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How To Start A Profitable Career In Cyber Security

How To Start A Profitable Career In Cyber Security

The field of cyber security is growing every year by leaps and bounds as companies and other organizations realize how imperative it is to protect their networks and data. According to the Cybersecurity Ventures’ 2019 Cybersecurity Market Report, worldwide spending on cyber security is expected to exceed one trillion dollars by 2025. As companies struggle to keep up with the rising threat of cyber crime, they’re having one major problem: they can’t find enough qualified candidates.

That’s right, cyber security specialists are so in demand that the number of open positions has outstripped the number of qualified applicants by as much as 2 to 1 in some industries. So what’s holding applicants back? About one-third of information security jobs require a cyber security certification compared to 23 percent of all IT jobs. In the U.S. alone, some 50,000 vacant jobs require the Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) certification. But the number of certificate holders is only about 73,500, according to the Information Security System Certification Consortium, and most of them are already working.

Are you considering a career in cyber security, but not sure where to start? LeaderQuest offers multiple cyber security training programs that can prepare you to enter this exciting industry. Take a look at the four programs below, and you’ll be able to choose one that’s ideal for where you are now and what you’d like to do with your career.

Don’t have any experience in IT? Then the programs below won’t be a good fit. To get started in IT, we recommend that you take our Computer User Support Specialist or our Network Support Specialist program.

Information Security Analyst

Certifications: Comptia Security+, CND, and CEH
Base Training Period: 15 days
Skill Level: Intermediate
Recommended Experience: CompTIA Network+ and two years of experience in IT administration with a security focus
Ideal for: If you have Network+, some experience under your belt, and you’d like to massively expand your job opportunities and earning potential, Information Security Analyst could be the perfect program for you.
Roles you’ll be qualified for: Cyber Security Specialist, Information Security Analyst, Information Security Auditor, and Site Security Administrator

Get More Info

If you’ve got some experience in entry-level IT and want to take your career to the next level, this program is for you. Security+ will teach you the basics of threat management, identity management, security systems, security risk identification and mitigation, and more. Building on this information, Certified Network Defender (CND) will teach you how to protect, detect, and respond to network attacks in real-world situations. With an in-depth understanding of how network traffic functions, you’ll be able to secure your network and identify the signs of an infiltrator. See below for more information on CND.

By obtaining your Certified Ethical Hacker designation, you’ll not only be prepared to secure networks and look for vulnerabilities; you’ll be an active part of the mitigation and remediation process. You’ll be able to strengthen your network through rigorous penetration testing and stop cyberattacks in their tracks.

Certified Network Defender

Certifications: CND
Base Training Period: 5 days
Skill Level: Intermediate
Prerequisites: CompTIA Security+
Ideal for: If you’ve completed Security+ and want to keep building your resume and knowledge base, Certified Network Defender can be completed in one week and is a HUGE step up from Security+.
Roles you’ll be qualified for: Network Administrator, Network Security Administrator, Network Security Engineer, Network Defense Technician, and Security Analyst

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Certified Network Defender (CND) is a vendor-neutral, hands-on, instructor-led comprehensive network security certification program created by EC-Council. This tactical network security training course prepares network administrators to defend their networks from intrusion. Through this course, you’ll gain a hands-on understanding of data transfer, network technologies, and network software needed to secure a network.

If you would enjoy taking a hands-on role in the defense and security of your network, this program could be perfect for you. CEH is the natural next step after attaining this certification, and if you’re interested in having a good depth of technical knowledge when it comes to network defense, you may want to sign up for our Information Security Analyst program (above).

CompTIA Advanced Security Practitioner

Certifications: CASP
Base Training Period: 5 days
Skill Level: Advanced
Prerequisites: 5-10 years of IT experience or CEH/Security+ certifications
Ideal for: Getting CASP certified is ideal for individuals who have 5-10 years of IT experience and are interested in cyber security. Unlike the CISSP certification, another important cert in the cyber security world, CASP’s focus is hands-on and technical. This is ideal for people who AREN’T interested in management.
Roles you’ll be qualified for: Network Security Engineer, Information Security Specialist, Information Security Auditor, Security Analyst, Security Architect, and Site Security Administrator

Get More Info

If you’re interested in assessing and managing risk, securing networks, preventing cyber attacks, and even getting inside the mind of a hacker to make sure that a company’s data is safe as possible, CompTIA Advanced Security Practitioner (CASP) could be right for you. CASP is often compared to CISSP, but that’s like comparing apples to oranges. If you’re looking for a career in IT management, CISSP might be the better choice. If not, CASP can level up your career at a fraction of the cost.

