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IT Programs

Exploring IT Program Options for a Profitable Career

By IT No Comments

The IT field is well-known as one of the most profitable career fields in our increasingly digital world. Unlike many other lucrative careers like law and medicine, however, you don’t need to spend eight years and $100,000+ on training before you can begin working.

Getting started in IT is surprisingly efficient and affordable, but there are plenty of paths you could take. To choose your next step forward, you need to understand the basics of our various IT programs.


The Quickest Option: IT Bootcamp

If you’re looking for the fastest way to launch your career is a 15 week IT Bootcamp. We have two options between our CompTIA A+ Bootcamp, and our CCNA Bootcamp. Both are only 15 weeks!

CompTIA A+ Bootcamp

Our CompTIA A+ Bootcamp was designed with you in mind. This bootcamp is an accelerated program that teaches you all the fundamentals of IT in just 15 weeks.

The bootcamp is designed to prepare you for the CompTIA A+ certification. This certification is an internationally-recognized accolade proving that you have an understanding of a wide range of IT systems, technologies, and specialties. If there’s one certification that can get your foot in the door for entry-level IT jobs, it’s A+.

Cisco CCNA Bootcamp

Our CCNA Bootcamp Option prepares you for the Cisco CCNA (Cisco Certified Network Associate) certification test. In this bootcamp, you gain knowledge and skills related to network fundamentals, LAN switching technologies, routing technologies, infrastructure services, and infrastructure maintenance.

CompTIA Sec+ Bootcamp

Our CompTIA Sec+ Bootcamp teaches the skills required to be an entry level computer and network security technician. Completion of this course identifies the student as a knowledgeable professional in the field of security, one of the fastest growing fields in IT.

CompTIA Net+ Bootcamp

Our CompTIA Net+ Bootcamp covers all the objectives of the CompTIA Network+ certification test. The topics of focus will include networking devices, media, media specifications, networking theory, troubleshooting, policies, basic security, network operations, TCP/IP protocols, and tools.

CompTIA Server + Bootcamp

Our CompTIA Server+ Bootcamp teaches you foundational concepts related to computer hardware and software, networking, databases, programming, information systems, and data security.


The Comprehensive Options: IT Training Programs

If you prefer to get more in-depth training before beginning your career or if you already have a general understanding and you want to specialize, we also offer more comprehensive IT training programs. Choose from two distinct specialties: IT Systems Administrator or IT Network Specialist.

IT Systems Administrator

A systems administrator is someone in the IT field who specializes in managing servers and the technologies and networks that work with them. Our IT Systems Administrator program is designed to teach you all the essentials you’ll need to know to excel in this career.

The program covers topics such as IT fundamentals, PC hardware and software, installing and managing servers, networking concepts, and security. By the end of the program, you’ll be prepared to pass the exams for multiple certifications including CompTIA’s A+, Network+, Security+, and Server+.

IT Network Specialist

An IT Network Specialist is someone who focuses on the internal network in their organization, like the network of computers, printers, and other devices within an office. The most efficient way to launch your networking career is with our IT Network Specialist program.

This program will train you on topics such as the fundamentals of IT, IT infrastructure and networking, configuring device hardware and software, data storage and management, troubleshooting network errors, and more. You’ll learn the essentials that you’ll need to pass your Cisco CCNA certification exam as well as the exams for CompTIA’s A+, Security+, and Network+ certifications.

What All Our IT Programs Have in Common

Each of our IT programs has its own specialties and goals based on where you want your career to go. Still, there are certain advantages they all share.

Accelerated Learning

Our programs are fast-paced and designed to get professionals of all ages and backgrounds into their IT careers sooner. Even our more comprehensive programs will have you prepared for your certifications and your career in a matter of months.

Hands-On Education

All of our programs incorporate a balance between theoretical background knowledge and hands-on experience with technology. You need both to be successful in your career, and our programs feature a strong balance between the two than most four-year IT programs.

Starting Your IT Career

The first step toward a profitable, secure career is getting the training you need, and we’re here to help. Learn more about ICOHS or apply today to begin.

If you still have questions about which IT Program is right for you, contact our friendly admissions team here. We’re excited to help you take the next step in your career.

cybersecurity vs network security

Cyber Security vs Network Security: What’s the Difference?

By IT No Comments

Do you know the difference between Cyber Security and Network Security?

If you want a career in IT, understanding this difference is a good place to start. Maybe you want an IT security career because you’ve always been fascinated by technology and you love the ongoing challenge of trying to outsmart hackers. Maybe you chose this career because it’s no secret that the IT job field is thriving. Either way, IT security is a large and varied field, so it helps to narrow your focus.

Two types of IT security careers are Cyber Security and Network Security. What’s the difference between these two options and how do you choose one or other?


The Difference Between Cyber Security and Network Security

While cyber security and network security are both critical to many businesses, organizations, and government bodies, they have slightly different areas of focus. Cyber security is digital security for web-connected devices. For example, when someone tries to hack into your email by breaking your password, that would be a cyber security issue.

Network security focuses on security for interconnected networks of computers, internal servers, and other devices within a singular network. For example, controlling who within a company has access to sensitive files will fall under the category of network security.

