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What Is CompTIA Certification? [Careers, Courses, & More]

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How can CompTIA take your career to the next level?

If you plan on entering into the IT career field, there is a procedure for stepping into those waters.

To begin with, you want to make sure you receive the right education to teach you the skills you need to be successful in the tech industry. If you have been searching for an affordable school for IT or for IT schools in San Diego, at ICOHS we offer training to become an IT network specialist, IT systems administrator, or a computer network technician.

Additionally, those who already have a background in information technology can opt for our continuing education program. We are a non-profit vocational college that offers specialized benefits for veterans and their families, but not only this, we also have a dedicated team of educators who are passionate about seeing their students succeed.

After you have secured the right education in IT, it does not necessarily mean that you are ready to enter the workforce. While you certainly can apply for jobs, companies normally want to see a series of certifications under your belt before they agree to take you on as their employee.

One of the most valuable and crucial certifications for IT is the CompTIA certification. This name makes it sound like there is only one component, but it is actually a series of four core certifications. On top of these four core certifications, the organization also offers a series of cybersecurity, infrastructure, and additional professional certifications.

In this article, we thoroughly discuss the various CompTIA courses, along with a general overview and insight into how this could impact your career in information technology.

What Is a CompTIA Certification?

While we have already briefly introduced the concept of CompTIA certification, we will now actually go into depth about this useful qualification.

A little background about CompTIA; they are a trade association based out of Chicago and they also happen to be nonprofit which helps them maintain a lower bias. Their structure is compromised of more than 3,000 partners, along with around 2,000 member organizations, which only proves the substantial size of this trade association.

Their primary goal is to educate specialists in the IT industry, primarily by certifying them, which in turn also helps with employability.

Understanding the Core CompTIA Certifications

Although CompTIA offers more than just their four core certifications, because these are the most common, they are going to be the primary focus of this article. The four core certifications are IT Fundamentals+, CompTIA Network+, CompTIA A+, and CompTIA Security+.

IT Fundamentals+ Overview

Designed primarily for novices or those just starting out with IT, if you are familiar with the basics of PC functionality, this course may very well be for you. It is useful to also have an understanding of the basics of networking, hardware, security risks/prevention, and the installation of software in preparation for undertaking the Fundamentals+ certification.

Details:
● Only one test is required to earn the certification
● For those who are looking to get their foot in the IT door or who are switching careers and delving into the tech world

CompTIA A+ Overview

Another fundamental CompTIA certification that is widely required by many tech companies is CompTIA A+. If you intend to score a job in technical support or aim to pursue a path in information technology, passing this test is essentially an industry standard.

Details:
● More than 1 million IT specialists have earned the CompTIA A+ certification
● Certification is split up into two primary examinations

Career opportunities:
● Field service technician
● Technical support specialist
● IT support technician

CompTIA Network+ Overview

CompTIA Network+ prepares IT professionals by providing them with the information they will need to pursue careers in cybersecurity and information technology infrastructure.

Details:
● Only one exam is necessary to acquire certification
● Many companies require the Network+ certification; Apple, Intel, HP, Dell, etc.

Career opportunities:
● Network analyst
● Network support technician
● Tech support
● Network administrator

CompTIA Security+ Overview

Much like CompTIA Network+, CompTIA Security+ builds upon the skills learned from the A+ and Fundamentals+ certifications, except it places an emphasis upon cybersecurity and its many aspects. If you intend to seek a career in IT security, this is often a needed certification and is expected of many potential employers.

Details:
● Only one exam is required to obtain this certification
● Designed for those passionate about pursuing cybersecurity

Career opportunities:
● Security specialist
● Security consultant
● Security or systems administrator

Cybersecurity Certifications: A Brief Description

These are a class of CompTIA certifications that emphasize on cybersecurity and are designed for those pursuing paths in this specific field. They are primarily made for more experienced IT professionals who have already passed the core trainings such as A+, Security+, Network+, etc.

The certifications offered in this group include CompTIA Advanced Security Practitioner+ (CASP+), CompTIA Cybersecurity Analyst (CySA+), and CompTIA PenTest+.

Infrastructure Certifications: The Details

Another program designed mostly for already-experienced information technology specialists who have achieved basic CompTIA certifications, infrastructure certifications are focused upon networking and server management. Infrastructure serves, in many ways, as an alternative path to the cybersecurity route which many also decide to pursue.

The certifications in this class are CompTIA Linux+, CompTIA Cloud+, and CompTIA Server+.

Additional Professional Certifications: What Are They?

CompTIA’s additional professional certifications are courses that provide further knowledge outside of the paths already offered by this organization. These are ideal for those who would like to enhance their IT professional skills beyond merely cybersecurity, networking, and the core CompTIA fundamental options.

