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4 Students Who Changed Their Lives with IT Certification at LeaderQuest

4 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 four 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

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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Why They Chose LeaderQuest: the IT Certification Stories of our Students

Why They Chose LeaderQuest: the IT Certification Stories of our Students

The students we have the pleasure to serve at LeaderQuest come from all walks of life. Some are industry experts with a decade of experience while some are brand new, entering the world of IT for the first time.

We welcome people straight out of the military and straight out of high schools alongside those who haven’t been back to school in years. Though they all have different journeys, we are proud of all of them.

Now, we’d like to highlight three student success stories from those who came to LeaderQuest, conquered their classes, and got hired. This is the story of three journeys of students who enrolled at LeaderQuest.

Ken Argenbright – from U.S. Air Force to NOC Technician

Transitioning Out of the Air Force

During his 9 years in the Air Force, Ken Argenbright served as an F22 Avionics Specialist. As he prepared to transition back into the civilian world he was nervous but excited. He wasn’t sure if he needed more schooling and realized, for the first time in years, he had to create his own sense of purpose.

“It’s tough because you’re used to the military you have a mission you’re after and a team you’re already working with so you have a good idea of where your life is going and what’s the next step. When you get out, all of that’s kind of out the window. Now it’s up to you to make your own mission or find something worth putting your time into. It’s a little discouraging at first to try and make those own calls yourself and figure out what’s important.”

-Ken Argenbright

After initially considering a master’s degree in cyber security, Ken changed his mind when he heard from LeaderQuest.

Taking Classes & Getting Certified!

it careers

After getting the opportunity to tour the facility and do a little more research, it was clear that it was a professional environment with lots to offer.

“Very quick responses, very professional atmosphere, very service oriented,” he said, “They’re here to help and they do a job at it.”

Since Ken had a military background and active security clearance, the staff at LeaderQuest helped Ken get on a path that would get him into cyber security, while providing the foundation of IT knowledge he needed to start his career.

Ken found the instructors to be extremely knowledgeable and the coursework thorough and comprehensive. That included a wealth of supplemental materials and lab simulations that allowed the user to practice cyber security techniques virtually. It was an environment he liked.

“[It’s] not like super strict school atmosphere it was relaxed,” he said, “I could make dad jokes and they were okay with it . . . even the instructor did some of his own jokes, so that helps.”

Before long, it was time to take the exam. Ken passed his ITIL test with flying colors while still working on his classes for A+, Network+, and Security+. However, there was a surprise in store before he’d even finished his classes.

Hired as a Tier 1 NOC Personnel

Even as Ken made his way through classes, he was taking advantage of LeaderQuest’s career services and Employment Relations Manager to learn how to tailor his resume for prospective jobs. He fired off resumes to see what he could get.

In February, Ken accepted an employment offer as a Tier 1 NOC Personnel for the Colorado Springs company ManTech. Now, he works with the TSA to make sure that all transportation systems are secure.

“I’ll be working with computer systems and networks and making sure that there are no potential terrorists boarding our airplanes,” he said.

As Ken finishes his certifications while starting his new position, would he recommend LeaderQuest to others? You bet.

“If you’re going to be going into cyber security or any IT position, go for LeaderQuest,” Ken said, “because they can hook you up with anything you need.”

Learn More!

Tylyr Brown – Making Ends Meet & Thriving

Working at a Dry Cleaner to Make Ends Meet

it certificationsTransitions can be rough and that was definitely the case for Tylyr Brown, a U.S. Marine Corps veteran.

After serving as a 3531 Motor D Operator, and completing an apprenticeship to be a diesel mechanic in the military, he returned home and faced a layoff right before the holidays. During that time, he took a job at a dry cleaner to make ends meet and found himself struggling and missing his military service.

“I missed my job and I missed the team environment we had there,” Tylyr said, “you don’t see that very much in the civilian world anymore. Your team was like your family.”