In reality, cyber security and network security often overlap. For instance, a web-based attack could allow someone to get inside your network and from there, they could manipulate other devices within that network. To prevent situations like this, a cyber security professional would need to detect and block that web-based attack while the network security professional configures the network in a way that blocks a hacker from moving throughout the network with ease.

While network security and cyber security are closely related, each is its own specialized niche. As you’re building your career, it helps to know which specialty you prefer so you can steer your training and your expertise in that direction.


Daily Goals and Challenges of Cyber Security vs Network Security

When you weigh your career options, it helps to consider what your daily work will be like and whether you would enjoy that type of work on a daily basis. Let’s examine some of the most common tasks that each of these jobs may include.

As a network security professional, you’ll focus largely on the IT infrastructure of your employer’s network. Each network is unique, so you may be managing different types of devices and configurations. Regardless, your job could include tasks such as:

  • Managing connections between devices in the network
  • Running intermittent tests to look for security risks in the network
  • Managing each device or team member’s access to files, directories, and devices
  • Identifying the best security software and other tools to protect the network

While a network security professional is securing the connections and pathways within the network, a cyber security professional focuses more on protecting the organization from outside invaders. For example, your job may include:

  • Setting up tools and testing to detect suspicious activity that could signal an attack
  • Continuously updating software to close potential security holes
  • Educating colleagues about how to safeguard their own security, such as identifying and avoiding phishing emails and keeping their passwords secure
  • Keeping up-to-date with the latest trends in hacking and creating solutions to prevent cyber criminals from using those tactics to gain access

Both of these sets of responsibilities are important for an organization’s overall security. In the end, the choice will largely come down to your personal interests and the aspects of security that you enjoy most.


What Is the Career Outlook for Cyber Security and Network Security Analysts?

Any time you choose a career, it helps to consider the financial aspects of the career path as well as the opportunities for growth that it could offer. In the case of cyber security vs. network security, the difference is minimal because both have terrific outlooks for the future.

Both cyber security and network security are in high demand, and they both carry strong salaries as well. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics groups them together with the title “information security analyst,” listing the median salary as just under $100,000 per year.  The future prospects for your career are extremely strong as well. According to the BLS, the expected job growth throughout this decade is 31%, which is extremely high.

As lucrative as a career in either cyber security or network security can be, it’s also important to consider the professional development opportunities that each can bring as well. In this case, the advancement opportunities are similar in both specialties. Depending on how your employer’s team is structured, you can advance from a technician or analyst to a manager, potentially leading up to a senior executive position such as Director of Security or Chief Information Security Officer.


How to Become a Cyber Security or Network Security Professional

Because there is so much overlap in the knowledge and responsibilities of a cyber security professional and a network security professional, your path toward launching a career is similar in both cases. Rather than a four-year degree, you can begin your career with a quicker technical training program.

For instance, we offer two IT programs to set you up for a technology-focused career: IT Systems Administrator and IT Network Specialist. Both of these programs educate you on the essentials of IT systems and networks. They’ll prepare you for the key credentials you’ll need in order to get a job in the field: the right IT certifications. In the case of both cyber security and network security, you’ll need the CompTIA Security+ certification as well as CompTIA Network+, and the Cisco CCNA will open doors as well.


Starting Your Cyber Security or Network Security Career?

If you’re ready to launch your career in either cyber security or network security, getting started may be easier than you think. Learn about our IT Network Specialist training program and our IT Systems Administrator program to decide the best one for your career goals and apply today.

CCNA Cisco Exam

Tips to Help You Pass the Cisco CCNA Certification Exam

By Career, Education, IT No Comments

IT is a unique career field in a wonderful way. Not only does it offer high salaries in an ever-growing job market, but it also doesn’t require a four-year or even two-year degree to get started. You can launch your career by passing a single certification exam, one that most people can prepare for in a matter of months.

While there are a variety of IT certifications you may want in your portfolio, the Cisco Certified Network Associate certification (CCNA) is one of the most versatile and widely-accepted among them. This certification focuses on designing, setting up, troubleshooting, and maintaining IT networks.

If you want to earn your CCNA certification, boost your chances of passing the test with these top tips.


Take a Certification-Specific Course

The CCNA exam covers networking, but not all networking courses or studying materials are the same. Instead, opt for a course specifically designed for CCNA certifications. The instructors are experienced with the test and know how to train you in the most applicable way.

For example, ICOHS College offers a 15-week CCNA Bootcamp starting in January 2020. Within a few months, you’ll be ready to ace your exam with the in-depth knowledge and practical skills you need so you can take your big first step towards a new career.


Start With Building Your IT Background Knowledge

A CCNA course will teach you everything you need to know. If you’re brand new to IT, it may be more difficult because you’ll need to learn the basic concepts in addition to the finer details of networking.

Some people prefer to do some reading before their course to get familiar with broad concepts like the basics of how networks operate. With this foundational knowledge in hand, you can spend more of your mental energy on the details during your CCNA course.


Use the Right CCNA Study Materials

Many students choose to further prepare for their CCNA by doing extra reading outside of class. If you do, be sure you’re studying for the current version of the exam.

As of 2020, there’s one CCNA exam called the 200-301. Until this year, though, there were several exams. You had a choice between a comprehensive exam called the 200-125 or two smaller exams, the 100-105 and 200-105.

Despite the recent testing change, there are plenty of materials from past exams floating around. Make sure your materials are designed for the 200-301.


