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What Is the VET TEC Program and Is It Right for You?

What Is the VET TEC Program and Is It Right for You?

Part of the new Harry W. Colmery Veterans Educational Assistance Act, also known as the “Forever GI Bill®,”  the Veteran Employment Through Technology Education Courses (VET TEC) program was created for Non-College Degree (NCD) schools to help veterans get the technology skills they need to join some of the fastest growing industries in the United States.

What is VET TEC?

VET TEC is a new tuition and housing assistance program designed to help veterans get short term technology training without using their GI Bill® benefits! VET TEC benefits cover classes in five different rapidly growing areas: information science, computer programming, data processing, media applications, and computer software. VET TEC also includes a formula for student success.

The Post-9/11 GI Bill® program was created to provide enough funds for veterans get a traditional degree, generally at a 4-year institution. The GI Bill® allows veterans to train anywhere they see value, but makes them responsible for seeing that their money is well spent.

VET TEC, on the other hand, doesn’t use up any of a veteran’s GI Bill® funding. Schools that participate must show that graduates are able to secure gainful employment as the VA defines it for the school to be fully reimbursed for the student’s tuition. This means that only programs with strong and verifiable employment outcomes can participate in VET TEC.

Program Eligibility

You just need to ask yourself one question to see if you could be eligible:

  • Are you a military veteran with at least one day of unexpired GI Bill® entitlement?

If you answered yes to the above question, you’re most likely eligible for VET TEC! To be sure, apply for the VET TEC program here.

Who is a good fit for the program?

Are you a military veteran interested in working in information science, computer programming, data processing, media applications, or computer software? Are you ready to take on the challenge of learning new skills and joining a new industry to start a career? Then VET TEC may be a good fit for you!

You’ll also need to be ready to work hard on training and studying with the training provider you choose. This program is a great way to fund your training, but you’ll need to put in the hours required to learn new skills and prove to employers that you have what it takes to do the job. You’ll also have to gear up for the job hunt. Training providers are not placement agencies. While they can help you with your resume and job search, in most cases they won’t be able to directly offer you a job.

It’s also important to take a look at the VET TEC site and find a training provider in your area.

How does VET TEC compare to the GI Bill®?

Here are some of the differences and similarities between the GI Bill® and the VET TEC program:

  • Students training with VET TEC will receive a form of Monthly Housing Allowance (MHA), similar to the GI Bill®.
  • VET TEC does not deplete your GI Bill® funds. After finishing VET TEC training, you can still utilize your GI Bill® later on.
  • VET TEC funds training for short-term technology and trade schools, while the GI Bill® can be used for these schools or traditional degree-granting colleges and universities.
  • Eligibility for these programs is not identical. Active duty service members, Transfer of Entitlement [TOE] spouses, and some others are ineligible for VET TEC.
  • The VET TEC program has more limited funding (up to $15 million per federal fiscal year.)
  • Veterans must attend as a full-time student to make use of VET TEC.
  • For a school to receive the VET TEC student’s tuition reimbursement, the student must graduate and find appropriate employment as defined by the VA. This ensures that schools with verifiable employment outcomes continue to participate in the program, while schools whose training doesn’t result in graduation and employment won’t be eligible to continue accepting VET TEC students.

Does LeaderQuest accept VET TEC benefits?

LeaderQuest is listed as a VET TEC Training Provider on the Department of Veterans Affairs website, and is approved to receive reimbursement through the VET TEC program! If you’re interested in training with us, just click the button below.

REQUEST INFO

After you get approval from the VA, we’ll walk you through the LeaderQuest approval process to make sure you’re a good fit for the program.

Approved Courses

How do I work with the VA to participate in this program?

You’ll just need to apply for VET TEC benefits on the VA website.

Are you interested in training with LeaderQuest?

LeaderQuest offers short-term training for those interested in information technology, cyber security, networking, and IT support. For those with little to no IT experience, we offer a Computer User Support Specialist program that gives students a strong foundation in IT skills. This program includes training for four certifications that are in high demand with tech employers: ITIL, CompTIA A+, Network+, and Security+. After completing our program, students will be well positioned to start a role in IT and move into more specialized positions in cyber security, networking or IT, depending on their interest.

To ensure student success in the classroom, LeaderQuest offers a suite of online resources that students can use to review the material and increase their skills before taking the certification exam. Each campus has an Instructor Mentor on staff, available for 1-on-1 study sessions to help support our students as needed. All of our instructors have years of industry experience and teach not just what is needed to pass the exam, but what students need to know to excel in the workplace.

Finally, LeaderQuest graduates work with our Employment Development Managers (EDM) to make sure they find a great job after their training and exams are complete. Your EDM will meet with you and help you create a killer resume and an eye-catching cover letter. They’ll give you interview tips and advice and practice mock interviewing with you so that you can interview with confidence!


If you’re ready to train for a career in technology, let us know! We can help you navigate the complex and frustrating funding process. Get started now by completing the form below to speak to a Career Adviser and get more information about VET TEC or GI Bill® funded training at LeaderQuest!

GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

See How Many Open Cybersecurity Jobs There Are in the U.S. Right Now

See How Many Open Cybersecurity Jobs There Are in the U.S. Right Now

By Mark Emery

We yap about it all the time.

Cybersecurity is an exploding industry! Get in now! The pay is great, the possibilities endless! What are you waiting for?! Get started now!

And you know what? It’s all true.

