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Prevent a Botnet Cyber Attack

By IT No Comments

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

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

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

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

 

What Are Botnets and How Do They Create Cyber Attacks?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

Some commonly found bots and their intentions are:

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

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

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

 

Common Botnets and Their Impacts

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

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

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

 

Understanding How Botnets Can Be Better Prevented

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

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

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

 

Steps You Can Take to Protect Yourself as Best as Possible

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

Final Thoughts of Understanding Cyber Attack Botnets and Preventive Measures

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

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

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

 

 

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

By IT No Comments

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

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

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

 

What Is a Technical College?

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

  1. Learn in Small Class Sizes and Compact Group Settings

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

IT Jobs In High Demand That Offer Work Flexibility

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

What do we mean by a “flexible job”?

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

Highly in-demand

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

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

IT Careers

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

A few common flexible job titles in IT:

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

5 Ways to Keep Your Network as Secure as Possible: Understanding Network Security

By IT No Comments

In the modern world where using the internet has become a constant part of daily life, it has never been more important to secure and protect your data and information. Cyber-security is a serious matter, and there have been many security breaches and hacks over the years, some of which have been especially detrimental to the safety and privacy of certain individuals.

If we take a look at the concept of network security, this may seem like a complicated term; but it doesn’t have to be. In fact, network security experts agree that it is everyone’s responsibility to work towards a more secure online realm, and there are ways to put added steps into practice so that your own home or office networks are at less of a chance of being intruded.

For the everyday person, these 5 ways are excellent methods of ensuring your online presence is greater protected. Although network security professionals play an incredibly important role in the technology industry, it is not possible to always have an expert present, so beginning with these tips is a simple, effective starting point.

What Is Network Security?

Network security, in all reality, is a bit of a broad and widespread term, but generally it relates to practices, procedures, and rules that are set in place and closely monitored and practiced in order to secure a level of privacy and confidentiality among any device that utilizes software and hardware technology. Network security mainly keeps data and computer networks better protected. It may feel as if we are completely safe online and that cyber threats aren’t a real concern, but this simply isn’t the case.

Cyber threats and attacks are a frequent aspect of life nowadays, and so any run organization must possess a level of network security that is appropriate for their needs in protecting confidential information, as well as important data. This, along with other reasons, is why the role of a network security professional is so in demand.

The reach of network security can essentially be broken down into three primary sectors:

Administrative Network Security:

This category relates mostly to how users are monitored, specifically with regards to authentication and ensuring that their behaviors are secure and closely watched for the purposes of safety and maintaining privacy.

Physical Network Security:

This category pertains to the physical nature of technology and how it is protected and monitored, specifically the securing of cabling cupboards and routers.

Technical Network Security:

Technical network security relates to the inner workings of a company and how the data being transferred to and from a server is protected. Both data being sent and delivered from outside sources, as well as the actions and behaviors of employees are closely monitored as to not breach security.

What Is the Role of a Network Security Professional?

It is easy to believe that with network security, online presence is 100% secure. Although this is often the case, situations can still arise that can present threats to privacy and security, which is why the role of a network security professional is so incredibly vital.

Network security professionals essentially carry the responsibility of testing, designing, securing, and monitoring the various components of a company’s networks and systems, in order to make sure there are no breaches in security. A network security professional actually has a lot of time-pressing responsibility and the job can be a stressful one at times, especially for companies more prone to cyber threats.

5 Ways to Keep Your Network as Secure as Possible

Even if network security is not a perfect infrastructure, there are steps you can take on your own to make sure your information remains as safe as possible while using and accessing various internet services. Here’s what you can do without the assistance of a professional:

  1. Strong Passwords Are the Key to Keeping Your Info Private

Although it may seem surprising, there are still many individuals using options such as “12345” as their passwords for various networks and websites. There are a number of no-nos that should be avoided when generating passwords for your accounts, and the guidelines of a strong, secure password are actually not that complicated, but they can, at times, require a bit of creativity.

Here’s what you should keep in mind when creating a super secure online password:

  • Don’t make a password using biographical information, such as a family name, phone number, address, etc. This information can be quite easily found, which could develop into potentially compromising circumstances.
  • Try to use words that aren’t completely real, for these can be broken in some cyber attacks. Try coming up with slight variations on words that have a significance for you, or even come up with an acronym.
  • Develop a password that won’t be easily forgotten by you, but also won’t be easily discovered by a hacker.
  • Use a mix of character types: add numbers, upper/lower case letters, and punctuation marks/symbols.
  • Make sure your password is at least 8 characters in length.
  • Not just companies should change their passwords often. You should change your passwords frequently as well in order to assure the highest level of cyber protection possible.
  1. Keep Tabs on Your Computer and Devices, Along with How They’re Stored

Don’t allow just anyone to have access to your laptops, devices, or networks. It is possible for individuals to physically breach a network, so knowing who you’re letting utilize your systems is important to maintain privacy and security. It doesn’t take much effort for a potentially detrimental software or program to be downloaded into a device, so know a person’s intentions if they’re borrowing your technology.

