Let’s be honest, no one likes studying. No matter the subject, it’s tempting to procrastinate. After all, some tests you can take on an hour of sleep and two cans of Red Bull. Unfortunately, the Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) is not one of them.
Given the ever-growing importance of cyber security, maybe it’s no surprise that the CEH is rated as one of the hardest exams in the IT world. A four-hour long affair that costs $950 or more, it’s not something you want to do more than once. That means studying smart is everything if you want to learn how to ethically hack.
Fortunately, there’s no need to go it alone. We’ve prepared a list of resources and handy advice so you can pass with flying colors.
“To beat a hacker, you need to think like a hacker.”
—EC-Council on CEH
The Certified Ethical Hacker is a vendor-neutral certification focused on cyber security and penetration testing. Its goal is to certify that a professional is able to identify weakness and vulnerabilities that a malicious hacker could exploit. In ethical hacking or, “white hat,” hacking, this information is used to help an organization strengthen its defenses.
Here’s the lowdown on the test.
The purpose of the CEH credential is to:
Establish and govern minimum standards for credentialing professional information security specialists in ethical hacking measures.
Inform the public that credentialed individuals meet or exceed the minimum standards.
Reinforce ethical hacking as a unique and self-regulating profession.
Exam Voucher Cost: $950 – $1,199 (this is the Certified Ethical Hacker certification price)
Number of Questions: 125
Duration: Four hours
Format: Multiple choice
Test Delivery: ECC EXAM, VUE
Though it may seem pricey, CEH-certified individuals make an average salary of $90,000 per year and as much as $126,381. With earning potential like that, the investment is well worth it.
The CEH program requires the candidate to have two years of work experience in the Information Security domain and should be able to provide a proof of the same as validated through the application process unless the candidate attends official training. If a candidate has completed official EC-Council training either at an Accredited Training Center, via the iClass platform, or at an approved academic institution, the candidate is eligible to attempt the relevant EC-Council exam without going through the application process. LeaderQuest is an Accredited EC-Council Training Center
Of course, everybody wants free hacker training! Fortunately, the EC-Council provides a variety of free resources to get you started. Begin by heading over to the CEH assessment which provides 50 questions that will give you an idea of how prepared you are to dive in. It’ll help you gauge what needs the most attention.
Next, the EC-Council’s comprehensive exam blueprint dives deep into which subjects will be covered in the text, how they are weighted, and even how many questions will be devoted to each topic. Going one step further, the EC-Council CEH Candidate Handbook v2.2 covers not only the nitty-gritty details, but also lays out a CEH career path, discusses the application process, and even outlines a strict code of ethics that white hat hackers must follow.
If you need to study on-the-go, this free EC-Council CEH™ v9 Exam Prep (which includes some in-app purchases) provides you with 600 practice questions over seven different subjects. It’s available for iPhone, Android, and through Amazon. It’s perfect for Certified Ethical Hacker online training.
Internet resources are great, but they can only take you so far. At some point, putting money into your CEH study is a wise choice. Here are the most highly-rated textbooks and what you can expect to learn from them.
By Sean-Philip Oriyano and Raymond Blockmon, this guide provides a systematic review of CEH topics and helps the reader identify key proficiencies prior to the exam. It also lets individuals examine their knowledge of security, tools, procedures, and more.
This book from security expert Matt Walker discusses tools, techniques, and exploits relevant to the test complete with end-of-chapter reviews and practice questions with in-depth answer explanations.
Study with an Expert
No matter how hard you study alone, there’s bound to be gaps. If you’ve hit a wall in your studying, or are worried you’re missing key information that will help you pass, don’t go through it alone. At LeaderQuest, we offer a 5-day Certified Ethical Hacker training course taught by industry expert instructors. They know what they’re talking about because they’ve been there and had years of real experience. They’re ready to help you get certified while also preparing you for the real-life challenges you’ll face during your cyber security career.
LeaderQuest classes come with a CEH VUE exam voucher (value $1,199) and an opportunity to take the test at our onsite location. That way, you don’t have to stress about the details and can focus on passing. You also won’t have to pay the $100 eligibility application fee for self-study students. If you ever feel like you need a refresher, we offer free class resits to all our graduates.
No matter what your schedule, we can work with you. Our classes are available on campus, online, during the day, or at night. We will work with your schedule to get you certified and strengthen your earning potential.