With a four-year-old son and wife who needed him, as well as some community college under his belt, Tylyr needed a change for a successful career. That’s where LeaderQuest came in.

“I was trying to get out of that as fast as I could,” Tylyr said, “As soon as I heard from LeaderQuest here I jumped at the opportunity.”

Getting in Touch with LeaderQuest

After getting into classes, it didn’t take Tylyr long to rekindle his love of IT. Taking classes full-time, he found himself awash in study materials and ready to get his career on track.

“I love IT. I love computers. I love breaking them up, taking them apart, putting them back together. Going back through everything and refreshing my memory on some things and relearning wireless access points and different ports and all the things I didn’t know clearly, so I know and they’re stuck in my head, definitely prepared me for the future.”

-Tylyr Brown

Tylyr set out on a path that included a few cyber security classes and went after certifications including CompTIA A+, ITIL, Network+, Security+, the EC-Council Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH), and the EC-Council Certified Network Defender (CND). He was surprised by the depth of coverage each topic got, despite the short runtime.

“[The instructor] explained things that, I went to college for two years, and even I didn’t know,” Tylyr said.

More than that, he found in LeaderQuest the support system he’d been searching for since he left the military: an extremely welcoming and warm environment.

“It was like being part of a family,” he said, “they’re very comforting and very caring people here.”

Employed and Looking Forward

With two classes still to finish, Tylyr decided it was time to send out resumes. When he did, he was pleased to find that he got a job offer as a Tier I Tech. Ultimately, he said taking LeaderQuest classes is what allowed him to do it.

“I didn’t feel confident enough when applying for jobs to apply for IT jobs until LeaderQuest. Being able to do put LeaderQuest on my resume and that I’ve gotten these courses completed and that I was doing more schooling gave me the confidence to go out there and search for an IT job somewhere.”

With two classes to finish at night, Tylyr is ready to take on the future in what is sure to be a long and exciting IT career.

“I owe LeaderQuest my career,” he said.

Learn more about the cyber security program Tylyr took.

Learn More!

Mitch Ross – Recalibrating to Cyber Security

Meeting LeaderQuest through WIOA

it careers it certification

Mitch Ross’ story begins in one of the worst ways any employment story can: a layoff with a total of eleven months out of work. Mitch needed a change.

He reached out to a Colorado workforce center and worked through the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) program which helps out of work individuals retool. He knew he wanted to work in either cyber security or cloud computing and, as part of WIOA, Mitch was required to evaluate at least three different training programs. He chose LeaderQuest because of the content, ability to provide virtual training, and the sense of understanding he formed with the counselor.

“I felt comfortable and felt confident I could move forward and be successful here,” he said. “The counselor really tried to fit my needs, asked my direction, looked at my history, what I wanted to do going forward, and suggested the cyber security program that I went through.”

Cyber Security Classes and More

certificationsAfter he made the decision to take most of his classes virtually, the LeaderQuest staff helped Mitch get set up on the live platform and then he was ready to learn.

Mitch took three classes, CompTIA Security+, EC-Council Certified Ethical Hacker, and the EC-Council Certified Computer Hacking Forensic Investigator (CHFI). Each class had a different instructor and each was taken online though through a live format.

Most helpful of all was the library full of materials Mitch had access to thanks to the instructor. In addition to using this wealth of material to take the exam, he also found it useful in his day to day life working in cyber security.

“I learned a lot about things I had previously just touched,” he said.

A New Position with Coalfire Systems

Every timeMitch passed a new certification, he would put it up on his LinkedIn Profile. One day, that really paid off. The cyber security firm Coalfire Systems, seeing his certifications, actually reached out to Mitch and sought him out.

“As I was working through my third certification we were talking about and negotiating a job,” he said.

Before long, he was officially offered a job and joined the Coalfire team in February of 2017 as a Senior Security Consultant. Mitch finished his certifications and today serves as an incredibly skilled cyber security expert specializing in cyber engineering and architecture for the companies Coalfire Systems serves.