Try a CCNA Practice Test

Taking a test well doesn’t just require you to know the information. It helps to be familiar with the test format too. A practice test is a great way to do that while gauging your knowledge and guiding your studying sessions.

There are plenty of practice exams and practice questions online through various resources. Some are free and some cost money, but most of the paid practice exams aren’t expensive. This Udemy CCNA practice test is especially popular.


Join Online Discussions about the CCNA Exam

Because the CCNA is such a widely-used certification, there are people all over the world in the same boat you are. Connecting with them online can be a terrific way to help yourself prepare for the exam.

Look for forums dedicated to the CCNA exam. There’s also a CCNA subreddit as well as multiple Facebook groups. Within these groups and forums, you see questions and answers from people experienced with the exam as well as tips along the way. As an added bonus, by joining these groups you’ll start to network with other current and future IT professionals before your career even begins.


Use the Power of Repetition When Studying for the CCNA Exam

Everyone prefers different study methods, but the simple act of repetition is a great way to stay on top of the details you need to know. Use the Ciscopress books, which are designed to prepare you for the CCNA. Be sure to re-read the areas you’re struggling with. Any time you have a few spare minutes, pick them back up and re-read a page or two.

Repetition helps your brain commit information to long-term memory. Even if you’re only half paying attention, the repetition helps.


Find Stress Relief

Exams are stressful and the CCNA exam is no exception. If you let your stress get the better of you, though, you’ll have a harder time concentrating during the exam.

Remind yourself that the worst-case scenario is that you don’t pass the exam and you’ll just have to retake it. Failing the exam doesn’t mean you’ve failed at your opportunity for a career. You can take the CCNA as many times as necessary.

As you’re preparing for the exam, make a conscious effort to manage your stress too. Dedicate time each day or each week to doing something that’s purely for relaxation like a meditation session, a bath, or a few minutes to shoot hoops outside.


Preparing for Your IT Career with a CCNA Certification

For a career in IT, the CCNA certification is a terrific jumpstart and our 15-week CCNA Bootcamp is a perfect way to prepare. During the program, you’ll learn  the fundamentals related to IT and networking, including network security, access technologies, infrastructure services, and network maintenance.

Learn more about our CCNA Bootcamp and reserve your spot before our classes are full! Next session begins in January.

cyber security career

What Does a Career in Cyber Security Look Like?

By IT No Comments

It may feel like the world has changed slowly and gradually, but the way technology has revolutionized our world in the past few decades is stunning. There are concepts that didn’t exist when most of us were born but are commonplace now, and cyber security is one of them.

What is cyber security, exactly, and how do you know if it’s the right career path for you? Our IT Systems Administrator program (ISTA) specializes in training up-and-coming cyber security specialists and IT experts, and we’re giving you a peek into the field.


What Is Cyber Security?

Cyber security is a broad term that applies to any strategies to safeguard against theft or other crimes that use technology. Cyber security can involve protecting confidential information like medical and personal records. It also includes controlling access to bank accounts, credit card accounts, and so on.

Cyber security plays a major role in our daily lives. Every time we enter a password on a site or use FaceID or fingerprint readers to log into our phones, we’re passively dependent on cyber security. For businesses and organizations, though, cyber security is a far more conscious practice. Security holes put their finances and reputation at risk, even leaving them vulnerable to legal problems. That’s why cyber security is a growing career path with competitive salaries.


What Does a Cyber Security Professional Do?

Most people don’t realize how many ways there are for a criminal to get access to supposedly-secure systems. Cyber security specialists are tasked with protecting all of those possible doors, locking them against cyber criminals while maintaining reliable access for authorized users. There are many duties that fall within this realm.


Uncovering and Resolving Cyber Attacks

Cyber attacks happen more often than most people realize: every 39 seconds on average. Only a few of these attacks are successful enough to make the news, and that’s because cyber security specialists get most of the others under control.

As a cyber security IT professional, you’ll have a variety of strategies and tests in place to monitor your system for cyber attacks. If an attack occurs, you can catch it as early as possible and shut it down to minimize the damage.


Identifying Security Risks

As important as it is to stamp out cyber attacks when they occur, it’s even more important to lock up your system against criminals in the first place. In some cases, cyber attacks happen because a hacker finds an unknown weak spot in a company’s system. They take advantage of the accidental weakness and use it to break in.

As a cyber security expert, you’ll be able to analyze your company’s system and network for those vulnerabilities. You’ll know how to spot a security risk and design a way to fix it before cyber criminals find and exploit it.


Taking Proactive Security Measures

In addition to repairing vulnerabilities in your system, as a cyber security specialist, you’ll also be responsible for managing other preventative measures. They could include authorization processes, antiviruses, and other techniques to block potential attacks.

You’ll also understand systems administration best practices, using them to design the company’s IT network in a way that’s safer from the start. For instance, connecting certain low-security equipment like printers to a confidential server is a security risk, so you can configure the system to avoid these risky connections.


Establishing Office Protocol

You may be surprised by how many cyber attacks happen from simple human error, like clicking on a suspicious email or inadvertently downloading spyware. As a cyber security expert, you’ll know all the hackers’ top tricks.

To avoid these problems, you may be tasked with setting policies and protocols for the office. For example, you might train your coworkers on how to identify risky emails.


