Recent Report Provides Insight Into What the Near Future Holds for IT Hiring

2016 has been an exciting and expansive year for the IT industry, and a recent survey is projecting that this will continue in the second half of the year as well. The recruiting firm Robert Half Technology published findings in June from their survey of over 2,500 CIO’s in 25 major U.S. marketplaces. Full of interesting findings, there were some key takeaways that will help you when selecting IT certifications and getting acquainted with the job market you are entering to make your career path.

Let’s gain some knowledge to help make finding a job as easy as striking a key on your keyboard.

Key Takeaway 1: The Hiring Forecast is Very Promising

When deciding to acquire your IT certifications to enter the IT industry, your number one focus is on your career. You are preparing yourself to enter a promising working future in an industry gaining more momentum by the day. 21 percent of CIO’s intend to expand their respective technology divisions in the latter half of this year, while only 3 percent plan to minimize their technology divisions.

There is no better forecast for job security than a positive trend in job opportunity and availability.

What this means for you: job security. The IT industry is growing fast, and qualified candidates are not as readily available as needed. By completing desired IT certifications and making yourself a highly skilled professional, you not only have a plethora of job options but the peace of mind that your department will continue to grow and thrive.

Key Takeaway 2: Being Skilled Truly Sets You Apart

Although the job opportunities in the growing IT industry are plentiful, it is still imperative to make yourself the most highly capable and skilled candidate with successful completion of IT certifications. Employers and recruiters run into difficulties finding qualified employees when there are more available positions than skilled candidates to fill them. 61 percent of CIO’s surveyed stated that they found it challenging (to varying degrees) to find the types of candidates wanted and needed.

IT certifications allow you to demonstrate to potential employers and recruiters that you are a highly skilled professional, making you a hot commodity for hiring. Setting yourself apart through your qualifications allows you to pick and choose potential positions instead of having to fight for only a few options.

Key Takeaway 3: Be in Demand by Knowing What’s in Demand

When in the IT job market, it’s always beneficial to have an idea about what the most needed skillset is. Gearing yourself towards highly desired skills provides you with even more opportunity for prestigious positions and gives you the power to be selective with your job choice.

The top 3 in-demand skills were:

  • Network Administration (57%)
  • Desktop Support (55%)
  • Database Management (53%)

It is important to remember with this takeaway that although there is a hierarchical need in regards to specific skillset, the market is in need of highly skilled and capable candidates in all aspects. This information is best utilized to help you get an idea for some IT certifications that address these issues to make you well-rounded and on trend with the industry.

Being informed lets you be in control of your career path.

Now that you are equipped with these takeaways, you can start researching the credentials that help you achieve your IT career aspirations. Take a look at our available programs and certifications and request information to start your future in IT today.

What Does a Network Security Engineer Do?

If you are looking to break into a career in cybersecurity, your timing could not be any better. The industry is projected to skyrocket from $75 billion (2015) to approximately $170 billion by 2020, and there will be an estimated 1 million (yes, million) jobs in cybersecurity in 2016. Having the skills to perform in this career makes you a hot commodity, as the market is in desperate need of talented individuals to fill the ever-growing number of positions. Take a moment to learn more about this fantastic IT career and how you can make yourself the perfect candidate for the job.

How you can create your new career identity in cybersecurity as a Network Security Engineer? IT courses!

Defining Terms: What Is a Network Security Engineer Specifically?

A Network Security Engineer, or Cybersecurity Engineer, is an IT professional proficient in the maintenance, integration and implementation of the LAN/WAN and server infrastructure for a corporation. In plain terms, a Network Security Engineer is a company’s first line of defense against unauthorized access from outside sources and potential security threats. Not only does a Network Security Engineer know how to mitigate any potential threats that become evident, but also how to strategize and prepare before any security threat is enacted. Responsibilities also include implementing and testing security strategies, firewalls, and reporting on the status of network security.

Think of a Network Security Engineer as an all-in-one security team. You will be charged with preventing potential threats. You will also be able to react and properly mitigate any security threat that happens to occur. Further, you will be able to report on the incident for future preparation and to educate other employees to raise awareness on the topic.

Preparation: IT Courses to Set the Right Course for Career

To be a top Network Security Engineer, you need to be properly prepared to demonstrate your computer aptitude through the successful completion of required IT courses for the position.

Getting certified through PC AGE gives you all the knowledge you require to perform at your very best. What could be better?