“LeaderQuest has had a very positive impact on my career and helped me get on a brand new path that has really made me more excited, or restored my excitement, in IT,” Mitch said, “If you’re looking to retool, or if you’re just looking to further your career in a specific direction with a new certification, this is an extremely good path and LeaderQuest will help you greatly do that. Training will help you get there faster.”

-Mitch Ross

Learn More Here!

Want to Start a Career in IT?

LeaderQuest can help! Whether you’re interested in entry-level IT, networking, project management,it certifications it careers cyber security, or more, we can help you get trained, get certified, and get hired.

Our classes are all lead by industry experts with years of experience and offered at night or during the day in an on-campus or online format. In addition to getting you trained, we also offer career services and can put you in touch with local employers.

If you’re thinking about a career in IT, don’t wait. Invest in your future today!

Get Trained Today!

Making $50,000 More in Cyber Security with IT Training

Making $50,000 More in Cyber Security with IT Training

Any vet can attest that making the transition back to civilian life can be difficult. The skills that make you successful in military life don’t always translate to the civilian world. You’re essentially starting a whole new career. However, many military vets rise to the challenge and pass with flying colors.

Enter Peter Quinones. A tattoo artist, Harley-enthusiast, and U.S. Army Vet, Peter was transitioning out of almost two decades of service when he came to LeaderQuest for assistance.

This is the story of how he was able to land a job in cyber security that made him $50,000 more a year from where he started.


Sixteen Years of Service

June 1999 – January 2015

“I was doing a PhD in emergency management and a lot of cyber was coming up as a critical need so I started looking around. I decided to come into LeaderQuest and talk.”

Peter Quinones left the U.S. Army with an impressive, 16-year service record. He started as a Human Resources Specialist and was later reclassified as Military Police where he aimed to apply real-world practice towards his BA in Criminal Justice.

During his career, he trained military police officers in tactical law enforcement operations that resulted in 100% mission success with zero casualties. While still in the employ of the Army, he also pursued a Master of Arts in Security Management at American Military University.

It’s safe to say, Peter was no slouch. With his military transition coming up he wanted to face the problem head-on. That’s where he first made contact with LeaderQuest.

“I was doing PhD in emergency management and a lot of cyber was coming up as a critical need so I started looking around,” Peter said, “I decided to come into LeaderQuest and talk.”


Joining up with LeaderQuest

January 2015 – March 2015

“LeaderQuest has become more than just a place to take classes. The staff is great and always helpful . . . everyone is helpful and that is why I keep recommending it to people.”

With his background primarily in security-related work, Peter didn’t know much about IT. What he did know is that the field was growing and he wanted to explore his options. Taking classes at LeaderQuest seemed like the perfect way to see if he was interested.

Peter headed to the Colorado Springs campus to learn more. He liked what he saw and before long he was enrolled and hit the ground running during his transition. “The first thing I did upon my transition to civilian life was to take my A+, Net+, and Sec+,” Peter said, “I had no previous IT experience.”

Peter tackled the three CompTIA certifications in January, February, and March. He ended up liking the atmosphere so much that LeaderQuest became more than a school. It wasn’t long before enjoyed coming on to campus just to study.

“It kind of feels like home,” Peter said, “The staff is great and always helpful.”

Interested in our entry-level IT classes such as A+ and Network+? Get more information below.

LEARN MORE


Cyber Security All-Star

February 2016

“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.”

After Peter earned the Security+ certification, which is much sought-after in the Department of Defense and enterprise cyber security world, it wasn’t long before he got the job he was looking for.

“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,” he said.

By the time Peter was finished, he had accomplished much. He’d made it into the cyber security world. He’d learned valuable knowledge and was even able to re-sit his Security+ class to refresh the information later. All in all, during his time at LeaderQuest, Peter went from making around $40,000 to $90,000.

 


Today

December 2017

“If I can make it with little to no experience, anyone can—especially if they have LeaderQuest on their side.”

