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Finding the Right Certification

I am often asked, are certifications worth it? My answer is yes, as long as you identify the certification in your career path. Certifications are not a replacement for experience, but they can be an asset, especially for those who are new to the IT field.

The tech industry is constantly evolving, so I make ongoing learning a habit. I love learning tech, its just fun to me, but I don’t pay for certification for all the areas of tech that interest me. Certifications can be expensive!

Certifications demonstrate to employers that you have the knowledge and skills necessary for a specific IT role. They can be more powerful than simply listing skills on your resume. The IT job market can be competitive, certifications can help you stand out from other applicants.

Many employers consider certifications when making promotion decisions. Earning relevant certifications shows your commitment to professional development and your desire to take on more responsibility.

When you know the direction you want to take in your career, find the certifications that can make a difference in how quickly you can achieve the position you desire. Those are the certifications you want to obtain. Specialize in a specific technology, move into management, or another area – target relevant certifications.

So how did you identify the certifications to take? Look at job postings for the career you want.  Does the employer ask for certifications? If so, pursue the certifications that are most commonly requested in job postings.  Network, network, network!  Find an online or local group of IT professionals.  Visit with them and find out what certifications they suggest for the position you are working toward.

There are a lot of established certification bodies nowadays, be certain you find a certification that is recognized in the IT career field. CompTIA, (ISC)², EC-Council, Microsoft, Amazon Web Services (AWS) are all widely recognized. Studies have shown that IT professionals with certifications tend to earn more than those without.

Here are a few ideas:

Certifications that help start a career in IT
Help Desk Support Specialist: CompTIA A+, Google IT Support Professional
Computer Technicians: CompTIA A+, CompTIA Network+
Network Technician: CompTIA Network+ , CCNA

Advancing your career
System Administrator: Microsoft MCSA, Red Hat Certified System Administrator (RHCSA) , CCNA
Cloud Support Specialist: CompTIA Cloud+, AWS Certified Solutions Architect, Microsoft Azure Administrator
Security Analyst: CompTIA Security+, (ISC)² Certified Secure Incident Analyst (CISSP)
Cybersecurity: CompTIA Security+, (ISC)² Certified Secure Incident Analyst (CISSP)

Bottom line is that if you are, or want to be in the tech field you better love tech. There is always something new out there that you need to learn, and they may come out with something tomorrow that makes what you know today obsolete!

Talk to you next week,
Mike


Live 8-week CompTIA Security+ training for only $500!

 US and International Discount Exam Vouchers: Purchase a CompTIA voucher and save on the cost of your exams.

Interactive simulations: TotalSims for A+, Network+, and Security+, hundreds of online simulated labs. Prepare for CompTIA’s performance-based questions and learn technical concepts covered on the exams.

E-books are available: Check out our e-book titles. Available 24/7 for immediate access on the Total Seminars Training Hub


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More updates to CompTIA certifications coming!

Today I am talking about cloud computing, a technology that has seamlessly integrated into almost every part of our daily lives. From the way we store and access our personal data to how businesses operate and manage their services, cloud computing is everywhere. Whether you are an IT professional looking to acquire more certifications or simply someone who wants to stay updated with the latest advancements in technology, CompTIA Cloud+ is an excellent certification to consider.

CompTIA Cloud+ is not as widely known as some of the other CompTIA certifications, so why do I suggest it? Cloud adoption is on the rise, and businesses are actively seeking professionals with demonstrable cloud expertise, so techs need to have the skills in their tech toolbox. Knowing cloud administration, cloud security, and cloud architecture can open doors to career opportunities.

This certification is designed to keep you up to date on current technological trends and developments. It provides comprehensive training in cloud infrastructure and services, equipping you with the necessary skills to thrive in a cloud-centric marketplace. With the rapid adoption of cloud solutions across various industries, having a cloud computing knowledge can significantly enhance your career prospects and ensure you remain competitive in the ever-evolving tech landscape.

CompTIA has announced it will update the Cloud+ certification program in 2024 to keep up with the changes. The new Cloud+ exam, launching in September 2024 (CV0-004), will likely be a comprehensive refresh to reflect the latest trends and technologies in cloud computing. CompTIA hasn’t released the specific exam objectives yet, but here are some changes we can expect based on today’s tech.

Cloud Management: Expect a strong emphasis on managing and optimizing cloud deployments, including cost optimization and resource allocation strategies.

Cloud Security: Now a days everything is about more security. We anticipate CompTIA to delve deeper into securing cloud environments, including identity and access management (IAM) best practices.

Emerging Cloud Technologies: We expect to see new cloud technologies like containers, serverless computing, and infrastructure as code (IaC).

