The Essential Guide to the CEH Certification

CEH certification
White hat or ethical hackers help companies prevent hacking.

The Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) certification shows employers that IT professionals can use hacking skills legally to discover security flaws in their company or organization’s network and defend against them.

To receive the CEH certification, professionals must pass an exam in which they are given test situations and told to find the security flaws as well as fix them. Students may take a course to prepare themselves for the CEH certification or may self-prepare if they have at least two years’ experience in IT security or other equivalent education.

Why Are Ethical Hackers Needed?

Hackers have thousands of tools and methods they have discovered to gain access to unauthorized information, including financial and confidential information and industry secrets. While security professionals work hard to fix vulnerabilities as they find them, hackers are working hard to find new vulnerabilities to exploit.

Without ethical hackers, companies and organizations would not know how to protect their important information from those who want to use it wrongfully. It is an ethical hacker’s job to stay one step ahead of hackers so they can keep information safe from theft or exposure.

Almost every week, a new data breach is announced in which a major company’s data was compromised. Ethical hackers are the only hope companies have to protect themselves against data breaches that can negatively impact their businesses. Although ethical hackers do some of the same things hackers with ill intent do, it is legal to use hacking techniques when a company or organization requests you to do so for its benefit.

CEH certification
Ethical hackers will be in high demand for some time to come.

Details of Certification

The certification exam is four hours long and costs $500-$600. For those that don’t take a certification preparation course, there is an extra fee of $100. While the exam costs more than some other certification exams, it covers real-life situations and all the major ethical hacking skills known.

Certification is good for three years and can be renewed with 120 hours of continuing education. The exam covers areas of ethical hacking like footprinting and reconnaissance, scanning networks, enumeration, system hacking, Trojans, worms and viruses, sniffers, denial of service attacks, social engineering, session hijacking, hacking web servers, wireless networks and web applications, SQL injection, cryptography, penetration testing, evading IDS, firewalls, and honeypots.

Certified individuals typically earn more than those without certification, so it is worthwhile to invest in becoming certified. The average salary of ethical hackers is $71,000 per year, but some hackers can make over $100,000, not including bonuses. Some of those higher salaries are due to certification.

Furthermore, IT security professionals are in high demand, with shortages in many areas. PC AGE offers courses to prepare students for the CEH exam and other IT certifications and build their careers as IT professionals. about our programs to see how they can help your IT career. Contact us about our programs to see how they can help your IT career.

Happiness Part 3: What Makes a Good Life?

Lessons from the Longest Study on Happiness

What keeps us happy and healthy as we go through life? If you think it is fame and money, you’re not alone – but, per psychiatrist Robert Waldinger, the director of a 75-year-old study on adult development at Harvard, you’re mistaken.

Here are some important points from Robert Waldinger on (link below):

  • There was a recent survey of millennials asking them what their most important life goals were, and over 80 percent said that a major life goal for them was to get rich. And another 50 percent of those same young adults said that their other major life goal was to become famous.
  • The clearest message from the 75-year study by The Harvard Study of Adult Development is this: Good relationships keep us happier and healthier. Period.
  • We’ve learned three big lessons about relationships. The first is that social connections are really good for us and that loneliness kills. It turns out that people who are more socially connected to family, to friends, to community, are happier, they’re physically healthier, and they live longer than people who are less well connected.
  • It’s the quality of your close relationships that matters. It turns out that living in the midst of conflict is really bad for our health. High-conflict marriages, for example, without much affection, turn out to be very bad for our health, perhaps worse than getting divorced. And living in the midst of good, warm relationships is protective.
  • The people who were the most satisfied in their relationships at age 50 were the healthiest at age 80.

A few years ago, I received an email from one of our earliest graduates. He wanted to invite my wife and me for lunch. When I called him, he mentioned that he graduated from PC AGE in around 1993 and now his son who is 21 is on his way to enroll at PC AGE. He wanted to take us to lunch just to thank us. He mentioned that when he came to PC AGE, he was laid off from a dying publishing company with not much hope for the future, but that training has literary changed his and his family’s life. He was now a Senior Network Admin at a prestigious company, earning six figures.

As Robert Waldinger concluded in his lecture, “The good life is built on good relationships,” at PC AGE, our success and happiness are built on our good relationships with students and employers who have hired our grads for the last 25 years. Good relationships are built by truly caring about people who put their trust on you. That is what you will find at PC AGE.