After getting hired, Peter continued to push his career. Eventually, he partnered with another IT specialist in the field. Today, he’s the Chief Operating Officer of an information system engineering firm that focuses on risk management framework compliance and IT security solutions.

“I’ve recommended numerous individuals to LeaderQuest,” Peter said, “I am proof that if I can make it with little to no experience, anyone can—especially if they have LeaderQuest on their side to assist them with their goals.”


Interested in IT Training?

LeaderQuest IT TrainingLooking for a chance to upgrade your career? Or maybe you want to jump into the thriving IT or cyber security industry and you just need your foot in the door. LeaderQuest offers excellent IT training with industry expert instructors. They’ll prepare you to take the certification exams while also giving you the skills and confidence you need to thrive in a new position.

Do you work days? Nights? Would you rather take classes online? LeaderQuest offers classes during the day, at night, online, and on campus to work with any schedule. Getting trained is an investment in your education, but with even starting IT salaries in the $35,000 to $50,000 range, it’s one well worth making.

If you’re exhausted and stuck in a job you hate, don’t worry. Give us a call today and our career advisers can help you find IT training path that’s best for you.

Contact Us


 

From HVAC to Systems Analyst: The IT Training Success Story of Raziel Toro

From HVAC to Systems Analyst: The IT Training Success Story of Raziel Toro

Raziel Toro is a vet, a loving husband of four years, and a father to two boys who, “don’t run out of batteries.” He’s also a proud graduate of LeaderQuest who went on to find a great IT job after getting certified.

This week, we’re proud to bring you his journey to success from his transition out of the U.S. Air Force to landing an IT job that made him $15,000 more a year.

Read on to learn about the IT training success story of Raziel Toro.


Preparing for the Transition to Civilian Life

November 2016

While I was enlisted, I did the furthest thing from IT. I was an HVAC technician which means I went to work, received my work orders, and then started laboring away. The closest I got to IT-related stuff was when we needed to repair the AC in the server rooms… I was stuck and unable to really fulfill my potential./i>”

When Raziel enlisted in the US Air Force in 2012, he wanted to travel. While he did get the chance to see Ireland, Germany, and was deployed to Qatar for six months, he spent most of his time at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland. There, he worked on heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) where he fulfilled work orders, fixed units, and worked on AC and refrigeration. It wasn’t exactly what he pictured.

“One of the main reasons for me pursuing training and certifications was that I didn’t enjoy what I was doing,” Raziel said, “I joined the USAF to do something amazing but was unable to achieve my goals. I was stuck and unable to really fulfill my potential.”

As his separation date neared, he knew he had to make a change. He’d always had a gift for computers and heard others talk about their work in the cyber security world.

Meeting people working in this career field and talking to them about their lives as well as what a normal day for them would be inspired me to pursue this career… the possibilities are infinite with computers and it is pretty amazing.”


IT Training at LeaderQuest

January 2017

“Well, my first choice would have been to get some sort of entry-level position, but I quickly found out that that was almost impossible to get without certification. That’s what made me push for certification.”

The idea of jumping into the unknown was difficult for Raziel, but once he was home with his wife and sons, he was excited to start a new chapter of his life.

“In the military, you always have that secure pay so on the way out it’s like, what am I going to do? How am I going to pay? How am I going to survive?” Raziel said, “It was a little scary, but once I moved back home it was a little more exciting. It seemed like there were a lot of opportunities out there I just had to go and get them.”

LeaderQuest first contacted Raziel in January of 2017 after finding his resume online. During the process, Shavonne Lewis, one of our expert Career Training Consultants,discussed Raziel’s career goals with him and how getting certified could help him attain those goals. Raziel decided he was interested in learning more and set up a meeting.


Passing the CompTIA Security+ Exam

March 2017

“They taught us not only the book way, but the real world way. It wasn’t one dimensional. They said, you need to know this for the exam, but once you go out there, this may not be the way you do it. They were very helpful instructors, I’ll say that.”

