like army that is standard for botnet breaches. It is said to have affected more than 10 million devices worldwide.

 

Understanding How Botnets Can Be Better Prevented

As we mentioned, it is unfortunately quite challenging to detect the presence of a botnet, and often once it has become observable, the bot has dragged your device into its zombie-bot army where it has potentially infected other machines.

Much like Malware, Botnets do produce certain symptoms, which can better assist in the detection of such threats. If you find that your computer begins to run slowly, gives error messages, has a fan that starts up out of nowhere, or starts acting strangely, then there is a chance that your device is infected with some type of botnet or other Malware.

Although not perfect, some preventative measures can be implemented in order to better protect your devices against botnet attacks.

 

Steps You Can Take to Protect Yourself as Best as Possible

Here’s how you can better monitor your networks for botnet infiltrations:

  1. This may seem obvious, but always install extremely reliable and powerful antivirus software onto your devices immediately. Be sure that the settings of your chosen software are turned on for auto-updates. That’ll give your computer the most recent protective technology available at all times.

 

  1. Be extremely cautious about what files, links, images you click on, open up, or download. The internet is full of potential threats, and just because you might believe a specific website or file is safe, it very well could be dangerous without your knowledge.

 

  1. Never ever click on links or files that are sent from unrecognizable or questionable email addresses. This is one of the most common ways that botnets enter devices turning them into members of the zombie army.

 

Final Thoughts of Understanding Cyber Attack Botnets and Preventive Measures

Even if it is not possible to avoid all cyber attacks and threats, there are measures that can be taken in order to minimize any potential negative impacts. If you are a regular internet browser or computer user, in this day and age it is important more than ever to have the right securities set in place to better protect yourself and your sensitive or even confidential information from ill-intentioned hackers.

If you are located in the San Diego area and are interested in entering a career in IT as well as learn about cybersecurity and attack prevention, at ICOHS we offer three comprehensive programs: Computer and Networking Technician Certification, It Network Specialist, and IT Systems Administrator.

ICOHS is a non-profit, vocational college that intends to provide a unique and deeply personalized learning experience for students passionate about their field of study. If your passion or interest in IT, reach out to ICOHS today and request more information.

 

 

5 Essential Oils That Are Perfectly Designed for Massage and How They Can Optimize the Massage Experience

By Health No Comments

Known throughout the holistic health world as a valuable addition to alternative medicine practices, massage has extended far outside of the holistic health bubble, entering into the world of the mainstream.

From stressed-out business owners to busy mothers, there truly is no one type of individual anymore that could go out and seek regular massages. Some companies even offer complimentary massages to their employees in the office or off-site. The reason for this? As the MayoClinic reports, “studies of the benefits of massage demonstrate that it is an effective treatment for reducing stress, pain and muscle tension.”

Other, less conclusive studies report the potential for massage in the reduction of anxiety, fibromyalgia, sports injuries, digestive disorders, stress due to insomnia, and more.

Massage is not only pursued actively because of its science-backed health benefits, for some individuals it also satisfies the desire or craving for closeness, connection, and physical touch. Arguably, all humans need care and comfort and for those who aren’t getting these necessities filled on a regular basis, receiving a massage can potentially help.

 

How Exactly Can Massage Be Defined?

For those who are familiar with massage, you may already be aware of how to describe this practice. By definition, massage is a combination of movements involving rubbing and pressing muscles, skin, ligaments, and skin. There are numerous styles and forms of massage, along with intensities. The style of massage one might opt for is typically a highly personal decision or one recommended by the massage specialist.

Pressure strength of a massage typically ranges somewhere between the realms of light and deep. Light feels more like gentle stroking and it stimulates the location being massaged, while deep is a heavy pressure that typically digs into the muscles, ligaments, and more.

Some common styles of massage that are offered globally include deep tissue massage, craniosacral massage, Thai massage, Swedish massage, and sports massage. In reality, however, there is an endless number of combinations and options, so it’s best to go about finding a massage therapist that you feel comfortable with and then asking them which styles they recommend or specialize in.