Additionally, keep your laptop stored in a secure location that can be locked and away from harm’s reach. Don’t leave your laptop in your vehicle or out in public areas where it’s at risk of being stolen. By taking this two precautions, you can better prevent compromising positions.

  1. Opt for Two-Factor and Three-Factor Authentication When Possible

Two-factor authentication is a two-step access process, requiring not only the standard username and password, but a second authentication measure as well, which is typically in the form of a code sent via email or text message. Additionally, a key card or similar option can be used for the second step of the authentication. This is an extremely commonly utilized measure that helps better secure networks and accounts.

Three-factor authentication takes two-factor authentication a step further by requiring a username, password, and additional access code, along with a biometric measure, meaning a physical characteristic you possess. This is often a fingerprint, voice print, iris print, or a similar factor. When choosing your own account privacy measures, always opt for two and three-factor authentication when possible to give your confidential information that extra added layer of privacy.

  1. Install a Reputable and Trustworthy Antivirus Software to Protect Your Computer

Simply by browsing the internet and through regular computer use, you can and likely will pick up worms, viruses, ransomware, spyware, Trojans, and the likes. It is often times essential to have a reputable and trustworthy antivirus software installed on your computer so that you can not only enhance device performance but also protect your data and security. The most popular programs are being regularly updated, so you’ll always have the latest in virus protection.

  1. Be Cautious with What You Download and Backup Your Programs Often

Never download questionable or uncertain links and be cautious in general as to what you do allow onto your computer. Keep your information and data backed up on an external hard drive or wherever else is convenient for you in the off chance that something happens to it and you no longer have access. Be in control of your own data and networks by staying on top of backups.

Our Final Thoughts on Understanding Network Security

Now that you have access to these 5 useful, yet simple ways of keeping your network as secure as possible, we hope that your online security and safety increases tenfold. Additionally, by putting these methods into practice you can rest assured knowing that your information is safe from public access.

If you’re interested in becoming a network security specialist and are located in the San Diego, California area, at ICOHS we offer a complete IT Network Specialist program. ICOHS is an accredited, non-profit vocational school dedicated to providing students with a unique, personalized, and empowering learning experience. Reach out today to request more information.

The ICOHS Difference

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At ICOHS we’re dedicated to serving the community. A vocational school that was first founded in 1984, we’re a fully accredited, non-profit education institution, with a number one priority that our students receive the best, most personalized education possible. We are actively involved in volunteerism as a way to show gratitude and to be in service to the community. Additionally, we are honored to serve the military, with specialized resources and education benefits for veterans, active duty military, military reservists, and military spouses.

Get to know the ICOHS difference…

Intriguing programs to choose from that allow you to truly specialize and focus in on where your interests lie.

Currently offering five primary programs to choose from, along with a Continuing Education option in two fields, students are able to further specialize depending upon their own interests.

Develop the skills and tools you’ll need by choosing one of the following paths:

● Professional Massage Therapist
● Holistic Health Practitioner
● IT Systems Administrator
● IT Network Specialist
● Computer Network Technician (Information Technology)
● Continuing Education (Holistic Health & Massage, Information Technology)

Professional Massage Therapist:

Students are provided with advanced training in a variety of massage therapy techniques. Upon completion, graduates are given an education that exceeds standard training requirements needed to receive a work certification as a Massage Therapist through the California Massage Therapy Council. Possible employment opportunities include:

● Health clubs
● Day spas
● Chiropractors’ offices
● Independent contractor work as a Massage Therapist
● Self start a business and entrepreneurial ventures

Holistic Health Practitioner:

Students are provided with a holistic overview and multifaceted education that goes above and beyond the preparations necessary to achieve the certification requirements for the State of California to practice as a Massage Therapist and for the City of San Diego permit as a Holistic Health Practitioner. Students enrolled in our Holistic Health Practitioner program get to choose from the following concentrations:

● Orthopedic I & II/Sports Massage/Structural Integration
● Craniosacral Therapy I & II/Reiki I & II
● Aromatherapy/Vibrational Healing/Pregnancy Massage/Sensory Repatterning
● Yoga Teacher Training
● Herbology and Nutrition

IT Systems Administrator:

A certification designed to teach the professional and technical skills necessary for installation, management, and troubleshooting of software. Additionally, students are taught what’s needed to prepare for industry certifications including CompTIA A+, CompTIA Network +, CompTIA Security +, Microsoft Certified Professional, and MCSA Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate. Students can choose from a range of courses including:

● Intro to PC
● Intro to Networking
● Client Operating Systems
● Server 2016 Install & Storage
● Advanced Career Development
● Career Success
● …and more!