With his focus on cyber security, Raziel decided to take the notoriously hard Security+ exam which meant lots of classroom prep, participating in virtual labs, and lots of stress.

“It was a little nerve-racking just because I didn’t have any prior experience,” he said.

However, Raziel found the instructors to be incredibly knowledgeable and helpful not only in preparing to pass the test but in learning how to apply the information to on-the-job-situations. He was pleased to find that the instructor’s understood the struggles of moving from the military to the civilian world.

“The instructor, Michael McLain, was in the service as well before he made the transition about fifteen years ago. He was extremely helpful. He gave us some of his notes to study. We could always Skype with him even after hours. He’d always give us an explanation.”

By the end of March, Raziel had passed his Security+ exam and was ready to jump into his IT career.

Security+ is a great option for those who are new to IT or who want to move into cyber security from the network or systems IT world. One of the most valuable things Security+ helps you develop is a vocabulary to converse with peers and executives alike. As a foundational IT certification, Security+ has breadth with just the right depth.

Security+


Hired as a Security Analyst at $15,000 More a Year

August 2017

“LeaderQuest is the reason that I’m in the position that I am today, you know. I wouldn’t have been able to do this all by myself. Especially not the courses and the help from [LeaderQuest Employment Relations & Career Services Manager] Kimberly, you know, finding a job. She put in that work you don’t really see… If you’re pursuing IT, a certification it’s definitely a great way to get started.

Once Raziel was able to put his Security+ certification and experience in virtual labs on his resume, the calls came rolling in. With help from LeaderQuest career services, he was able to get a position as a Network Security Analyst by the end of August. And the best part? He’s making $15,000 more a year than his previous position!

What does the future hold for Raziel? He’s currently finishing his degree in cyber security with Colorado Technical University. As for others in his position, he said he would definitely recommend certifications, even if it’s hard in the beginning.

“You’ve got to stick to your guns and take care of business. If you’re pursuing IT, a certification it’s definitely a great way to get started.”

 


LeaderQuest IT Training

Are You Ready to Start Your IT Career?

If you want to get your IT career started, we can help. When you contact our expert Career Training Consultants, they work with the GI Bill, WIOA, and other similar organizations so you don’t have to pay much or even any out of pocket and make sure the process is quick and painless.

Most classes have a 5-10 day turnaround which means you can get your degree and be ready for a job in weeks. Whether you need to take courses during the night, day, on campus, or online, we’re willing to work with your schedule and your learning style.

With unfilled cybersecurity jobs expected to rise to 3.5 million by 2021, there’s never been a better time to invest in your education. Find out if IT training is right for you today!

Contact Us!


The IT Training Success Story of Christopher Jaskoski

The IT Training Success Story of Christopher Jaskoski

Christopher Jaskoski is a recent graduate of LeaderQuest and we couldn’t be more proud of his amazing success in the IT field. Chris served in the Army for eight years as a combat engineer stationed at Ft Lewis and Ft Carson. He was deployed to Iraq in 2010, Afghanistan in 2012, and Kuwait in 2015. For the Army, Chris did route clearance, breaching, and explosives. As he saw his separation date approaching, Chris started to look toward his future and evaluate options for making the best use of his GI Bill benefits.

Read on to learn about the IT training success story of Chris Jaskoski.


 

Considering an IT Career

Spring 2016

“I looked into some job titles in the IT field and liked the idea of having a desk job after beating the dirt for so long. I didn’t really have many easily translatable skills, but I had a clearance from the service so I thought if I could get my certifications it could be a good field for me.

Christopher first learned about LeaderQuest after a phone call from Colorado Springs Campus Director, Peter Lett. Peter called Chris to discuss his service and plans for after his separation date. He told Chris that his clearance was valuable and with certifications he could easily have a good career in the IT field. This was especially important, given that Chris’ job hunt was in the Colorado Springs area. He knew his security clearance would give him a real head start on the competition.


