A security clearance can get you into places

What is a Security Clearance?

By Business, Education, IT, Military No Comments

Don’t Let Your Security Clearance Expire!

Having a security clearance can provide you with a range of benefits. If you plan on working with the federal government, it’s a necessity. The level of difficulty for obtaining a clearance depends on how sensitive the information you’re getting access to is.

There are four security clearance types:

  • Interim Security Clearance
  • Confidential Security Clearance
  • Secret Security Clearance
  • Top Secret Security Clearance

There are 4 types of security clearances

On top of that, there are two categories of highly classified information:

  • Sensitive Compartmented Information (SCI)
  • Special Access Programs (SAPs)

These cover top secret information. The information has an even higher level of risk than the regular top secret security information. These are additional clearances that you attain on top of your current security clearance. These aren’t common and are only provided to an extremely limited amount of people.

As the level of security gets higher, the amount of time you need to have your background reviewed gets shorter. For example, you need to get your Confidential Security Clearance reviewed every 15 years, but for a Top Secret Security Clearance, it’s every 5 years.

If you’re in the military, you probably already have a security clearance of some level. If you’re a veteran and switching back into civilian life, don’t let it expire! Be sure to keep it up to date by taking “cleared” positions with companies or government agencies. This way, your job helps you maintain your security clearance. Some companies will pay more if a candidate has a security clearance and will look for candidates that have one.

Having a security clearance in the IT industry can be very beneficial. Here are some of the reasons why:

  1. Access to More Hiring OpportunitiesObviously, not everyone has a security clearance. But, there are certain positions that won’t take anyone that doesn’t have one. There are I.T. positions in government entities and they want cleared I.T. professionals. If you do your job well AND have a security clearance, companies will want you. The demand is so high that there are organizations that are dedicated to connecting cleared I.T. professionals to a variety of companies and agencies.
  2. Higher SalaryThere is actually a low supply of cleared I.T. candidates compared to the demand. Companies want candidates that have security clearances and will pay more to have you. Salary rates also go up as your level of security clearance increases. As some people would say, with great power comes great responsibility.
  3. Once You Have One, You Can Access the OthersOnce you have one clearance, it gives you easier access to higher levels of security clearance. If you choose to pursue and obtain higher clearances, this opens doors to more job opportunities and higher pay.

Once you have access to one you can get access to others

If you still don’t have a security clearance, don’t fret! You just have to push through the process of getting your first clearance and you’ll be in the door. Just be sure to not let it expire and keep using it in whatever job you are doing. Having a security clearance certainly helps especially if you want a career in information technology.

Veteran benefits at ICOHS College

Who is Eligible to Use the GI Bill?

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What is the GI Bill?

The GI Bill created a range of benefits for veterans of military service. The benefits are meant to help make the transition from veteran standing to civilian life smoother. It was also used to attract bright young adults to join the military forces. Here at ICOHS College, you can use your GI Bill benefits to help fund your education. You might be wondering, how do I do this? We’re here to help you.

Soldiers coming home from sea duty
What Are My GI Bill Benefits?

If you are eligible, you can receive 100% of tuition for a four-year degree. You can also receive a housing allowance to help cover additional living costs. If you’re not committing to a four-year program, it also covers the cost of training programs and reimbursement for certification exams. ICOHS College falls into the latter category.

To be clear, the GI Bill is NOT considered to be Financial Aid. This is because the GI Bill is paid directly to you rather than the school. This means, in order to use your GI Bill benefits, you will have to apply for student loans and pay them with your GI Bill payments. This means that you are still eligible for student loans, scholarships, and grants on top of your GI Bill benefits!

Am I Eligible?

There are currently four major GI Bill programs:

Post-9/11 GI Bill – Served 30 days of continuous active duty service after September 10, 2001, and be discharged due to a disability-related to service OR – Served 90 days of active duty service and received an honorable discharge.

Montgomery GI Bill – Contributed $100 a month for the first 12 months of active duty – Have completed High School or have an equivalent certificate – Served at least 2 years on active duty – Received an honorable discharge.

Reserve and Guard Montgomery GI Bill (MGIB-SR) – Have a six-year obligation to serve in the Selected Reserve or Guard signed after June 30, 1985. – Complete your initial active duty for training – Meet the requirement to receive a high school diploma or equivalent certificate – Remain in good standing while serving in an active Selected Reserve unit.

Vocational Rehabilitation and Education Program (VR&E) – Have received a discharge that is anything other than dishonorable – Have a service-connected disability rating of at least 10% – Submit a completed application for VR&E services

servicemen from different branches of the military
GI Bill Limitations

You must take advantage of your benefits within 15 years of being discharged from the military, otherwise, you will no longer be eligible. If you are using the Montogomery GI Bill, you have 10 years from your discharge date to use all of the GI Bill benefits or you’ll lose it. Also, the GI Bill cannot exceed $17,500 annually, so if your school of choice is more expensive, you must find other ways to fund the difference. Lastly, the housing allowance is only given to military members that are enrolled in school full-time.

In order to start using your GI Bill benefits, you have to apply for them online, in person, or with a VA certifying official. You can easily access the VA online website here. Each region has a VA office you can visit in person.