CompTIA Cloud Essentials, for example, focuses on the details surrounding cloud computing, along with the business aspects involved.

On the other hand, CompTIA Certified Technical Trainer (CTT+) is more geared towards those keen on better understanding technical training and its nuances.

Finally, CompTIA Project+ is tailored towards project managers within the information technology industry who would like to further master their skills and abilities.

CompTIA Certification Explained: Our Conclusion

As can be seen, CompTIA certification is an invaluable addition to your resume if you intend to pursue a career in information technology. Many employers are searching for specialists that are also approved by CompTIA because it is a reputable organization that they can trust to ensure the quality and expertise of job applicants.

While CompTIA certification is not necessary, per se, it is a wise accessory for those dedicated to successful employment in the technology industry. For this reason, IT professionals are encouraged to get certified by CompTIA and watch as their career path changes for the better.

It is just important to keep in mind that while CompTIA certification does look extra enticing for employers, sadly it will not guarantee you a job on its own. It is vital to gain a thorough education and understanding of information technology in order to work in the field. Working hard and mastering your skillset also increases employability within the IT industry.

Ready to start your career in IT? Reach out to us today and request more information.

Help and Support Veterans

5 Tips on How to Help and Support Veterans

By Community, IT No Comments

Veterans Deserve Our Help and Support

After serving their country and returning back into civilian life, it can require quite a lot of adjustment for veterans to settle into a new environment. A lot can change in the time that a veteran is away and beginning a new career path or lifestyle comes with its ups and downs, especially at the start.

While there is still a long way to go when it comes to offering veterans the type of support and assistance they deserve, programs tailored towards vets are increasing in number. Best of all, there are ways that every one of us can help, volunteering time to be a source of encouragement for those recently returning from deployment.

In this world, it is vital that we all do our part to be in assistance to others, and for the brave souls who represented and fought for America, it makes sense that we should find ways to give back.

In this article, we discuss five simple ways to help and provide support to veterans, making their transition into civilian life that much smoother.

Here Are 5 Ways to Help and Support a Veteran

While some of these suggestions may be a bit larger of undertakings, there are options for both those that would like simple solutions, as well as complex, longer-term options.

1. Assist with Job Training and Employment Preparation

One of the most challenging parts of adjustment back into civilian life is, arguably, changing careers. For many veterans, being in service is all they have done since entering the workforce, which is why switching everything up might feel confusing or unfamiliar.

For this reason, it is often important for veterans to prepare accordingly not only in the selection of next career moves but also in how to present themselves at job interviews and at the office. Because of the strict organization and training the military and navy offer, discipline and determination is familiar territory for most veterans. This is why many of them are at an advantage already re-entering the professional world.

Organizations such as Hire Heroes work with vets, providing them with career training so that they have a strong resume, solid interview skills, and develop the skillsets they will need for their path of choice.

As civilians, we can do our part to better prepare veterans for new careers as well. Volunteer with Hire Heroes or other veteran job assistance programs and help vets prepare for new employment avenues. Assist with job searches, mock interviews, securing the right educational opportunities, and holding workshops.

Have a special skill set that you feel could be of benefit to veterans? Host a free training and pass your knowledge along to those who could really utilize the support. Take part in the 100 Entrepreneurs Project, an organization designed to help veterans and their families start their own businesses and gain the skills they will need to succeed.

2. Help a Veteran Get to a Doctor’s Appointment

Veterans can be of all ages, and for those who are elderly or disabled, getting to a doctor’s appointment can be a difficult challenge, especially in cities and towns where public transport is either non-existent or inaccessible.

Although driving a veteran to-and-fro takes normally no more than two hours of time, it can be of massive help to those who would not have been able to go otherwise. Regular check-ups and medical exams are a necessity for all individuals, and veterans especially should not be denied this basic human right due to lack of transportation.

The Department of Veterans Affairs (DAV) Transportation Network accepts volunteers to help transport veterans. You simply must be an adult with a valid driver’s license. Help out in this small but incredible way by getting in touch with the Service Coordinator at your local VA Hospital. Use this directory to gain more information.

Donate an Old Cellphone and Help Veterans Stay Connected

Want to help veterans and their families stay connected without having to pay a penny? An organization called Cell Phones for Soldiers assists in offering cost-free phone services to vets. Donated cellphones are rebuilt and refurbished and then sold, with the profits from this exchange being directly donated to not only keep veterans in contact with their loved ones but for the overseas active-duty military to do the same as well.

Phone bills to faraway places can easily extend into the thousands of dollars range, which is why giving both veterans and active-duty military free methods of talking with their families can make such a massive difference.