How to Start Your Career in Cyber Security

As our world becomes more ingrained with technology, cyber criminals show no signs of slowing down. That makes cyber security a promising and profitable career path. If a cyber security career sounds like a fit for you, you can launch your career sooner than you think.

The IT Systems Administrator program at ICOHS College is the perfect way to prepare for your dream job. This quick program trains you in the essentials of cyber security and other aspects of designing and maintaining an IT system. That opens the door to not only cyber security but a range of IT roles too.

This program gives you the skills you need to get the essential certifications for a cyber security professional. The most critical certifications are Cisco CCNA and CompTIA Security+. You’ll need to pass an exam for each certification, and our skilled, specialized instructors give you the knowledge you need to ace them.


Starting the Road to a Cyber Security Career

It starts with asking “what is cyber security?” and ends with a thriving career.

The sooner you start working toward your IT training and certifications, the sooner you can launch your career and enjoy a promising future and a strong paycheck. To take the first step, learn more about the IT Systems Administrator program at ICOHS College.

Information Technology Programs at ICOHS College

Benefits of Getting IT Certified

By IT No Comments

We’ve all seen that technology is the wave of the future. Think about the technological advances that have happened in your lifetime alone. Behind all that exciting technology is a workforce of IT professionals making it all happen.

If you want to join that workforce, there are a few ways to go about it. You could choose an IT certification or a four-year degree in IT. A four-year degree will open the door for more theoretical IT positions like engineering, but it’s an expensive degree and you’re left waiting four years before you begin your career.

IT certifications, on the other hand, will qualify you for entry-level IT positions like system administrators and technicians. However, you can rise up in the industry after getting your foot in the door and you don’t have to wait four years to get started.

While there are pros and cons of all these options, an IT certification is a happy medium with the strongest advantages. Consider these top benefits of getting IT certified.

High Earning Potential for the Time and Cost Required

The earning potential for an IT career in network and computer systems administration is over $83,000 per year. That’s more than double the overall median salary in the US.

Most careers with this high earning potential require extensive amounts of schooling, which often costs over $100,000. An IT certification, on the other hand, opens you up to an exceptional level of financial success with far less time and expense before you can launch your career.

Customizable Certifications for Countless Career Paths

The world of IT is expansive, and so is the world of IT certifications. There are many different IT certifications with their own specialties, and you can decide your career path by choosing which certifications you want to receive.

For instance, you might start with a general certification like the CompTIA A+. After getting experience in the workforce, you decide to focus on IT networking so you pursue the Cisco CCNA certification and the CompTIA Network+ (or Net+) certification. This sets you up for further promotions and specializations in networking.

Information Technology Certifications Offer a Faster Career Start

To consider whether an IT certification is right for you, you need to compare the other options. One of the major downsides to a bachelor’s degree in IT is the fact that you’re waiting four years to start your career. If you multiply four years by the average median salary of $83,000 per year, you’re missing out on $332,000.

IT certifications take far less time to acquire so you can launch your career and build your earning potential sooner. You’ll need to take a dedicated test for each IT certification you acquire, and it takes far less than four years to get the knowledge you need for those tests.

Customizable Qualifications

The beauty of IT certifications is that there are so many of them you can choose. Some are rather general, like the CompTIA A+ certification which covers general knowledge about many aspects of IT. Others are more specialized, like the Microsoft MCSA or the CompTIA Security+.

As you build your career, you can choose the certifications you want one-by-one and develop the portfolio that qualifies you for your dream job. Compare that to a four-year degree in IT, which is an all-or-nothing approach. You might want to specialize in one particular IT area, your degree also covers topics you don’t need to know about in addition to years of liberal arts courses.

Numerous Career Options

IT professionals are necessary for almost every type of company. Small businesses and large corporations need them, and so do companies in every industry. All these jobs are available to those with IT certifications.

This means that your IT certification gives you options regardless of where you live. Certain industries and businesses are more prevalent in some areas than others, but no matter what industry is thriving in your city, they need IT specialists.

Multiple Paths to Information Technology Certification

If you get a bachelor’s degree for your IT career, there’s only one option: spend four years or longer earning your degree. IT certifications are far more flexible.

You earn IT certifications by passing specific tests, and you can choose any training you want to prepare for those exams. For example, ICOHS offers full programs for systems administration and network specialization which will prepare you for multiple certifications. We also offer boot camp programs which prepare you for individual certifications within a few short months.

Enjoying the Benefits of Getting IT Certified

When you’re exploring your options for a new career, you can’t ignore the benefits of getting IT certified. You get a faster entry into a growing, high-paying field without spending four years of your life and six figures of tuition on a bachelor’s degree.

To learn more about earning your IT certifications or to sign up for our next IT training courses, check out our IT Program Options, or simply contact ICOHS College today.

Benefits of Attending a Vocational Training School

By IT No Comments

For so many years, students in the US were taught that a four-year college degree was the way to succeed in life. While that’s the right path for some careers, other students found themselves with a degree they didn’t use and a mountain of debt, assuming they were able to graduate.

Now the winds are shifting as people recognize the value of vocational schools or trade schools. The benefits of attending a vocational training school extend from your wallet to your job prospects. If you’re considering this path, keep these critical advantages in mind.