For more on CASP, check out our blog, “What is the CASP Certification and is it Right For You?

Cyber Security Specialist

Certifications: Security+, CEH, CHFI
Base Training Period: 15 days
Skill Level: Advanced
Prerequisites: Knowledge of TCP/IP, Information systems and security background, and 12 months of experience in networking technologies
Ideal for: If you’ve completed A+ and Network+, or have similar job experience, you’re ready to take on this ambitious program.
Roles you’ll be qualified for: Cyber Security Specialist, Information Security Specialist, Information Security Auditor, Site Security Administrator, and Computer Forensics Investigator

Get More Info

If you enjoy detective work and want to get inside the mind of a hacker, this is the perfect program for you. Security+ and Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) will provide a thorough understanding of the attack vectors and methods of hackers, as detailed above. By adding the Computer Hacking Forensic Investigator (CHFI) certification to this mix, you’ll be able to track the movements of intruders in your network and systems and report on their activities and methods.

Does the idea of doing penetration testing on corporate networks pique your interest? Corporations understand the need for strong security better than anybody, and they are looking to hire experienced cyber security specialists who can protect them from cyberattacks and identify what went wrong. The mix of certifications in this program will perfectly position you for these kinds of opportunities.


Are you ready for a career in cyber security?

If you’ve got some experience in IT and are ready to take a huge step forward in your career, we can help! Our advisors can aid you in choosing a program that will advance your career and increase your earning potential in just a few weeks.

The Most Lucrative IT Careers for 2020

The Most Lucrative IT Careers for 2020

It’s clear that Information Technology is a fast growing field with lots of opportunity. According to (ISC)2’s Cybersecurity Workforce Study 2019, which polled more than 3,000 cyber and IT professionals, the current cybersecurity workforce in the United States and 10 other world economies at 2.8 million – about 4 million short of what it needs to be. LeaderQuest is proud to help train the next generation of IT specialists and cybersecurity pros.

Considering that IT workers are needed in nearly every sector of industry, it’s no surprise that these roles are growing like crazy. Salaries are also increasing at high rates, with Information Technology Managers seeing their compensation rise by over 8% from 2015-2019.

So what does this mean for IT? In this examination of the Robert Half 2020 Technology & IT Salary Guide, we’ll be exploring areas of growth, examining average salaries, and reviewing other information that’s essential for anyone thinking of getting into IT.

Expanding IT Industries

Though the need for IT is rising everywhere, the three industries with the biggest demand are healthcare, financial services, and manufacturing.

  • Healthcare — Big innovations are needed to improve patient care by modernizing healthcare operations.
  • Financial services — In the wake of the Equifax breach, this shouldn’t be surprising. Both big data and information security initiatives drive the need for pros in this industry.
  • Manufacturing — While manufacturing has been slow to adapt, things are changing quickly with the trend toward automation.
  • Technology — Unsurprisingly, the tech industry has a huge and growing need for all kinds of information technology roles.

The most in-demand job roles include:

Highly Valued Technology Certifications

Certifications are always in high demand as a way for employers to verify the skills of a new hire. The skills and knowledge required to pass these exams give employers confidence that they’ve made the right hire.

IT Salaries for 2020

In Robert Half’s extensive salary guide, they break down the numbers for what people in the 25th, 50th, 75th, and 95th percentile will make. Which percentile an individual falls into is decided by things like level of experience, special skills/expertise, job complexity, location, and other such factors.

When looking at these charts for yourself, it’s important to remember that the 50th percentile represents the midpoint. Those just getting started in the industry will be closer to (or below) the 25th percentile. Those with a lot of experience or credentials would fall in the 75th or 95th percentiles. For more information on using the salary guide, check out the video below.

When you examine the chart below, you can see that IT salaries top out with executive positions such as the Chief Information Officer ($174,750 – $298,750), Chief Technology Officer ($152,250 – $266,000), and Chief Security Officer ($155,250 – $278,000).