IT Network Specialist:

Students of the IT Network Specialist program learn to repair, install, and configure PC computers, along with Cisco routers and switches. Additionally, knowledge is gained regarding the troubleshooting of wired and wireless networks for a variety of operating systems including Windows 10 and Linux. Finally, operating system security is taught, regarding how to combat worms, viruses, and malware. Opportunities are given for students to attain certifications such as CompTIA Security +, A+, N+, Linux +, and a CCNA. Students get to choose from a range of courses including:

● Intro to PC
● Linux
● Routing & Switching I & II
● Career Success
● Security Pro
● …and more!

Computer Network Technician (Information Technology):

Designed to provide students with the skills and knowledge that they’ll need to become Computer Network Technicians, this program prepares graduates for entry-level positions in computers and Information Technology. While being focused on technology, the Computer Network Technician Training program still takes a holistic approach to education with small class sizes, dedicated teachers, and a close-knit education environment. Students are given a solid foundation in the following:

● Selecting, installing, securing and configuring basic personal computing hardware
● Installing various Windows operating systems and basic productivity applications (such as Microsoft Office)
● Setting up simple wired and wireless networks
● Creating and managing active directory domain
● Working with virtualized systems
● Learning the fundamentals of Cybersecurity and data/network protection

Continuing Education (Holistic Health & Massage):

Designed to provide new and seasoned practitioners with opportunities for lifelong learning, the Continuing Education program serves as a way to deepen your practice and self-development for those who have an interest in holistic health. This program is not for degree-seeking students, rather those who are interested in taking classes as they are available. Many Continuing Education students are already working professionally as Acupuncturists, Behavioral Scientists, Massage Therapists, Holistic Health Practitioners, and Nurses. Focus in on:

● Advanced Massage Modalities
● Herbology
● Nutrition
● Yoga

Continuing Education (Information Technology):

This 5-week long Continuing Education program in Information Technology covers practical application, troubleshooting, and basic configuration. All students are welcome to be a part of the Continuing Education program, so be it they meet the prerequisites. This program is designed to enhance learning and generate opportunities for students to achieve several CompTIA certifications including:

● Security +
● A+
● Network +
● Linux +
● Cisco CCNA
● Microsoft Server 2016

The student experience is personalized and tailored to focus upon the strengths, learning styles, gifts, and graces of each unique individual.

ICOHS faculty are determined to work closely with students in a manner where their strengths, gifts, learning styles, and graces can be utilized to further each individual’s goals, passions, and pursuits. The educators at ICOHS truly care, on both a professional and personal level, which is why students are facilitated in an environment that is dynamic, diverse, compassionate, and professional.

Receive all the tools you need to build a meaningful career and create a life you love. Pursue your passion and your purpose.

At ICOHS, students not only get the hands-on experience they need to pursue a career of their dreams, but they are also guided the entire way by dedicated teachers who are already working and experienced in their field.

Incredible programs that can not only benefit career goals but personal wellbeing too.

With study options that go beyond the traditional college approach to education, the programs offered at ICOHS are unique for a number of reasons. Many students enter our school with the intention of not only starting a fulfilling career to serve others, but to serve themselves as well. For example, the Holistic Healing Practitioner program has attracted students seeking a way to heal their own selves, utilizing the information taught as tools for managing anxiety and Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

Gain the skills you need for great employability.

Educators at ICOHS ensure that graduates are ready to face the professional world post-graduation. ICOHS graduates are:

● Reliable
● Confident
● Knowledgeable
● Punctual
● Skillful
● Passionate
● Fully prepared to accept any employment opportunity in their respective field

Students get lifetime access to free job placement upon completion of their program.

On top of being fully ready to tackle any work environment, ICOHS graduates are also given lifetime access to connections in their respective industries. We support students even after they’ve completed their education, offering free job placement and any knowledge we have that can further each individual’s career.

Request more information about ICOHS today, and become a part of the ICOHS difference!

3 of the Most In-Demand Careers in San Diego

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With an ever-evolving employment sector, it can be challenging to know which careers are on the up-and-up, and which opportunities could potentially lead to a greater number of roadblocks and difficulties. Especially with a rise in technology-related employment opportunities, the most in-demand sectors are changing, so it makes sense that there are new factors to consider when deciding upon a career that not only interests you, but also has viable employment opportunities.