Trade Schools Offer More Direct Training

When a student attends a traditional four-year university, they don’t spend four years studying their chosen field. The universities focus more on well-rounded liberal arts to teach students general skills and information. The problem is that on top of your career training, you end up with silly and sometimes unnecessary classes like pottery-making and frisbee golf solely to meet your credit requirements.

Vocational training school focuses solely on the training you need for your job. You learn the practical skills you’ll need day-to-day in your career rather than skills that are less specific.

Easier Path to Successful Careers

One of the most common myths is that traditional universities allow you to achieve more profitable careers than trade schools. The fact is that both types of education open the door to a wide range of successful career options. The income level depends on your career path rather than your degree.

Take IT for example. The median salary for the IT field is over $88,000 per year. That’s the case whether you have a four-year degree or a vocational school certification, so a vocational school is a more efficient way to get onto the same successful career path.

Faster Start to Your Career

The four-year period of traditional colleges is a significant amount of time. It’s a long time to either be out of the workforce by attending college full-time or to balance part-time college with a full-time job.

Vocational training schools, on the other hand, have more focused programs. The program length depends on the certification or degree you choose, but most trade school programs are around two years long.

Trade Schools Offer Hands-On Knowledge

Traditional universities focus more on theoretical knowledge than hands-on, practical training. That type of knowledge is great for certain jobs like engineering. However, for many people who attend universities, their education is primarily background knowledge so when they get a job, they will need to learn on the job.

Vocational training schools, on the other hand, have a stronger balance between background knowledge and hands-on training. As a result, you’re likely to be better prepared for the day-to-day tasks of your job than someone whose degree has emphasized theoretical knowledge, whether your job is in information technology, holistic healthcare, or another field.

Individualized Attention

Every school is different, but vocational training schools tend to have lower faculty-to-student ratios than traditional colleges. You won’t have the large lecture halls where your needs get lost among 200 other students.

In fact, the average class at ICOHS College has a 1:10 teacher-to-student ratio. Compare that with the national average of 1:14 among all post-secondary schools, and to the 1:22 average at for-profit private institutions.

Education at a Lower Cost

Many students expect to go into some amount of debt when they invest in their education. However, graduating from a four-year university with $100,000+ in debt means you’re starting your career with a major hurdle to overcome.

Trade schools, on the other hand, are far more cost-effective. The annual cost is often lower than it is at traditional universities, and you’re also paying for two years in most cases compared to four or more. On top of this, ICOHS College offers financial aid as well as military financing options. As a result, you can start your career with far less debt and enjoy the profits of your higher income potential sooner.

Classes for Flexible Schedules

Traditional universities are set up for full-time students who have just graduated from high school and are completing all of their education before entering the workforce. Many of them have far fewer course options for students who work a 9-5 job and want to get their education in the evenings.

Vocational training schools have more diverse options because they serve a wider array of students. They have part-time programs set up in a way that accommodates your current job and your life outside the classroom. At ICOHS College in particular, we offer hybrid programs as well which equip you with both practical and theoretical knowledge.

Strong Employment Qualifications

Part of the reason trade schools are becoming so popular is because more employers are looking on them favorably. Because of the practical, hands-on training you get at a vocational training school, employers know you’re more prepared to do the job than many candidates with four-year degrees.

As a result, your chance of getting a relevant job with your certification after trade school is very strong and you’re likely to see the financial benefits sooner. Vocational schools also focus more directly on preparing you for your industry’s certifications like CompTIA or Cisco certifications which are often required by employers.

Understanding the Benefits of Attending a Vocational Training School

While there are jobs that still require a four-year degree, that list is getting smaller. For more and more people, the benefits of attending a vocational training school allow them to start the career they want sooner and with fewer costs than a traditional college.

To find out your career options or to get started, learn more about ICOHS College overall, or our Program Options today.

CompTIA Certifications

How to Start an IT Career with CompTIA’s Trifecta

By Career, IT, Uncategorized No Comments

Whether you’re a young professional kicking off your career or you’re looking for a career change, choosing a career path isn’t a decision you’ve taken lightly. You know you want a fulfilling, enjoyable career with ongoing potential. You also want a career that pays the bills.

This is why so many professionals are diving into IT careers. Every day holds a new challenge and the field has a particularly high income potential.

In fact, the median IT job salary was about $88,000 last year. Compare that to the median across all industries which was under $40,000.

If you want a way into an IT job, you don’t need a four-year degree. The CompTIA certification trifecta and IT training classes could be all you need to launch your career.

What Is the CompTIA Trifecta?

CompTIA is the common name for the Computing Technology Industry Association. It’s a non-profit organization for the IT industry. While CompTIA has many functions, it’s best known for its certification exams which have become well-respected and globally-recognized qualifications for any IT professional.

The organization has many certification exams for different specialties and topics in the IT realm. However, there are three basic essentials that create a terrific gateway into IT: A+, Network+, and Security+. You don’t need any formal training to take these exams, though many candidates choose to take IT training classes that specifically cover the material for the exams.

CompTIA A+

CompTIA A+ is considered to be the cornerstone for any IT professional. It’s a general overview of information technology, covering a wide range of topics. However, it focuses largely on knowledge for IT support professionals like hardware troubleshooting.

The A+ exam is actually a series of two exams. Some of the questions are knowledge-based multiple-choice questions while others require you to demonstrate your skills. The exams cover topics like IT hardware, basic networking, software troubleshooting, security, mobile device support, and support for the major operating systems.