Not everyone, however, should pursue getting a massage. Certain medical conditions are not considered safe to have when receiving a massage and your therapist will likely ask you questions prior to your appointment to make sure you are a good candidate. Individuals with the following conditions should avoid getting massages or consult their medical doctor beforehand:

  • Severe osteoporosis or thrombocytopenia
  • Wounds or burns that are still healing
  • Fractures or bone breaks
  • Those taking blood-thinning medications or those that have bleeding disorders
  • Deep vein thrombosis (DVT)

The most important thing during a massage is to be in clear communication with your massage therapist. Massages, although at times uncomfortable, should not be extremely painful. If you, at any point, experience unbearable pain, immediately inform your massage therapist so that they can adjust their technique based off of your needs, comforts, and requests.

 

Massage and Stress Reduction

Science shows that massage can reduce stress levels, in addition to its other attributes. Stress is an especially important focus in this article because it is an extremely debilitating and potentially dangerous challenge that is experienced by a massive percentage of the world at various ranges of severity.

Stress impacts overall emotional well-being, and not only does it play a role in the mind, but it can also produce physical complications and deteriorate the health and wellbeing of the physical body. For this reason, and many others, massage can serve as a potentially very useful tool.

 

Understanding Essential Oils

During a massage, certain products are typically utilized in order to make the experience more pleasant and healing. One of the commonly used ingredients is oil. Often, coconut oil or another light oil such as sweet almond oil or grapeseed oil is applied by a massage therapist in order to make the rubbing and kneading of the skin smoother and more fluid.

Sometimes, essential oils are included in the oil, which is referred to at this point as a carrier oil. This is done because certain essential oils are said to contain specific properties. Essential oil is an extract from a plant of sorts that is retrieved through a process of distillation, which then typically produces oil that contains a strong aroma from the organic material. Pure essential oils are natural, but they should be used with caution.

Essential oils should not be applied directly to the skin without first being mixed with a carrier oil. Although many individuals like to apply essential oils directly to the body, this can cause irritations and sensitivities. Additionally, women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should not use certain types of essential oils, and therefore should contact their doctor or first thoroughly research any EO’s that they intend to apply.

 

The 5 Essential Oils (EOs) That Are Perfectly Designed for Massage

Alas, we’ll run you through which 5 essential oils pair up extremely well with massage therapy. If you’re a massage therapist, consider incorporating one or more of these selections into your next appointment. If you’re someone who regularly receives massages, considering asking your massage therapist next time around if they’ll include one or more of these oils in your session.

  1. Lavender Essential Oil

 Used for centuries for its relaxing and sleep-inducing properties, lavender is one of the best essential oils to include with a massage carrier oil because once you’re on the table, it’s the perfect opportunity to completely unwind and let go, and even catch up on some of those zzzz’s.

Often applied before bed or spritzed in an atomizer onto a face mask, pillowcase, or set of sheets, many people swear by lavender as a solution for sleeplessness and insomnia. Although the science is limited, personal experiences seem to be plentiful, and those that swear by lavender EO claim that it improves mood and promotes relaxation.

Best of all, a high-quality lavender essential oil is incredibly easy to get ahold of and it is affordable. Once diluted into a carrier oil, it can be applied generously to any region of the body.

 

  1. Lemongrass Essential Oil

Although the lemongrass plant is typically used in cooking for it’s grassy, fragrant, and lightly citrusy flavor and aroma, it can also be utilized as an essential oil topically. Made by distilling the stalks and leaves of the lemongrass plant, lemongrass essential oil is sought after for its tranquil yet rejuvenating properties. Additionally, it is used as an alternative to the more traditional, sweeter scents of citrus fruits such as orange, lemon, or mandarin.

Lemongrass essential oil is said to have naturally occurring antifungal and antibacterial properties, which isn’t really a necessity during a massage but it can help to purify the skin. Additionally, claims have been made regarding the EO’s anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties. For these reasons and more, lemongrass essential oil is a popular go-to choice by many massage therapists as well as clients alike.

 

  1. Coriander Essential Oil

Coriander essential oil is produced through the distillation of parts of the cilantro plant, a commonly used cooking ingredient, especially in Mexican cuisine. Coriander EO is said to improve the digestive system and overall circulation.

The oil itself is delicately sweet regarding smell, offering a relaxing and relieving effect that promotes a happier, more peaceful mind, along with with restful recuperation; all ideal attributes for an hour or two on the massage table.

 

  1. Eucalyptus Essential Oil

Eucalyptus essential oil mimics the strength and fresh intensity of ingredients such as menthol. In some ways, it gives that cold and chilly feeling like chewing a piece of mint gum does, except when applied to the skin it also promotes circulation. Specifically, when it comes to relieving muscle pain and reducing stress levels, eucalyptus EO can potentially prove to be beneficial because it stimulates the body and encourages proper blood flow.