Sometimes even this lowly blogger asks himself: What the hell am I doing writing marketing content about cybersecurity growth when I could easily get certified and experience its benefits for myself?

If I ever think of a good answer, I’ll be sure to let you know.

But back to LeaderQuest and the aforementioned yapping. We can go on and on about the 0% unemployment rate, the half a million job openings, and facts like, “the workforce must grow by 145% to meet global demand.”

But talk is tiring. Rather than continue telling you about all cybersecurity jobs available, repeating all the lines you’ve heard before, this time we’d like to show you.

Cybersecurity Openings, Everywhere You Look!

Thanks to Cyberseek.org, we can do just that. The website, which seeks to “close the cybersecurity talent gap with interactive tools and data,” has a fun, useful map showing the amount of cybersecurity job openings in all 50 states.

Guess what? There isn’t a state in the union that doesn’t have literally hundreds of openings. Most have thousands. Many are in the tens of thousands. See for yourself!

cybersecurity growth

Here are some highlights:

The top five states with the most cybersecurity openings are California (67,915), Virginia (54,432), Texas (46,279), New York (24,431), and Florida (23,629). The five states with the fewest cybersecurity openings are Wyoming (340), Vermont (431), North Dakota (622), Montana (624), and South Dakota (660).

Here’s a full rundown on the stats in table form:

cybersecurity jobs

Are you a Vermonter who assumed you’d have to move to Boston to get into cybersecurity? Hopefully after reading this you reconsider.

What Does the Future Look Like?

Now, a large quantity of jobs is one thing. But is the amount shrinking or growing?

The cybersecurity growth is undeniable.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average growth rate across all occupations is 5%. For Information Security Analysts, it’s an eye-popping 32%!

The numbers are similarly good for other cyber roles. Computer and Information Systems Managers, for instance, have a projected growth rate of 11%. For both Computer Systems Analysts and Database Administrators, it’s 9% — almost double the overall average.

With factors like automation and migration, work was already changing before. Throw in a global pandemic and the need for remote employment, and the landscape becomes that much more complicated.

But cybersecurity is one industry you can count on to be there. And in uncertain times, there’s a lot to be said for that.

OK, But How Much Money Is There In Cybersecurity?

Convinced yet? No? Well, let’s take a look at some other statistics. Financial ones.

Check out these entry-level pay rates for cyber roles from Indeed: $38.57 an hour for Project Managers, $51.86 an hour for IT Security Specialists. Extrapolate those numbers over a full year, and you get salaries of $80,225.60 and $107,868.80, respectively!

And that’s just to start. Let’s take a look at the figures later down the career path.

cybersecurity training

Mondo, too, has a breakdown of high-paying cybersecurity jobs. Here’s a look at the average salary range for six different positions:

  • Information Security Manager: $125,000 to $215,000
  • Cybersecurity Engineer: $120,000 to $200,000
  • Application Security Engineer: $120,000 to $180,000
  • Cybersecurity Analyst: $90,000 and $160,000
  • Penetration Tester (Ethical Hacker): $80,000 to $130,000
  • Network Security Engineer: $125,000 to $185,000

But again, say you’re a Vermonter or a Montanan. How useful are those numbers, when location isn’t factored in?

The folks at ZipRecruiter considered that, too. They put together handy salary figures broken down by state — a perfect complement to the above map from Cyberseek.

Among states with the highest average cybersecurity salaries, New York narrowly leads the way ($123,918), followed by Massachusetts ($122,746), Washington ($121,890), New Hampshire ($119,461), and Hawaii ($117,889).

As good as those top numbers are, the bottom ones aren’t nearly as bad as you might think. North Carolina, the lowest state on the list, still carries an average cybersecurity salary of $90,882.

Maybe this lowly blogger is biased, but who wouldn’t want to make that?

I’m Sold. How Do I Get Into Cybersecurity?

If you’ve read this far and started to evaluate your life choices, don’t worry! One of the great things about IT and cybersecurity is that it’s never too late to start down this path. Plus, cybersecurity training is relatively affordable and speedy.

At LeaderQuest, helping aspirants become professionals is what we do. From top-tier cybersecurity training with experienced instructors to effective exam prep before certification time, we’re with our students every step of the way. Even after they pass their exams and get certified, our all-star Career Services team pulls out all the stops, making every call they can, to help these qualified candidates get started in their fulfilling new careers.

The whole cybersecurity training and hiring process can happen in a matter of months. As for payment, a lot of times it’s covered for you! Whether you’re a veteran or a military spouse, or you’re unemployed or low-income, government funding options exist to get you trained at precisely zero cost.

When you factor in how easy it is to get trained, and how expansive the opportunities are once you get certified, IT/cybersecurity starts to look too good to be true. We assure you — it isn’t.

Fill out the form below to learn more cybersecurity training.

College Didn’t Work Out for These Roommates. LeaderQuest Did.

College Didn’t Work Out for These Roommates. LeaderQuest Did.

By Mark Emery

It’s a path so commonplace and accepted, you’d be forgiven for mistaking it as the only one.

Go to college after high school. Of course. It’s just what people do. Never mind the four years you give up in time, or the tens of thousands you pay in tuition and room and board. In the long run, these are nothing concerns. Especially when you consider the higher income that a college education all but guarantees.

Right?

Actually, maybe not. Four years is a significant period of time to wait before you can start earning money. And the costs? Credit.com puts the average student loan debt at a whopping $31,172. That’s not something you can pay off overnight. If your debt is higher, which is all too possible, it may not be something you can fully pay off ever.