Completing certifications through PC AGE is the best way to get going in this exciting job field. All of the certification courses and computer classes that you need to have in your repertoire to be the best candidate for any Network Security Engineer position are available to you, such as:

  • CCNA Certification: This Cisco certification is a curriculum based on the basic mitigation of security threats and enhancing your performance-based skills. Knowing how to install, configure, operate, and troubleshoot medium-size routed and switched networks is an integral part of being a proficient Network Security Engineer, especially in relation to WAN remote site connections. Having this certification on your resume shows that you have the knowledge and tactical ability to perform the duties expected.
  • CASP Certification: Designed for advancing enterprise IT security practitioners, CASP focuses on a number of security disciplines to be able to implement proper procedures under complicated conditions. This certification demonstrates your critical thinking and analytical skillset for on the job challenges in cybersecurity.
  • CISSP Certification: The certification that is focused on a big-picture approach to security protocol for enterprises. Successful completion of the CISSP certification demonstrates to potential employers that you possess the knowledge to design, implement, manage, and troubleshoot an organization’s information security plan.
  • CEH Certification: The “practical” certification, CEH educates you on how to defend against hacking techniques through practical on-the-job approaches and tricks of the trade. This certification is great for demonstrating your capacity to handle real life situations in this important aspect of cybersecurity.
  • CHFI Certification: As the investigative and legal certification for the cybersecurity field, acquisition of the CHFI certification communicates to potential employers that you are properly equipped to analyze forensics and evidence if a security breach occurs.
  • CompTIA Security+ Certification: This certification could be considered the gateway to advanced security certifications. Obtaining this certification demonstrates your ability to handle situations involving access control, authentication, infrastructure security, external attack, and several more that an individual with at least 2 years on-the-job experience with security-driven networking could mitigate.

So, are you ready to get started on your way to becoming a Network Security Engineer? The best place to begin is to test your aptitude! Take our computer aptitude test and start on your path to being certified for a career with incredible longevity and growth potential.

5 Key Things to Consider as You’re Comparing IT Schools

Deciding on a path to further your education can seem like an overwhelming task. There are so many options and important factors to take into consideration for a decision that has an effect on the course of your career; it’s no surprise some can find selecting the right IT school a challenge. Take a deep breath and allow us to present you with some key considerations when comparing IT schools to help you get started.

Let’s do a little research and brush up on note taking skills, shall we?

1. Course Offerings

The best place to start is researching schools’ available course offerings and programs. A tough or intense curriculum designed around IT industry certifications and taught by certified instructors will not only prepare you for entry level positions but also help you move to the higher level jobs in a relatively short time. Check if the IT school is only preparing you for entry level positions or includes courses for higher level IT jobs. For example, many schools prepare you for Network Technician or Technical Support Specialist jobs and teach you skills covered in CompTIA A+, Network+ and Microsoft Desktop and Server (MCP) certifications. A tough curriculum may also include high level skills covered in more advanced certifications such as Security+, Linux+, and Cisco CCNA. A real intense curriculum may go further and include VMware and Cybersecurity courses. An intense curriculum is specifically important for career changers because their primary purpose for going to an IT school is to receive the education for a high level job. Therefore, the curriculum or courses play an integral role in preparing you not only for the job market but for the high level job market.

2. Class Size

If you are comparing similar programs of study from IT schools and are looking for another way to narrow down the selection, consider the average class size. The same course could have 10 people at one IT school and 40 people at another. Everyone learns in a different manner, and many benefit from smaller class sizes. When you are learning important skills to apply towards your successful career in the field, you want to provide yourself with the best environment to learn and thrive.

Our surroundings can play a major role in our learning process — worth keeping in mind when choosing potential IT schools.

3. Reputation

An IT school’s reputation is something that should be taken into consideration early on in your search to narrow down your choices. In a competitive industry, as the IT world undoubtedly is, your educational background will play a major role in finding a job. Credentials from a well-respected school can help you stand out from the crowd.

4. Location

A school’s geographic location is an important consideration not only for completing the academic program but for job placement post-graduation. Job placement assistance is offered through some IT schools to allow for a seamless transition from student to professional. Try to find a school that’s not only convenient to your home, but also close to a major job hub. This can help ensure there’s a healthy supply of jobs readily available upon graduation.

This consideration holds great importance to you and your family. Take the time to get informed to make the right choice.

5. Cost

Last, but most certainly not least, is the ever-present consideration of cost. Education and proper preparation for the IT field are paramount and worth the investment. Yet, that does not erase the fact that cost of an IT school plays a major, and eliminating, role in your selection process. The important thing to remember is that you do have options and ways to get assistance. Research financial aid options for potential IT schools to find a program that you can afford.

Ready to start your search? Check out some great reasons to get familiar with PC AGE and request information on our programs today!

4 Essential IT Certifications for New Industry Professionals

Starting your career as an IT professional is both exciting and overwhelming. There are so many IT certifications available in the ever-evolving field it can seem like too much to decipher and decide where to turn first. While all certifications serve an individual purpose, there are some that are of greater necessity for you as you get started in the industry. Let’s take a look at four IT certifications that should be on your must-have list and why they are essential for your IT future.

1. CompTIA A+

This certification could be considered your foundation to demonstrate the range of your necessary skills for the field. CompTIA A+ is international and vendor-neutral, providing the widest range of practical on-the-job application. Basic networking, troubleshooting, installation, and maintenance are all abilities tested for this IT certification. Abilities examined even transcend the technical aspect of the job, as professionalism and safety are also elements addressed.

It’s all about the basics! Employers want to know you have a solid foundation to build on when hiring new industry professionals.