Eucalyptus essential oil is usually quite easy to find at your local health food store and it is typically sold at an affordable price. Other EO’s that complement eucalyptus exquisitely include peppermint, tea tree, and echinacea.

 

  1. Mandarin Essential Oil

Probably the most pleasant aspects of mandarin essential oil are its amazingly refreshing aroma. Smelling like sweet and juicy orange, mandarin EO reminds people of fresh-squeezed OJ in the morning, which is potentially why this oil can be associated will increased alertness and awareness.

For those who like to feel fresh and energized after a massage, this option could be an ideal selection. Science is, unfortunately, limited as to why mandarin essential oil seems to often leave its users feeling rejuvenated but the important part is that it seems to be of benefit to many.

 

5 Essential Oils for Massage in Summary

Because of their natural qualities and healing benefits, essential oils serve as a wonderful complement to massage therapy. They can be easily and conveniently applied to the skin of clients through a carrier oil, which is normally already utilized during the massage process. Each essential oil has its own purpose and go-to function, so we hope that this article was able to provide clarity on which EO is suitable for what aspect of improving the massage experience for clients or for yourself.

If you are searching for career colleges in San Diego, specifically massage schools, ICOHS offers an accredited, non-profit Professional Massage Therapist program that works closely alongside students, helping and supporting them as they pursue their greatest passions and interests. Get in touch with us today and request more information.

 

4 Major Reasons to Choose a Technical College for Higher Education in Information Technology

By IT No Comments

In this day and age there are so many options when it comes to getting a higher education. There are classic universities, colleges, vocational schools, trade schools, community colleges, and finally technical colleges, the topic of this article.

Each and every option has its own advantages and disadvantages, and as someone considering a higher education, it is important to learn certain details about every selection, so that you can make the most informed decision possible.

In this article, we don’t intend to go into too much depth pertaining to any choices other than technical colleges, but we will thoroughly provide the top 4 primary reasons why this option might just be the right one for you.

 

What Is a Technical College?

At times it can be a bit challenging to distinguish between the various forms of higher education and in many ways certain selections crossover quite significantly (as is the case with trade schools and vocational schools for instance.) Technical colleges, however, are unique in their own ways because they focus in on educating students with specialized courses within particular course criteria.

The subject taught by technical colleges is typically always extremely practical, typically within the realm of information technology, education, secretarial skills, or engineering.

ICOHS, although technically a vocational school, could also be classified as a technical college, for we offer a diverse selection of information technology-related courses and programs. From our Computer and Networking Certification Program to our IT Network Specialist and IT Systems Administrator programs, there are many options if information technology (IT) is your designated course of study.

 

4 Reasons Why Choosing a Technical College Might Be Right for You

There are many reasons why someone might choose to receive their higher education from a technical college, but these 4 major incentives notably stand out above the rest:

  1. Enter Into a Budding Market and In-Demand Workforce

It is often the case with technical colleges that the programs offered are all related to careers that are currently in demand or cutting edge, which leads to significant employment opportunities.

Significant employment means less post-education stress about finding a job, and not only a job in general, but one with a decent or even great salary. Because ICOHS offers information technology-related programs, this specific technical career will be the focus of this section.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the occupation of Computer and Systems Administrator, for instance, is expected to have a 6% job outlook between the years 2016-2026, with the average salary standing at around $82,000 yearly.

Of course, Information Technology related professions extend far beyond simply Computer and Systems Administrators, but consistently, careers under this umbrella term are ranking in an average to high job outlook and a relatively large salary.

As another example, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports Information Security Analysts as having a 28% job outlook between the years 2016-2026, which is far faster than average, and the typical yearly salary ranks in at a little more than $98,000 per year.

 

  1. Learn in Small Class Sizes and Compact Group Settings

Traditional universities and colleges are so often filled to the brim with students; with classes almost always reaching maximum capacity, it can be challenging to feel as if you are receiving a truly personal and hands-on learning experience. Having this many students packed into one classroom or auditorium can not only be an overwhelming experience for students but for educators as well.

With technical colleges, this simply isn’t the case.  Course sizes are much smaller and more compact, designed whilst keeping each student’s individual needs in mind. Additionally, with such compact group settings, professors tend to be a lot more receptive and interactive with students, by engaging in considerable quantities of hands-on learning and the initiation of discussions.