 

Assist in Building Homes for Veterans

Have a background in home building, carpentry, plumbing, painting, wiring, furniture building, or another equivalent skillset? You can apply your knowledge in charitable ways by assisting in building homes for veterans.

Two organizations, in particular, are developing mortgage-free homes for injured veterans to create greater stability and structure for them.

Homes for Our Troops focuses upon providing adapted housing for veterans that have served post 9/11 and were severely injured. By offering these brave individuals a home, they get to accomplish greater independence and freedom. Considering that they sacrificed their own lives to maintain the freedom of America, giving them a home to live in is just the tip of the iceberg.

Building Homes for Heroes is another organization that builds homes for injured veterans, specifically those returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. They are always accepting volunteers who would like to offer their skills to help out and make a difference.

Help build a home and help an injured veteran rebuild their life.

 

Express Your Gratitude with a Letter or Care Package

Although not everyone is in a position to volunteer their time to help a veteran, there are ways to express your gratitude and thanks from the comfort of home. Sending a letter or a care package to a veteran is a special approach to making a difference in a vet’s life.

There are a variety of ways to approach expressing your appreciation through letters and care packages. Operation Gratitude organizes care packages, letters, and various gifts to be sent to veterans. Not only can you contribute by writing a letter or sending a package, but you can also volunteer your time to constructing care packages to be sent out to vets. The volunteer experience is in a group setting normally, which means you’ll also be able to connect with other individuals expressing their thanks to veterans.

Although letters and gifts of appreciation are a touching gesture towards the veterans that help Americans remain free, for active-duty military the best gift that can be given is the opportunity for them to write to their loved ones. Operation Write Home makes this possible by providing the active-duty military with blank cards that they can then send to their families and friends.

Conclusion: Small Ways to Make a Huge Difference

Aside from these five ways to make a difference and provide assistance to veterans, there are many other ways to get involved and create the change you wish to see in the world. From volunteering at VA Hospitals to providing resources and food to homeless veterans, the possibilities are endless.

At ICOHS College we fully support veterans and those volunteering their time to help vets. We want to encourage veterans to receive the best possible education they can get from career colleges in San Diego. Because of this, our non-profit vocational school offers financial assistance for veterans including veterans’ education benefits. In addition to supporting veterans, we also want to honor active-duty military, which is why we offer active-duty military education benefits and MyCAA for military spouses.

Offering courses as both an affordable school for IT, as well as a holistic health education center and a dedicated massage school, ICOHS College has many education paths you can take, with passionate instructors that are ready to help every step of the way.

Reach out to us today for more information about our programs and how to to get started.

Information Technology at ICOHS College

10 IT Buzzwords That You Need to Know in 2019

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2019’s IT Buzzwords You Need to Know

There is no denying it; our world is advancing, and rapidly as a matter of fact. Along with technological advancements comes an entire slew of new words, vocabulary, and terminology.

For those unfamiliar with the advancements that have been taking place, a lot of the viral words of 2019 may seem like jibberish. We are here to break down some popular information technology (IT) buzzwords into manageable pieces so that they are easier to understand and conceptualize.

IT does not need to be an overwhelming or challenging topic; deeper explanation with clear wording can help. The same goes for 2019’s IT buzzwords; once broken down into bite-sized, easy to understand bits, their meanings become evident.

Viral words of 2019

The pace of IT developments are progressing rapidly, so it can feel difficult to keep up with all of the new accomplishments and advances.  This shortlist runs you through the IT buzzwords of 2019 you should know to be up-to-date with some of the most recent tech evolutions.

 

Artificial Intelligence

Sometimes referred to as merely ‘AI’, artificial intelligence is a term that can be seen extensively amongst tech news and other scientific developments. In short, artificial intelligence represents any machinery or software that is capable of human-like results and functions.

Artificial intelligence machines and software are sometimes even capable of learning as they operate, through a system of what is called artificial neural networks. The function of these self-learning devices is termed machine learning and it continues to pop up more and more in modern technological set-ups. Machine learning and artificial neural networks can be utilized to produce highly accurate results in an absurdly fast manner, as well as recognizing threats and challenges that would have gone overlooked by other, less complex networks or by human eyes.

Artificial intelligence can also refer to robots that are capable of learning as they operate. For this reason, there are some individuals that actually fear the future capabilities of artificial intelligence (AI), but for the time being it seems the applications of these devices are especially beneficial and advantageous.