Don’t tear your hair out studying for your Certified Ethical Hacker. Train with the experts at LeaderQuest and kick your cyber security career up a notch. Ethical hacking jobs are out there waiting for you! Give us a call today.
When it comes to getting hired in the IT industry, we know how important hands-on experience is. That’s why we include hands-on labs in our curriculum. For our CompTIA A+ Core 1 and Core 2 courses, this hands-on lab is focused around teaching students to build and configure a personal computer.
What is the PC Build Lab?
The PC Build Lab requires students to build a real working PC computer from scratch! LeaderQuest recently made a sizable investment in acquiring components and a lab to support students wanting to gain hands on experience that they can translate to tier I careers in IT. There are plenty of hands on labs that simulate building a PC computer virtually. However, nothing replaces the experience of holding computer parts and tools in your hands as you successfully build a PC from scratch. All learners are different and the PC Build Lab adds a tangible/tactile component to the CompTIA A+ Core 1 course, enriching the student’s experience.
Build the PC, then Configure the Operating System
Students registered for the CompTIA A+ Core 1 and Core 2 courses will be assigned their own PC computer to work on during class.
The A+ Core 1 students are assigned a pre-assembled computer that they first test to ensure it is fully functional. Once the PC is confirmed as functional, the students take the computer completely apart. All tools and parts needed to participate are included in the cost of the class. Once disassembled, students follow a step-by-step PC build manual, with the guidance of a live instructor and completely rebuild the computer. No build is complete without testing the build. To wrap up Core 1 and to ensure that all steps were followed properly, the students will connect to a monitor and see a BIOS screen.
Students will then move forward with more advanced software application in Core 2. As the students enter the A+ Core 2 class they will load OS and work on problem solving scenarios that they would encounter in the field. Troubleshooting operational issues is an important part of what IT support staff does to keep PCs up and running smoothly, and we want to make sure that students gain real, hands-on problem solving experience in the classroom.
Why is the PC build so important?
Along with live instructors, lectures, virtual labs and robust curriculum, the students get to dive in and get their hands dirty by actually physically building what they are learning. The accomplishment of these labs allow students to confidently walk into potential employers and show the skills they have learned. These skills can be added to their resumes and LinkedIn and help students secure employment in IT more quickly.
Get the Experience You Need to Start an IT Career
If you’re interested in joining the IT industry, we can help you get the training and employer connections you need to enter the industry quickly.
Our Computer user Support Specialist program takes 5 weeks of daytime classes (or 10 weeks of half-time evening classes) to teach you skills in IT support, networking, cyber security an IT service fundamentals.We’ll prepare you to take certification exams including CompTIA A+, Network+, Security+ and ITIL. These certifications are highly in demand from local employers. That’s where our Career Services team comes in.
Each campus has a devoted Career Services team tasked with helping each LeaderQuest graduate find employment in the field. Your Employment Development Manager will work with you one-on-one to create a powerful resume, harness your online presence, and prepare for interviews. When you’re ready to go, we’ll connect you with local employers who are looking to hire our trained and certified grads.
With experience from your new job and four powerful IT certifications under your belt, you’ll be ready to launch into the next step in your IT career. So what are you waiting for?
We are happy to announce the one-year anniversary of the LeaderQuest Learning Portal!
LeaderQuest invested in a Learning Management System (LMS) in early 2018. Due to our growth, and in an effort to improve the student experience, the investment in an LMS was a no-brainer. Our first classes were rolled out via the Learning Portal LMS in May of last year. Focus groups were held for students that had taken classes without the LMS and then given the opportunity to take a class utilizing the LMS. Another focus group was composed of students new to LeaderQuest and only having the LMS as a reference for their course resources. Both focus groups evaluated the LMS experience and revealed that the LMS has been a total success and solidified that the LMS impacted the student learning experience in a positive way.
What is a Learning Management System?
An LMS is a platform for the delivery of training courses, including course materials, instruction, and interactions between students and instructors. It enables the documentation, tracking, reporting on and administration of those courses.
The LeaderQuest LMS is a cloud based (SaaS) platform, supported by Absorb. There are other LMS platforms, however, cloud-based provides by far the best user experience. All a student needs are a username and password to log in, no installation or downloads are needed. All upgrades and technical updates are handled by Absorb and pushed to the cloud, allowing LeaderQuest staff to focus solely on student experience.
