Why Building Relationships May Be the Only Soft Skill You Need

In a recent survey of the millennials, asking them of their most important life goals, over eighty percent responded: getting richer. Fifty percent of those very respondents said that another major life goal for them was to become famous. Contrary to these results, Robert Waldinger, the director of a 75-year old study on adult development at Harvard, observes that the clearest message from their wide-ranging study rather concludes: Good relationships keep us happier and healthier.

In a nutshell, the ultimate goal of all the soft skills we need to learn should be building good relationships.

Good relationships are built by truly caring about people who put their trust in you. This is possible only if we listen with open mind and open heart, have a clear awareness of ourselves, the people around us, and the world, and work by connecting to the highest future possibilities.


What we see is not the Reality

MIT Professor, Peter Senge teaches us: World of relationships is a world of conflicts by its very nature. Different systems with different realities are interacting and sometimes interacting in very problematic ways. It is important to be aware of the fact that we do not perceive the world we see, we see the world we perceive and our perception is a reflection of our history. It is characteristic of a living system. Unlike nonliving devices, like a camera, for example, we create our own reality. Men see this world different from women. So telling someone what is reality, is like making a demand for obedience. None of us can see actual reality because we are not a recording device. And understanding “Love is an act of allowing others to be a legitimate other” by the prominent Biologist Humberto Maturana is essential to truly caring about people.

So imposing our opinions on others will only damage relationships. Understanding that you cannot change the thinking of people but can only provide them tools to do it themselves; and that you cannot control people, but can only influence them, may keep the relationships healthy.
Wisdom and the Fog

Tim Urban, famous blogger and TED speaker, tells us how to improve our awareness and understand the big picture that may help to build relationships and gain happiness. He says in his blog (I am paraphrasing it here):

The goal of human development should be: gaining wisdom. This means being aware of the truth. The truth is a combination of what we know and what we don’t know. Awareness of knowing, and its absence, is the key to being wise. So what is in our way: The fog.

A human is the combination of the Higher being (brilliant, big-thinking, and rational part of our brain) and the lower-level, Animal being. These lower-level instincts are the remnants of our animal past and still a prominent part of our brains, creating a turbulent zoo of small-minded emotions and motivations (such as fear, pettiness, jealousy, greed, instant gratification, etc. and the fog) in our heads.

The battle of the Higher being against the animals—of trying to see through the fog to clarity—is the core internal human struggle.

The most glaring example is the way the fog convinces us, time after time, that certain things will make us happy that in reality absolutely don’t. The only real way to improve happiness in a lasting way is to make progress in the battle against the fog.

So if it were not because of the fog, is there any point for developing a reputation for being cheap, a liar, selfish, greedy, dishonest, or rigid or someone with a bad attitude or bad work ethics?

Being aware of our biases, shortcomings or weaknesses and continuously trying to overcome them is a major struggle for all of us. A major key to achieving this is to develop our listening skills.

Four Levels of Listening
According to MIT Professor Otto Scharmer, there are four levels of listening:

i- Listening from Habit: You listen only to what you already know. You reconfirm your opinions and judgments.
ii- Factual Listening: Listening with an open mind. Listening to what contradicts your own opinions and judgments.
iii- Empathic Listening: Listening with an open heart. Listening with feelings and seeing the situation from eyes of another. Listening with an emotional connection with another.
iv- Generative Listening: Listening with a connection to emerging future possibilities. Noticing arrival of your highest future possibilities.

We cannot improve our awareness unless we really listen with an open mind and open heart. Not listening with an open mind and open heart is one of the major causes of conflict or troubles in the world.

A study conducted by Harvard University noted that 80% of achievements in career are determined by soft skills and only 20% by hard skills.

Here it’s worth it to remind ourselves of the famous quote of Aristotle: “What is the essence of life? To serve others and do good.”

Whether it is for career success, happiness or a good life, it makes all the sense to let go of short-term benefits or instant-gratification and keep improving ourselves to build good relationships.

