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6 Practical Tips For Becoming an IT Professional

Decided to pursue a career in IT but don’t know where to start? This is the article that you need to read! In just a short time we can give you 6 Practical Tips For Becoming an IT Professional. Whether it’s getting Cisco certified or studying C++, the same principles apply! So take a minute and peruse our guide, it could change your life!

Information Technology is one of the most challenging, rewarding, and fastest growing sectors in the job market worldwide. In fact, learning to work in-depth with computers and other devices boosts your skillset to be highly desirable in all career fields. That being said, the tech sector is one of the few job markets where you can find a dream job regardless of your likes and dislikes. Whether it’s programming for google or creating art assets for a Video Game company, the tech sector has unique fun jobs that are rewarding. Yet, it can be intimidating. Just the mention of the word IT makes many people think of a dark closet where a worker slaves over a desktop for hours in the dark. That may even be true in some cases! Within the computer-industry though are literally millions of jobs that can change your life and bring true satisfaction and joy. Not to mention great wages!

So come along and join us as we share 6 practical tips for becoming an IT professional!

Find a low-level entry job

First let’s dispel the rumour that only the smartest and most-qualified candidates can find a job working with technology. There are actually MANY low-level entry jobs that even a recent high-school graduate can start at. Really, this isn’t a challenging business to get into but the more training and quality that you bring to the table, the better your options and quality of jobs. Just like working in food service, entry-level jobs are less about equipping you to be the best and the brightest but rather exposing you to the working world in a specific career field and teaching foundational skills.

Many businesses have an entry level position that entails some basic training with computer repair or networking and learning to be familiar with the key concepts of different certifications (Such as CompTia 901 and 902 Exams). Some examples are the non-mobile Geek-Squad at Best Buy, an Apple Store, Microsoft Store, or even a store such as Staples. These office supply and electronics chains usually have positions involving basic computer skills and Many a great IT professional spent hours honing skills at a local computer shop before getting proficient enough to get a job in the Tech Sector. With big-business tech often you will have the benefit of paid for training sessions such as taking Microsoft certified courses. Instead of being intimidated, look around and see if you can find a foundational job to pay the bills and educate you while you study and learn!

Resume Training

The Job Market is full of positions but HIGHLY competitive. In fact some larger companies use software to automatically sort and discard resumes that don’t fit some reestablished guidelines such as using the right resume language. Many of the skills that you ALREADY know how to do are premium skills on a resume but to a techie seem like overkill to put down (Microsoft Office for instance). It seems ridiculous in this modern world that “Expert in Microsoft Office” would be important on a resume, but it is! Unfortunately though, many of us don’t realize what companies want. By looking at what programs you use, the technology you are proficient in, and the certs you know, you can make a resume shine or even take a couple of weeks to learn that one skill that helps you seal the deal in the job market. Sometimes an employer will hire someone just for having a specific certification over someone who doesn’t, regardless of many other important factors such as experience. Since the field is so specialized and intimidating, employers don’t necessarily understand what goes into Information Technology jobs and often have to guess at what the best employee would look like. This creates strange demands and expectations. You might not feel particularly skilled, but with the right focus you can make a stunning resume. After all they are looking for someone who knows something they don’t!

Purchase Parts, Build A Desktop, Install an OS, and Repeat

Building a computer is one of the most fulfilling Information Technology tasks that you can pursue. It appears the barrier to entry is years of experience with selecting parts, putting them together, and making it work correctly. Yet modern computers are a lot less like the primitive discombobulating machines from the last few decades. With the invention of the internet, a large consumer market, and the explosive growth of PC Gaming, building a computer has turned into a rite of passage for those in the IT world. Learning what each part does, why one part is better than another, which OS is right for the situation, and putting it all together is an invaluable experience that will boost your confidence and show you that you can find work in the ITech world. While on the surface it may not look like it, modern PC-Building is far closer to putting together legos than one usually realizes. There are specific rules and options that help guide you while giving enough freedom to really build many different styles of PC on a budget. Best yet, after building it, a PC can be disassembled and parts changed out to practice more and more. It’s even possible to finally start doing this with upcoming OSX models as Mac is now testing modular PC builds. The most practical thing you can do is get your hands on some parts and start learning what makes a computer function! You can also get some practice with a Virtual Machine if you are interested in a certification such as the VCP6-DCV to become a VMware Associate!