The Learning Portal is an intuitive user interface that hosts all of the valuable curriculum for both the on-campus and virtual courses that we offer. The new LMS benefits students as well as internal processes and best practices as it lends visibility into each learner’s individual experience and facilitates the tracking and reporting of student progress. This allows instructors/staff to be more engaged with students throughout their learning experience, providing the student with additional support when needed.
Who gets access, when?
The LMS is referred to as the “Learning Portal” for our students. All instructors, students and select administrative staff have access to the Learning Portal. The students gain access to the learning portal upon completion of their registration. Providing student access to valuable resources before classes begins allows them to prepare in advance.
What makes our LMS so awesome?
The advantages of an LMS are plentiful. The LeaderQuest Learning Portal is fully customized to support IT technical training and gives the student a “one stop” platform for their training needs. Students simply log into the Learning Portal to find all of the resources and materials for their classes such as the syllabus, ebooks, labs, test prep, and all LeaderQuest policies and best practice information.
Students complete assignments and assessments within the Learning Portal giving instructors insight into student progress and completion. The Learning Portal allows the instructors to proactively step in to support when they see a student struggling or commend students doing well.
The Learning Portal also enables communication for the instructor and students. Instructors can privately communicate with students via an inbox in the learning portal. This helps them stay in touch with individual students when needed. Each class also has a chatboard where students and instructors can post study items, ask questions and compare notes. These lines of communication are incredibly important for creating a full and immersive student experience.
At the end of class, students take a course evaluation via the Learning Platform, making the process of evaluating instructors, curriculum and their personal LeaderQuest experience easy. The evaluation of the learning experience is important as it allows LeaderQuest to make adjustments to the training when needed, to better serve the student’s needs. The student also has access to Course Completion Certificates and Transcripts via their Learning Portal, once courses are completed.
The Learning Portal also hosts LeaderQuest customized resources developed by industry experts, such as Take the Challenge and Boost Your Knowledge. These resources help prepare the students for industry recognized certification exams, such as CompTIA A+, Network+, and Security+.
Take the Challenge
What is it?
Take the Challenge is a supplemental test prep resource created by industry experts and certified, knowledgeable instructors. Take the Challenge prepares our students for their certification exam after the completion of class in a unique way. This test prep includes a 300+ question bank with answers and detailed explanations or rationales. The test prep questions are exam style, are timed, and are broken up into different sets of questions that the student can take or retake as needed for knowledge mastery. Each practice exam is set up to mimic the actual exam the student will take.
Why is this exam prep so awesome?
This test prep is unique as each question is organized and tied into an objective/domain that is covered on the exam. This allows the student to hone in on areas or objectives they may not be excelling in. Once the student has identified their weak areas of knowledge, the student can dive back into the curriculum to strengthen those problem areas they are scoring low on.
Who gets access when?
Take the Challenge is added to the student’s Learning Portal as soon as the student is registered for the actual course. It is most beneficial for the student to begin utilizing this resource after they have completed class, however, they have it from the start if they would like to explore its capabilities. This incredible resource is a free addition to the student’s courseware to utilize after class is completed. All the student resources are in the LeaderQuest Learning Portal making access easy and allowing instructors to track progress.
What classes have Take the Challenge?
Take the Challenge enriches students’ learning experience and improves student preparation for taking the certification exams. Due to popular demand and success, Take the Challenge has already been created and released for ITIL, Network+, Security+, CND, CEH, CHFI and PMP. In the near future you will see other LeaderQuest courses supported by Take the Challenge as we continue to improve the pass rates and learning experience for our students.
Boost Your Knowledge
What is it?
Boost your Knowledge is a resource that contains the official Professor Messer videos. Professor Messer, aka James Messer, is a security, networking, and internet-based multimedia publisher. He is a world leader in free online training videos that have over twenty-five million online views. We give all the credit to Professor Messer, all we have done is made Messer’s videos easily accessible to our students through our one stop, all access, Learning Portal.
Why is this resource so awesome?
To supplement learning, LeaderQuest has aligned the series of comprehensive Professor Messer videos by domain. If/when the student struggles on a lab or with the curriculum, they need to look no further than Boost your Knowledge, making it easy for the students to get to the topics they would like to review in further depth explained by an industry expert. Hosting the Professor Messer videos on the Learning Platform also allows Instructors insight into what resources the students are utilizing.