1. Massage Therapy

Parts of San Diego and Southern California, in general, are considerably health conscious. Many individuals are involved in living a life of wellbeing, which at times includes getting a massage therapist involved for healing bodywork. Massage therapy is no longer seen as merely a luxury purchase, rather this rising profession is viewed now more like a wise investment for overall health and wellbeing, much as people don’t think twice when paying their important medical bills. The rise in massage therapy-related careers is not only expected in San Diego but rather the entirety of America; it just makes sense that a city as health-oriented as SD would be involved greatly in that upwards growth. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that 42,000 new jobs in massage therapy will be available between the years of 2016-2026. This is a far above average increase, which just goes to show that massage therapy truly is an in-demand career in San Diego and beyond.

ICOHS College, an accredited vocational school in the downtown San Diego area, offers a fully immersive Professional Massage Therapist program, so you can begin a rewarding career in health and bodywork. Reach out to ICOHS and request more information today.

2. Health Care

With more than 100,000 people employed in the health care sector in San Diego County alone according to the San Diego Bureau of Labor Statistics, it’s safe to say that this industry is certainly an important one and will continue to be. Surprisingly, there still doesn’t seem to be enough employees to fill all the available positions related to health care. In particular, there’s a need for certified nursing assistants and home health aides in San Diego. As much as traditional medical practices need dedicated and passionate employees, more holistic approaches seem to be the following trend. Holistic health practitioners are on the rise too, with an expected 16-17% rate of job growth between the years of 2014-2024, according to Learn.org. Whether you would prefer to start a career in more traditional medicine or holistic, the choice is definitely yours, because both branches are growing at an incredible rate.

Although ICOHS does not offer any traditional health care programs, there is an accredited Holistic Health Practitioner optionwhich prepares students for a budding career in holistic health. If becoming a holistic health practitioner resonates with you, request more information.

3. Information Technology (IT)

From computer and network technicians to network specialists to systems administrators, the diversity of the expanding careers in information technology (IT) is astounding. With more than 52,000 individuals working in computer and mathematics-related careers in San Diego alone, as the world becomes even more technologically driven there will continue to be a mass demand for specialists who are up-to-date with the latest computer services and software. The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects computer and information technology occupations to increase by 13% between the years of 2014-2024 throughout the United States. This means that more than 550,000 new jobs would become available in this field. Since your options are potentially endless, here are some opportunities related to IT:

● Network and computer systems administrator
● Computer systems analyst
● Computer network support specialists
● Computer user support specialists
● IT security specialist
● IT systems administrator
● Technology manager
● Software developer
● IT network specialist
● Computer and networking technician
● Computer network architects
● And many more!

ICOHS, a non-profit, accredited vocational school, offers three primary information technology (IT) programs for individuals interested in beginning a fulfilling career in this field. Educators work closely with students supporting and guiding them throughout their education, as well as once they start stepping into their career roles. At ICOHS you can be a part of the:

 Computer and Networking Technician Certification program
● IT Network Specialist program
● IT Systems Administrator program

ICOHS Computer Networking Technician Certification Program:

● Gain knowledge: implementing, managing, and troubleshooting network and security issues
● Learn: basic PC repair, networking and security, and operating systems
● Introduction to: VMWare, Microsoft Office, and keyboarding skills

ICOHS IT Network Specialist Program:

● Get prepared: install, repair, and configure PC computers, plus Cisco routers and switches
● Gain skills: troubleshoot wired/wireless networks and operating systems (Windows 10 and Linux)
● Combat: malware, viruses, and worms to secure operating systems
● Opportunity to attain certifications after each course (CompTIA Security +, A+, N+, Linux +, and CCNA)

IT Systems Administrator Program:

● Get prepared: with a comprehensive set of skills to be employable in network/systems administration
● Develop: professional skills to be an efficient worker in a computerized world

If any three of these blooming careers interests you and you’re located in or around the San Diego area, get in touch today with ICOHS and request more information.

3 of the Most In-Demand Careers in San Diego

By Health, IT No Comments

With an ever-evolving employment sector, it can be challenging to know which careers are on the up-and-up, and which opportunities could potentially lead to a greater number of roadblocks and difficulties. Especially with a rise in technology-related employment opportunities, the most in-demand sectors are changing, so it makes sense that there are new factors to consider when deciding upon a career that not only interests you, but also has viable employment opportunities.