Zafar Khizer
PC AGE Career Institute

How IT Professionals Use the VMware Certification

VMware certification
Knowing the ins and outs of virtualization can lead to VMware certification.

VMware certification is a popular certification for IT professionals who want to work in or manage virtual call centers and virtual data systems. VMware certification prepares professionals to fill a variety of positions around network administration and even positions in an engineering capacity.

VCP6-DCV preparation teaches students all the ins and outs of how to use vSphere 6, and candidates are expected to have six months experience with vSphere 6 before taking the VCP6-DCV certification exam. Other expected skills include a thorough understanding of DNS, routers, and connectivity for databases as well as storage using vSphere environments.

What Virtualization Accomplishes

Call center virtualization simply means that call center representatives may work from different geographical locations rather than in one place. Allowing employees to telecommute can cut facility costs; sick time is also cut since employees don’t need to stay home from a workplace to avoid spreading illnesses, and it is easier to work from home even when someone might not feel well.

Data virtualization occurs when data can be accessed and manipulated without being physically present or formatted in a certain way. Data virtualization often uses cloud storage and software that makes data easier to access. When a photo is uploaded to a website and can then be accessed from that website without going back to the original location, data virtualization is often being used.

Virtualization of call centers and data storage systems saves companies money and streamlines their operations, so IT professionals who can create, implement and manage virtual systems will be sought and valued by many companies. Having the VMware certification will open up more job opportunities for IT professionals and will help them to advance or command higher salaries at existing jobs.

VMware certification
Virtualization doesn’t have anything to do with virtual reality, but rather using resources and assets in various places as one holistic unit.

Jobs That Require VMware Knowledge

Advanced VMware certification was recently listed as one of 15 top IT skills that can earn a 6-figure salary in the field by Business Insider, and the VCP6-DCV is the first step to earning that advanced certification.

Some positions listed on Payscale for VMware certifications were Systems Administrators, IT Managers, Senior Systems Engineers, Networking Engineers, and Senior Networking Systems Engineer. Salaries for these positions ranged from $48,000 to nearly $130,000 per year, depending on prior experience and how advanced the position may be.

For many companies running sophisticated networks, administrators will need VMware skills to be able to understand and manage every aspect of the system. VMware certification shows employers that a candidate has the knowledge necessary to create, configure, update and maintain the company’s system as needed for the best possible outcome.

PC AGE offers courses designed to prepare students for various IT certifications, including VCP6-DCV. Certifications help students get better jobs and make better salaries in those jobs to build their IT careers and help them advance over time. Contact us for more information about courses and programs.

New Data Shows that Cybersecurity Professionals are In Demand

Network security training
Cybersecurity is one of the fastest-growing fields in information technology.

Recent data shows that the unemployment rate for cybersecurity professionals is at zero percent. It’s clear that cybersecurity professionals are in-demand, and experts estimate that there may be a 1 million person shortage in this growing field, where there are estimated to be two job openings for every qualified applicant.

Demand for Cybersecurity Professionals is High and Growing Higher

Nearly every business with a network or data center needs cybersecurity professionals to guard against hacking and security breaches of all kinds. New security threats are being reported each day, and skilled professionals are the only hope many businesses have of protecting their data and operations.

Protecting customer data is a top priority for businesses, and there is often a need to protect proprietary formulas, methods, or other types of data as well. Privacy isn’t just a nice thing to have; it’s a necessary component for businesses that seek to operate in today’s complex environment.

Cybercrimes cost businesses and individuals $3 trillion last year, and that figure is expected to increase to $6 trillion by 2021. Cybercrime includes lost data, money, productivity from downtime, intellectual property, embezzlement, and fraud. Cybersecurity is even a top headline in the news, with reports that hacking occurred during the recent U.S. election process.

So many business processes are digital these days, and digital systems have vulnerabilities that can lead to security breaches. Businesses and organizations will be willing to offer top salaries and benefits to those who have skills in cybersecurity and can use them to keep hackers at bay.

Network security training
Cybersecurity professionals protect organizations from hackers and other intrusions into their data and networks.