When you also consider that basic employment is far from guaranteed in many fields — let alone that higher income — college starts to look a lot less stable and reliable than we’re led to believe.

Bucking Tradition, Together

Roommates Michael Lim, 23, and Michael-Anthony Shipman, 25, experienced some of these drawbacks firsthand. Both of them tried the traditional college route after high school, and both of them decided it wasn’t for him.

“There’s an overemphasis in my opinion on college degrees,” Lim says. “I don’t want to downplay at all the education you get from college, the social understanding and things you learn outside the classroom. But for the price, it’s a little bloated. A little bit, in my opinion.”

Both of Lim’s parents went to college, as did all five of his siblings. But he didn’t take to his new lifestyle at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. He didn’t like the massive classroom sizes, nor was he completely sure of the value of his intended computer science degree.

“It wasn’t really like, ‘Oh, should I go to college and get a degree?’ It was like, ‘When am I going to get it?’” Lim says. “For me personally, just as a life choice, I didn’t want to go to college right after high school — and it kind of showed. Getting out after a year and a half in was my way of saying, ‘Oh, I don’t think the timing is right. I don’t want to be going into this kind of intensity. I just want to figure things out for myself.’”

After Lim left, he wound up in Pittsburgh, where he met Shipman. In addition to his ongoing work with the Army National Guard, Shipman was studying game design at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh, which eventually shut down as part of a wave of Art Institute closings across the country.

Together with a couple other friends, the group migrated west to Aurora, Colorado. Some enrolled in a new school, but that turned out not to be exactly what they were looking for either. That’s when Shipman came across LeaderQuest’s Denver campus.

“Just from all the options and the outcomes that I could have from LeaderQuest, it was going to be better than getting a degree in college,” Shipman says. “Especially with being already in the military, having the VA benefits and already having a clearance for jobs for getting out of LeaderQuest is a huge bonus.”

Shipman — a tech guy who built his first computer five years ago — decided to give it a go, ultimately convincing Lim and their roommate Ryan Broadwater as well.

“When [Shipman] started looking into it, he was like, ‘Oh, wow, this is a really, really solid place,” says Lim, who was also attracted to the opportunity to earn college credits. “The idea of me and my two roommates going to school together, as well as getting some certifications and whatnot, it was a very enticing proposition. So it was very hard for me to turn it down.”

Hitting the Books

While Shipman was able to secure funding for his IT training based on his military experience, Lim had to take out a manageable loan. Compared to the costs of college, he was happy to do it.

“When you’re going to college, you’re spending just literally tens of thousands of dollars, every year,” Lim says. “Coming to LeaderQuest, time-wise, it’s less than a semester. And money-wise, it all just kind of made sense, like lucratively. You’re going to be making a fair amount of money coming out and you’re going into an expanding field. It just makes a lot of sense.”

Source: EducationData.org

Whereas before he was one of 300 in classes at UNC-Charlotte, with LeaderQuest Lim learned in classroom sizes of 15 or less. He called that “very refreshing” as he completed his LeaderQuest courses and went on to pass the ITIL exam as his first certification. 

Military duties related to the coronavirus, meanwhile, have kept Shipman from wrapping up his coursework just yet. But once his training is finished and his certifications are acquired, he’s looking forward to working with the Department of Defense as a civilian contractor — “to not necessarily be in uniform but work with people in uniform.”

Both Lim and Shipman are fully confident in LeaderQuest’s career services team to help them find full-time employment in IT.

“One of the best things is how ready they are to help you out,” Lim says. “When I connect with my teachers they’re like, ‘Hey, even outside of LeaderQuest, when you’re gone as an alumni, you can contact me. If you need a reference, you can contact me. If I leave LeaderQuest, you can still contact me and I’ll help you out.’ I was like, ‘Dang, these guys are just like all for me.’ It was really nice to hear that kind of encouragement from my professors. I just thought it was top tier.”

Though the young men are closer to the beginning of their professional journey in IT than the end, both feel good about the less-than-traditional route they’ve decided to pursue.

“It all worked out really well for me,” Lim says. “This is an amazing decision in my opinion. Me and my roommates, we were just like, ‘Oh, best decision of our lives, hands down.’ It just makes a lot of sense for us.”

Adds Shipman: “I think this was a great decision. I’ve never regretted doing it.”

Ready to Learn More?

As Lim points out, with LeaderQuest you can get the training you need to pass the certifications necessary for IT positions in less than a semester. Going to school at night, as he did, takes 10 weeks; if you’re able to attend classes during the day, you’ll be done in five weeks. The Computer User Support Specialist program is the most common direction for those with no experience. It prepares students for the ITIL, CompTIA A+, CompTIA Network+, and CompTIA Security+ certifications that will help them successfully break into IT.

Our staff of instructors and mentors are there to help every step of the way, even after the course ends. LeaderQuest prides itself on helping students pass their certification exams, and then helping them get jobs. To that end, our career services team is tireless in their efforts to connect LQ alums to IT positions. They’re well-connected in the community, and can often put in that good word with hiring managers that moves our alumni’s resumes to the top of the pile.

Are you a high school student who feels college might not be the right fit? Could you see yourself joining the expanding field of IT and cybersecurity? Fill out the form below to get in touch with LeaderQuest and start talking options, from potentially finding funding for your training to seeing how IT certifications can build the foundation for a fulfilling career.