Top ten soft skill attributes for business executives
Following is a list of soft skills compiled by Eastern Kentucky University.
1. Communication – oral, speaking capability, written, presenting, listening.
2. Courtesy – manners, etiquette, business etiquette, graciousness, saying please and thank you, being respectful.
3. Flexibility – adaptability, willingness to change, lifelong learner, accepting new things, adjusting, teachable.
4. Integrity – honest, ethical, having high morals and personal values, doing what’s right.
5. Interpersonal skills – being nice, personable, friendly, nurturing, empathetic, patient, sociable, having self-control, sense of humor, warmth, social skills.
6. Positive attitude – optimistic, enthusiastic, encouraging, happy, confident.
7. Professionalism – business-like, well-dressed, appearance, poised.
8.  Responsibility – accountable, reliable, gets the job done, resourceful, self-disciplined, wants to do well, conscientious, common sense.
9. Teamwork – cooperative, gets along with others, agreeable, supportive, helpful, collaborative.
10. Work ethic – hard working, willing to work, loyal, takes initiative, self-motivated, on time, good attendance.

Religion for the Nonreligious

Professor Otto Scharmer Presentation on Youtube.com

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 Ted.com (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

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.

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

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.

Everything You Need to Know about CompTIA A+ Certification

If you’re ready to get started as an IT professional, the CompTIA A+ certification can help you build a strong foundation for a successful career. As someone new to the IT world, you may have heard of the A+ certification but might not fully understand its benefits. Take a moment to find out more about CompTIA A+ certification, and why you should join the over 260,000 people who have already acquired this valuable designation.

Obtaining the A+ certification is one of the smartest moves you can make in your new IT career.

Defining Terms: What Is the A+ Certification?

The A+ certification is sponsored through CompTIA, an industry trade association. It demonstrates that the individual possessing the certification meets all the qualifications required for entry-level IT and PC support positions. Abilities confirmed through the A+ certification include, but are not limited to:

  • Diagnostics
  • Installation
  • Configuration
  • Basic networking
  • Preventative maintenance

Know the ins and outs of networking before setting foot in your office on your first day.

Certification options are available to help you tailor the perfect learning scenarios for the areas in which you are looking to develop and excel. The A+ certification is also a great foundation to build upon with increasing your knowledge of your specialty — and for career advancement and the potential for salary bonuses.

The Pluses of the A+ Certification

The A+ certification is valuable for many reasons as an up and coming IT professional. Major IT corporations such as Microsoft include the A+ certification as part of the training track for a career within the company. There are even companies (like Ricoh) that make the acquisition of the A+ certification a mandatory part of their certification process for employees.

The value of the A+ certification also comes from the knowledge gained — an understanding of the interworkings of computer and network technology, along with the strategies to troubleshoot and mitigate any issues. As an IT job seeker looking to break into a career as a computer support professional, this certification is the best way to get your foot in the door and show you have a solid foundation to accomplish tasks required.

The A+ certification shows that you can be the glue that holds a company’s network together.

In addition, having the A+ certification on your resume can help separate you from other potential candidates for the position you desire. If you are up against another applicant who has comparable industry experience, yet you possess the A+ certification, you have an upper hand. This certification demonstrates to your potential employer that you have the skills needed to jump head first into the proverbial computer support pool.

If you are interested in beginning a satisfying career as a PC technician, IT technician, enterprise technician or help desk support professional, the A+ certification is most certainly for you. Employers will know that when they hire you they are gaining an employee with strong knowledge and skills. To find out even more about CompTIA A+ certification, as well as several other valuable certifications for your IT career, request information today!

3 Ways the Right IT Training Courses can Change Your Life

Every working professional wants to have a successful career. To best set yourself up for a long and profitable future, it’s important to make the right choices when it comes to your career’s educational foundation. When it comes to the IT field, this is paramount. Opportunities depend on your ability to solve and manage issues that no one else in the company can. The best companies are looking for top talent, and preparing yourself to be the right employee starts with your knowledge base. The right IT training courses not only provide you with invaluable and applicable career knowledge, they can completely change your life.

The right IT training courses open up countless doors for you.

New Career Opportunities

IT training courses give you an edge over other candidates when seeking out the perfect IT job. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Computer Networking is the second fastest-growing occupation over the next decade. If there was ever a time to start off with a great company to provide career opportunity and longevity, it’s now!