Who gets access when?
Boost Your Knowledge is added to the student’s Learning Portal as soon as the student is registered for the actual course. It is most beneficial for the student to begin utilizing this resource before they begin class. This incredible resource is a free addition to the student’s courseware to get them acclimated to terminology and exposed to topics that will be covered in the class. Viewing the videos during and after class will help reinforce the information a student learned in the classroom to get them further prepared for exams.
What classes have Boost Your Knowledge?
The Boost Your Knowledge resource enrich’ s a student’s learning experience and improves student preparation for taking the course. Due to popular demand and success, Boost Your Knowledge has already been created and released for the A+, Network+, and Security+CompTIA courses.
Are You Interested in IT Training?
At LeaderQuest, we’re committed to state of the art IT training for the most in-demand industry certifications. If you’ve been considering a career in IT, we can help you quickly get the training you need to get hired into your first IT role.
Our Computer User Support Specialist program includes four important IT certifications, and most students complete their courses and certification exams within 3 months. By completing their training for ITIL, CompTIA A+, Network+, and Security+, students gain the skills they need to be highly desirable to employers while building a foundation for a career in an IT specialization like networking, cyber security or IT support.
If you’d like to learn more about IT training at LeaderQuest, let us know. Our Career Training Consultants are experts when it comes to choosing an IT training path that works for you.
Whether you’re working a dead-end job or transitioning out of the military, everybody has different reasons to make the transition into the IT industry. And the timing couldn’t be better! The industry is facing a massive shortage of workers, offers great pay, amazing benefits, and lots of employment opportunities.
If you don’t have much experience, but you’re looking to join this thriving industry, don’t worry! You’re not the first. Check out our 7 tips for getting your foot in the door of the IT industry.
1. Re-examine and Apply Your Past Experience to the IT Industry
When you first make the decision to pursue a new career in IT, it’s important to take a hard look at your prior experience. It might seem like you
have none of the skills listed on job postings, but “soft skills” can be surprisingly important and many skills are transferable into IT roles.
For example, if you’re looking to start in a help desk position (a common entry-level IT role), things like communication, customer service, familiarity with Microsoft Office, and other common skills can be a huge boost to your resume. By carefully thinking about your past roles through the lens of the role you’d like to get, you may find a treasure trove of relevant experience.
You’ll need to create a new resume with relevant experience listed and tailored specifically for the kinds of roles you’re trying to land. Employers are highly likely to take a look at your LinkedIn page during the application process. Using your new resume, you should revise your profile to make sure the two match up. You should also take time to write a new cover letter that explains your prior experience, how it’ll be useful in your new role, and why you’re interested in changing industries. This will help answer a lot of questions if your resume piques their interest.
2. Get Industry Certifications
Getting certified may be the fastest way to break into information technology. While a tech degree can take 1-4 years, certifications can be studied for and earned in just a few weeks. Entry level certifications like the ITIL, CompTIA A+, Network+, and Security+ found in our entry level Computer User Support program, can lay the foundation for roles in networking and cyber security later in your career.
By getting certified, you’ll show potential employers that you have the skills they need. This can go a long way towards making up for a lack of experience. For some roles, the right certifications will put you higher in the stack than applicants with limited experience and no certifications. Best of all, certifications can help open up more entry-level opportunities instead of just taking the first IT job that comes your way.
How do you get certified? The short answer is that you can choose between self-studying or in person, hands-on training, and then take a certification exam. For most individuals with little to no experience, the best option is to take a course taught by an expert with real-world experience so you can ask questions and really understand the topic in depth. Another great learning technique for beginners is taking a course that allows you put your hands on the actual technology you will be working within on the job, this allows you to get a feel for what a real job in IT will be like while simultaneously building your confidence. If you’re interested in a course like this, LeaderQuest’s A+ course offers hands-on computer builds taught by expert instructors with real-world experience.
3. Your Degree in Another Field May Be a Huge Asset
You may be tearing your hair out with regret, wondering why you used all that time in college on a degree that isn’t helping you with your quest for a lifelong career. But don’t be too hard on yourself! Many employers are more inclined to offer you a job because you were able to accomplish
the feat of earning a degree.