13 IT Job Hunting Tips For Veterans in the Civilian World

13 IT Job Hunting Tips For Veterans in the Civilian World

While nobody likes hunting for jobs, it can be especially difficult for transitioning veterans. The civilian business world just doesn’t work the same way that the military does. While the freedom to take your career in any direction is exciting, it may also be intimidating. It can seem like you have a million things to do before you can even begin to apply for IT professional jobs.

Fortunately, by taking it one thing at a time, and one day at a time, you can break these tasks down into small parts that are easy to accomplish. Below are 13 tips to help transitioning service members undertake their job hunt with confidence!

Job Hunting

1. The Hiring Process Takes Time

This may seem obvious, but it can be hard to grasp in practice, especially for transitioning veterans. Don’t expect to be able to get a new job immediately. Plan on your job hunt taking at least 4-6 weeks before you’re starting your new position. Even if you’re interviewed within the first week of your job hunt, it will take more time for a second interview and other things such as a background check, calling your references, drug testing, and so on.

2. Professionalism is Important

Most job hunters are prepared to dress professionally, but professionalism doesn’t end there. Remember to stay in communication with potential employers. If you have a phone interview, send them an email thanking them for their time afterward. Set up reminders to occasionally email them and see if they need more information. And, if they reply to you, make it a priority to get back to them! You don’t want to lose your chance at a great job because they didn’t hear back from you for two days.

3. Not Everyone Will Respond

The military is a highly structured organization, and you may have come to expect a response when sending out an email inquiry. Sadly, the civilian job hunt is the exact opposite of this. As you send out applications, you’ll begin to notice that you hear nothing at all in response most of the time.

Don’t take it personally. Hiring managers are very busy, and they are looking for the ideal candidate for each position. With possibly hundreds of applicants per position, they don’t have time to respond to every resume they get. Just keep applying for new jobs, and don’t sweat it if you don’t hear anything back.

4. Apply to Recently Posted Jobs

Job hunting takes a significant amount of time every day. You don’t want to waste your time applying for jobs you have little to no chance of getting. It’s for this reason that we recommend only seeking jobs that have been posted within the last one to two days.

Older job postings, especially from a week or more ago, are have either been filled or the company has created an applicant pool and is working on it. Job postings from the last one to two days are fresh, and you’ll get a much higher response rate by applying to these. Speed is key because candidates are called as they apply.

5. IT Companies Tend to Hire Contract Positions to Start

Don’t look at a contract position as a “lesser” option. You may think it’s better to hold out for a full-time offer, but these can be very difficult to find. Contract positions are very common in the IT world for a few reasons and are often a gateway to a salaried position. Employers like to “try before they buy” by hiring workers on as contractors. If they like the worker’s skill set and work ethic, they will be interested in bringing them on.

Another reason for contract-to-hire is to avoid the cost of a security clearance renewal unless they know they want to have that person on staff for a while. A security clearance can cost between $30,000-$60,000 to renew. Finally, it’s important to remember that many states, including Colorado, Florida, and Texas are at-will employment states. You do not have more job security by seeking a salaried position.

IT Professional Resume

6. Certifications Count as Experience

If you have relevant IT certifications, make sure to list these on your resume! Certifications are as good as experience in the eyes of many employers and can make up for a lack of job experience on your part. If you haven’t completed your certifications yet, but are studying for them, list them on your resume as “in progress.” Keep studying and take the exam as soon as possible so that you can officially list these on your resume.

7. References Don’t Need to Be on Your Resume

This is just a quick reminder. Don’t put references on your resume! They take up valuable space, and you should reserve them until you’re asked to provide them. Instead, just add “References Available Upon Request.”

8. IT Experience and Your Resume

Just because your job title doesn’t have IT doesn’t mean you don’t have experience. If you spend some time thinking about your duties at work, you’ll notice that most jobs have IT aspects. Make sure to list these on your resume. Perhaps you have experience with a point of sale system, or you were responsible for rebooting the router at your job. Yes, there is always somebody with more IT experience, but there are also people with less! Don’t be afraid to list your experience with IT, even if it’s a hobby. It can be used on your resume.

9. PM Resumes Should Have a Section Called “Projects”

If you’re looking for project management positions, you should have a section on your resume to describe the kind of work you’ve done before and highlight your successes. Don’t include projects under your different jobs, where they may get lost. By giving them their own section, you can give your project experience the spotlight it needs to shine.

10. Use Military IT System Names

Go ahead and use the names you already know to describe military IT and networking equipment. You’d be surprised by how many people with military experience are out there. If they don’t have any experience, there’s always Google! By using the correct names for these things, you show that you know what you’re talking about.

11. Be as Technical as the Job Description

You may be worried about being too technical in your resume and putting-off people who aren’t as tech-savvy. If this is a concern, take a cue from the IT professional job description. If it contains a lot of technical details and jargon, feel free to be as technical as you want. If it looks like it was written by a layperson, tone down the technical references instead.

12. Optimize for Keyword Search

As you work on your job hunt, you’ll notice that certain terms pop up over and over in the jobs you’re looking for. You should make your resume mirror the IT job descriptions by including similar language. Don’t just copy/paste what they had in the job posting, but do try to see if you have the experience that matches what they’re looking for. As you see terms comes up repeatedly, make sure that these are included on your resume if you can.

Large corporations use software to comb through the hundreds of resumes they get and narrow them down to a few top contenders that have the needed skills. If your resume is missing these terms, you won’t get the chance to explain this to the hiring manager.