Find A Mentor

Find someone who can teach you the ropes on Tech in person! Perhaps someone in your social circle is looking for some help. Another option is looking into a local religious or community centre. In fact even local stage and theater companies love interns and volunteers in all sorts of technical capacity. There are numerous places across the world that use technology in an unpaid but professional capacity. Often these places have a rotating group of volunteers who maintain the systems out of passion and love for both digital living and the community. While each community is different, this can be a great place to find a mentor who is likely volunteering and willing to take someone alongside them to raise them up into a high-quality worker. Often these mentors have access to complex equipment and skills as well that you can apply in order to learn the trade. This is one of the most practical places to connect with a mentor and start your journey into becoming a professional!

Pursue a Tech Certification

Tech Certification is one of the key ways to enter the IT world. Currently there are many certifications that show whether or not you are proficient in some area, from Hardware to Software and far more. Learning a programming language and studying computer science is immensely practical if you are entering into a Tech field but for those looking to hit the ground running (Who doesn’t like a nice job WHILE they go to school) certs are one of the best options. Certs are basically certificates that state you are capable of handling specific Tech skills. Some certs are in demand more than others, some take years to achieve, but there are many that can be learned in a handful of weeks with rigorous studying and training.

For a general Tech we recommend starting any number of certifications. Really many of them teach a range of broad skills with some specific ones as well.  With the CompTia 901 and 902 A+ certification you learn a good mix of skills. This basic cert walks you through Hardware, Software, Networking, and other necessary things to become a certified Tech. Other possible certifications include the Cisco CCNA courses that teach the in-demand skill of network management, create, design, engineering and more. ISACA is great for meeting the needs of IT security, a skill that is desired more and more as the world changes.

6 Practical Tips For Becoming an IT Professional

Take Some Online Tests!

Still, all of this, it’s a bit imposing. Learning about working with devices when you may not even know what you are supposed to learn! One our favorite resources is Exam-labs. They offer free Tech exams that walk you through HUNDREDS of current exam questions. Going online and taking one of the FREE practice exams, whether it is for 901 A+, ISACA, PMP, CISCO, Microsoft Courses, or HUNDREDS MORE, Exam-labs is an incredible way to get a practical view into the knowledge needed for becoming an IT professional. All you need to do is go to website and select from one of the many tests and in a few moments you can learn something new and see if you like a specific cert path!

Some paths to consider include VMware, PMP for Project Management, Citrix for Cloud based stuff, MSCE for Microsoft, CCNA, or many more. You can literally spend years studying on Exam-labs.com and not exhaust the amount of available curriculum, exams, and learning potential. Best yet, this means you have an incredible amount of opportunity when it comes to learning an IT trade. Don’t just take our word for it though, take some time and peruse the tests. Maybe you’ll find a burgeoning love for a Cisco Certified Network Engineer that you never knew, or see a career that you should avoid! There is so much to learn!

Thanks for joining us!

Hopefully this guide gave you some help by providing 6 practical tips for becoming an IT Professional! As one of the most rewarding fields to work in, we are excited to see people fall deeply in love with troubleshooting computers, building networks, making apps, and just changing the world. Be sure to check back for more Tech Tips and take some free exams! The worst that could happen is that you learn a few new things.

 

Become a CCNA, Cisco Certified Network Associate, In Just Two Weeks!

In the IT world some skills such as programming take years to learn and hone. This creates an intimidating environment for those who year to break in into IT fields. Yet not all skills are that specialized or rigorous.

Often it’s hard to know which skills you should learn to kickstart your career. In tech. One of the more challenging paths is that of a Cisco Certified Network Associate. The CCNA is a certification that shows proficiency in networking concepts and hardware. One of the most sought after skills is networking. It’s challenging, rewarding, hard, and yet invaluable as a skill. Every business needs the internet, and every small business needs a network. Much like CompTia exams, Cisco offers numerous certifications that show potential employers who has put in the work to be considered a certified network technician. As the gold standard for showing skill in networking, the CCNA is an important certification to consider.