Other Benefits of Hiring Cybersecurity Professionals

While security protection is an important component of any business, there are other benefits to hiring cybersecurity professionals as well. Implementing a quality cybersecurity plan can save or make companies money in several key ways:

–Creating customer trust that their information will be secure
–Creating shareholder value in a more secure product
–Streamlining operations by getting rid of processes that create or worsen security threats
–Easier compliance with government regulations
–Less downtime, which will keep productivity levels higher

Why Study Cybersecurity?

Finding an IT job doesn’t have to be difficult. A cybersecurity professional will have a choice from among jobs where they will be appreciated and valued when entering the cybersecurity field. While employers may seem to have unrealistic expectations and qualifications for hiring, they will find themselves having to make a quality offer to hire a well-trained cybersecurity professional to protect their servers and data.

There are many areas around the country looking to hire qualified cybersecurity personnel. Currently, the New York/Jersey City/Newark areas have the second-largest number of open cybersecurity positions; only the Washington, DC metro area is looking to fill more cybersecurity positions, according to CyberSeek’s heat map.

PC AGE offers training to help qualified students start or advance in an IT career, including the cybersecurity field. Contact us to find out more about the training we offer IT professionals.

Inside the Mind of a Master Procrastinator

Tim Urban encourages us to think harder about what we’re really procrastinating on before we run out of time. Urban’s blog, Wait But Why, has garnered millions of unique page views, thousands of patrons and famous fans like Elon Musk of Tesla.

Why millions of Americans are making about half on average as compared to someone with a college degree or IT certificate? It is probably nothing but procrastination that kills career opportunities.

We usually are able to manage and get things done that have deadlines even if we procrastinate. But the real issue is about things that do not have a deadline such as exercise, start saving for retirement, working on relationships, going for colonoscopy test (if you are over 50) that may save you from colon cancer, making a will or starting a career training or college.

Watch the excellent presentation below.

Zafar Khizer
PC AGE Career Institute

A Comprehensive Guide to the VMware Certification

VMware certification enables people to support virtual data centers.

VMware certification prepares IT professionals to create, administer and maintain virtualization programs for business data centers. VM stands for virtual machines, which provide software applications for data centers so that they can function both individually and as part of a call center or customer support network.

Not only do VMware administrators need to understand how VMware works and be able to create systems that function well, but they also need to monitor the system constantly to make sure it is functioning correctly, prioritize actions so that urgent tasks get completed when they need to, and prevent malware attacks and other unauthorized access to systems.

Other critical aspects of VMware administration include managing the degradation and breakdown of the system so that catastrophic failure doesn’t occur and integrating the system with other hardware and software as needed. Making the system user-friendly so that personnel outside IT can use it easily is another important part of being a VMware administrator.

Some experience with VMware may be required for certain levels of certification, but associate certifications are available even without any IT experience, as long as you pass the exam with the required knowledge level. Expert certifications are available for those with advanced skills and job experience with vSphere software.

Virtualization skills are in increasing demand.

How Companies Benefit from VMWare

Automated and virtualized data centers are extremely complex environments that require a thorough understanding of both cloud computing and VMware to navigate. Virtualizing a data center means creating a virtual representation of applications, servers, storage and networks rather than physical ones. VMware virtualization saves companies money on their IT costs, and it is more agile and efficient for businesses at the same time.

Virtualization can eliminate the downtime that usually occurs as customers wait on hold or during periods of time, like overnight, when a call center is shut down or has a reduced staff. VMware also helps make data recovery and business continuity easier to accomplish in the event that a disaster strikes the business.

With all the benefits of VMware for companies, it’s not surprising that the technology is growing and that many companies will be looking for skilled and certified VMware administrators in coming months and years.

There are several types of VMware certification, but VMware Certified Professional 6 Data Center Virtualization (VCP6-DCV) certification shows that you can administer and troubleshoot vSphere V6 systems. VCP6-DCV is the most popular type of VMware certification with over 100,000 IT professionals certified around the world.

Common job titles of those with VMware VCP6-DCV certification include Virtualization Engineer, Cloud Infrastructure Engineer, Virtualization Implementation Engineer, Data Center Administrator, and Network Administrator Team Lead.

PC AGE offers courses to prepare students to pass the VMware VCP6-DCV certification exam and take the next step toward an IT career. Students receive a rigorous education in the required skills within a supportive peer environment. Interested in learning more? Request information about our courses today.