 

IT Training at LeaderQuest Using GI Bill Funding

April – November 2016

“Everybody was very friendly and very helpful, people were really encouraging. They had prepared a pretty good learning curve and career path for people that weren’t that experienced. They walked me through all the basic courses and showed me where I needed to be to find something here in the DoD community in the Springs. I’ve had really good things to say about all of the instructors. Very good about specifying what’s applicable in real life and what’s for the test. I think they were doing their best to give us the best of both worlds.”

Chris started classes in the Spring of 2016, choosing programs that would help him build a career on the clearance he had from his service. He started with A+, Windows 7, and ITIL, and then went into Net+ and Security+. Chris took his courses at night while completing his Army service during the day. Each night course takes twice as long as our day courses (which run for eight hours on weekdays), but are a great solution for those who need to work during the day. By December of 2016, he was certified on A+, Net+ and Security+ and ready to start looking for a job in IT. It can seem daunting to “get your foot in the door,” but as you’ll see, certifications make it easy. In fact, if you’ve got the right certifications, employers will be coming to you!

If you’re interested in breaking into IT like Chris did, look no further than our Computer User Support Specialist (CUSS) program. It includes the following, in-demand certifications: CompTIA A+, Network+, Security+ and ITIL. Of course, we also offer other entry level certification programs, but the CUSS is our most comprehensive. A+, Network+, and Security+ training and certifications combined fulfill levels one and two of the security requirements for Department of Defense (DoD) Directive 8570, which helps our graduates qualify for a huge number of IT positions. These certifications also ready them to pursue higher level certifications soon after.

CUSS Program


 

From Help Desk to Systems Engineer

January – July 2017

“It’s great. It’s just a couple of us on the team, and basically we do all the patching and security updates. We manage 300+ Nessus vulnerability scanners for a hundred different bases for the Air Force. We make sure that these scanners have the latest plugins, patches and updates to be able to provide vulnerability scanning for all the Air Force bases. It’s the Western half of the United States, plus Alaska and Asia.”

“Nine months after getting out of the service, I’m making 70k. I was at 53k a year when I was serving. So I’m making nearly twenty thousand more. I show up at work at 8:30 and most days I leave at 3:30 and I get an hour lunch. And I just sit at a desk and do computer stuff, so it’s perfect.”

Chris started looking for a job at the end of December, which he told us was a “terrible idea” because all the hiring managers were out for the holidays. Even so, he was able to get an interview and job offer by January 8th. He was hired by Evans Army Hospital as a Helpdesk Technician for CHCS and AHLTA for $18 an hour. But Chris wouldn’t be there for long.

He stayed at Evans Army Hospital for six months and then started a new position in July of 2017, working as a Systems Engineer for Agile Defense. He loves his new job, and they just increased his salary to $70,000/year!


 

On the Value of Certification

“LeaderQuest is a really powerful tool, and there are really great instructors that will teach you anything you ask, just as long as you make the most of it and apply yourself. You have to continue to set yourself goals and continue your education. You know, don’t stop with A+, don’t stop with Net+, don’t stop with Sec+. Here in the next six months, I’m going to be doing Red Hat CSA. I want to make sure people know to continue their education if they want to increase their salary. Don’t get stuck at the help desk!”

“I actually had to take my resume off Indeed because I was getting too many calls. People just need to know how to write it and they’ll come. If you have Security+ and a clearance and you put that on your resume on Indeed, you’re going to get at least 4-5 calls per month. And that’s minimum.

At LeaderQuest, we work hard to ensure that every student gets the support and training they need to excel. Our instructors are experts with years of industry experience, and they prepare students to both pass their exams and be a valuable addition to the workplace. Chris was so happy with the results of his certification that he has decided to continue his education in the coming months. Way to go, Chris!


 

LeaderQuest IT Training

Are you interested in getting certified?