Instead of focusing on how your degree may have cost you time and money, focus on the ways that your degree can be applied in moving your life forward into an IT career. For example, an IT worker with a literature degree will be more likely to take a creative approach to problem-solving and have superior writing and communication skills. A philosophy major has a deeper understanding of logic and a unique way of approaching challenges. By casting your degree as an asset, you’ll stand out from other applicants who only have computer or tech experience.
With the rapid evolution of IT, there is a huge demand for individuals from diverse backgrounds and their unique perspectives.
4. Be Open to Starting at the Bottom
It’s important to note that you may have to “start over” in IT. You may have been a manager or an advanced professional in your old industry, but you’re leaving it for a reason! Be prepared to start with a lower level position and work your way up. The experience you get working at the bottom of the ladder will be valuable as you grow into a more challenging position.
Don’t worry too much though, the earning potential you will have in IT is only limited by the work you put in. On the low-end, you are looking at starting out right around 40k in a help desk position, within 5 years in the industry and a couple of cyber security certifications you could be looking at around 65k minimum in a Cyber Security Analyst role. It really depends on your willingness to move forward and the extra learning time you put in to master your craft.
Getting educated about your field of interest shows your commitment to your new industry and helps to give you an advantage over other applicants. It can also prepare you for more advanced positions down the line. With no experience, you still won’t be able to jump to the top of the ladder but with so many open positions all across the IT industry, the right credentials can help you quickly climb to higher paying and more specialized positions in IT.
5. Don’t Forget the Power of Networking
You may be surprised by how powerful your connections can be. When looking to fill a job role, most employers are more interested in hiring somebody based on a recommendation than interviewing a bunch of total strangers.
Make sure to use social media and everyone in your address book to reach out to anybody you know who’s associated with the tech world. Simply putting a post out there letting your connections know that you are looking to get into tech may bring out an opportunity that you never knew about.
You can even just ask your friends or connections if they know anybody who’s looking to hire for the type of positions you want. The right connection can give you a huge head start over the competition, and might even spark a career passion that lasts the rest of your life.
6. Teach Yourself Relevant Tech Skills
When it comes to technology, there are a million different things to learn that can improve your resume. Anything from understanding Salesforce to knowing how to post on WordPress might be useful to your next employer. Utilizing YouTube and learning from countless free videos is a great way to learn new skills and reinforce old ones.
Follow your interests and teach yourself about software and hardware in your free time. You’ll be able to add these skills to your resume once you’re competent at them, and they just might make the difference between getting hired and getting looked over.
7. Look for Crossover Positions
While you might not have any direct experience, there are IT workers in every industry that use networks and computers ( pretty much every industry out there). If you have years of experience in car sales, for example, it might help to look for an IT position at a car dealership. Understanding half of the business can go a long way towards making you a valuable employee right from the start, even if your tech skills aren’t top notch. You’ll still have to start at the bottom, but it could be the perfect way to gain your first year or two of IT experience.
All in all, it is not impossible to start a career in IT with no experience, hence the word “start,” but many individuals are still skeptical of making the leap into IT. By arming yourself with the right tools and knowhow you can significantly increase your chances at starting a career in tech that will last a lifetime.
If you are looking for a partner in helping you move forward with an IT career, LeaderQuest specializes in assisting individuals to do just this. Throughout our 13 years of helping individuals transform their lives, we have curated the perfect formula that takes into consideration career changers and the needs of the IT industry. This formula leads to higher employment rates because we provide relevant training for jobs that are in demand.
Our unrivaled success is achieved by focusing on both training and employment outcomes.
We can help you open the door to an IT career!
Here at LeaderQuest, we know that making a decision like starting a new career is a difficult one and you should have someone to help guide you through this process. That’s why we employ experts in the field to aid you in this transition. Their purpose is to understand your whole situation in order to help you make the right decision. They do this by analyzing your previous experiences, learning about your unique situation, and understanding your personal goals. If IT industry is right for you, they will search for any grants that you may qualify for and set up a personalized IT certification program around your schedule.
Interested in learning more about what a meeting with a Career Training Consultant is like and what you will learn from a one-on-one Information session? Click the button below to find out!
When you’re looking for a way to climb the ranks in the cyber security world, it can be difficult. As a newer industry, there’s no cookie-cutter path to cyber security and qualified experts come from a variety of backgrounds.