For those studying for the certification, don’t panic, continue your study path. CompTIA allows for some overlap where candidates can choose which objectives to test.

Studying the Cloud+ knowledge areas will be an asset for IT professionals looking to solidify their cloud expertise. By staying updated with the latest trends and technologies equips you with the skills to navigate the ever-evolving cloud landscape and thrive in your IT career.

Talk to you next week,
Mike


Live 8-week CompTIA Security+ training for only $500!

 US and International Discount Exam Vouchers: Purchase a CompTIA voucher and save on the cost of your exams.

Interactive simulations: TotalSims for A+, Network+, and Security+, hundreds of online simulated labs. Prepare for CompTIA’s performance-based questions and learn technical concepts covered on the exams.

E-books are available: Check out our e-book titles. Available 24/7 for immediate access on the Total Seminars Training Hub


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Ready for Career Freedom? Start with These Certification Study Tips

Studying for the CompTIA exams requires a systematic approach to cover the exam objectives and gain a solid understanding of the concepts and skills tested. Certifications can help you get where you want to be in your career. This summer commit to taking the time to study for certifications that can make a difference in your life by helping you get where you want to be in your career.

Steve Nicholson, my A+ video co-trainer and has a wealth of knowledge and experience in the IT field. Like me, Steve has a deep understanding of the CompTIA certification process and a passion for helping others succeed. Check out Steve Nicholson’s study tips in the video below and follow our eleven-step study plan for any certification success.

Understand the exam objectives:
Visit the official CompTIA certification website to review the exam objectives. Familiarize yourself with the topics and skills in the objectives.

Gather study resources:
Obtain study materials such as textbooks, online courses, practice exams, and video tutorials. Everyone learns different, understand what media is best for your learning  style. Total Seminars has videos and we also have eBook, practice tests, online lab simulations and even discount exam vouchers.

Create a study plan:
Break down the exam objectives into manageable study sessions. Allocate time for each topic based on its importance and your proficiency level. Set specific goals and deadlines to stay organized and motivated.

Start with the basics:
Begin your studies by focusing on fundamental concepts.  For A+, focus first on topics like computer hardware, operating systems, networking, and troubleshooting. Establish a strong foundation before delving into more complex topics. I have always felt materials should follow a building block approach starting with the basics.

Study each exam objective:
Dive deeper into each objective, one at a time. Read the relevant chapters in your study materials, watch instructional videos, and take notes to reinforce your understanding. Make use of diagrams, flowcharts, and mnemonic devices to aid memorization.

Hands-on practice:
CompTIA exams test practical skills, so it’s crucial to gain hands-on experience. Set up a lab environment with a computer or use virtual machines to simulate real-world scenarios. Practice tasks like assembling/disassembling hardware, configuring operating systems, troubleshooting issues, and managing network settings.

Take practice exams:
Use practice exams to assess your knowledge and familiarize yourself with the exam format. They can help identify areas where you need more focus and build confidence by simulating the test environment. Review the explanations for incorrect answers to build a comprehensive understanding of the concepts.

Join study groups or forums:
Engage with others who are studying for the same exam. Participate in online communities, forums, or study groups to ask questions, share insights, and learn from their experiences. Collaboration can enhance your understanding and could unlock a wealth of additional resources for you. The Total Seminars Discord Server is a great place to start. Visit our Discord Server any time.

Review and reinforce:
Regularly review the topics you’ve covered to reinforce your knowledge. Use flashcards, mind maps, or summary sheets to consolidate key points. Focus on areas of weakness to ensure a balanced understanding of all exam objectives. Create a summary of your notes from step 5. Summarizing your notes will help you remember key points. The process of taking and rewriting a summary of your notes makes the concepts stick in your mind.

Exam readiness:
When you feel confident in your knowledge and have completed your study plan, it’s time to assess your readiness. Take a few more practice tests to gauge your knowledge and identify any remaining knowledge gaps. Review the exam objectives once more to ensure you haven’t missed any crucial topics.

Exam day preparation:
Prioritize a good night’s sleep before the exam. On the exam day, arrive early at the test center, bring the necessary identification documents, and maintain a calm and focused mindset. Read each question carefully, manage your time effectively, and review your answers before submitting. To help you in your time management, skip the Performance Based Questions (PBQs) and do the multiple-choice questions first. Come back to the PBQs last. This will avoid getting “stuck” on the PBQs and running out of time to finish the multiple-choice questions.

Remember to consult the CompTIA certification website and official documentation for the most up-to-date information regarding the exams, registration process, and any changes to the exam objectives or policies. And remember, never pay full price for CompTIA exam,  discount vouchers are available.

Good luck with your studies and the CompTIA exams!

Talk to you next week,
Mike

Steve Nicholson’s study tips in the video below and follow our eleven-step study plan for certification success.