  1. Information Technology (IT)

    From computer and network technicians to network specialists to systems administrators, the diversity of the expanding careers in information technology (IT) is astounding. With more than 52,000 individuals working in computer and mathematics-related careers in San Diego alone, as the world becomes even more technologically driven there will continue to be a mass demand for specialists who are up-to-date with the latest computer services and software. The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects computer and information technology occupations to increase by 13% between the years of 2014-2024 throughout the United States. This means that more than 550,000 new jobs would become available in this field. Since your options are potentially endless, here are some opportunities related to IT:

    ● Network and computer systems administrator
    ● Computer systems analyst
    ● Computer network support specialists
    ● Computer user support specialists
    ● IT security specialist
    ● IT systems administrator
    ● Technology manager
    ● Software developer
    ● IT network specialist
    ● Computer and networking technician
    ● Computer network architects
    ● And many more!

    ICOHS, a non-profit, accredited vocational school, offers three primary information technology (IT) programs for individuals interested in beginning a fulfilling career in this field. Educators work closely with students supporting and guiding them throughout their education, as well as once they start stepping into their career roles. At ICOHS you can be a part of the:

    Computer and Networking Technician Certification program
    IT Network Specialist program
    IT Systems Administrator program

    ICOHS Computer Networking Technician Certification Program:

    ● Gain knowledge: implementing, managing, and troubleshooting network and security issues
    ● Learn: basic PC repair, networking and security, and operating systems
    ● Introduction to: VMWare, Microsoft Office, and keyboarding skills

    ICOHS IT Network Specialist Program:

    ● Get prepared: install, repair, and configure PC computers, plus Cisco routers and switches
    ● Gain skills: troubleshoot wired/wireless networks and operating systems (Windows 10 and Linux)
    ● Combat: malware, viruses, and worms to secure operating systems
    ● Opportunity to attain certifications after each course (CompTIA Security +, A+, N+, Linux +, and CCNA)

    IT Systems Administrator Program:

    ● Get prepared: with a comprehensive set of skills to be employable in network/systems administration
    ● Develop: professional skills to be an efficient worker in a computerized world

2. Health Care

With more than 100,000 people employed in the health care sector in San Diego County alone according to the San Diego Bureau of Labor Statistics, it’s safe to say that this industry is certainly an important one and will continue to be. Surprisingly, there still doesn’t seem to be enough employees to fill all the available positions related to health care. In particular, there’s a need for certified nursing assistants and home health aides in San Diego. As much as traditional medical practices need dedicated and passionate employees, more holistic approaches seem to be the following trend. Holistic health practitioners are on the rise too, with an expected 16-17% rate of job growth between the years of 2014-2024, according to Learn.org. Whether you would prefer to start a career in more traditional medicine or holistic, the choice is definitely yours, because both branches are growing at an incredible rate.

Although ICOHS does not offer any traditional health care programs, there is an accredited Holistic Health Practitioner option which prepares students for a budding career in holistic health. If becoming a holistic health practitioner resonates with you, request more information.

3. Massage Therapy

Parts of San Diego and Southern California, in general, are considerably health conscious. Many individuals are involved in living a life of wellbeing, which at times includes getting a massage therapist involved for healing bodywork. Massage therapy is no longer seen as merely a luxury purchase, rather this rising profession is viewed now more like a wise investment for overall health and wellbeing, much as people don’t think twice when paying their important medical bills. The rise in massage therapy-related careers is not only expected in San Diego but rather the entirety of America; it just makes sense that a city as health-oriented as SD would be involved greatly in that upwards growth. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that 42,000 new jobs in massage therapy will be available between the years of 2016-2026. This is a far above average increase, which just goes to show that massage therapy truly is an in-demand career in San Diego and beyond.

ICOHS College, an accredited vocational school in the downtown San Diego area, offers a fully immersive Professional Massage Therapist program, so you can begin a rewarding career in health and bodywork. Reach out to ICOHS and request more information today.

If any three of these blooming careers interests you and you’re located in or around the San Diego area, get in touch today with ICOHS and request more information.

The ICOHS Difference

By IT No Comments

At ICOHS we’re dedicated to serving the community. A vocational school that was first founded in 1984, we’re a fully accredited, non-profit education institution, with a number one priority that our students receive the best, most personalized education possible. We are actively involved in volunteerism as a way to show gratitude and to be in service to the community. Additionally, we are honored to serve the military, with specialized resources and education benefits for veterans, active duty military, military reservists, and military spouses.

Get to know the ICOHS difference…

Intriguing programs to choose from that allow you to truly specialize and focus in on where your interests lie.

Currently offering five primary programs to choose from, along with a Continuing Education option in two fields, students are able to further specialize depending upon their own interests.