CompTIA Network+

While the A+ exam covers some light networking, Network+ is a deeper dive. This exam covers all the ins and outs of IT networks, from initial setup and configuration to security and support.

The format of the Network+ exam is similar to the A+ exam: a mixture of multiple-choice questions and performance tasks. The Network+ is a one-part exam rather than a two-part exam, though.

The exam will test your knowledge of networking devices like routers and switches, network infrastructure, network security, virtualized networks, and cloud networking. You’ll need to know how to initially configure a network as well as how to manage it and troubleshoot issues. It’s also worth noting that Network+ is the only networking exam that certifies you for both wired and wireless networks, so it’s a highly-regarded certification.

CompTIA Security+

IT security is a critical concern today as hackers become more and more sophisticated. Hackers are also finding more ways to make their talents profitable, so any business or organization is a potential target.

If you want a job in the growing world of cybersecurity, the CompTIA Security+ certification is a valuable asset. This exam covers a wide range of security-related topics such as the key types of vulnerabilities and security risks and how to protect against them, how to detect security breaches, network-based & host-based security technologies, wireless security, disaster recovery, access management, and mobile device security.

Similar to Network+, the Security+ exam takes place in one session. It also features a mixture of multiple-choice questions and skill evaluations.

Where to Start with the CompTIA Trifecta

Getting your A+, Network+, and Security+ is a fantastic goal, but it takes time. You’re likely to need at least a few months of studying and preparation between each exam, especially if you aren’t well-versed in IT already.

The best path is to start with your A+ certification. Because the A+ exam covers some networking and security topics, your preparation for the A+ exam will give you foundational knowledge that will set the stage for the other two exams.

In addition, an A+ certification alone will qualify you for a wide range of entry-level IT jobs. This lets you start your career while you prepare for the other two exams rather than waiting until you’ve taken all three. When you have the additional certifications, you can decide how you want to specialize within the field and where you want your career path to go.

The best way to train for your A+ certification and the other essentials is with an IT training program. At ICOHS College, we offer two IT programs depending on the career trajectory you want: IT Network Specialist and IT Systems Administrator.

Jumpstarting Your IT Career with the CompTIA Certification Trifecta

IT is one of those fields that seem complex from the outside. When you start taking IT training classes at ICOHS and learning more about the various systems and how they work, you realize it’s an accessible yet high-earning career that doesn’t require you to put everything on hold for four years to get a degree. Dedicated IT training courses and the CompTIA certification trifecta can launch your career before you know it.

IT Certifications

Which IT Certification is Right for Me?

By Career, IT No Comments

The IT job market is larger and more varied than most people realize. In fact, there are around 5 million IT professionals in the US alone, and that number is expected to grow by 11% in the next ten years.

There are multiple specialties within the world of IT, and each of those specialties requires different certifications. It all depends on what you choose to specialize in.

IT Specialties to Explore

Before you can determine what steps to take to build your career in IT, you need to know what you want that career to be. Most IT jobs fall within two key specialties: networking or systems administration.

Network Specialist

A networking specialist is someone who specializes in managing the internal network within an office. For example, you’ll be responsible for the connections between employees’ computers and the printers and other machines in the office as well as shared storage drives throughout the office. You’ll be responsible for installing, updating, and troubleshooting software around the office and you’ll be an expert in both wired and wireless networks.

There are five key certifications that will pave the way for this IT path: A+, Network+, Security+, Linux+, and Cisco CCNA. A+ is a professional certification that covers an overview of many IT topics. It focuses largely on hardware but it covers some software support as well, and it includes a working knowledge of networking and security.

Network+ and Security+ are a bit more specialized. Network+ tests your knowledge of networking tasks like network configuration and support, while Security+ focuses on multiple aspects of cybersecurity so you can keep your network safe.

Linux+ is all about the Linux operating system. The certification tests your knowledge about how to use Linux to manage cloud infrastructure, maintain security, and operate web and mobile applications.

The Cisco Certified Network Associate exam, or CCNA, focuses primarily on Cisco’s networking ecosystem. The certification covers the fundamentals of networking as well as IP connectivity, network access and security, IP services, and network automation.

Systems Administration

A system administrator is often the person you think of as an office’s IT specialist. They handle all the IT systems within the office, from hardware to software. This includes managing the complex hardware of servers, switches, and routers in addition to essential cybersecurity and software troubleshooting.

For a career in systems administration, there are three primary certifications you should have: Network+, Security+, and Microsoft MCSA.

Network+ is an essential certification from the CompTIA catalog because not all employers have a networking specialist available. As a systems administrator, you may be the only IT staff member available, making you responsible for the network administration as well.

Security+ is also critical because cybersecurity is such a top concern among companies today. In fact, 63% of businesses say their data may have been compromised in the past 12 months and no one wants to be the next big data breach victim in the news.

On top of these two CompTIA certifications, a Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (or MCSA) certification will be important for building your career. This certification focuses on the Microsoft ecosystem, from the Windows operating system to Microsoft’s networking technology.

How Do I Choose My IT Specialty?

Launching your IT career starts with narrowing down your specialty, but that’s easier said than done. The fact is that both network specialists and systems administrators have excellent salary expectations and job outlooks. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, these professionals earned a median salary of over $83,000 last year and the field is expected to grow by 4%.