Present-day examples:

Personal assistant programs (Alexa, Siri, Echo)

Social media face recognition software (Facebook)

Ridesharing applications (Uber, Lyft)

Email spam filters

 

Blockchain

There is a highly likely chance you have heard of Bitcoin. This buzzy term has grown to become the world’s most successful, albeit fragile cryptocurrency that has either garnered extreme enthusiasm, a complete dislike of, or indifference towards.

With cryptos such as Bitcoin growing to such mass popularity and profitability, there had to be a standard set into place. This is where the term blockchain comes into play.

Blockchain is, for example, what keeps Bitcoin traders from getting ripped off, by monitoring every transaction and maintaining strict records of all exchanges of Bitcoin. Everyone can see this transaction history, which is open source and available to anyone who wishes to glance upon the comings and goings of this cryptocurrency. Additionally, blockchain is naturally encrypted, which gives users a further sense of security.

This unique and clever system prevents counterfeit Bitcoin from being traded, which increases the cryptocurrency’s reputability and trustworthiness, but blockchain is not only limited to Bitcoin. In fact, this system can be set into place for any cryptocurrency and is often the structure of choice opted for. This new database is even being considered for use in banking and medical storage. Blockchain allows successful Bitcoin traders and other crypto collectors to rejoice, so be it that their trades are going well.

 

Mobile-First

Mobile-first is not exactly a new concept, and not as much a buzzword as it is a business model and developmental concept. In a world where the internet was first designed for desktop and then laptop use, it was not until the last decade with the release of the iPhone, one of the world’s most popular smartphones, that mobile compatibility became a high priority.

What mobile-first refers to now is a business model in which websites, applications, and other programs are developed first for use on mobile devices, and then afterward produced for computer use.

Even if companies are not agreeing to mobile-first philosophies, they are at least almost always assenting to mobile inclusive developments, because those that choose not to include mobile visitors in their demographics are asking to go out of business in this modern world.

Present-day examples:

These mega-companies are only a few that have taken on the mobile-first mindset.

Lululemon

Walmart

Domino’s

bareMinerals

 

3D Alteration

Since the arrival of 3D printers, this practice, sometimes referred to as additive manufacturing, has taken a number of industries by storm. Items and objects are produced through the generation and build-up of one layer after another, leading to a multi-dimensional final result that is tangible, unlike the 2D nature of most printed copies.

A number of materials can be created through 3D alteration, from metal, plastic, food, and housing to even human tissue. Due to its wide range of applications, both wealthy companies and startups have turned towards this technology to produce their desired results.

Present-day examples:

Nike

Ford

Boeing

MakieLab

DIY Rockets

General Electric

 

Internet of Things

The Internet of Things, also known as IoT, is a web of connections between machines, computing devices, people, and even animals that interact amongst one another to produce specific functions. Unique identifiers are created (UIDs), which then make it possible for data to be transmitted across networks without the need for human interaction with other humans or with computers.

This interrelatedness between machines and man has expanded across a multitude of industries, from wearables and mobile devices to auto, home, and environmental applications.

Present-day examples:

Home security systems

Smart electronic appliances

Household and commercial lights and thermostats

Speaker systems

Vending machines

Cars

 

Quantum Computing

Quantum computing is a method of data analysis in which computers become more capable of solving complex problems through the utilization of quantum bits, known as qubits. Compared with classic electronic selections that use the two defined states of either 0 or 1 known as binary digits or bits, this alternative is much more versatile but it presently has its limits.

As technologies continue to advance into the future, it can be expected that further applications for quantum computing will become a reality. Companies such as NASA are already interested in quantum computing in order to map mass amounts of data, such as information they compile pertaining to the universe. It doesn’t get much more vast than that!

 

Virtual Reality (VR)/Augmented Reality (AR)

Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) are closely related terms. Augmented Reality is, in some ways, a more simplified version of Virtual Reality, in which computer-generated aspects such as GPS data, various sounds, and videos are implemented alongside aspects of the real world. Probably the most accessible example of AR would be an application such as Pokemon Go. This game uses user location and positioning in order to create the map of the game, while applying its own computer graphics, such as when various Pokemon appear onto the screen.

Virtual Reality takes AR a step further by greater interacting with user senses. With Virtual Reality, you can essentially feel as if you have stepped into a completely different world, a digital yet highly real feeling version of whatever you would like to experience.

VR typically requires the consumer to wear sound-canceling headphones along with VR goggles. Sometimes arm toggles are also used to control the hand movements within the virtual world. The combination of these elements furthers the gamer experience by blocking them away from the outside world as much as possible.

In addition to providing an intriguing and realistic gaming experience, VR is also utilized for simulations in occupations that require expert training such as flying planes, surgery, and other complicated processes.