13. Don’t Get Overwhelmed, Ask for Help from Your EDM!

The job hunt can seem like a never-ending list of things to do, but it doesn’t have to be. If you study for your certifications at LeaderQuest, you’ll get access to our Career Services team including your friendly local Employment Development Manager (EDM). Each EDM has a twofold job: to help prepare our students for the job hunt, and to connect with employers in the community who might be interested in hiring our graduates.

Your EDM can help you break down all the details of the job hunt and take care of them one at a time. They’re experts when it comes to resumes, cover letters, job hunting techniques, and interviewing. It’s their mission to make sure each of our graduates is armed with everything they need to secure the job they want. When one of our employer partners is hiring, your EDM can even help you skip much of the job hunt process!

IT and Cyber Security Training at LeaderQuest

If you’re interested in a career in IT, cyber security, project management or networking, LeaderQuest can help! We offer 4-8 week certification programs that will give you the knowledge you need to pass the exam and excel in a new IT job. You’ll also gain access to our Career Services team. From initial training to dealing with your GI Bill® to finding a job in IT, we’re here to help and we understand veterans better than anybody. Job hunting is never easy, but we can help you get the training you need to succeed.

If you’re interested in investing in your future, contact us today.

GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

What to Expect at Your One-on-One Information Session

What to Expect at Your One-on-One Information Session

If you’re considering enrolling at LeaderQuest, the first step in that process is an informational session with one of our expert Career Training Consultants (CTC). Our CTCs are trained to help connect students’ career aspirations with realistic training paths for the certifications they need to get hired into the roles they really want. This is an opportunity for us to get to know each other better and help you decide if certification training at LeaderQuest is right for you.

We take pride in having helped thousands of students advance or change their careers much faster than traditional educational options like Associate’s or Bachelor’s degrees.

Read on to learn more about what will be covered at your first meeting at LeaderQuest.

A Conversation With Your Career Training Consultant

First, you and your CTC will have a conversation about your background. They want to make sure that they’re able to match you with a training program that will fit your experience level as well as your desired career path. They’ll want to know about your employment history, educational background, and so on.

Your CTC will also want to know why you’ve decided that now is the time to get training to change industries or advance your career. For some, this might be dissatisfaction with their current job role or a life change that has made securing a higher income a new priority. We’re here to help you make that life change!

Skills Mapping & Career Pathing

Where do you want to be working in five years? What kind of salary are you looking to achieve? How about ten years from now? And how can you get from where you are now to where you want to be?

Based on your experience and skill set, your CTC will help you identify a career path that can help you reach your goals. For those just entering the industry, this will often include a program of foundational certifications that are in high demand with our employer partners and other IT employers in the area.

We’ll also examine steps you might want to take after your training is completed. For those who have no IT experience, it may take a few steps to get from tech support to cyber security analyst. We can help you plot out a course that will get you from A to B.

If you’re looking for intermediate or advanced certifications, we’ll make sure that you have the prerequisites to excel in these classes and sit for the exam. Some certifications, like PMP and CISSP, have strict requirements for who is eligible to take the test. We want to make sure that our students are primed for success in the classes they take at LeaderQuest.

Learn About LeaderQuest

If you have any questions about LeaderQuest, your CTC will be able to answer them for you. Our CTCs are experts in all things IT training, and they know the enrollment and training process front to back. Get into the details and ask them anything you want to know about:

  • Career Services at LeaderQuest
  • Classroom experience
  • Instructor Mentors and Student Support
  • Study materials, practice exams, and hands-on labs
  • Class schedules, day or night classes, attending online or in person
  • And so on…

Discuss Funding Options for Your Training

If you’re interested in training at LeaderQuest, you’ll want to discuss how you’ll fund that training. Your enrollment at LeaderQuest covers your training, lab equipment, practice exams, study materials, textbooks, and the cost to sit for the exam, which can be as much as $500. We want to make sure that our students have all of the resources they need to be successful.

We accept GI Bill® funding, TAA, State Vocational Rehab, and funding from local workforce centers. We have a few educational loan options with various rates that cover the full cost of tuition. Your CTC can walk you through these options, and help you with the application process.

Tour the Campus

Your CTC will show you around the LeaderQuest facilities at your campus so that you can get an idea of where you’d be studying (if you’re planning on attending on campus) and possibly meet some of our instructors and other staff. We want to make sure you’re comfortable with your learning environment and ready to start training in new skills.

Create a Personalized Training Plan

This is your roadmap to the future!

Based on everything you’ve discussed, you’ll walk away with a personalized training plan. This training plan includes a list of the classes you’ll attend, class schedules, information about those classes and what they cover, the career you’d like to pursue after completing training, and information about possible funding options.

Take this plan home with you and think it over. If you have any questions, you’ll have your CTC’s phone number and email so that you can reach out to them and get the answers you need. When you’re ready, just give us a call and we can help you with the enrollment process.

Schedule an Information Session Today!

If you’re thinking about taking the next step in your career, LeaderQuest can help. Schedule an information session at the campus nearest you.

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GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

WIOA: State Sponsored Training

WIOA: State Sponsored Training

Finding a career you enjoy is not an easy task, especially when you are unemployed and your skills are not in demand. The snowball effect from being fired, being laid off, or an extended stint of unemployment can be detrimental to one’s well being and one’s future career. As of January 2019, the amount of persons in the United States that are burdened by unemployment is over 6.5 million.

