Happines Part 2: What is Common in Happiness, Shark and an IT Career

Happiness or Success?

In his book “How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big” the famous cartoonist Scott Adams says: “The only reasonable goal in life is maximizing your total lifetime experience of something called happiness.” I like this book for its simple and practical advice. Here I am paraphrasing some points from Scott Adams’ book about happiness:

• The definition of happiness is a feeling you get when your body chemistry is producing pleasant sensations in your mind.
• The single biggest trick for manipulating your happiness chemistry is being able to do what you want, when you want.
• Step one for your search for happiness is to continually work toward having control of your schedule.
• Happiness has more to do with where you are heading than where you are.
• Happiness is not a mystery of the mind and it’s not magic. Happiness is the natural state for most people whenever they feel healthy, have flexible schedules, and expect the future to be good.
• In summary, to be happy: eat right, exercise, get enough sleep, do things you can steadily improve at (such as learning an instrument or sport), imagine an incredible future, work toward a flexible schedule, help others, and reduce daily decisions to routine.

Below are some points (paraphrased) from Harvard Professor Daniel Gilbert book, “Stumbling on Happiness”:

• Like so many thinkers, Adam Smith, the father of modern economics, believed that people want just one thing—happiness—hence economies can blossom and grow only if people believe that the production of wealth will make them happy. If people hold this false belief then they will do enough producing, procuring and consuming to sustain their economies. In short, the production of wealth can grow the economy but it does not necessarily make individuals happy.
• Economists and psychologists have generally concluded that wealth increases human happiness when it lifts people out of abject poverty and into the middle class, but does little to increase happiness thereafter. Americans who earn $50,000 per year are much happier than those who earn $10,000 per year. But Americans who earn $5 million per year are not much happier than those who earn $100,000 per year.

Jonathan Haidt, psychologist and author of The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom says: “Just as sharks need to swim so that water flows over their gills, humans need goals.” Humans seek “vital engagements” in three areas of our lives: in our person, in our work, and in something larger than ourselves.

So if you have a passion for IT and aptitude for an IT career (check ComputerAptitude.com), imagine a future as an IT Professional or IT Consultant with flexible hours. To predict your future income and happiness more accurately, do not just depend on your imagination (which can be deceiving sometimes), check what PC AGE grads are doing and Department of Labor statistics (average salary for Network Administrators is $77,810; Information Security Analyst is $90,120). Set goals to become CompTIA, Microsoft and Cisco certified in just 9-12 months. Like a shark, you will experience happiness not only when you graduate, but right now when you start your journey at the school.

“Within one week after I finished PC AGE, I got an offer with a huge company… making $20/hr. I’m only 18.”
– PC AGE Grad 2014

“I’m a Junior Network Admin and at $65K. I’m only 21.”
– PC AGE Grad 2013

“I started a new job as Network Admin. I’m at $72K.”
– PC AGE Grad 2012

“I am a Senior Technology Analyst at $88K a year!”
– PC AGE Grad 2013

“I worked in one of the largest pharmaceutical companies and became IT Manager making in six figures.”
– PC AGE Grad 1999

Zafar Khizer
PC AGE Career Institute

More from Haidt about Happiness
The Equation – Haidt has a formula for understanding happiness: H = S + C + V.
H stands for Happiness. S is for “set point”, your innate level of happiness, which has a strong genetic component. People born with a high set point tend to be happy by nature (Haidt says they’re winners of the “genetic lottery”), while people born with a low set point tend towards depression and have to work harder to be happy. Cognitive therapy and drugs like Prozac are good equalizers for people born with low set points. C stands for the Conditions of your life, like your friends, family, loves, work, where you live, whether you’re rich or poor, etc. V is for voluntary activities, which include meditation, hobbies, spiritual strivings, creative outlets, etc. The C and V parts of the equation are complicated and open to interpretation.

The Most In Demand IT Skills for 2016

IT courses
Knowing what tech skills are in high demand can help you decide how to specialize.