 

Immersive Experience

Related to VR and AR, these two aforementioned terms are actually considered a part of the immersive experience. An immersive experience is any type of circumstance that completely encompasses and engulfs the senses, as to take you away from reality for a moment and leave you feeling as if you actually exist within another world.

In truth, immersive experiences do not only need to relate to technology. Any event or undergoing that places you into what feels like an alternate universe for a moment of time is, by definition, an immersive experience. Attending an art show or concert, exercising, or focusing in a classroom can all fall under this category of being immersive.

 

Data Mining

Data mining is mostly how it sounds; this process is the discovery of the paradigms existent amongst mass amounts of data and information. Data mining alone does not involve the actual process by which data is mined, rather it is the overall concept. Instead, techniques used to mine data are described differently.

Some common techniques used in data mining include personalization, artificial intelligence (which we discussed earlier on), machine learning, and actionable analytics.

 

Net Neutrality

Net neutrality is not only a tech concept but is also tied in with political and governmental aspects. This term is the belief that all data and information available on the internet should be treated in the exact same manner, regardless of the government organization or the internet provider connected.

All tied into the idea of internet privacy, companies and government organizations can collect and track data to then pay money in order to prioritize their Internet traffic over another’s.

What this means, is that if an internet provider were to begin their own movie or music streaming company, the advertising and promotion of that service would then take priority over other established providers such as Netflix or Spotify, leading to a biased selection for potential customers.

Discussions about net neutrality are especially prominent currently in the United States, so those who reside in the US are encouraged to read more about the topic and gain a greater education on what it means to be net neutral.

Popular IT Buzzwords You Need to Know in 2019: Conclusion

Popular IT buzzwords of this year need not be overwhelming. In reality, for the average individual, these terms aren’t necessary to understand in great depth and detail but the general concepts can be valuable to grasp. Aside from this minute list of terms to know, with all of the tech advances happening each day it merely is not possible to keep up, but one can do their best and try to be as educated as possible.

Have you been looking for IT schools or career colleges in San Diego? ICOHS is a non-profit vocational school and affordable school for IT offering programs to become a computer network technician, IT network specialist, or IT systems administrator.

Do any of these career paths sound right up your alley? Our dedicated IT educators are passionate about assisting students in the fulfillment of their career goals. Reach out to us today and request more information.

Information Technology and Flexibility in the Workplace

By IT No Comments

Information Technology and Flexibility in the Workplace

By: Patricia Sobue

 

Technology jobs are known for their flexibility and perks. A lot of IT employees have flexible hours, work remotely, work exclusively on a freelance basis. They’re even able to choose the type of industry they want to work in.

What people in the tech industry have reported about their flexible jobs

Flexible Hours

The most common benefit of a flexible job is a schedule that doesn’t consist of a typical 9-5 hours per day. Being able to work out of a set time frame, allows employees to adjust their work around their personal schedules.

Working Remotely

The general attitude of flexible employers is that, as long as your work is getting done, they aren’t too concerned with where you are or how you are doing it.This tends to work well because employees get the benefits of a flexible schedule while managers can ensure things are humming along.

Work as a Freelancer

Being an IT freelancer is another great option because you’ve got a built-in niche already, and there are tons of people who need a web presence but have no idea how to manage or maintain the related technology. Your key to success will be reaching out to people and making your services known.

Variety of Industries

IT jobs can be found in a variety of industries, so if you are interested in technology-related careers, you have the option to branch out into many different fields. Some hot industries where IT professionals should find plenty of room for career growth are retails, healthcare, research and development, business, high tech and government and defense.

One of the perks of working in IT is that you are not confined to one industry. From schools and hospitals to retail and the government, nearly all industries today use technology in some way. This means you will have the flexibility to find jobs in IT nearly anywhere. An IT career can also provide you a unique opportunity to concentrate on a field that interests you. By conducting some quick research beforehand, you can narrow your focus and begin building a network within your industry of choice now that you have a brief breakdown of the flexibility on IT jobs, the choice is yours. If you like the idea of pursuing a career that can provide you with excellent industry flexibility, jobs in IT are definitely worth considering. Keep reading and find about entry-level IT jobs you might find in each industry and how much money you can make.

How Much Do Information Technology Professionals Earn?

By IT No Comments

How Much Do Information Technology Professionals Earn?

The career outcome for IT professionals is bright in the United States. The Bureau of Labor Statistics, or BLS, reports employment for computer and IT professionals will rise by 13% by 2026, which is faster than average for all occupations. It is expected that this industry will add an estimated 557,000 new jobs in this period. That means if you have the qualifications and certifications in information technology, you are ready to get a desirable, well-paying job with longevity.

 

 

How much money can I actually make? Which factors affect salary?