Required GI Bill Documents

You need documents that include your Social Security number, the bank account and routing numbers to receive your benefits, school transcripts, and any paperwork that shows your status as a veteran, etc.
Veterans must provide their discharge paperwork, a copy of DD Form 214. Those that are still serving will need to provide a copy of current orders and a letter from a supervisor showing that they are in good standing.

When Should I Start?

It can take at least a month for GI Bill benefit applications to be processed. It’s good to get the process started early, especially if you already know where you want to go. ICOHS College is a veteran-friendly college and can help you understand your benefits. Learn more about starting the process here: https://icohs.edu/va-financial-assistance-resources/

You can use your GI Bill for any period of time, even if you decide to take time off of your education. You can re-apply to use it any time within the 15 or 10 year time period.

References General GI Bill Information, Military.com, https://www.military.com/education/gi-bill/general-gi-bill-information
Veterans benefits at ICOHS College

Benefits ICOHS College Offers Veterans

By Financial Assistance, IT, Military No Comments

Discover How ICOHS College Supports Veterans

For the individuals that served so bravely to protect the United States’ freedom, veterans’ benefits are just the beginning. At ICOHS College, we honor and respect veterans and their families, which is why we, of course, offer a series of veterans benefits to give back in this small way to those who displayed such incredible amounts of strength and courage.
Veterans and active-duty military, along with their families, are offered Veterans Education Benefits, MyCAA for Military Spouses, and Active-Duty Military Education Benefits.
In this article, we take a look at exactly which benefits we offer for veterans at ICOHS College, along with how they can be of benefit to your education and future if you are a veteran yourself or active-duty military personnel.

Financial Benefits of Attending at ICOHS College  

Many veterans worry about returning to education in later life either because of their age or because they don’t believe they will be able to apply themselves. Colleges for the military can be the perfect opportunity to get back on the career ladder, studying a topic that you have always had an interest in. We want to make this process as easy as possible. Unfortunately, the cost of studying can often be expensive, but at ICOHS College, we have a range of services designed to take away this financial burden.
One service we offer is the WIOA, or Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act. This act passed into legislation in 2014 to ensure equal opportunities for all. So, whether you are from a low-income background, live with a disability, or have been in the military, you may be able to claim. If you want to check your eligibility, you can do so here. As we are a San Diego technical school, you will have to create a Caljobs account, which is where you can register for the grant.
At ICOHS, we also offer either partial or full-time financial assistance through the Department of Veterans Affairs. The money provided can be used for class materials, living costs, transport, course fees, and more. These benefits are for those who are served on Active Duty in the military; you will have to complete the application to ensure you are approved. Find even more information about this service either on our site or on the department’s official page.
We also know that being an active member of the military doesn’t only affect that person but their family too. It can often be an isolating and anxiety-fueled time waiting for your husband or wife to return home, that’s why we want to provide spousal support as well. The program, MyCAA, is provided by the Department of Defense, and they provide up to $4,000 to put towards training. They might even issue you with a free laptop if the program you choose includes the use of eBook textbooks. Again, you have to ensure you qualify, and this can include Navy, Air Force, Marine spouses, and more. To find the full list, visit the Career Steps site.

What Can an ICOHS College Education Do for You?

If you are looking for a military college program that helps bring your education into the 21st century, then ICOHS might be the perfect fit. We offer a range of different program types which include;
●       Health and Wellness Programs
●       Information Technology Programs
●       Continuing Education
Our IT programs can be especially suited to veterans as often you will have already learned essential technical skills that lend themselves to the industry. This industry provides a lot of well-structured and secure jobs that might suit military personnel more than most. Another significant benefit is that there is a lot of financial flexibility, making it an excellent career investment. We offer a variety of courses designed to prepare you for expectations in the IT industry, helping you make the first steps. So, whether you want to become a freelance technician, an IT consultant, or more, you can build the necessary knowledge to tackle these goals.
The college also offers several holistic health courses, such as “Professional Massage Therapist” and “Holistic Health Practitioner.” These courses will help explore the complicated relationship between body and mind as well as developing teaching techniques and one-on-one social contact with your clients. While many veterans may think these career choices represent the antithesis of a job in the military, this might be exactly what you are after. It could provide a refreshing break from the heavily structured nature of the military and even tackle some of the complex psychological challenges from the services.
Either way, at ICOHS College, you’ll receive lots of support and have the opportunity to meet with our career counselors. Our members of staff will help you figure out the right work field for you and the best path to take in order to achieve that role. As a veteran, you can discuss with our team what challenges you might face throughout your studies and what the best method of support is. We will also discuss your strengths and which course might be best suited for your talents.
We know it’s not always an easy transition from active duty to another career path. The structural differences between military factions and society can differ drastically, making it difficult to integrate. And while many veterans learn invaluable skills in the military such as discipline and planning, sometimes their past experiences can impact more conventional work roles. But even if you struggle with anxiety or traumas brought up by the pressure of military service, you can play a valuable and integral part of many industries. In fact, many veterans learn a variety of ‘soft skills’ that are considered desirable on a resume, including problem-solving, flexibility, and communication.
As a non-profit college, our priority is you.  We support helping people achieve their goals, no matter your background; that’s why we believe ICOHS makes a great veterans college.
If you want even more information about how we support our veterans and which courses we provide, feel free to visit our site and get in contact.