The CCNA is a rather basic level in regards to networking because it is such a large concept. Being a certified Network Associate can start you on the path toward several rewarding and high paying jobs. Networking isn’t easy though. It takes a lot of hands-on experience and personal study. Knowing which test to even take can be confusing for people.

What is it?

There are several different certifications offered by Cisco that cover a broad spectrum of concepts and skills. For those who want to get a good foundational course though, we recommend taking the 200-125 Exam.

This exam covers quite a bit of introductory networking and gives a great platform for growing in skill. While networking can be intimidating, with a little preparation and study, you can be certified in a matter of weeks. Granted, this path is not for the wavering. If you want to be certified in a couple of weeks, you need to study, watch videos, and train for a couple hours a day.

Don’t be discouraged though! It’s totally possible! We are here to offer some tips and help on getting ready to take the CCNA Exam in a matter of weeks!

So where do we start?

Pick one of the 9 Certifications

CCNA has 9 subcategories. Routing and Switching is the best “overall” beginning cert though for Cisco work. For the sake of this process, we are going to assume that CCNA R&S (Routing and Switching) is the certification that you are pursing. Many of the concepts will still carry over between sub categories as well, so don’t be afraid to pick one and commit to it.

One Exam Vs. Two

There are two ways to get certified as a CCNA through Routing and Switching. You can take two separate exams or take a combined exam. Regardless of whether you split the test up or take both tests at once, the questions and content would be the same. It’s important to know how you want to take the test though because you can study half the concepts for one week and test then switch and test again or study everything for two weeks and test.

Step 1: Schedule the Exam around two weeks from when you plan to start studying

This incentivizes studying. It can be hard to stay focused if you have nothing to lose. Yet when a significant amount of cash is on the line (The exam is almost $300) then you are motivated to push through tired nights and boring notes. You have skin in the game. It hurts to lose. Start by scheduling your exam. This forces you to commit to this process.

Step 2: Create a Schedule

Studying with an upcoming deadline requires a fair amount of discipline. Schedule your study time and commit to making it a priority. Put the Exam date on the calendar so that you are reminded of the urgency of study. Next take all the exam concepts and divide them by fourteen. Make sure that you master 1/14th of the test each day, while also reviewing previous days.

Step 3: Block out AT LEAST two hours a day, one in the morning and one in the evening.

Getting certified takes a fair amount of commitment. It’s easy to feel discouraged when looking at the time commitment. Still, studying for an exam is all about taking normal time captive. There are 168 hours in a week. If you take 14 of these hours and apply them to learning a new skill, it’s definitely possible.

To be ready to test in two weeks you must be brutally honest with yourself. Do you spend too much time on unimportant things? We have all binge watched a TV show or wasted time doing something inconsequential. Look for little moments that you can redeem for more time. Always be honest with yourself and others about what holds you back from studying and growing. You NEED to find two hours in the day for study at a bare minimum.

Step 4: Take the Exam-labs test

We all enter IT fields with varying levels of knowledge The online tests offered at Exam-labs.com show real questions and offer a great point of entry for the CCNA Exam.

Step 5: Rank the subjects you need to study by importance

Taking a practice exam can give you a good point of reference for where you are at with networking. Most people will know a few rudimentary things, but this can help you hone in on the necessary knowledge to concentrate on for the test. Note the things that you struggle with, these can be used to make a study guide.

Step 6: Create a list of subjects to study

Take the Exam-Lab results and create a guide that helps you see where you are lacking in networking knowledge.

Step 7: Gather Components for a test network

While knowing concepts is great, having a physical place to test your knowledge is invaluable. Testing a network requires several Ethernet cords, a router, a switch, a hub, and two-four computers. There are MANY more parts to a network and as you learn, you will want to buy, borrow, and test these components out. For the sake of connecting computers together on a network though, these basic components can help you get started. Ideally you’ll want several devices to test network set-ups and troubleshoot you own set-up.

Step 8: Build A Network

Murphy’s law states that what can go wrong, will go wrong. Networking is one of the most fundamentally challenging aspects of IT. This is because numerous devices, operating systems, software, data, and more must interact in such a way as to send and retrieve information along a broad spectrum of network setups. It’s almost useless to study for this exam without taking the time to set up a test network and practice some of the basic skills that the exam seeks to show.

Step 9: Study, Study, Study!