Develop the skills and tools you’ll need by choosing one of the following paths:

● Professional Massage Therapist
● Holistic Health Practitioner
● IT Systems Administrator
● IT Network Specialist
● Computer Network Technician (Information Technology)
● Continuing Education (Holistic Health & Massage, Information Technology)

Professional Massage Therapist:

Students are provided with advanced training in a variety of massage therapy techniques. Upon completion, graduates are given an education that exceeds standard training requirements needed to receive a work certification as a Massage Therapist through the California Massage Therapy Council. Possible employment opportunities include:

● Health clubs
● Day spas
● Chiropractors’ offices
● Independent contractor work as a Massage Therapist
● Self start a business and entrepreneurial ventures

Holistic Health Practitioner:

Students are provided with a holistic overview and multifaceted education that goes above and beyond the preparations necessary to achieve the certification requirements for the State of California to practice as a Massage Therapist and for the City of San Diego permit as a Holistic Health Practitioner. Students enrolled in our Holistic Health Practitioner program get to choose from the following concentrations:

● Orthopedic I & II/Sports Massage/Structural Integration
● Craniosacral Therapy I & II/Reiki I & II
● Aromatherapy/Vibrational Healing/Pregnancy Massage/Sensory Repatterning
● Yoga Teacher Training
● Herbology and Nutrition

IT Systems Administrator:

A certification designed to teach the professional and technical skills necessary for installation, management, and troubleshooting of software. Additionally, students are taught what’s needed to prepare for industry certifications including CompTIA A+, CompTIA Network +, CompTIA Security +, Microsoft Certified Professional, and MCSA Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate. Students can choose from a range of courses including:

● Intro to PC
● Intro to Networking
● Client Operating Systems
● Server 2016 Install & Storage
● Advanced Career Development
● Career Success
● …and more!

IT Network Specialist:

Students of the IT Network Specialist program learn to repair, install, and configure PC computers, along with Cisco routers and switches. Additionally, knowledge is gained regarding the troubleshooting of wired and wireless networks for a variety of operating systems including Windows 10 and Linux. Finally, operating system security is taught, regarding how to combat worms, viruses, and malware. Opportunities are given for students to attain certifications such as CompTIA Security +, A+, N+, Linux +, and a CCNA. Students get to choose from a range of courses including:

● Intro to PC
● Linux
● Routing & Switching I & II
● Career Success
● Security Pro
● …and more!

Computer Network Technician (Information Technology):

Designed to provide students with the skills and knowledge that they’ll need to become Computer Network Technicians, this program prepares graduates for entry-level positions in computers and Information Technology. While being focused on technology, the Computer Network Technician Training program still takes a holistic approach to education with small class sizes, dedicated teachers, and a close-knit education environment. Students are given a solid foundation in the following:

● Selecting, installing, securing and configuring basic personal computing hardware
● Installing various Windows operating systems and basic productivity applications (such as Microsoft Office)
● Setting up simple wired and wireless networks
● Creating and managing active directory domain
● Working with virtualized systems
● Learning the fundamentals of Cybersecurity and data/network protection

Continuing Education (Holistic Health & Massage):

Designed to provide new and seasoned practitioners with opportunities for lifelong learning, the Continuing Education program serves as a way to deepen your practice and self-development for those who have an interest in holistic health. This program is not for degree-seeking students, rather those who are interested in taking classes as they are available. Many Continuing Education students are already working professionally as Acupuncturists, Behavioral Scientists, Massage Therapists, Holistic Health Practitioners, and Nurses. Focus in on:

● Advanced Massage Modalities
● Herbology
● Nutrition
● Yoga

Continuing Education (Information Technology):

This 5-week long Continuing Education program in Information Technology covers practical application, troubleshooting, and basic configuration. All students are welcome to be a part of the Continuing Education program, so be it they meet the prerequisites. This program is designed to enhance learning and generate opportunities for students to achieve several CompTIA certifications including:

● Security +
● A+
● Network +
● Linux +
● Cisco CCNA
● Microsoft Server 2016

The student experience is personalized and tailored to focus upon the strengths, learning styles, gifts, and graces of each unique individual.

ICOHS faculty are determined to work closely with students in a manner where their strengths, gifts, learning styles, and graces can be utilized to further each individual’s goals, passions, and pursuits. The educators at ICOHS truly care, on both a professional and personal level, which is why students are facilitated in an environment that is dynamic, diverse, compassionate, and professional.

Receive all the tools you need to build a meaningful career and create a life you love. Pursue your passion and your purpose.