If you’re interested in changing industries, certification can help you start a career in IT. On the other hand, if you’ve been “stuck at the help desk” for too long, certification can help you break through and advance your career. Our classes are available online and on campus. If you work during the day, you can study for your certifications in the evening like Chris did and be moving up or changing careers in just a few weeks. Get started today!

Enroll Today!

 


 

The Cyber Security Training Success Story of Marcus Mingo

The Cyber Security Training Success Story of Marcus Mingo

In the Fall of 2016, Marcus was on a plane flying back from Germany and trying to get all his ducks in a row to finish his cyber security training. Marcus was serving in the military, where he was doing network analysis. His goal was to finish his bachelor’s degree in Computer Science, and then use his GI bill to start on his Master’s degree. But he knew he wanted to earn a few key certifications first, ones he’d seen on all the job postings he was interested in.

Read on to learn about the IT training success story of Marcus Mingo.


 

Looking for IT Training & Certification

Winter 2016

“I chose LeaderQuest because the personalities were a lot more relatable. For me, personality is a big thing. Some people come off the wrong way when it comes to computers and IT. In addition, I liked your offer to resit classes that I have already taken. And having everything was paid for and taken care of in one easy package.”

Of course, Marcus had been talking to a few different training providers and evaluating them to find the best fit.

Our Career Training Consultant, Chris Young, had been in contact with him about LeaderQuest’s record of helping vets earn certifications, and our expertise when it comes to making funding simple and easy. He gave LeaderQuest a call, and we got him signed up for classes starting in December.

He gave LeaderQuest a call, and we got him signed up for classes starting in December.


 

Cyber Security Training Using GI Bill Funding

Dec 2016 – March 2017

“The environment at LeaderQuest is good, the instructors are excellent. I got into a lot of classes at the last minute because I was changing schedules, but it worked out really well. I got three certifications in less than four months!”

Marcus started training with LeaderQuest in December and was able to complete his CompTIA Security+, EC-Council CEH, and EC-Council CND by March of 2017. That’s a lot of testing! Marcus told us that he enjoyed his time at LeaderQuest, and we certainly enjoyed having him.

Are you interested in getting cyber security certifications? The three that Marcus chose are excellent and can open up a lot of doors when it comes to job hunting. CompTIA Security+ is an entry-level certification that validates foundational security skills and can prepare you for the next step in your education. EC-Council Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) is ideal for administrators who want to prepare themselves for the various kinds of attacks they might see in the real world, such as Viruses and Worms, Sniffers, Social Engineering, Denial of Service, Session Hijacking, and more. EC-Council Certified Network Defender (CND) arms those who pass it with the skills to protect against network attacks, detect them in real time, and respond effectively. All of the above certifications are in great demand, with more than one million job openings unfilled worldwide according to Cisco.


 

Employment and a Better Offer

April 2017

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

Kimberly Archer, part of our career services team, was able to secure three interviews for Marcus. Our Employment Relations Managers (EDMs) have only one mission: to help our graduates get the job they really want! Out of these interviews, he accepted a position with HP. We couldn’t have been more excited for him!

However, Marcus soon got a better offer from Cyberspace Solutions. He’s working for them now, doing network defense, and making about $20,000 more annually than he was before he started training! In fact, he told us that his certifications have been a huge edge for him when it comes to job hunting.


Current Update

July 2017

“I just wanted to thank you for all the work you’ve put in on my behalf. I am in the process of accepting a new position with Booz Allen this week with another 20K pay bump. They said they received some information from you in addition to the application I submitted. Thanks!!!” – Marcus Mingo

 


 

LeaderQuest IT Training

Are you interested in cyber security training?

Don’t wait! We can help you start the process today. Our Career Training Consultants are experts when it comes to helping figure out what certifications you need to get where you’re going, and how to pay for them. With so many job openings in cyber security and IT, there’s never been a better time to invest in your education. Contact us today to get started on your future!

Enroll Today!