There are numerous resources online for free such as this video series by Exam-labs, or free exams such as those, http://nuc.edu.ng/?all=exam/200-120. To be certified in two weeks, you will need to spend at least an hour studying Networking every day and an hour each day practicing both real world test set-ups and digital ones.

One of the advantages of Exam-labs material such as those offered for the CCNA 200-125, is that it is real-world knowledge. The questions found on Exam-Labs tests are similar to those that would actually appear on the CCNA 200-125. Learning to answer these questions can boost your confidence and motivate you to learn more.

Step 10: Take the Exam-Labs test, repeatedly until you have memorized many of the answers

It is a good for those who struggle with confidence to be reminded of how obtainable these certifications are. These Exam dumps cover enough information to help you easily pass your first CCNA test. If you can ace the Exam-labs material, there is a good chance you can pass this exam. Take these concepts to your test network as well!

Step 11: Repeat

For the next fourteen days, study for an hour, test for an hour, write down what you need to improve on and repeat the process. It may seem like a waste to study so much, but it is amazing how quickly the skill-set and knowledge to pass the CCNA exams will start to accumulate.

Step 12: Take the Exam!

It’s ok to be a little nervous but after two weeks and putting in several hours a day of study and recreating a network, you should be ready. So take the Exam! If you have studied and aced the Exam-Labs material, as well as put up your own Network and practiced network concepts, it should be quite easy to pass this exam. So go for it!

Step 13: Pass!

And with that, we hope that you pass the exam! Tests can be intimidating, but they are so rewarding. Certifications open the door to greater opportunity and push you to become a better person to learn a new skill and enter a new industry.

Did this help?

Are you getting ready to take a CCNA exam? Did this guide help? Be sure to comment in on ways we can improve our guide process as well as share your own success stories! We are grateful to help you succeed with the CCNA and hope to see you as a certified CCNA member soon!

 

Best Cisco Certifications for 2017

This article sheds light on the best Cisco Certifications for 2017, i.e. CCNA, CCNP and CCIE Certifications. It will help those professionals who are planning to earn a Cisco certification and need to take the exam. You will learn the benefits, expected salary, job opportunities, requirements, cost and study material for preparation of these certifications.

Cisco offers certifications to networking professionals to develop more knowledge in IT networking. IT professionals who want to achieve success in networking field necessarily need to earn these certifications. `It helps to understand how different network topologies work. Cisco offers certification at five different levels: entry, associate, professionals, expert and architect in 8 paths. But, now the question arises which are the best certifications for 2017? Which certification will give maximum knowledge to the person? Security, cyber ops, collaboration, routing and switching and data center are the best Cisco Certifications for 2017. At present, the best-known certifications are CCNA, CCNP and CCIE.

CCNA (Cisco Certified Network Associate) Certification

Everything You Need to Know about Cisco CCNA CertificationCCNA Certification is an associate level Cisco Certification. This is the most popular certification for networking and, at present, it is in demand in most of the IT Companies.  Professionals will start their career as a network administrator and engineer after achieving CCNA Certification.  There are many types of CCNA like security, cloud, collaboration, design, industrial plants and wireless. But, CCNA Routing and Switching fulfils the real objective associate level exam.

A CCNA certified professional can install, operate, configure and troubleshoot routed & switched networks. He can establish a connection in the distant area using WAN. The exam course topics include basic fundamentals of routing & switching, network concepts and its terminology, and establishing the point-to-point connection and Frame Relay.

Cisco conducts CCNA in either a combo exam or in two separate exams. The combo exam is 200-125 Accelerated CCNA. The two separate exams are 100-105 ICND1 and ICND2. The two separate exams, however, contain a syllabus divided into parts. This exam has no required or recommended qualifications.  The total duration of the exam is 90 minutes. It contains about 50-60 questions and costs around 325 USD. Candidates should score at least 75 percent to pass the exam.

A CCNA certified person qualifies for network administrator, network engineer, network support specialist jobs as well as many other jobs. Till now, CCNA data center is the highest paid job. Earning a CCNA certification will pay candidates in the thousands of dollars.