At ICOHS, students not only get the hands-on experience they need to pursue a career of their dreams, but they are also guided the entire way by dedicated teachers who are already working and experienced in their field.

Incredible programs that can not only benefit career goals but personal wellbeing too.

With study options that go beyond the traditional college approach to education, the programs offered at ICOHS are unique for a number of reasons. Many students enter our school with the intention of not only starting a fulfilling career to serve others, but to serve themselves as well. For example, the Holistic Healing Practitioner program has attracted students seeking a way to heal their own selves, utilizing the information taught as tools for managing anxiety and Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

Gain the skills you need for great employability.

Educators at ICOHS ensure that graduates are ready to face the professional world post-graduation. ICOHS graduates are:

● Reliable
● Confident
● Knowledgeable
● Punctual
● Skillful
● Passionate
● Fully prepared to accept any employment opportunity in their respective field

Students get lifetime access to free job placement upon completion of their program.

On top of being fully ready to tackle any work environment, ICOHS graduates are also given lifetime access to connections in their respective industries. We support students even after they’ve completed their education, offering free job placement and any knowledge we have that can further each individual’s career.

Request more information about ICOHS today, and become a part of the ICOHS difference!

Finding Balance Between a Career in Information Technology (IT) and Wellness: Live a Holistic and Professional Life

By IT No Comments

You’re about to graduate college. You’ve chosen the excellent and potentially rewarding path of Information Technology (IT). During your final year of studies, it will be crucial to prepare for the many choices you’ll be faced with up ahead, and this surplus of decisions to be made might feel overwhelming. It’s vital at this point, more than ever, to start building a holistic life for yourself, if you haven’t done so already. No one wants to feel burnt out after just a few years of working, and with the right combination of factors, that doesn’t have to be your story ever. There are ways to find a balance between a career in IT and total wellness; it just might require some extra preparation and planning. Don’t just enter the world unknowingly after college; learn not only how to handle yourself professionally, but how to also live holistically, focusing in on your mind, body, and soul for ultimate growth and fulfillment. We’ll run you through some simple methods that will hopefully help you feel better prepared to tackle the post-education world with confidence and at peace.

 

Meditate, Meditate, Meditate: Every Minute Counts

 

There’s a lot of talk about meditation circulating the professional world these days. Frankly, a lot of people are tired of hearing about it. But there’s a reason why top companies cannot stop mentioning this practice; it seems to really work. Studies show that not only can meditation help you focus, it also reduces stress levels leading to an overall more positive life. Whether you’re swamped with schoolwork just before your career in Information Technology really begins, or if you’re already showing up at the office, meditation—even just 10 minutes a day—helps. Here are some tips on how to make meditation your daily productivity and distress habit:

 

  • Schedule at least 10 minutes of meditation into your calendar daily as if it is a meeting; yes, it’s really that
  • Try to meditate earlier in the day if possible; this will help you utilize its powerful benefits over the course of the day.
  • Attempt to meditate for 66 days straight; this might appear long, but research says this duration of time is necessary to solidify a habit.

 

Choose Balance Over Money

 

Sure, some extra money can come in handy, but is putting in those additional hours at the office really worth sacrificing your mental, physical, and possibly even spiritual well-being? There are often choices to be made in the professional world; it’ll be no different with a career in IT, and it is the responsibility of each individual to set healthy boundaries for themselves, so that balance can be maintained. Not only does maintaining a balanced lifestyle give more time for activities that bring personal fulfillment, but it’s also said to improve productivity during working hours because an even amount of exertion and relaxation often equates to lower stress levels. Work hard, play even harder!

 

Here’s some pointers on how to maintain a balanced, more fulfilling life:

 

  • Dedicate time to socializing; visit your friends and family or go out and meet new individuals. This socialization is vital because humans are communal Find your tribe.
  • Try to always designate two days off a week. Trying to find the time to have 48 hours workfree may seem challenging, but this period of unwinding will even out the dedication and determination you just exercised the other 5 days.
  • Remember to make time for your hobbies, passions, and favorite experiences; these events can fill your life with joy, especially if you stay present with them.

 

Take on Projects That Bring a Sense of Purpose

 

There’s no surprise here: meaningful projects bring about a greater sense of purpose. If you intend to enter a career in Information Technology or if you already work in this field, you’re actually in luck. Because a career in IT can be so flexible, professionals in this field also have a lot of say in which projects to take on. Since you’ll have choices, opt for assignments that are in alignment with your personal career goals, intentions, and motivations. In the long run, you’ll be thankful you stayed true to yourself.