  • The career path you choose
  • The IT certifications you hold
  • The years of work experience you have
  • The location you work

After reviewing the items above, you will have a better idea of how much money you could be making.

The career path you choose

The career path you choose will affect your income over your lifetime, with many different career options in the Information Technology field your career path offers endless possibilities. Below are some of the common IT jobs and their respective average salary:

  • Web Developer: $61,000
  • Information Security Analyst: $85,000
  • Network and Computer Systems Administrator: $70,000
  • Systems Administrator: $60,200
  • IT Support Specialist: $43,500
  • IT Manager: $87,300
  • Senior Systems Administrator: $89,100
  • Network Administrator: $55,500
  • IT Specialist: $63,200
  • Software Developer: $60,300

The IT certifications you hold

Whether just beginning or you are already in the IT industry, you want to continue to add certifications to your resume to build a solid foundation in IT. The more certifications you have, the more attractive you become to future employers. Salary variation is largely based upon certifications, degrees and your chosen field.

Common certifications for Information Technology positions above are:

  • CompTIA A+
  • CompTIA Security+
  • CompTIA Network+
  • Cisco CCNA
  • Cisco CCENT
  • Linux +
  • Microsoft MCT
  • Microsoft MCTS

The years of work experience you have

As in most careers, the years of experience you have in tech will affect your level of pay. Below is the average reported salary information for technology managers by level of experience:

  • IT managers with less than five years of experience earn $59,000 per year
  • IT managers with five to 10 years of experience earn $76,000
  • IT managers with 10 to 20 years of experience earn $91,000
  • IT managers with more than 20 years of experience earn $99,000

If you have a master’s degree in combination with many years of work experience, you can likely earn $100,000 per year or more depending on location and chosen profession.

The location you work

The location in the United States you work will affect your overall salary. The national average salary for information technology managers is $84,800, but the salary can vary based upon living in these high-paying cities:

  • Minneapolis: +34%
  • San Francisco: +33%
  • Chicago: +30%
  • Washington: +30%
  • Boston: +21%
  • Atlanta: +20%
  • Denver: +17%
  • New York: +16%
  • Houston: +14%
  • Miami: -16%

The information technology field is a highly sought after field today, so If you are looking for great pay, career stability, and advancement, IT may be the right fit for you. Find out more about our Information Technology Programs by speaking to our admissions team today!

Information Technology – A Stable Career Choice

By IT No Comments

Information Technology – A Stable Career Choice

The world runs on technology, and careers that specialize in technology have a lot of growth, opportunity, and demand over the next several decades. For that reason, Information Technology is a very stable career field to go into in the current economic climate. If you lose your job because of company closure or you were downsized, you can rest assured that you will be able to get another job quickly if you have in-demand skills and certifications. Take a look at the expected industry growth below:

 

 

Some popular stable IT careers:

– IT Specialists and Support
– Network Administrators
– Cybersecurity Experts
– Database Administrators
– Computer/Information Systems Managers and Analysts

As companies around the world continue to utilize and improve technology, there will be a need for professional specialists in technology and information systems. One particular career path in tech that is expected to see a very big increase in demand over the next ten years is Information/Cyber Security. Cybersecurity is evolving along with technology, generating jobs at a much faster pace than the national average. In fact, information security jobs are projected to grow by 40 percent or more over the next decade, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Hacks, technological warfare, scams, breaches of privacy, and other bad uses of technology have become an ever-growing problem.  There is a huge necessity for IT Security professionals to protect the information of companies and individuals.

Top 5 Entry-Level IT Certifications to Help You Build Your Cybersecurity Skills and Improve Your Career:

  • CompTIA A+:
  • CompTIA Network +:
  • CompTIA Security +
  • CISCO CCENT
  • CISCO CCNA

A career as an IT professional in Computer and Technology is a smart choice and there are always lots of opportunities to find work in this industry. Click Here to find out more about Information Technology programs at ICOHS College.

Want to hear more about Information Technology salaries in this field? Read this article.

4 Questions to Ask Yourself as a Military Veteran Beginning a New Career

By IT No Comments

The reality of beginning a new career after serving in the military may feel exciting, enthralling even, particularly if you have found a job sector that you are actually passionate about. Nevertheless, one must not jump in too fast; although landing a job interview can be thrilling, it is best not to let the prospect of a bright future blur the clarity that is needed when making such a massive life choice. Let’s be frank; transitioning from military life to the civilian workforce can be quite the adjustment, and not everyone will be suited for certain companies or even the corporate lifestyle.