On the other side of the employment spectrum there is a massive shortage of skilled workers across the United States, especially in the IT industry with over 350,000 current openings in the cybersecurity sector alone! So how do you solve both of these problems at once?

The solution is the Workforce Innovation & Opportunity Act or WIOA for short.

What is WIOA?

WIOA is landmark legislation designed to help job seekers access employment, education, training, and support services to succeed in the labor market and to match employers with the skilled workers they need to compete in the global economy.

Since its inception in 2014 WIOA has helped approximately 20 million individuals a year.

What is the purpose of WIOA?

This legislation was put in place to help foster economic stability by analyzing each state’s employment needs and strategically funding programs to help employers fill open positions with skilled workers. In this way, WIOA helps solve the unemployment shortage and skilled workers shortage at the same time. Each state is responsible for developing and submitting a strategy for preparing an educated and skilled workforce to meet the needs of its local employers.

In order to develop this workforce, unemployed individuals often require different kinds of help to become fully capable of making the transition. For example, some individuals might need help paying their bills and supporting their family while receiving the training.

This allows states to include and combine key programs such as temporary assistance programs and technical education programs (such as LeaderQuest’s Computer User Support Specialist Program) that help job seekers acquire industry-recognized credentials for in-demand jobs. This creates a comprehensive plan for individuals to go from unskilled and unemployed to skilled and employed.

What training programs qualify?

Since job seekers are funded through taxes, the programs that they receive funding for must adhere to certain performance indicators to ensure the quality and effectiveness of the program so that money is not being wasted. First, the program must align with the state’s plan to fulfill the hiring needs of local employers.

Other performance indicators include:

  1. The percentage of trainees that were successful in obtaining the desired credentials after training.
  2. The measurable skills gains of unskilled to skilled job seekers.
  3. The percentage of job seekers that found employment after training.
  4. The percentage of workers that retained employment after training.
  5. The median wages of workers hired after training.

Who qualifies for funding for training and assistance programs?

Depending on your specific situation you may or may not qualify for WIOA funding. There are also different priorities based on your previous education and eligibility for other government programs.

Factors that will affect your eligibility include:

  1. Employment Status and Reason Unemployed
  2. Age
  3. Income
  4. Family Size
  5. Disability Status
  6. Eligibility for other funding
  1. Literacy
  2. Housing Status
  3. State
  4. Education
  5. Relation to a military servicemen
  6. Record

If you qualify you could be on the road to a bright new future today! Ready to find out if you qualify? Contact us and we can help you navigate the funding process.

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The Workforce Center

Your local Workforce Center is designed to help you get employed by offering a wide variety of services for anyone who needs them. This ranges from the basics of computer and internet access to career guidance and resume help. Some workforce centers will even help with childcare services during your job search so you can attend training and interviews.

A great service to take advantage of is the skills assessment. This assessment will assess your previous jobs, roles, and any other relevant experience to tease out any skills that may lead to a fulfilling career.

skills chart

Is starting a new career right for me?

You might be asking yourself if you could benefit from WIOA or how training might help you move forward into a stable career. There are usually worries and anxiety that come with the thought of training for a new career, but are those fears worth losing out on a great opportunity? That is for you to decide, but arming yourself with the right knowledge can tremendously improve your confidence in your ability to make this decision.

To help answer some of these questions and give you an idea of the opportunity at hand we will analyze of one of the most in-demand industries in the world, Information Technology, and give you an example of an individual’s journey from beginning to end through the WIOA process.

Want to know more about what exactly what Information Technology is? No problem, check out our blog What is IT (Information Technology) and Why You Should Know.

Supply & Demand in IT

As previously mentioned, for a program to get the funding to train individuals, this program must align with the state’s plan to fulfill the needs of local employers. This means that there must be a demand for the industry the program trains and certifies jobs seekers for.

Fortunately for IT, there is no shortage of demand! By 2021, there will be an estimated 3.5 million open cyber security positions worldwide. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the projected percent change in employment from 2016 to 2026 for Information Security Analysts is a whopping 28%! Compare that to the average growth rate for all occupations at 7%.

Salaries for IT Careers

Entry level IT salaries range from $30,000 to $40,000 ($15.50 to $19.23 per hour) annually. In IT there is a clear path to advance your career and plenty of opportunities. Salaries in this field can quickly move to $50,000 to $60,000 ($24.40 to $28.85 per hour) range as you gain more experience, as illustrated in the graph below.

The combination of the high demand for skilled IT workers and low supply creates a situation that forces companies to pay well and provide lucrative benefits in order to retain employees. Because of this, the climate for IT employment is at an all-time high in favor of job seekers in this field. With a wide gamut of careers in this field, job seekers can easily draw from previous experience to find a career the would enjoy in IT.

A WIOA Student Journey

Have you ever been interested in what makes the modern world tick? Ross Earnheart had always been interested in computers, but his journey in the military never gave him the opportunity to explore that passion.

After Ross separated from the military he was directionless without anyone to guide him to a career he would enjoy. Not knowing what to do, he got a job through a friend and began working day in and day out. Ross worked a job that did not challenge him nor offer any room for advancement. Fed up with his job, Ross decided to head to his local unemployment office and see what his options were.

To Ross’s surprise, he actually qualified for WIOA funding and was recommended to LeaderQuest by his caseworker who knew that Ross had a possible interest in IT.