With similar job and salary outlooks for both specialties, it comes down to personal preference. The good news is that ICOHS College offers two well-aligned programs: IT Network Specialist and IT Systems Administrator.

Based on the two career paths above, consider which specialty most appeals to you. As you get further into the program and learn more about the skills and tools you’ll be using in your career, you’ll be able to see whether you’ve made the right choice.

In fact, some people decide their specialty as they learn about the basics of IT. For instance, as you’re studying for the A+ certification, you’ll learn the essentials about networking and systems administration. Pay attention to which topics interest you more and you’ll be on your way to finding the perfect career path.

Starting Your IT Certification Training at ICOHS College

ICOHS College’s two IT certificate programs are designed to prepare you for everything you’ll need in your IT career. Our programs train you based on the IT certification exams you’ll need to pass, setting you up for success from the start. To get started, learn more about our IT training programs.

What is the salary for IT jobs in the US?

By Career, IT No Comments

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, occupations in the information technology sector are projected to grow 11% from 2019 to 2029. During those years, over 530,000 jobs will be created. This data suggests that the IT sector will require more professionals soon.

The problem today is that not everyone can afford an expensive degree to secure a job in the Information Technology field. The silver lining is that you don’t need to! What you do need is the right training and market research to start your career in this demanding, fast-paced industry.

With the ICOHS IT Program,  you will receive the right training, advocacy, education, market research; and preparation for multiple certifications that will assist you in making a mark in the advancing tech industry.

The question on many young people’s minds is, “how much will I get paid?” There are many occupations within the tech industry that pays very well. Here is a glance into your future IT career, and the salaries you may receive.


How much do Information Technology professionals earn?

System Administrator Day to day operations of a chain of computer networks is handled by System Administrators. $84,000
Network Support Specialist They handle LAN, WAN by analyzing, testing, troubleshooting, and evaluating them. $45,000- $58,000
Computer Support Specialist They seek to provide help and advice to various organizations and computer users. $42,000
Network Administrator Maintaining and solving problems related to computer networks. $72,541
IT Help Desk Maintain client relations over phone/chat/emails. $45,000

The above-mentioned jobs don’t require a four-year fancy degree. They do, however, require skills and knowledge to perform that particular job well. At the end of the day, companies are looking for self-motivated, highly skilled employees.


How to get an IT Job without a 4 Year Degree

At ICOHS College, we are sure of how to help you achieve your career goals. We offer high-quality IT classes so you can prepare for the fundamental CompTIA and Cisco certifications to get you started in the IT field. We also have a small class setting with lots of hands-on training in the curriculum so you are not only preparing for the certification exam but also will be career-ready with the job skills required in the field without any prior experience or a computer-related degree. The industry is growing exponentially and so do the opportunities in this industry that you can take advantage of.

On a personal note, you might not want to be stuck in a job for many years without chances for growth. Let us tell you a little about the IT career growth you can achieve. Majorly there are two categories in the industry – software and hardware.


IT Career Growth

The Hardware side of an IT career entails manufacturing, research and development, maintenance, and so on.  Technology has evolved from big bulky computers to sleek laptops and tablets and will continue to evolve in the future and we need technicians and professionals to propel innovation forward.

The Software side entails manufacturing, programming, maintaining, development, software testing, and more. There is an endless number of software programs being developed and used all over the world. There are about 23 million software developers across the world. This number is only sure to grow.

As an individual, there will be many opportunities for you to advance in your IT career provided you have the required skill set. In this ever-changing industry, you need to be on your toes to embrace these changes.


Top IT Vocational Programs

This is why we have launched our IT training programs, in which you will hands-on training about the various divisions in the IT sector. Our IT certifications also include Cisco certifications along with other industry certifications.

The moment you set foot in the industry with our solid foundation, knowledge, skillset, and strong networks behind you, you would become a force to be reckoned with. Our training is sure to open doors for you in the industry.

In an industry where something new is being created every second, you need all the help you can get, even beyond what a college degree can give you. You need to keep learning and acquiring new knowledge as time goes by. This is a cut-throat industry and you need to do everything you can to not only survive but thrive.

Enter the IT industry with your head held high by enrolling in our IT certification program and receiving CompTIA and Cisco certifications.

Top IT Certifications

Top 10 IT Certifications You Can’t Afford to Miss

By IT No Comments

When you go for any IT Certification, the first thing that you should do is understand the set of skills it will represent. Certifications can kickstart your career, IT Certifications specifically have incredible career-boosting benefits (here’s our top 5).

Industries no longer employ people solely based on their qualifications. What they want in a candidate is knowledge, skill, and certificates that can prove their abilities. Here are the top ten IT Certifications that every professional must target.

In most cases, you’ll need multiple certifications. We recommend the following groupings of certifications

To become an IT Network Specialist, Certifications you’ll need are:

  • CompTIA A+
  • Net+
  • Sec+
  • Linux +
  • and Cisco CCNA courses.

All covered in our  Information Technology Network Specialist Program.

To Become an IT Systems Administrator, Certifications you’ll need are:

  • CompTIA A+
  • Net+
  • Sec+
  • Linux +
  • Pentest+
  • and EC Council CEH courses.

All covered in our  Information Technology System Administrator Program.

Now, let’s take at each certification more closely, in terms of what is required and what they will cover.