Continuing your education can open a myriad of job types within the IT field. Graduates of PC AGE have been able to pursue positions such as IT Support Analyst, Network Administrator, Network Technical Support Specialist, Network Engineer, Lead Integration Configuration Technician, and many more.

Technical training will give you the skills to manage and mitigate issues that come up at your business.

Increased Earning Potential

In addition to having increased opportunities with the career you desire, IT training courses allow for better earning potential with these jobs. With the median salary for a Computer Support Specialist at $48,900, you can start off making what the average American family earned in 2015 on your own. If Network Administrator is the career for you, expect a median salary of $72,560.

Technical training can also be completed quickly, without having to commit exorbitant amounts of money and time to a 4-year institution. This translates into starting off your career and kicking off your earning potential much faster than the norm. Additionally, you won’t have 4-years of student loan debt to repay over the beginning of your IT career, which translates into additional earning potential.

Enhanced Knowledge

IT training courses and certifications give you the opportunity to gain enhanced knowledge of the IT field without having on-the-job experience. Unlike a traditional 4-year college education, these courses allow you to be certified by top technology companies such as Microsoft, CompTIA and Cisco. This demonstrates to potential employers that you have both the mental capacity and ability to perform the required job tasks, which makes you a better candidate than someone with just theoretical textbook knowledge.

An IT training program gives you experience without you having to commit extended periods of time to a job, clearing the way for you to enter your dream career and hit the ground running.

This experiential knowledge also instills a sense of confidence in your ability to perform the job. You need knowledge to obtain the job, but also to sustain and progress with your career. You can walk in on your first day knowing that you are equipped with the skills you need to succeed in your new position.

These are just a few of the benefits our graduates have received from our programs. Want to get started with your dream career? Request information about our programs today, and write your own success story!

Why IT Certifications are a Better Choice Than a Computer Science Degree

If you are interested in breaking into the IT field, you may be considering two education options: a 4-year degree program or IT certifications. Some might naturally assume that the 4-year degree is better for landing jobs, due to factors like school reputation, the hiring power of having a degree and general status as an employee with a bachelor’s. However, as the IT industry continues to boom and is in need of highly qualified individuals, certifications are becoming more and more attractive to not only employers but to prospective IT professionals. Here’s why you might want to ditch the cap and gown and work towards IT certifications instead.

You can get expert level IT skills without the expensive degree.

Why IT Certification Popularity is on the Rise

Let’s face it, college is expensive. The last thing you want to worry about when starting off in your new career is an incredible amount of student loan debt from a prestigious 4-year university. With the average annual cost of a 4-year private non-profit college rising from $22,197 in 2000-2001 to $32,405 in 2015-2016, you can expect higher education to get more and more expensive over time.

College is also a 4-year commitment with specified coursework for a generalized Computer Science curriculum. While you will leave with a plethora of knowledge, you are not getting the specific employer-driven training that IT certifications can provide. For example, a certification in CompTIA Security+ to prepare you for your desired career in cybersecurity. Professional certifications are the fastest and most cost effective way for you to obtain the practical knowledge you need to land your dream job.

Why waste time learning about other areas of IT when you know what you want to pursue?

IT Certifications > Computer Science Degrees

A published report for 2013 showed that only 24% of IT professionals held a Computer Science or Math degree, versus the 36% that had no college degree at all. The same report also found that only about 50% of domestic STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) graduates will be hired into a STEM job. What this is indicative of is that employers are not as concerned about a degree as they are with an individual’s ability to perform services required.

So, as a logical professional, why waste the time and the money for the 4-year Computer Science Degree when you could obtain IT certifications? These not only prepare you for the same industry, but provide you with the best education (besides direct on the job experience) that will allow you to seamlessly transition into the IT field.

You’ll be able to hold your own in the IT industry with the right education.

IT certifications provide you with specific training in all the major aspects that employers are looking for, such as CompTIA, Microsoft, and Cisco. A rapid acquisition of your IT certifications also demonstrates to potential employers your natural ability to learn and progress, which makes you a good investment as an employee.

With specialized certification programs becoming a better alternative to a costly 4-year degree, it’s time to learn more! Contact us today for further information about our professional programs.

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.