FOURTH OF JULY SALE through July 10th!

Save $15 on any CompTIA Voucher at checkout when you use discount code FIREWORKS.

Live 8-week CompTIA Security+ training for only $500!

 US and International Discount Exam Vouchers: Purchase a CompTIA voucher and save on the cost of your exams.

Interactive simulations: TotalSims for A+, Network+, and Security+, hundreds of online simulated labs. Prepare for CompTIA’s performance-based questions and learn technical concepts covered on the exams.

E-books are available: Check out our e-book titles. Available 24/7 for immediate access on the Total Seminars Training Hub



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Cloud Security: Python and AWS Create a Cyber Shield

The cloud’s evolving landscape continues to change our personal and business world. Cloud computing is intertwined in our digital lifestyle in all aspects of our day. At home, your phone, tablet, banking, and now a days, even your doorbell is connected via the cloud. Beyond our personal lives, cloud has revolutionized the business world. Cloud is leveraged in both large and small business to streamline operations and make collaboration over the miles almost seamless. AI, machine learning, and big data in the cloud allow companies to gain strategic insight.

With the ever-increasing sophistication of cyberattacks, security in the cloud has become a key industry for careers. cloud providers like AWS offer security services. Amazon GuardDuty leverage machine learning to continuously monitor your accounts for suspicious activity. In addition to these services, you can develop custom Python scripts to analyze security logs, identify anomalies, and automate incident response – all before a breach occurs.

IaC tools use AWS CloudFormation use JSON or YAML to define your infrastructure with ensures consistency in your platform. Utilizing Python scripts can dynamically create IaC templates, enforcing security best practices from the very beginning. This ensures your cloud infrastructure is built with security in mind, eliminating configuration drift and potential vulnerabilities.

Leveraging the Python library allows you to extend the capabilities of CSPM tools like AWS Security Hub. Python scripts automate security checks, gather data from various services, and generate comprehensive security reports. This allows you to proactively identify and remediate vulnerabilities before they become a security issue.

Cloud platforms offer a comprehensive suite of security services like AWS WAF and Amazon Inspector that provide a layered defense against cyber threats. Python excels at automating repetitive tasks. You can write Python scripts to automate security audits, vulnerability scans, and incident response procedures. Thus, making the skills sets a great asset for your resume.

The cloud security landscape is constantly evolving, but keeping up with advancements in AI, automation, and Python’s dominance in security scripting, you have the power to stay ahead of the curve.

Mike


Live 8-week CompTIA Security+ training for only $500!

 US and International Discount Exam Vouchers: Purchase a CompTIA voucher and save on the cost of your exams.

Interactive simulations: TotalSims for A+, Network+, and Security+, hundreds of online simulated labs. Prepare for CompTIA’s performance-based questions and learn technical concepts covered on the exams.

E-books are available: Check out our e-book titles. Available 24/7 for immediate access on the Total Seminars Training Hub



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Coming Soon! CompTIA ITF+ Evolves into Tech+

CompTIA is making an update to its IT Fundamentals program. The CompTIA IT Fundamentals (ITF+) FC0-U61 exam is being replaced by the CompTIA Tech+ FC0-U71 exam, launching in August 2024. They are rebranding the exam to Tech+.

Tech+ is a foundational certification that emphasizes areas like computing, device management, security, and is now also including some emerging technologies. While ITF+ covered foundational knowledge, Tech+ has upped its game, with a focus on practical tech knowledge for aspiring professionals.

CompTIA is even reflecting the growing importance of security. Let’s face it, security starts by having more knowledgeable users. Tech+ places a stronger focus on protecting digital assets which aligns with the rising demand for security skills across various IT professions.

As usual the update to Tech+ content will look to update the latest IT standards and industry trends. This ensures that certified individuals possess knowledge relevant to the current technological landscape.

If you’re considering a career in IT, the Tech+ certification offers a more practical and up-to-date foundation compared to the ITF+. It equips you with the essential skills to navigate the modern IT environment and potentially positions you stronger for entry-level IT roles.

Remember the current ITF+ certification remains valid. However, those seeking a current and practical IT credential may find the Tech+ exam a more strategic choice. Keep watching my blog, I will have more details on the changes!

Mike


Live 8-week CompTIA Security+ training for only $500!

 US and International Discount Exam Vouchers: Purchase a CompTIA voucher and save on the cost of your exams.

Interactive simulations: TotalSims for A+, Network+, and Security+, hundreds of online simulated labs. Prepare for CompTIA’s performance-based questions and learn technical concepts covered on the exams.

E-books are available: Check out our e-book titles. Available 24/7 for immediate access on the Total Seminars Training Hub



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