While 4-year university courses can have student numbers ranging up into the hundreds, technical colleges typically only feature around 20-30 students maximum per classroom. The extreme difference in size is a wonderful way to get the most out of your higher education experience, allowing for the potential of greater depth and understanding of the coursework, class materials, and concepts.

 

  1. You Are Completely Ready for a Big Career Change and Don’t Want to Spend Years in School

Life presents us with many opportunities for change and growth, and sometimes this requires making big decisions, such as opting for a career change. Career changes are sometimes a necessary part of shaping your existence into the exact one you want to be living. Most of all, it is a grave misconception that choosing options for higher education is left only for those who are fresh out of high school.

On the contrary, many adults are opting to go back to school so that they can be working in a field or industry that they truly enjoy and love. Attending a technical college offers a means to shift your life track while not having to commit to many years of education. For this reason, it is also suitable for those who would like to discover their passions and take a number of courses in varying programs.

Technical colleges offer a wide array of programs and courses to choose from, which can all serve as a way to switch things up from going every day to a job you can’t stand, to learning new skills and abilities that can help you develop further contacts in a specific field and in turn score your dream job.

 

  1. Learn by Applied Practice and a Hands-On Experience

While most universities and colleges rely upon textbooks and critically thinking about the material read and learned, technical colleges take a slightly different approach.

Instead of actualizing systems and processes in your brain, technical colleges place great emphasis upon applied practice and hands-on experience. This means, if you are intending to study information technology (IT), for example, you would be learning the material by actually tackling IT-related challenges and problems, rather than simply reading about how to solve them.

This approach to learning not only provides a more complete educational experience but it also better prepares students for the real world and an actual occupation in their chosen field. Employers usually don’t care about how much knowledge you know about a topic; rather they want to see which skills you bring to the table. With hands-on, applied practice, you’ll actually be ready to jump straight from education to a job setting.

 

Our Final Thoughts on the 4 Major Reasons to Choose a Technical College for Higher Education

At the end of the day, it is important to make an informed choice that suits your own needs the best, because each individual should make decisions career-wise that are in their own interest. No one can tell you which path to take in life, and technical colleges support students of all ages, including those who are deciding to make big job-related changes.

If you are located in the San Diego area and are interested in attending a technical college (and also a vocational college) to study information technology specifically, ICOHS is an accredited option that offers small class sizes and an extremely personalized and tailored-to-you learning experience featuring dedicated and passionate educators.

Reach out today and request more information if you are interested in our Computer Networking and Technician Certification program, IT Network Specialist program, or IT Systems Administrator program.

4 Essential Oils That Complement a Yoga Practice – How to amp up your yoga session to the next level

By Health No Comments

A practice known as yoga has become especially popular in the 21st century, particularly in the western world, with an estimated 2 billion people globally participating in some form of yoga according to UN News.

Yoga is not only said to be a beneficial means of gaining flexibility and core strength, it is equally as useful for remaining active and soothing the mind, body, and spirit. In fact, for many, yoga is more of a spiritual practice than a sport. Often linked with meditation and mindfulness, yoga’s origins date far back into ancient times, and regardless of why yoga is practiced, every form of it is said to exist in order to promote an increase in some type of wellbeing.

There are numerous complementary activities that can be coupled with regular yoga practice, and one that is sometimes utilized by yogis is the inclusion of essential oils to enhance the experience for students, participants, and practitioners.

Sometimes during arranged yoga classes, instructors will either diffuse essential oils in the form of aromatherapy, or they will walk around and have students smell various diffusions of essential oils (EOs), typically while students are relaxing and rejuvenating after the core of the practice when they’re in the final period of rest – Shavasana or Corpse Pose.

Although once practiced primarily by those interested in eastern medicine and eastern methods of living, yoga has now grown to become one of the most popular physical activities in the world. Essential oils, also growing ever popular, do not simply need to be diffused by yoga instructors. Those seeking at-home techniques to boost a yoga session can add essential oils into the mix, and certain individual oils or combinations are potentially the most suitable.

There are plenty of essential oils out there to choose from, but the 4 EOs we will discuss in this article could improve your yoga practice.

Each individual’s yoga practice is personal, therefore not everyone likes outside stimuli. On the other hand, those that are desiring a layer or two of additional factors to help them feel even more grounded, could likely benefit from the inclusion of essential oils.