As a veteran, it is vital to assess your own needs, desires, and goals, so that when you do finally land a job, it is a career path that you actually feel ready for and are genuinely looking forward to being a part of. Not only does carefully thinking any decision through protect you in the future, but it also helps out recruiters who are responsible for assisting veterans with company culture assessments and job placements. For this exact reason, it is so important to be honest with yourself and how you actually feel about certain job interviews, and whether or not you actually believe it is the right path for you to take. Remember, your command is there to help you, offering support and guidance when necessary so that transitioning back into civilian life goes as smooth as possible. As a military veteran, entering a new career does not need to be a stressful or frustrating undertaking, and to make the process even easier, here are four questions to ask yourself when deciding upon your next steps.

The 4 Questions to Ask Yourself When Deciding on a New Career

In order to ensure that you end up with the most fitting career possible for you, here are the questions you may want to ask yourself either before or after a job interview or employment opportunity has arisen. It is potentially worthwhile also to share your thoughts and feelings with your recruiter so that they can better be of assistance.

  1. Are the other employees dedicated and do they consider this opportunity a career or is this simply a temporary job for them?

If you are looking to begin a career that potentially will be a lifelong opportunity, when you show up for an interview, observing how other employees interact at the workplace can say a lot about the company’s overall environment.

Do the other employees look dedicated to their work or is this simply a temporary position for them? If they seem as if they are not satisfied with their job or if something just feels a little off, this opportunity may not be the right one for you, especially if you intend to join a team that works together in a career setting.

Examine your own goals. What is it you want to get out of your next place of employment? Is this opportunity in line with your own personal work-related desires?

  1. Is this the right place for me? Am I in agreement with the company’s principles and attitudes?

Considering that humans spend one-third of their lives at work, it helps to find a setting that is fulfilling. For many, a satisfying career includes room to grow and develop not only professionally, but oftentimes personally as well. When assessing a potential work opportunity, see if the company you might end up working for is in agreement with your own principles and attitudes.

For example, say you are passionate about protecting the environment and the company you are applying for is an oil firm. Although this example is quite extreme, it would be challenging for someone in this position to feel happy showing up to work each day with their best foot forward. When deciding on your next career, evaluate if the place of employment is the right place for you.

  1. What does my gut tell me about this opportunity?

Although not all individuals are driven by intuition and gut feelings, for many the initial instinct you have can be especially foretelling. If you are the type of person that relies upon inner instinct, when you show up to a job interview listen to that inner guidance carefully and witness what it is saying.

If you do not feel comfortable at a job interview or if you simply feel that it is not a rightly suited option for you, do not worry about whether or not other interviews will show up. Instead, honor your own decision and move on to greener pastures. Trust us, you will be a lot happier in the long run. Sometimes the right opportunities take time to come into fruition.

  1. What type of opportunities does the company provide? Is there room for promotions and growth?

Promotions, salary increases, new responsibilities, career growth; these are terms many military veterans want to hear of when they are about to enter into the civilian workforce.

Imagine accepting a new job, only to find out that you will remain stagnant in your position for the entirety of your career? Sounds rather limiting, right?

Before agreeing to work for any company, be sure to discuss with them what their possibilities are for promotions and growth. You want to guarantee the commitments you make will be wise decisions for your future, so as tempting as it can sometimes be to accept the first decent-paid job that comes your way, stick to your guns and consider the long term impacts of any of your decisions. Only you can determine what is best for your life.

Questions to Ask Yourself as a Military Veteran Entering a New Career: Conclusion

As it goes, transitioning from military service to the civilian workforce can be quite a big change, so to make the process simpler, consider asking yourself these four aforementioned questions, so that you can score a career you are truly satisfied with.

At the end of the day, a little soul-searching might be necessary to become crystal clear on what it is you want to get out of your new career. Remember, your recruiter is there to help you and so are many others. Use all of the resources available to you in your search, keep persistent, and do not give up.

Searching for career colleges in San Diego that offer benefits for veterans? ICOHS is a non-profit, accredited vocational college and school of IT,  also offering courses for those searching for massage schools or holistic health practitioner programs.

We do all we can to provide veterans with learning opportunities to support them on a path towards finding a new career they are passionate about. Reach out to us today and request more information.

The Forever GI Bill: Offering Big Benefits for Veterans

By IT No Comments

The Harry W. Colmery Veterans Education Assistance Act of 2017, commonly referred to as the Forever GI Bill for simplicity reasons, was signed into law and has begun to change access to education for veterans in monumental ways. Although portions of the bill are still pending and are set to take effect in upcoming years, many massive improvements have been made that offer incredible education-related benefits for veterans.

Easier and cheaper access to education for veterans means that they are able to pursue many other important and valuable career avenues, even long after their service has ended. Considering how much veterans have given to America and the sacrifices they’ve made, it only seems fair that all veterans get the chance to receive an adequate education of their choosing and within a timeline that works for each individual.

