5 Students Who Changed Their Lives with IT Certification at LeaderQuest

When you’re looking to start a new career or enter a new industry, it’s hard to find the right path. While self-study with online resources and textbooks can help, most employers won’t be swayed by that on a resume. Degrees are an excellent path to success, but they can take 2-4 years to complete. That’s where certification training comes in.

Certifications fill an important gap, especially in the IT world. They can open doors, launch careers, and show employers their new hire will have the required skills to get the job done. Of course, there’s no better proof for this than the stories of our students.

We couldn’t be more proud of our graduates who have gone out into the world and found great jobs that let them make use of the IT training they got at LeaderQuest. Today, we’d like to highlight five of these stories and show off some of our most successful grads.

Peter Quinones

Certifications: CompTIA A+, Network+, and Security+

Peter came to LeaderQuest after serving in the U.S. Army for 16 years. He trained military police for the army and pursued a Master of Arts in Security Management at American Military University. Cyber security was a recurring theme in his studies, but Peter didn’t have much of a background in IT. After looking for a training provider, Peter contacted LeaderQuest and signed up for some foundational IT certifications including CompTIA A+, Network+, and Security+.

Peter was a quick study and took just three months to acquire all of these certifications. Combined with his extensive education and experience, he was able to find employment quickly.

Today, he’s the Chief Operating Officer of an information system engineering firm that focuses on risk management framework compliance and IT security solutions and loving every minute.

“Immediately upon obtaining my Security+ certification I was offered a position as an Information System Security Engineer, that jumped me up from my previous pay by about $20,000, just shy of making six figures.”

READ PETER’S STORY   LEARN ABOUT IT TRAINING

Marcus Mingo

Certifications: CompTIA Security+, EC-Council CEH, and  EC-Council CND

As Marcus was completing his military service, he had an eye toward the future. He didn’t want to be scrambling to find a job after he transitioned out. He noticed that many of the job postings he was interested in listed IT certifications as a requirement. Using his GI Bill funding, Marcus enrolled at LeaderQuest to take courses for CompTIA Security+, EC-Council Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH), and EC-Council Certified Network Defender (CND).

With the help of our Career Services team, Marcus lined up three interviews by the time he’d completed his exams. Marcus got multiple offers and accepted a position with Cyberspace Solutions that came with a $20,000 pay increase. Three months later he got an even better offer from Booz Allen with another $20,000 pay bump, which he accepted.

“Since I’ve been certified, I’ve gotten a job offer for every IT position I’ve applied for.”

READ MARCUS’ STORY    LEARN ABOUT CYBER TRAINING

Randa Elfaki

Certifications: PMP and CCNA Security

Randa had IT experience in Africa but wasn’t able to secure a position here after moving to America in 2014. She took work as an assistant teacher, but she knew she wanted to be working in IT. She just couldn’t figure out how to break into the industry in the United States.

Randa didn’t have funding for her IT training, but we were able to connect her with her local workforce center where she secured funding for her training. She enrolled at LeaderQuest to get her PMP and her CCNA Security certifications; two powerful credentials that made job hunting much easier. After completing her PMP, she got a 6-month contract job with Comcast. At the end of the contract, she applied to work at WebRoot, a company that does business with Comcast. Even though she hadn’t taken the exam for her CCNA Security, the knowledge she got at LeaderQuest helped her to nail the interview and get hired.

She is now making more than $72,000 per year, a pretty big raise from making $12/hour for contract work!

“When the manager from WebRoot interviewed me, all of the information from the class was still in my head, and I got all of the questions right. He said, ‘That’s great!’ I told him that I have no experience, just education through LeaderQuest and through one class in Mumbai. And he laughed and said, ‘We’re going to train you! And we’ll help you to succeed in this role.’ So the training with LeaderQuest got my foot in the door.”

READ RANDA’S STORY    LEARN ABOUT PMP TRAINING

Richard Marx

Certifications: CompTIA Security+

Richard was laid off from his job at Honeywell in 2016. As he was trying to figure out what his next step would be, he went to his local workforce center. They discussed some options with Richard and explained that he needed to secure some key IT certifications to verify his skills so he could potentially qualify for several IT jobs immediately.

Pikes Peak Workforce center connected Richard with LeaderQuest, and he enrolled immediately. Richard started on his Security+ certification and worked with our Career Services team to improve his resume and online presence. One of our star Employment Development Managers (EDMs) here at LeaderQuest reached out to a connection at Raytheon on Richard’s behalf. Richard received a job offer from Raytheon halfway through his training. This was even before he earned his Security+ certification!

After training with LeaderQuest, Richard was making $10,000 more than he was at his previous position, before being laid off!

“Little did I know that I wouldn’t even have time to complete my certification!”

READ RICHARD’S STORY    LEARN ABOUT SECURITY+ TRAINING

Matt Rardon

Certifications: ITIL, CompTIA A+, Network+, and Security+

After 21 years of serving in the U.S. Air Force, Matt had worked his way from Airman basic to the rank of Major, met and married his wife, and had two children. With a family to support, he wanted to make sure that his transition to civilian life went smoothly. During his service, Matt obtained his Bachelor’s degree and Psychology and Master’s degree in Aeronautical Sciences. He was sure that he’d be able to find work in the civilian sector after leaving the Air Force.

Things didn’t work out quite as Matt had planned, and he was still unemployed after months of job hunting. He started attending local career fairs, where he met LeaderQuest representatives. We talked to Matt about LeaderQuest IT training programs and veteran funding programs that would pay for his training.

Matt enrolled in our Computer User Support Specialist program and started training for his ITIL, CompTIA A+, Network+, and Security+ certifications. After completing these certifications, Matt decided to add our Cyber Security Specialist course as well as our CISSP course. When he was almost ready to sit for his CISSP exam, he received a call from Oakman Aerospace and was offered a job after his interview.

“That’s what was exciting about it. The company, just knowing I had completed training with LeaderQuest, was ready to hire me!”

READ MATT’S STORY    LEARN ABOUT IT TRAINING

IT Training at LeaderQuest

If you’re interested in starting a career in the IT industry, we can help! LeaderQuest offers 5-10 day classes designed to quickly get you trained on everything you need to know to pass the exam and get hired. Our courses are taught by expert instructors with real industry experience. They include hands-on labs. We offer courses in a full-time day format, or in the evenings after work. You can also train online or on campus, whichever works best for you.

When you’re ready to take the next step in your career and secure your future, contact us!

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