However, one surefire way to prove yourself is through certifications which validate your skills in the eyes of an employer and let you get a foot in the door for that dream job. The EC-Council’s Certified Network Defender (CND) is one such certification, great for people who want to work on making sure an organization’s network is secure and maintained.
In this article, we’ll cover the CND certification, what it covers, how it works, and whether or not it’s the perfect move for your career.
Cyber Security Skills Gap and Certification
Before we move on to the CND, it’s important to understand why it’s relevant in this world. The answer? The cyber security skills gap. With more and more high profile hacks from Equifax to Uber, qualified professionals are in short supply.
That’s where IT cyber security certifications come in. For professionals who already know their way around a computer and are ready to help fight the bad guys, certifications give them a chance to prove those skills quickly and get to work.
But not all certifications are created equal. So where does the Certified Network Defender come in?
To get more specific, the CND is great for anyone who wants to focus on the operations and processes involved in network defense, rather than the tech. Their focus is on maintaining infrastructure in a system. A day in the life of a network defender could include testing a network for weaknesses, installing security programs, evaluating/monitoring networks, and more.
For info on when this certification could be the right choice for you, check out the infographic below from the EC-Council.
As for the process of getting certified itself, well, it’s not easy. The Certified Network Defender exam is over four hours and costs hundreds of dollars. Here’s a breakdown of what you can expect . . .
What’s in it for you once you do get the CND? We’re glad you asked! This certification uniquely prepares you to work with networks or seek network administrator positions.
Some of the most common Certified Network Defender jobs include. . .
Network Security Administrators
Network Security Engineer
Network Defense Technicians
As for salary, the average Certified Network Defender salary is around $65,721* but could easily be much higher depending on your specialization. For a Defense Network Technician, salaries range between $70,000 and $76,000.
Meanwhile, a Network Security Engineer could make anywhere between $97,000 and $163,000 according to the Robert Half 2018 Technology & IT Salary Guide. Not bad. Not bad at all.
Certification Training at LeaderQuest
Our Certified Network Defender course is designed to help you quickly learn the skills needed to pass the exam and take on a new job role. This EC-Council Certified Network Defender (CND) cyber security training program was developed as a result of extensive market research and surveys to give students a detailed understanding and the hands-on ability to act in real-life situations involving network defense. Hands-on labs, based on major network security tools and techniques, give network administrators real-world experience on current network security technologies and operations.
This cyber security training is skills-based and lab intensive. It based on a job-task analysis and the cyber security education framework presented by the National Initiative of Cybersecurity Education (NICE). The course has been mapped to global job roles and responsibilities for system and network administrators.
Get Certified and Hired!
If you want to start an exciting, in-demand, well-compensated career in network defense, Certified Network Defender training can get you there. That’s why we’re here to help you get a cyber security certification that launches your career!
We offer high-impact IT certification training designed to help you learn the material, get certified, and be prepared to start a new job role with confidence. Getting you a great new job as quickly as possible is our ultimate goal. That’s why we offer 5-10 day classes, during the day or at night, online or on campus, which you can resit as many times as needed to make sure you absorb your new skills fast.
Train with an expert instructor at LeaderQuest and start your new career with the help of our Employment Development Manager (EDM), your personal career coach who comes equipped with a host of employer connections to help you get hired fast.
Don’t wait to get your Certified Network Defender (CND) and start a great future in cyber security. Reach out today!
We are excited to announce that a new Instructor Mentor role has been implemented across all of our campuses! The Instructor Mentor is an experienced, certified, technical trainer who will be scheduled to teach only half of the time. The rest of their time will be spent supporting and preparing students for exams.
This role represents LeaderQuest’s commitment to helping students at every step of their IT training journey. While some students excel at their exams without any aid, we recognized that others needed a stronger support system. Our classes give students all the knowledge they need to pass their exams, but some students may need to study more to feel confident while taking the test.
Instructor Mentor Responsibilities
The Instructor Mentor will support students after completion of class through successful completion of exams. To do this, they’ll have an open door for students who need individual help, set up study groups, and create exam prep classes. Instructor Mentors work from approximately 1pm – 10pm so they can support both day and night students.
In addition to the above activities, Instructor Mentors will also proactively identify and engage students that are having any difficulties and work with them to overcome these obstacles with personalized tools and strategies.