 

What Is Yoga?

Created in India around 5,000 years ago, yoga was developed as a holistic solution for balancing the emotional, spiritual, mental, and physical self, tackling all aspects of overall health and wellbeing. Now, yoga is used for purposes beyond the metaphysical, with many opting to practice for a reduction in stress levels and anxiety levels, as well as in order to boost overall mood and mental state. Furthermore, some choose yoga as a form of sport and fitness or to build strength and flexibility. Regardless of your reason for practicing yoga, it can be quite unanimously agreed that this activity is beneficial for a number of reasons, hence the mass number of people who partake in this activity.

Today, there are numerous forms and types of yoga that are practiced, but originally Hatha Yoga was the primary system. Some popular existing types include Hatha Yoga, Bikram Yoga (Hot Yoga), Iyengar Yoga, Kundalini Yoga, Vinyasa Yoga, and Kripalu Yoga. Practitioners are constantly creating new forms of yoga, as well as modifying already existent practices and, certainly, yoga with continue to transform and change as the years progress.

 

What Are Essential Oils?

Essential oils are potent and highly aromatic oils that are produced through a specialized process of distillation. They are of organic origin, being created from some type of organic plant matter. There’s an endless number of EO types on the market, each one possessing its own benefits and specialized properties.

It’s important to note that essential oils vary in quality and purity, therefore it is immensely important to always choose a reliable supplier to buy from.

 

How Could Essential Oils Complement a Yoga Practice?

Because a yoga practice should be all about promoting wellbeing in one way or another, essential oils can boost this purpose by aiding in relaxation, tranquility, and the potential advancement of a deeper, inner calm. Not all combinations of oils might be well-fit for the specific purpose of boosting a yoga practice, but the 4 essential oils that we are about to mention could prove to be particularly effective.

 

The 4 Essential Oils That Could Improve Your Yoga Practice

These 4 essential oil selections are tailored towards boosting your yoga practice, with each blend or individual oil being suitable for its own respective reasons. It is important to note, however, that limited science and research exists to back up the effectiveness of these oils, so if you do decide to incorporate one of these EOs into your practice, know that the results you could potentially get would be more so experiential.

With all essential oils, it is vital to mix them with a carrier oil such as coconut oil, sweet almond oil, or apricot oil before applying them onto the skin for sensitivities and reactions can occur otherwise. Most essential oils should not be ingested orally either but if you do intend to consume them, be sure to speak with your doctor or medical practitioner first and get an expert opinion.

  1. Rose Essential Oil

Often times utilized in aromatherapy, rose essential oil is a distillation of the Rosa damascena crop, and therefore possesses many of the qualities of this plant. Many yoga practitioners integrate rose essential oil into their practices because of its heart-opening properties.

A longtime representation of love and passion, the rose flower is known by those interested in holistic practices as a wonderful heart opener, helping you to get more interconnected with the world around you and your loving and compassionate self.

Rose essential oil brings about greater calm and tranquility with its floral aromas that are relaxing and stress-relieving. Additionally, some individuals really love how refreshing and rejuvenating rose essential can be, especially when paired up with a citrus EO such as lemon or sweet orange. Overall, this essential oil has a light and airy vibe, ideal to give your mid-morning or mid-day yoga session an extra boost.

  1. Ylang Ylang and Clove Essential Oil Blend

The bright, flora aroma of the ylang ylang flower when combined with the fiery, earthy warmth of clove creates an excellent combination for those looking to connect deeper with their grounded inner selves. This oil is also said to reduce muscle tension, which will aid in your overall increase in flexibility during your session so that you can sink into each pose with further intensity.

When you’ve finally reached the mat after a long day of work or a stressful daily routine, the result you’ll likely want to achieve from your practice is becoming more centered and present in the moment. Having a few big breaths of a carrier oil or aromatherapy diffuser packed with ylang ylang and clove essential oils can assist in centering your mind and soul overall, so that you can feel in tune with your body and live in the moment. Not only is yoga a brilliant way to unwind from a hectic day, this specific essential oil blend complements the practice exquisitely supporting overall joy and happiness.

  1. Lemongrass and Eucalyptus Essential Oil

Lemongrass, an herb very commonly used in cooking, particularly in Thai cuisine, creates an unbelievably refreshing and rejuvenating essential oil that, when diffused or applied alongside a carrier oil can serve as a wonderful addition to a morning yoga routine or your AM sun salutation.