If you’re looking to train as an IT professional, it’s important to know what IT skills are in demand so that you can concentrate on developing them. As always, employers are looking for some skills more than others, and it may help your eventual job prospects to be as specific as you can in the skills you learn. Here are some of the hottest areas for tech growth and development right now.

Network Administration

Information Week lists network administration as the most in-demand IT skill. Most businesses now have at least one network — sometimes more if they have multiple locations and offices. Network administrators make sure everything is set up correctly and oversee the maintenance of the network on an ongoing basis. They also need to know about many different kinds of software and hardware to be able to integrate them into the network.

Information Security

With the number of high profile security breaches on the rise, companies are realizing the importance of strong information security systems. Information security professionals help protect businesses from hackers and keep their customers’ and their company information private.

IT Architecture

According to Computerworld’s Forecast 2016 Survey, 42% of companies surveyed said they will be seeking to hire one or more people with IT architecture skills in the coming year. There are actually many kinds of IT architects, from cloud architects to enterprise architects. IT architects generally have multiple areas of IT expertise and can develop a vision for how to put different pieces of IT infrastructure together into a cohesive whole that works for the company.

Software Development

Tom’s IT Pro listed software development as its top in-demand skill for 2016, while acknowledging that the category is broad and encompasses many smaller skills. Some sub-disciplines in particular demand right now include web and mobile development, software engineering, and the Python programming language, as well as app creation for both Android and Apple.

IT courses
PC AGE students develop the latest tech skills.

Project Management

With IT budgets increasing, the number of projects is likely to increase, and that means more project managers will be needed to lead those projects. Project managers need strong leadership skills and the ability to motivate their team, along with a deep understanding of the technical aspects of a project.

Data and Analytics

The amount of data a business has to deal with continues to increase — exponentially in some cases — and many companies are finding that they need expert help to manage and analyze all of that data. From data storage to data mining, skills related to handling mountains of data will likely be in demand for some time.

PC AGE offers comprehensive IT training programs that can help you get the skills you need to position yourself for a successful IT career. Request information about our programs and the skills training they offer.

8 Essential Things to Know about the MCSA Certification

MCSA certification
Microsoft is a major provider of business solutions worldwide.

The Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA) is a credential that shows a graduate’s ability to design and implement systems built around Windows Desktop operating systems and Windows Server System software. Those with MCSA certification have the capability to assess the business requirements for these systems and to both create and maintain them. Here are some more things you should know about MCSA certification.

1. Microsoft has a large part of business/non-profit IT market share. 80% of the Fortune 500 is on the Microsoft Cloud and more than 350 million devices (business and personal) are running Windows 10. Their products have been downloaded over 340 million times. MCSA certification gives you credibility to build systems around these products for business customers and non-profit organizations.

2. MCSA certification is a prerequisite to MCSE Expert-level certifications. MCSE stands for Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert, and it is the globally recognized standard for IT professionals.

3. There are many certifications under the MCSA umbrella, including Windows 10, Windows Server 2012, SQL 2016, Office 365, and Linux on Azure. These certifications cover various Microsoft products within the line and can show that you know how to service and put together a variety with different business functions.

4. Most larger businesses with the money to hire IT staff will want administrators with the knowledge necessary to handle complex systems with multiple moving parts. The MCSA certification will show that you have passed a hands-on exam that showcases your abilities to give them what they need.

5. MCSA is an updated certification that used to be the Microsoft Certified Systems Administrator certification. The updated certification concentrates on designing and building technology solutions, while the older certification was focused on a particular position (systems administrator) with a more limited scope.

MCSA certification
The Microsoft Cloud is used by many businesses and networks.

6. There are no prerequisites to MCSA certification. Preparation for these certifications is often part of a school’s IT coursework. There are two to three exams required for the MCSA certification paths available to students.

7. Some of the jobs a MCSA-certified IT professional can get include systems administrator, computer network specialist, network administrator, technical support specialist, database developer or cloud application administrator. Many of these jobs in larger companies entail supervising entry level workers and employees as they navigate the company systems and infrastructure.