 

Look to Your School for Support & Guidance: Your Mentors Are There to Help

 

Your last year of school is going to have a lot going on. You shouldn’t have to pass through any roadblocks alone. Look to your school for support and guidance and use their resources as much as possible. At ICOHS College you can rest assured being a part of the Computer Network Technician program. Know that a dedicated team of educators and mentors are there to help, walking you through the transition from college to career. If there are ever any concerns, be sure to voice them to our helpful staff; we are dedicated to being in service to our students first and foremost, ensuring all needs are met, no matter how holistic.

7 Steps to Start a Career in Information Technology (IT)

By IT No Comments

You’ve just come to the conclusion that you’d potentially be interested in beginning a career in Information Technology but have no idea where to start. The process of beginning your IT journey isn’t all that complicated, but it will require some serious decision making and consideration of your own personal goals, expectations, intentions, and flexibilities. Here are 7 steps to start a career in Information Technology.

Step 1: Determine your passions, interests, and goals. Lay out your career path accordingly.

Having an IT related career isn’t for everyone. That is why it’s vital to understand your passions, interests, and goals, so you can discover whether or not Information Technology is the field you’d like to get involved in. Do your research and find out which areas of expertise are in need of IT specialists, and determine whether or not this matches up with your incentives.

Step 2: Narrow down your area of interest.

There are a number of possible careers in Information Technology. Just to name a few, here’s what you might come across:

● Information Technology Manager
● Software Engineer
● Database Administrator
● Computer Technical Support Specialist
● Computer Network Architect
● Network Administrator
● Hardware Engineer
● PC Repair Technician
● Network Support Specialist
● Systems Administrator

There are many paths you can choose in Information Technology, but by being able to narrow down your area of interest, you can ensure that you’ll receive the proper education to meet your career goals.

Step 3: Consider your self-taught skills and proceed accordingly.

When selecting an IT path, it can be useful to consider your self-taught skills prior to making any decisions. If you have Information Technology related abilities, and if you find the work to be interesting or even exciting, it may be wise to proceed accordingly. Particularly if you are passionate about a specific aspect of Information Technology, try to find an education path that could expand upon your already existent skills, making the entire career building process that much easier in the long run.

Step 4: Decide your availability and desired work hours.

When entering a new career, every individual has a different set up in mind. For some, working 9-5 five days a week is ideal, while others prefer to have more flexible hours. The good news about a career in IT is, no two jobs are the same. With that being said, some companies allow for flexible work accommodations or even remote work, while others expect stricter deadlines and schedules for their employees. Additionally, both full time and part-time work opportunities exist in IT, which further allows you to tailor this career field to your needs. Truly consider the type of availability and workload that would suit you best, and keep this in mind when you actually start your job hunt.

Step 5: Get your education and learn the skills necessary to work in your chosen field.

Most employers in the IT world are looking for employees that have some form of higher education. Although it’s true that some companies hire people who have the right skillset even if they don’t have the formal education to back it up, it may be best to enroll in a program that can teach what you’ll need to know at your first day on the job. Typically, IT companies are looking for related certifications, and ICOHS can help.

Offering three programs related to Information Technology, as well as a Continuing Education specialization for working IT professionals who want to expand upon their skills, this fully accredited vocational school can assist in getting you prepared for a blossoming career in the technology industry. ICOHS currently offers these education paths:

● Computer and Networking Technician Certification Program
● IT Network Specialist
● IT Systems Administrator
● Continuing Education: Information Technology

If you’re located in or around the San Diego, California area and are desiring a reputable, tailored-to-you education in Information Technology, be sure to contact ICOHS and request more information about their IT programs.

Step 6: Build your resume and exemplify your skills.

In order to prepare for an IT career, you’ll want to have a strong resume that accurately exemplifies your skills, along with your intentions going into a technology-related career. Get ready to present all of your certifications, self-taught skills, internships, work experiences, additional skills, and more. Be sure to research any of your future interview opportunities too. If a company presents you with an interview opening, study the business and understand the basic ins and outs of its mission. You’ll want to be fully prepared proceeding into any interview so that you can score your dream job and make your career goals become a reality.

Step 7: Go on the job hunt.

After you’ve received your IT certifications/education and perfected your resume, it’s time to start the job hunt. Not only does getting your education at ICOHS College improve your access to networking with industry professionals, but ICOHS also works with their students, offering them lifetime job placement and looking after them long after the actual education has been completed. This attribute attests to the vocational school’s deep care and consideration for their students and it also serves as a viable reason to choose a fully accredited, highly qualified learning path with ICOHS. Do what you love in life and be supported by a school that wants you to succeed. Find out more about our IT certifications and programs click  >>HERE<<