Expected areas of improvement moving forward will be reflected in overall student satisfaction, increased exam pass rates, increased employment rates and retention rates. Students will be less overwhelmed having a personal coach who is experienced and can relate. Personalized study plans will cater to the individual learner increasing their opportunity for a successful career in IT.
Methods of Student Support
The Instructor Mentor supports the students through five different avenues. Each student can take advantage of this resource in the way that best fits their schedule and learning style.
The Instructor Mentor will be available for one-on-one study sessions as needed. Students can schedule this time within office hours, and can meet with the mentor online or in person.
Creating Study Plans with Touch Points
A plan that is created with the Instructor Mentor and the student leading up to taking the exam. These are designed to help the student cover all of the skills and study topics needed to pass their exam with confidence.
Touchpoints can include:
Completion of labs at 80% or higher
Completion of exam prep questions at 80% or higher
An exam date goal
Group Study Sessions
Instructor mentors will schedule regular group study sessions where students can help each other study with the guidance of their Instructor Mentor.
Exam Prep Classes
Our first prep class is the Advanced Security+ exam prep class. This class has increased the Security exam pass rate by 17% since implementation in 2018! In the near future, the creation of an exam prep class for each course we offer will be in place and taught by Instructor Mentors.
Instructor Mentors teach skills labs to make sure students have achieved mastery of the necessary application of the knowledge learned in the classroom. For example, a PC Build Lab has been implemented to allow students to build a PC from scratch and then troubleshoot the PC. Hands on application is important for students to gain confidence as they strive for a career in IT.
Meet our New Instructor Mentors!
Specialty: Network Administration & Security
Education: BSEE & MSEE from The University of Alabama at Birmingham
Industry Experience: 20+ years in IT implementation project management and over nine years in IT field service
Fun Facts: KJ is addicted to great coffee and imports Yemeni coffee. A former LeaderQuest student, KJ completed the curriculum and certifications in a very short period of time and has returned to mentor students. His goal is to help them quickly pass their certification exams.
More About KJ: Starting in 2004, after KJ graduated from UT Austin, he successfully co-founded a startup real estate website. In 2006 he founded of his own startup real estate website. KJ has consulted on e-commerce platforms including Wholly Guacamole. He completed a government contract for DFW Technologies as a Support Specialist with Trinity River Authority.
Education: Bachelor of Science in Math, with a Secondary Education/Computer Science Minor – Concordia College, Moorhead, MN
Master of Information Technology – Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech)
Certifications: CompTIA Security+, CompTIA A+, Certified Scrum Master, Mobile Learning Developer, and Instructional Designer
Fun Facts: Greg is a novelist with two published cyber-espionage/warfare novels: In Plain Sight and Firestorm. You can check them out at http://www.greggardnerbooks.com. He enjoys travelling (especially in Europe), fishing, snowshoeing, and hiking.
More About Greg: Greg has spent over 30 years of in the IT and training industry. He is a former Naval Officer. Greg was a shift supervisor/operations lead at Microsoft’s Global Data Center, created network operations centers at several dot com companies, created a virtual help desk for a university system, and was a Technical Director for Online Learning Technologies at a Washington DC-based consulting firm. He has taught IT courses such as the entire MCSE suite, A+, Security+, as well as programming and Microsoft application courses at private IT training companies, and at the high school and collegiate levels.
Greg enjoys using his expertise and experience to help others achieve their goals and objectives. Many have written in evaluations of his presentations that he has a fantastic ability to “talk tech to non-techies.”
Greg is also a speaker at national conferences, an author of numerous technology-based blogs and magazine articles, and has written several cyber-espionage novels.
Specialty: IT All-Arounder
Education: Associate of Science in Network Engineering, Bachelor of Science in Security Technology, Master’s Degree in Cybersecurity currently in progress
Fun Facts: Eugene enjoys traveling to different countries to try new foods, ethical hacking to help businesses against cyber threats, playing the bass guitar, and going to anime conventions for the new line-up serious.
His favorite saying is, “I win or learn, but I never lose.”
More About Eugene: Eugene comes from a military family background and has served 6 years in the Army. He will achieve his Master’s Degree in Cybersecurity in about 2 months, and his next goal is to obtain the CISSP certification. He has been involved in the IT Industry since the mid-1990s with the privilege of serving in various civilian and government projects.
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