“As soon as I found out about all of the different kinds of jobs and careers and everything else you can do in the IT world it just opened my mind” – Ross Earnheart

Ross contacted LeaderQuest and got set up for a one on one meeting with a Career Training Consultant. The job of the Career Training Consultant is to assess if an IT career is a good fit by analyzing the person’s ambitions, salary goals, past skills, and willingness to learn.

Watch Ross tell his story about training at LeaderQuest in his own words, below or check out his full story The Student Experience at LeaderQuest: Ross Earnheart

After determining that an IT career would be a good fit for Ross, his Career Training Consultant then put the training into motion by scheduling his courses and working with the unemployment office to secure his WIOA funding. Ross took the Computer User Support Specialist entry-level IT program which trains students with the skills and knowledge required to achieve the ITIL, CompTIA A+, Network+, and Security+ industry standard certifications. This program exposes students to multiple facets of IT including best practices, desktop support, networking, and cyber security.

LeaderQuest’s IT Training & Certification Courses

  • Each course includes 40 hours of training, taken over 5 weekdays at 8 hours/day (full time) or 10 weeknights at 4 hours/night (part time).
  • To fit your time schedule, these course can be spread out or taken back to back.
  • Support from our Career Services team is included with your enrollment.
  • Through WIOA, you may be eligible to receive other benefits to cover your bills while training.

Once Ross finished his courses he continued to work with our Career Services team to develop his resume, cover letter, and interviewing skills. The LeaderQuest Career Services team has fostered partnerships with local companies to fill their IT positions as well as sources outside positions to get students hired quickly.

Ross was subsequently hired by a local academy as an Information Technology Specialist. He is now out in the real world making a real difference for his community and family, and it all started with his decision to start a new career in IT at LeaderQuest.

Are you ready to consider a career in IT?

If you are looking for a new career, you should consider IT! WIOA was designed for individuals like yourself who are looking for a fresh start in a new career that has a bright future. You already possess skills that could be perfect for an IT career, and you have a company willing to help you through every step of this transition.

With the possibility of your training and bills being paid for during the duration of your training, maybe it is time to take a step in the right direction and speak with a LeaderQuest representative today.

Want to see if you qualify for WIOA funding? Please download our worksheet below. Remember that this worksheet does not qualify/disqualify you from any WIOA funds but can give you an idea of the requirements in your area. We recommend that you speak with a professional at your local unemployment office to find out for sure if you qualify. We hope that this blog has armed you with the knowledge to make decisions about your future. If you are considering a career in IT, consider LeaderQuest!

Contact Us About WIOA Training

What is IT (Information Technology) and Why You Should Know

What is IT (Information Technology) and Why You Should Know

Unless you were raised in a remote village beyond the reach of modern society you have most likely heard the term Information Technology or “IT” for short, be used to describe a wide variety of industries, jobs and technology, but have you ever stopped to ask yourself, “What exactly is IT?” or “Where did it come from?” IT is quite possibly the most integral part of our modern civilization, acting as not only the glue that holds it together but also the catalyst that propels it forward.

 With its incomprehensible ability to connect the world, destroy the world, and help humanity explore the possibilities of the universe, it is time that we take the time to help people understand Information Technology.

In helping individuals understand IT, we hope to bring a heightened awareness to the vulnerabilities and tremendous opportunities that lie ahead for this invisible yet powerful force that drives our everyday lives. To understand IT’s current and future state we must start at its origins and how it has transformed throughout the years.

The Origins of Information Technology

Information Technology: the study or use of systems (especially computers and telecommunications) for storing, retrieving, and sending information.

By this definition you could say that Information Technology has been around some 65,000 years, the age estimation of the earliest known cave paintings where humans were most likely recording what they saw in everyday life.

Information Technology is no stranger to evolution, it evolves hand in hand with humans and our unquenchable thirst to advance.

From ancient cave drawings to alphabets and words, the complexity of what we could create has only been limited by how long it takes us to come up with improvements in Information Technology.

In 1945, the development of a stored program concept allowed for programs to be read into a computer. It’s significance may have not been completely realized at the time but the possibilities of Information Technology had grown exponentially because of it. This development laid the foundation for the unprecedented achievements that took place in IT for the next 50 years.

 Notable achievements that led to modern IT.


1975
– MITS, The first personal computer was released.1973– Bob Metcalfe, the invention of the ethernet.
(using medium such as coax as an either to send and receive data)

1989– CERN Information management: A proposal
(addressed problem of accessing information and proposes the idea of linked information systems)

In 1993, after developing the World Wide Web, CERN put the software in the public domain making it free of charge for anyone to use. Once again Information Technology was reborn, but this time it was different. It was now a truly collective technology for individuals and enterprises to improve upon and utilize for their own endeavors. This opened up the flood gates for Information Technology and ushered in what is know as the Information Age.

Modern Information Technology

The driving force behind the continual advancement of Information Technology can be explained in one sentence.

“Humans want to store, recover, and share as much information as possible as quickly as possible in order to learn as much as possible.”

A more modern definition of Information Technology is:

  1. The use of any computers, storage, networking and other physical devices, infrastructure and processes to create, process, store, secure and exchange all forms of electronic data.

This means that every computer device and all vital technology related to these computers’ functions and operations, including the jobs involved, fall under “Information Technology.” This term can be broken into 6 sectors: IT support, Networking, Cyber Security, Computer Systems, Programming, and the World Wide Web. Yeah, that’s a lot of different things!