Top 10 IT Certifications


1.   CompTIA Security+ Certification

The first in our list is the CompTIA Security+ Certification. Within the CompTIA Security+ Certification you will showcase your knowledge of securing networks, applications, and devices. You will show that you are aware of cryptography and the laws that govern technology usage on various platforms.

You will also know how companies and IT professionals mitigate potential threats when they install or configure any software. The instructor of programs for this certification will teach you risk-management, identity-management, and access-management mechanisms.


2.   Comp TIA A+ Certification

Next in line is CompTIA A+ Certification. This is a certification that showcases your knowledge around the technical aspects of Information Technology. You need to understand the fundamentals of the Windows Operating System. The certification stretches to other OS as well, including IBM, Microsoft, Apple, etc.

You will prove competency in handling issues such as:

  • Troubleshooting
  • Security and Problem Identification
  • Local Government Regulations
  • Installation and Maintenance

Comp TIA A+ is a foundational certification that touches upon diverse aspects of IT.


3.   CompTIA Net+ Certification

All IT professionals begin by learning how to manage the networks. CompTIA Net+  shows your skills in configuring and managing networks.

CompTIA Net+diversifies the purpose of networking. It expands to cover:

  • Routing and Network Trafficking
  • Hardware and Software Interaction
  • Configuring and Maintaining Network Devices
  • Network Protocols
  • Virtual Networking


4.   Cisco CCNA

Cisco CCNA covers the alpha and the omega of foundational networking in Information Technology. It is an IT Training Certification by Cisco that shows you can manage the network infrastructure.

Network Infrastructure means the interaction between hardware and software to produce connectivity and networking services.

2020 onwards, it is most likely that businesses will go online. Within such a technology-driven atmosphere, you cannot succeed as an IT professional if you do not understand Network Infrastructure.

The Cisco CCNA Certification covers:

  • IP services, connectivity
  • Network models and architecture
  • Routing, Accessing, and Programming


5.   Comp TIA Server+ Certification

When we talk about virtualization, you cannot ignore the importance of learning about servers. Aim for the CompTIA Server+ Certificate. It shows your knowledge in the following channels:

  • Server Networking and Technology
  • Hardware support for storage, access control, etc.

To cut the jargon, the CompTIA Server+ course deals with hardware management. It proves your cohesive knowledge of how to manage hardware server and network hardware by training you in configuration, management, storage, and server security.


6.   CompTIA Advanced Security Practitioner

CompTIA Advanced Security Practitioner focuses on the methods through which IT professionals maintain cybersecurity. Usually, a business has to face new and multi-faceted threats if they work through an online medium.

In such circumstances, how can one save their data? What are the strategies to protect any vulnerable software? These are a few of the questions that you will be able to answer with this certification.

You will showcase your knowledge about cryptocurrency, visualization, mobile encryption, and cyber policies under this certification.


7.   CompTIA Cloud+

CompTIA Cloud+ helps you develop expertise in managing cloud infrastructure. Employers demand experts who understand the function and models of cloud services. The IT sector demands cloud computing more than any other IT service.

To write the paper for this course, the CompTIA body advises that examinees work in system administration for at least 2-3 years. The paper is harder than others as it tests your comprehensive understanding of cloud technology.


8.   Microsoft Azure Fundamentals(AZ 900T00)

Microsoft provides the Azure Fundamentals certification program. This certificate validates the precise knowledge of the candidates about cloud infrastructure and development.

Through this training, candidates can learn about Microsoft Azure services, Azure pricing and support, cloud infrastructures, and other security management agendas. Azure is a special Microsoft cloud service that manages applications.

This IT training course is highly structured. It provides basics that can train people in working with Azure for the first time. It also talks about compliance, trust, and security to give a more cohesive understanding of clouds.


9.   Google Certified Professional Cloud Architect

You can also get certified on the Google Cloud Platform. The Google Certificate validates your skills in designing and developing cloud-architecture.

Cisco had said that by 2020, cloud traffic will overpower all data center network traffic. Under the current atmosphere, such an effect seems plausible.

This certificate covers cloud traffic more clearly. It explores cloud-deployment methods, cloud-based infrastructure, and cloud security.


10.   ITIL 4 Foundation

The Information Technology Infrastructure Library is the talk of the IT town. Here, you will showcase your all-inclusive knowledge of:

  • Information Technology Operations
  • IT resources and costs
  • Practices and Service Management

It is a good start for people who have recently joined the IT sector. This training certificate provides a fresh approach to IT principles and policies while training the newbies.


Programs That Will Prepare You for These IT Certifications

ICOHS offers IT Programs that will prepare you for many of these certificates, and even include Certification Exam Vouchers.

Other reasons to choose ICOHS:

  • Small class size so you can get the most attention from your teachers
  • Hands on training (virtual lab for online classes) so you are not only learning the theories but actually practicing the real job skills beforehand
  • We are Cisco Networking academy and CompTIA authorized academy which means we use their official curriculum and lab resources so you can learn the most updated contents.
  • Certification exam vouchers are included in our IT programs.

Start Now

Sign up for these IT training courses to get a high-paying job sooner than you expect. We offer Financial Aid options, and Military/Veterans assistance.

Contact us to get started by filling this form, or contacting our admissions team at admissions@icohs.edu

Our admission team is right here to support you and your dreams.

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