Furthermore, a veteran’s access to education can serve as a stable and smooth transition for those who are trying to get back into the swing of things after they’ve been discharged. There are few better ways of getting back into the flow of everyday society once again than by going out and pursuing your passions and reaching your goals, along with associating with other students who are like-minded and hold similar interests.

At ICOHS, we are extremely proud to offer programs that can be funded with GI Bill/Veteran’s Assistance Grants. Not only do we fully support veterans and their access to a lifetime of education opportunities, but we are also a non-profit, fully accredited vocational school, with a school of IT in addition to holistic health and massage related programs.

 

Forever GI Bill: How the Present Looks for Veterans

Since the implementation of the Forever GI Bill, a number of bill changes have gone into effect, all of them serving as even better improvements towards military veterans receiving the education and opportunities they deserve. Although this article won’t cover all of the changes that have ensued, we will refer to the major shifts that are likely the most impactful and influential.

With its beginnings in 2013, the change on January 1st of 2013 that took place contributed majorly to how veterans are offered access to education after being discharged. The 15-year expiry on education and its related benefits was dismissed, replaced with a “forever plan,” much as the Forever GI Bill’s name exhibits. The use-it-or-lose-it rule was canceled, which previously required discharged veterans to use their benefits within 15 years or less or forfeit them altogether. This time constraint put pressure on many individuals who potentially were not yet ready to pursue a path in education. Now, because of this 2013 shift, all veterans can take their time, working at their own pace to reach goals and pursue dreams.

Another change, implemented on January 1st of 2015 made sure that veterans receive restored benefits if the education institution closes its doors or loses its accreditation. This removes a layer of stress and worries surrounding attending a place of higher education because veterans no longer have to be concerned with the potential of all their hard work and efforts going down the drain.

On August 1st of 2018, a number of changes to the Forever GI Bill went into effect. These additions have created a solid foundation for the veteran rights attached to the implementation of this bill. The changes include:

  • Changes to BAH (Basic Allowance for Housing). This alteration makes sure that students are given calculated payments related to the actual location of residence in which the majority of classes are taken. Prior to this change, online students were not always given fair BAH amounts because of the institution’s location.
  • Purple Heart Recipients Receive Benefits. This shift made it so that any military member serving for any duration of time that has received a Purple Heart becomes entitled to full GI Bill benefits.
  • Changes to the Dependents’ and Survivors’ Educational Assistance Program (DEA). Greater assistance was implemented by reducing the number of months of entitlement down from 45 months to a fairer 36 months.

One of the most recent major shifts to the Forever GI Bill was a much-needed increase in DEA payments. Now, those who are receiving monthly amounts from this program will get a $200 per month improvement. This took effective on October 1st of 2018.

 

What Veterans Can Expect in the Future with the Forever GI Bill

Because laws are normally drafted many years in advance, there are a series of new changes that have been signed and will take effect at later points in the future. These changes all continue to generate fairer access to education for military veterans, and they offer hope for even more immense alterations to the Forever GI Bill to ensue over the next 10 and even 20 years. In essence, alterations made to the Forever GI Bill should only continue to increase veteran’s rights as time goes on.

Pending changes to the Forever GI Bill to look forward to including:

  • The VA High Technology Pilot Program. This allows veterans to be a part of tech courses that don’t actually result in degrees at the end (i.e. IT certifications or coding boot camps.) The expected date of implementation for this program is 180 days or less after August 1st of 2018.
  • Reserve Members and National Guard Will Receive Improved Eligibility. Access will be granted to more members of these two respective groups so that they may receive higher education-related benefits. The expected date of implementation for this change is August 1st of 2020.
  • Adjustments to Benefits Eligibility Tiers. With this law, those who have served between 90 days and 6 months get increased benefits from 40% to 50%. Those who have served between 6 months and one year get increased benefits from 50% to 60%. This means that even veterans who did not serve more extensive periods of time can still receive reduced-cost education. The expected date of implementation for this change is August 1st of 2020.

 

Ways the Forever GI Bill Is Offering Big Benefits: Conclusion

The laws that have been signed into action are a wonderful movement in a positive direction for veteran’s rights. As time progresses, we hope for even greater changes to the Forever GI Bill that will continue to make education for all military veterans that much more accessible. Education should be a right for all human beings, especially those who have bravely fought for the United States and have generously served their country.

If you are searching for career colleges in San Diego, IT schools in San Diego, or massage schools, ICOHS offers programs that satisfy all of these distinctions. Reach out to us today and request more information about our highly personalized training pursuits and career-building opportunities.

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.