8. Free online courses are also available for students who can be disciplined enough to self-prepare, or as additional preparation, but this is difficult for most students to do on their own. PC AGE’s courses and programs prepare students for MCSA Server 2012 and other certifications so they are ready for these difficult exams and have the best possible chance of success. Contact us to learn about our programs including preparation for MCSA certification and many others.

Happiness Part 1: Do We Really Have Control Over Our Happiness?

Harvard psychologist Dan Gilbert says our beliefs about what will make us happy are often wrong — a premise he supports with intriguing research, and explains in his accessible and unexpectedly funny book, Stumbling on Happiness.

You need to listen to this 21 minute lecture (link below) to understand the message but here are some important points:

– What makes humans unique is our capacity to create experience in our brain/mind.
– We have control over our happiness. We (our brain) can synthesize happiness.
– Not getting what we want makes us as happy as getting it. (In other words, getting things or not getting things we want does not have effect on our happiness after sometime.)
– With a few exceptions, a trauma does not have any impact on you after (about) three months.
– Years after winning multimillion dollar lotteries or losing the ability to use their legs, both groups of people were equally happy with their lives.

Here is the quote from Adam Smith, the father of modern economics, at the end of this lecture.

“The great source of both the misery and disorders of human life, seems to arise from over-rating the difference between one permanent situation and another. Avarice over-rates the difference between poverty and riches: ambition, that between a private and a public station: vain-glory, that between obscurity and extensive reputation. The person under the influence of any of those extravagant passions, is not only miserable in his actual situation, but is often disposed to disturb the peace of society, in order to arrive at that which he so foolishly admires. The slightest observation, however, might satisfy him, that, in all the ordinary situations of human life, a well-disposed mind may be equally calm, equally cheerful, and equally contented. Some of those situations may, no doubt, deserve to be preferred to others: but none of them can deserve to be pursued with that passionate ardour which drives us to violate the rules either of prudence or of justice; or to corrupt the future tranquility of our minds, either by shame from the remembrance of our own folly, or by remorse from the horror of our own injustice.” ― Adam Smith, The Theory of Moral Sentiments

Here is the Professor’s message at the end:
When our ambition is bounded it leads us to work joyfully. When our ambition is unbounded, it leads us to lie, cheat, steal, hurt others and to sacrifice things of real value. When our fears are bounded, we are prudent, cautious, and thoughtful. When our fears are unbounded and overblown, we are reckless and cowardly.

Our longings and worries are both to some degrees overblown because we have within us the capacity to manufacture the very commodity we are constantly chasing when we choose experience.

Real Happiness—the Experience You Create in others

Here I want to add what I learned from Professor Daniel Robinson in one of his audio lectures:

Science is or will be able to create any kind of experience in our mind and we cannot tell the difference between happiness created in our minds and real happiness. So if you want to become the most powerful and richest king in the world, Science (a drug) can make you think you are. But most people will not like to get this kind of happiness. So most people really do not want to be happy through the experience they create in their mind through a real or synthetic experience. The happiness we really want is what we get when we create positive experience or happiness in others. That is real happiness. That is the happiness we experience when at PC AGE Career Institute we help our students learn the skills for an IT career that can literally change their lives.

Zafar Khizer
PC AGE Career Institute

Transitioning to an IT Career? The Right Support System is Key

IT training courses

Transitioning to an IT career takes education, hard work, and dedication. Having career experience outside the IT field, good educational experiences, and a vision for the future can help, but the right support system can make a big difference in the success of your transition.

Students who are training for a career in the IT field have often come from other professions to do so. Maybe you got a taste for IT while in another position where skills overlapped, or maybe you realized you had a knack for tech when you found yourself constantly helping family and friends with their technology issues.

You have some advantages when transitioning to IT from another career. You have experience in the working world that other students don’t, and you may have gotten some on-the-job training in the skills you will later use in the IT field. Still, these advantages don’t always mean you will fall into a job easily or that you will be considered over students without career experience.