CCNP (Cisco Certified Network Professionals) Certification

Cisco CCNP Certification exam practice questions and answersOne of the best Cisco Certifications for networking professionals is the CCNP Certification.  Professionals that have one year of experience in the industry and are seeking growth in their career should take this exam. There are many types of CCNP such as security, cloud, collaboration, design, industrial plants and wireless. The recommended certification is CCNP routing and switching.

After taking the CCNP exam, one will have the knowledge and skills to implement, verify and troubleshooting local as well as remote networks. One can use LAN and WAN connections on hundreds of devices. Professionals can also collaborate with security, wireless and video solutions specialists. After achieving this qualification, the candidate can work independently on Cisco systems.

A CCNP Certification requires passing three different exams: 300-101 ROUTE, 300-115 SWITCH and 300-135 TSHOOT. For the CCNP Certification, the candidate must qualify for a CCNA exam. This exam does not require any recommended condition. Each exam contains a total of 45 questions. The candidate has to solve them in 2 hours. The cost for each exam is 300 USD. Candidates should score at least 75 percent to pass the exam.

A CCNP certified candidate is eligible for enterprise level networking level jobs. These jobs include network administrator, network engineer or technician, and system engineer. Among all fields, CCNP data center pays more than the other types. A CCNP certified candidate’s salary starts at ninety thousand dollars.

CCIE (Cisco Certified Internetworking Expert) Certification

Everything about Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE)CCIE is for candidates who wish to gain expertise in network levels.  CCIE is the best Cisco Certification for 2017 for networking professionals. According to the reports, CCIE is the technically advanced IT certification in networking. Candidates who have the CCIE Certification receive the highest salary compared to others. CCIE contains seven different tracks. One has to choose the track according to the networking technology in which he wishes to certify. These tracks include routing & switching, service provider, security, data center, wireless, and collaboration.

A CCIE certified professional can easily plan, operate and troubleshoot complex networks on any Cisco equipment. One has to gain deeper understanding of the topics for the exams. Around 3 to 4 years of experience is necessary for taking the exam.

A CCIE Certification requires passing a written and a lab exam. These exams do not require any recommended condition. Candidates have to solve 100 questions in a two-hour time duration. After passing the written exam, the candidate becomes eligible for the lab exam. Total time duration of the lab exam is 8 hours. In case the aspirant fails to pass the lab exam, he can retake the exam after a one month period. Each attempt on the written exam costs 400 USD while the cost of the lab exam is 1600 USD. The applicant can take up to eighteen-months to take the lab exam. The candidate has to take the written exam every two years to retain their CCIE Certification.

According to reports, the CCIE Certified candidate has the expected average salary of ten thousand dollars. One qualifies as a server administrator, network engineer or both after achieving the CCIE Certification.

To take a Cisco exam, you can consult free training materials at Exam Labs. There, you will not only get the study material but also video guides to pass any Cisco exam and earn the Certification. These certifications not only help to get promotions in a company but also increase the salary of the candidates. Without these certificates, achieving success in networking field is really tough. So, candidates should prefer to get these certifications to achieve success in short time.

Cisco CCNA Certification – Everything You Need to Know

Earning a professional certification takes time and dedication. CCNA certification is a highly respected and sought after credential. To help you with the research and decision making process we have compiled a series of the most commonly asked questions about the exam. This information will help you understand what the CCNA is, which topics are covered, cost, how to study, and more.

What is CCNA Certification?

CCNA stands for Cisco Certified Network Associate and is an IT certification developed and sponsored by Cisco. The certification is a professional route to validate and present an individual’s level of skill in a series of network related topics.

The CCNA is one of the most highly regarding certifications in the industry. It often times leads to opening up additional job opportunities, promotions or client projects seeking individuals specifically having passed become a CCNA.

What are the topics covered in the CCNA Certification?