Why It’s Essential

Besides being a very well rounded and complete IT certification, CompTIA A+ is a requirement for many major companies like Microsoft and HP. If you are looking to be marketable to a wide range of employers and positions, this is the certification to start with. Possessing it is basically your way of saying to the job world that you are a highly competent professional and can handle all basic responsibilities expected from you. There is no better place to start than there!

You create more job security when you have abilities desired by the big league companies in the industry.


CCNA, or Cisco Certified Network Associate, certification is used to gauge the professional’s ability to successfully complete tasks such as verifying remote site connections in a Wide Area Network (WAN). Professionals are also confirmed to have the capacity to install, configure, operate, and troubleshoot medium-size routed and switched networks.

Why It’s Essential

CCNA certification is a great way to show to potential employers that you possess skills to perform crucial IT tasks and can deal with basic mitigation of security threats, a major aspect of the IT field.


The Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) certification is utilized to demonstrate your ability to control all elements of an origination’s security program, from designing to managing. Major curriculum categories include Asset Security, Identity and Access Management, Security Operations and Security Engineering. IT professionals with this certification will be able to engage in discussion about any topics from the common body of knowledge relating to CISSP worldwide.

CISSP will allow to be able to keep an organization’s security under lock and key. Figuratively, of course.

Why It’s Essential

If you are looking to get involved and build a loyal working relationship with a company through your skillset, CISSP is for you. Due to the nature of the skills for CISSP, you will gain a deeper understanding of the inner workings of the company, from the how’s to the why’s of their internal systems. This brings a close relationship with management and other key members of the organization.


The Microsoft Certified Systems Administrator certification is geared towards professionals who demonstrate the ability to configure and work within the constraints of Microsoft Windows Desktop and Server System software. Skills include managing Windows infrastructures and interpreting the business requirements for information systems solutions.

Why It’s Essential

MCSA certification provides skills to last for the long haul, as Windows has such a foothold in the field and will continue to have a presence in the years to come. This IT certification makes you a great investment for a potential employer.

Are you ready to jumpstart your IT career? Start on the road to gaining your essential IT certifications and take our computer aptitude test today!

Want to Jumpstart Your IT Career? A CompTIA A+ Certification is Just What You Need

Interested in pursuing a career as an IT tech support specialist? Maybe a job as a network administrator is more your thing. Or perhaps what really gets you going is the thought of working as a cyber security analyst? Whichever path sounds most in line with your goals and aspirations, a CompTIA A+ Certification is your ticket for getting there.

What Is Involved In The CompTIA A+ Certification?

Certifications and degrees help you stand out among job applicants. These prove that you’ve mastered certain skills that are in high demand in the workforce, and also serve as platforms for moving up the ladder in the IT department.

A CompTIA A+ Certification through a reputable institution like PC AGE can be easily followed up with supplemental certifications, according to exactly what IT career track you most wish to pursue. For example, you can follow up your A+ Certification with CompTIA Network+, CompTIA Security+, or CompTIA Linux+. These supplemental certifications get you closer to a job in your preferred area of expertise.

To begin your path toward a lucrative and engaging IT career, the CompTIA A+ Certification program teaches you the most up to date and essential skills for your career as a computer or technical support professional. This certification is recognized internationally, and is completely vendor neutral (which means you aren’t limited to working with just Microsoft products or just IBM products, for example). However, the certification is recognized by all of the major hardware and software vendors, distributors, and resellers.

The A+ Certification assures that you have the skills necessary to perform tasks like hardware and software installation, configuration, diagnostics (diagnosing problems), preventative maintenance, and basic networking procedures. The program includes examinations to assure that you’ve mastered the skills necessary to do these activities in the real world.

The exams necessary to achieve an A+ Certification cover topics like security, safety, and the environmental impact of these technologies, as well as how to communicate in the professional realm. This certification is a necessary part of several tracks that are required to work with some specific vendors and their products, including Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard (HP), Cisco, and Novell. Some tech companies even require the A+ Certification to be employed with them as a service technician, including CompuCom and Ricoh.

What Can You Do With A CompTIA A+ Certification?

Many positions are not even open to candidates that don’t have specific certifications or degrees. Achieving an A+ Certification opens up doors in the best businesses, including those giant tech companies that pay so well and offer excellent benefits.

The CompTIA A+ Certification is recommended for students who wish to pursue a career in positions like IT technician, enterprise technician, PC technician, and help desk support personnel.

What Comes After Your A+ Certification?

After achieving the A+ Certification, it becomes much easier to follow this up with other certifications in order to get more in-depth learning for other IT and tech jobs. For instance, the CompTIA Network+ Certification is a gateway to jobs like network technician, network administrator and network support specialist.

Similarly, the CompTIA Security+ certification is an excellent path to pursue careers like network security administrator, security specialist, and network security technician. This is often a prerequisite to other, more advanced security certifications. Those who achieve the CompTIA A+ Certification may also choose to go on to a program like Linux+. This certification is an excellent track for those interested in jobs like systems administrator, junior Linux administrator, junior network administrator, Linux database administrator, and Web administrator.

Once you achieve your A+ Certification, the sky’s the limit! Want to check and see if a career in IT is right for you? Take our computer aptitude test to find out now!