Eucalyptus essential oil helps with mental clarity and aids in clearing brain fog, which can be particularly present in the mornings and on difficult days when you don’t quite feel like yourself. Lemongrass and Eucalyptus in combination produce an oil that carries the same refreshing elements of mint or menthol, but the potentially overwhelming aspects are softened by the grassiness and citrus qualities of the lemongrass. Diffuse a little of this essential oil combo and start your day off the right way with your practice complete and your mind in full focus.

  1. Frankincense Essential Oil

Frankincense essential oil is considered one of the most meditative of all the available oils, and the plant itself has been used for many centuries not only in Eastern regions such as India and China, but also even in the Western world by the Catholic Church in Europe. For its close association with religion and spirituality, frankincense has been regarded as a sanctifying oil or holy substance.

With its spiritual properties, frankincense is nourishing for the soul, which is particularly important for a yoga practice, an activity that also helps to feed the core. On top of being wholesome, frankincense is also quite soothing and decompressing, which is what makes it such a special option for an evening or before bed yoga routine. Furthermore, some say that this essential oil assists in balancing emotions, which is definitely a useful quality for those who would like to quiet their brain chatter before falling asleep.

 

What’s the Best Way to Enjoy Essential Oils?

There’s a number of ways you can go about using essential oils. The most common methods are typically through an aromatherapy diffuser, a room spray, a carrier oil, or diffusing jewelry.

Aromatherapy Diffuser: This method utilizes a specialized device called an aromatherapy diffuser to release essential oils into the air through a stream of water vapor. This method is especially gentle and has been said to help improve breathing and the functioning of the respiratory system. Additionally, diffusing essential oils in this manner is quite cost efficient, for these devices require very few drops of an EO to distribute the healing aspects into the space you’re in.

Room Spray: Room sprays are water or alcohol perfume tinctures made with infused essential oils that are then sprayed in any specific space for the aroma to be distributed.

Carrier Oil: Essential oils blended into carrier oils such as coconut oil, apricot oil, or sweet almond oil are convenient for on-the-body application, making it possible to wear essential oils on your skin throughout the day.

Diffusing Jewelry: Some jewelry is designed to hold the scents of potent essential oils. Often made with lava stone or some similar porous material, a few drops of oil can be placed on the piece and then worn all day for a lasting aroma.

 

Our Final Thoughts on the 4 Essentials Oils That Could Improve Your Yoga Practice

Regardless of your reasons for choosing to practice yoga, it is vital to opt for a routine that fits your own personal needs and desires as best as possible.

Yoga and essential oils are both considered aspects of holistic health. If you are looking for career colleges in San Diego that offer a holistic health practitioner program, ICOHS is a non-profit, accredited vocational school offering a fully comprehensive, tailored-to-you holistic health practitioner track. Reach out to us today and request more information.

IT Jobs In High Demand That Offer Work Flexibility

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Computer and IT jobs are the most in-demand jobs offering work flexibility. If you’re interested in finding a job that fits your life, Information Technology is among the top career fields with the most flexible job postings.

What do we mean by a “flexible job”?

Any professional-level job that has a telecommuting, flexible schedule, part-time, or freelance component. Basically, a job that makes it easier for you to balance your work and life responsibilities. Work flexibility gives professionals more control and freedom over when and where they work, which helps them better manage their career with other important life responsibilities.

Highly in-demand

Computer Technology roles are already in high demand as it is; adding in the element of security makes these roles even more critical and sought after. The threat of cyber crime to businesses all over the world continues to rise and cyber attacks are becoming more and more harmful. Even though we tend to only hear about the attacks of high-profile entities, no company or individual with an online presence is immune to attacks, and that is why these jobs are crucial.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the rate of growth for jobs in information security is projected at 37% from 2012–2022—which is much faster than the average for all other occupations.

IT Careers

IT jobs can range from computer repair to website maintenance to Internet security positions. Computer and IT jobs often involve providing in-house support for internal computer systems, so training and knowledge in this particular area is important. Industries like information security, digital marketing, cloud solutions, business consulting, education, healthcare, and media hire regularly for flexible computer and IT jobs.

A few common flexible job titles in IT:

Whether you are interested in technical support, network administration, or security analysis, our Information Technology programs at ICOHS College can help you define your strengths and lead you on the right path to success. If you are ready to begin a rewarding career in information technology, get certified today at ICOHS College.