Everything You Need to Know about Cisco CCNA CertificationIn 2013 Cisco changed their certification process to better align with specific job roles. Today there are 9 different CCNA topics:

  • CCNA Cloud – A focus on enter-level skills for provisioning, managing Cisco cloud solutions, and evolve with changing technologies.
  • CCNA Collaboration – For individuals working in the convergence of multiple media type – voice, data, video, and mobile applications. Most applicable for network engineers and those working in the IP telephony and network fields.
  • CCNA Cyber Ops – Detecting and handling cybersecurity events; roles of focus are cybersecurity analysts and security operation center employees.
  • CCNA Data Center – Covers data center design, equipment maintenance, network diagrams of data center design and hardware implementation.
  • CCNA Industrial – Focuses on IT and industrial networks for common and widespread utilities such as electrical, oil and gas, manufacturing, and large-scale plant operations. This certification is centered around understanding standard protocols and learning techniques to build a flexible network.
  • CCNA Routing & Switching – This exam is core CCNA test and the initial area the certification program was built around. Provides a base knowledge for network engineering and is a solid starting point for all areas.
  • CCNA Security – Validates the testers skills around network threats and vulnerabilities, designing and building infrastructure and addressing security issues. Core components of this exam include the confidentiality, integrity and availability of data on the network.
  • CCNA Service Provider – Designed for individuals and companies who deliver network engineering, deployment, or maintenance as a service. Understanding the latest technologies, trends and service offerings is essential.
  • CCNA Wireless – There is an ever-growing demand for wireless networks in every location possible, with a strong signal and high availability. The exam focuses on configuration, monitoring and supporting wireless networks.

How to take the CCNA Certification Exam?

To take one of the CCNA exams, you first need to visit Cisco’s online certification hub, co-managed with Vue (http://www.vue.com/cisco/). Then determine if the exam is available to take online and/or in-person at a local test center. Once decided you will need to create an account on Cisco’s website to schedule the exam.

What is the CCNA Certification Cost?

Most CCNA exams will cost $295 (USD). However, visit the following website to confirm specific exam prices, as costs vary based on country, test and whether or not the exam is proctored.

Exam Prices – http://www.vue.com/vouchers/pricelist/cisco.asp#prices

Where can I find free CCNA study guides?

Right here! Exam-labs is your best source for free exam study materials. Exam-Labs has hundreds of practice questions to help you start your preparation today. Head over to the following link to see some example questions or jump right in to full study mode – http://nuc.edu.ng/?all=exam/200-120_Cisco_CCNA+Cisco+Certified+Network+Associate+CCNA.

Questions on Exam-Labs are 100% real, as made up questions do not fully prepare you for the exam. Each question you see at the link above is from a real and recent version of the CCNA test.

How to prepare for the CCNA Certification Exam.

Here are the basic steps that you need to follow to prepare for the CCNA:

  • Determine which CCNA exam is best for you. The Routing & Switching exam is the foundation of the overall CCNA structure, so if you aren’t sure that is your best place to start. Otherwise, if you specialize in one particular area in your current role or the role you want then select that specialty.
  • Once you’ve selected the exam, you will need to visit Cisco registration page to determine if your exam is available online or must be taken in person. (http://www.vue.com/cisco/) Select the test method, date and time that works best for you.
  • Begin your preparation by going through Exam-Labs’ library of real practice questions – http://nuc.edu.ng/?all=exam/200-120_Cisco_CCNA+Cisco+Certified+Network+Associate+CCNA.

How to study for the CCNA exam.

Once you know which exam you are taking and when, you need to setup a structure to help yourself succeed. The fundamentals of preparing for any certification exam is dedicating time to study and getting comfortable with the style of questioning. If you can block out at least 30 minutes every day to go through the CCNA practice test questions. Books alone will only provide you with theory and structured detail. If you can’t manage to study every day, consider blocking off larger time frames during the weekend.

The idea is to have a steady pattern of going through the questions. As stated before the questions in Exam-Labs practice materials are 100% real and besides giving you real questions to work with they also help you get use to the style of questioning. Every exam has new questions, but once you get comfortable with the question wording and answer choices the entire process will seem much easier.

How hard is the CCNA Certification Exam?

The CCNA exam is relatively difficult to prepare for and pass, consider the depth of knowledge it covers. However, that makes sense given how highly regarded it is across many industries. Companies all across the world are searching for individuals how have CCNA training and certification. Quick searches for CCNA jobs and CCNA salary will reveal how in demand this skill set is.

To pass you need a score of 825 or higher out of 1000.

Good luck in your journey towards becoming CCNA certified! If you are ready to test your knowledge head over to the practice question area now – http://nuc.edu.ng/?all=exam/200-120_Cisco_CCNA+Cisco+Certified+Network+Associate+CCNA.