World wide, in 2019 there are an estimated 26 billion devices connected to the internet. In 2025, That number is expected to explode to over 75 billion!

To put that in perspective, that’s about 3.4 devices for every man, woman, and child on the planet.

Those astronomical numbers almost seem too high to be true, but when you think about it, in the United States the average person most likely has a computer, cell phone, router, and possibly a smartwatch or Google Home. That’s 5 right there, and soon almost every bit of tech available will be internet connected. Even vehicles!

IT Devices & Networks Create More IT Jobs

With all of of this tech, lots of humans are needed to create, install, maintain, and protect it all.

According to CompTIA’s 2018 Cyberstates Report, in the United States from 2010 to 2017 over 1.5 million tech jobs were added. This trend is showing no signs of slowing down, with shortages of workers in all 6 sectors of Information Technology.

The 6 categories of jobs for Information Technology can be defined as:

IT Support Technicians provide assistance for individuals having technical problems with hardware and software.

Networking Technicians set up, administer, maintain and upgrade networks, allowing devices to interact with networks.

Cyber Security Experts protect systems, networks, and programs from digital attacks.

Computer Systems Analysts are the multitaskers of information technology; they have to understand computer hardware, software, and networks—and make them work together.

Programmers write and test the code that makes up software programs.

Web Developers build websites and the infrastructure behind them.

The Huge IT Worker Shortage

Cyber security has been hit particularly hard by this shortage. By 2021, there will be an estimated 3.5 million open cyber security positions world wide. With average cyber security salaries of $116,000, or approximately $55.77 per hour, why is the industry having trouble filling such desirable positions?

There are a few reasons this problem exists.

  1. People do not understand what IT jobs are.
  2. People unaware of the booming IT Job Market.
  3. People are think it takes years to get trained for IT and don’t know about alternative paths to IT employment.

For example, compared to a traditional 4 year degree, in less than 3 months, day or night, individuals can get trained, certified, and employed into the IT industry by attending our Computer User Support Specialist program for individuals with little to no IT experience.

Careers in Cyber security and the other IT sectors typically start off in a technical support role, which the Computer User Support Specialist program here at LeaderQuest is specifically designed for.  As seen in this chart from Competitive Position’s salary report, the earning opportunity for IT professionals only grows over time time.

The great part about entering the IT industry with the Computer User Support Specialist is that students gain exposure to multiple areas within IT, so when they start to advance their career they know what area suites them and their future best.

There’s also a massive shortage of upper level talent in IT. A great way to move forward in an IT career is to pick a certain area to specialize in. Specialized positions command a higher salary and are in very high demand right now. For those looking to specialize in cyber security, our Information Security Analyst program is a great next step, and for those looking to get into networking, our Network Administrator program can take your from a intermediate to advanced network professional in just a few weeks. For every step of your career we have a program that can help you take advantage of this booming industry in order to create a brighter future for you and your family.

Is the Term “IT” Still Relevant?

Some argue that the term “Information Technology” is a misrepresentation of modern IT and all it encompasses, but this term has engraved itself so deeply into the modern psyche, it shows no sign of leaving us anytime soon. Like the ancient cave carvings created by our ancestors, the mediums and uses of Information Technology will continue to evolve with humans.

The bottom line is Information Technology will be around as long as there are humans around. For us to ignore the opportunities presented by Information Technology and to neglect the problems threatening its advancement will only hurt us in the long run. That is why understanding IT and it’s many facets is necessary for anyone interested in moving forward in our current society.

LeaderQuest is on a mission to help people improve their lives through IT training.  Lives are not only improved through starting a stable career but through the outstanding salaries offered by these IT positions. By doing our part in helping fill the jobs gap, we are participating in advancement of Information Technology which will continue to help mankind come together and solve the world’s problems.

Are you interested in starting a career in the IT industry? Check out our 2019 IT Career Finder guide where you can learn about different IT positions, what those people do, the skills needed to get the job, and what they pay.

GET THE GUIDE
2019 IT Career Finder Free White Paper

2019 IT Career Finder Free White Paper

Interested in a career in information technology or cyber security?

We can help you choose an IT career path! Join our mailing list, and we’ll send you our 2019 IT Careerfinder white paper, totally free!

Choosing an IT career can be a daunting task. You must balance personal experience and aptitude against the likely future of the role, both in terms of earnings and the number of IT job positions that will be available in the coming years. If you’re considering an IT career or specifically, a career in cyber security, we have good news for you! Business is booming and there are more IT job postings for these occupations with every passing year.

If you’re wondering about jobs in information technology that might be perfect for you, download the guide below!

Sign up for our IT Career Training White Paper


What’s in the Careerfinder?

This white paper contains useful information on six IT careers in demand, including:

  • Computer User Support Specialists
  • Computer Network Support Specialists
  • Network and Computer Systems Administrators
  • Computer Network Architects
  • Information Security Analysts
  • Computer and Information Systems Managers

For each of these occupations, we can help answer important questions, like:

  • What do people in this role do every day?
  • Is this occupation expected to grow?
  • What salary do people in this occupation earn?
  • What skills are required for this occupation?
  • What certifications are required for this occupation?

 


Are you interested in IT certification?

LeaderQuest can help you get the IT certifications you need to get that promotion or career change you’ve been looking for! Speak with one of our IT career training consultants today and make the change you’ve been waiting for. We’re experts on careers in the IT industry, and we’d love to help you get hired.