The Importance of Career Services

Attending a school with career services can provide the support you will need to make your transition to the IT field successful. Navigating the job search arena is difficult for even the most accomplished students. Expert help can give you the skills and experience you will need to prepare resumes that will wow prospective employers and to ace interviews.

A school’s career services programs can provide all of the following services to students:

–Resume preparation help. Students need to know about applicant tracking software and how to format resumes to conform to keywords and formatting necessities.

–Job search techniques. Finding job openings takes some work, and students are taught where to look beyond job sites online in order to discover open positions.

–Practice with interview skills. Trained professionals help students learn how to interview effectively and practice these skills so that they are comfortable in interview situations.

In addition to these practical helps, career services departments work to develop relationships with local and other employers and recruiters in order to help students make connections even before graduation. Employers can report job openings directly to career services personnel and receive recommendations about which students might be a good fit.

IT training coursesPC AGE Career Services Provides Career Transition Support to Students

For over 25 years, PC AGE Career Institute has created a strong position of credibility among employers by focusing on only one thing: certification-based training for a computer networking career.  Our Career Services staff has developed trusted relationships with employers by preparing and recommending IT applicants that meet job requirements.  PC AGE graduates are hired by companies like Microsoft, IBM, UPS, Verizon, Pfizer, Associated Press, Bank of America, Capital One, Standard & Poors and many other organizations that are large and small, public and private.

Career training workshops are provided to all students along with required coursework and hands-on experiences to prepare them for the job search and interview situations. PC AGE’s career services give students the support they need to make a successful transition to an IT career. Request information about PC AGE’s IT programs — including career services — today.

Network Administrator: Is This the Right Career Path for You?

Training to be a network administrator offers many career opportunities.

Network administrators are IT experts who work to manage the networks of various organizations. Because they handle the administration of the network and supervise others who are working with the network, they are typically the highest-ranked technical staff of the organization.

Other duties of a network administrator include maintaining the network’s operations, installing and upgrading software and hardware needed to run the network, and monitoring the network for threats or disruptions. The network could include a local area network, wide area network, the internet and intranets.

Companies rely on network administrators to manage their hardware and software, including computers, servers, printers, switches, routers, firewalls, VPN gateways, intrusion detection systems and other assets. Network administrators also handle security updates and software deployments as well as email and data storage.

Network administrators often train users in the use of network assets as well as solve problems reported to them by users of the network. Direct support such as help desk duties are not usually part of a network administrator’s job.

Many of today’s organizational networks are at least partly cloud-based.

Career Outlook for Network Administrators

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2015, the median pay for network administrators was $77,810 per year. There were 382,600 jobs for network administrators in 2014, and the job outlook over the next 10 years is growth of 8%, or about 30,000 jobs, which is average across all industries.

Prospects for finding a job as a network administrator are good, since most organizations need one or more to manage their networks. In some larger organizations, a team of network administrators is needed to manage a complex system of networks.

Networks are essential to an organization’s functioning, handling everything from company records to communication via email and internal messaging. Between the disruptions most networks have at least occasionally and the constantly changing world of computer viruses and hacking attempts, network administrators are vital to the smooth functioning of just about every organization.

A career as a network administrator offers a challenging environment in which to practice learned skills on a daily basis. Network administrator positions are different every day and offer novelty to practitioners. Although problems in organizations’ networks may not always be easy to solve, it will never be boring to bring them to a resolution.

Education Needed for Network Administrators

Network administrators usually have higher degrees in computer science and IT. They usually also complete certifications in the specific hardware and software needed to maintain the network. Some network administrators can build a network from scratch, while others just maintain existing networks.

PC AGE offers challenging IT courses in Internetwork Engineering as well as preparing students for certifications like Network +, Security + and Vmware. The Internetwork Engineering II program includes cybersecurity certifications like Certified Information Systems Security Professional and Certified Hacking Forensics Investigator. Certifications in processing systems like Linux and Microsoft are also offered. Request information now on PC AGE’s state-of-the-art programs.