While that’s the highest of the high, it’s still worth noting that many of the salary ranges for IT roles easily reach over $100,000 including specialties and years of experience. Here are just a few high paying jobs in technical services, networking, and security.

Technical Services, Help Desk, & Technical Support

As you can see from the chart below, these positions represent the lower end of the salary range in IT. However, with the midpoint salary range for most positions around or over $50,000, it’s still much more than a living wage.

While salaries start in the $34,000 to $40,000 range, they quickly move to $50,000 – $60,000 as they get more and more specialized. This is especially true for systems administrators and systems engineers.

Position Title 25th Percentile 50th Percentile 75th Percentile 95th Percentile
Help Desk Tier 1 $34,250 $40,500 $47,500 $56,750
Help Desk Tier 2 $41,500 $50,000 $56,500 $65,250
Help Desk Tier 3 $50,500 $60,250 $72,000 $83,000
Desktop Support Analyst $49,750 $61,500 $73,500 $86,500
Systems Administrator $69,250 $84,750 $102,750 $117,250
Manager $107,500 $130,250 $157,750 $185,250
Systems Engineer $88,750 $106,000 $125,750 $148,000

When you’re looking to get into IT for the first time, it’s important to have a base of knowledge to draw upon. Our Computer User Support Specialist program combines popular ITIL® and CompTIA training programs necessary to develop the skills you’ll need for entry-level IT.

If you’re looking to get started in IT with little to no experience. Learn more about us by clicking the link below.

Contact Us!

Networking/Telecommunications

Network Administrators are listed as one of the most in-demand positions for 2020, so it should be no surprise their salaries range from $76,250 to $129,500, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Many higher level network positions such as Network Engineers, Managers, or Wireless Network Engineers start around $105,000 and can go as high as the $178,750.

Position Title 25th Percentile 50th Percentile 75th Percentile 95th Percentile
NOC Technician $53,750 $64,500 $79,250 $101,750
Telecommunications Specialist $60,000 $72,250 $86,000 $101,250
Network/Cloud Administrator $76,250 $92,500 $110,250 $129,500
Telecommunications Manager $83,750 $103,750 $120,500 $140,000
Network/Cloud Engineer $94,750 $112,000 $134,500 $159,000
Network/Cloud Manager $97,500 $120,000 $141,750 $169,750
Wireless Network Engineer $105,000 $123,750 $148,750 $178,750
Network/Cloud Architect $117,500 $141,750 $169,500 $196,250

If you’re interested in the networking positions, our Network Support Specialist Program teaches fundamentals, competencies, and qualifications that are necessary to start a career in networking. Through these classes, you’ll learn how to install, configure, run, verify, and troubleshoot medium-sized networks.

Interested in learning more? Click the link below.

Contact Us

Security

Cyber security is rapidly expanding and in desperate need of more professionals to stay on top of security. The compensation for these roles reflects this high demand.

In cyber security, even the jobs in the 25th percentile start around $90,000. With rising concerns about data from the Equifax breaches and others, it makes sense that Network Security Engineers, Data Security Analysts, and Information Systems Security Managers most often make between $115,000 and $160,000.

Position Title 25th Percentile 50th Percentile 75th Percentile 95th Percentile
Network Security Administrator $94,750 $113,500 $137,000 $160,500
Systems Security Administrator $93,750 $112,250 $134,750 $159,750
Network Security Engineer $101,500 $119,750 $143,000 $168,500
Data Security Analyst $108,250 $129,000 $154,000 $183,500
Information Systems Security Manager $119,500 $143,250 $172,250 $205,750

With the gap between cyber skills growing wider by the day, the industry provides professionals with unparalleled job security and a world of opportunities. Whether you’re interested in working on securing networks, keeping data safe, or even getting inside the mind of a hacker, cyber provides a variety of great, high-paying options.

Interested in learning more about how our programs can help you build a career path toward cyber security? Click the button below.

Learn More!

Perks, Incentives, and More

Most IT positions include generous benefits packages. Here are the most common benefits broken down by the percentage of companies that offer them:

  • Medical Insurance (81%)
  • Paid Time Off (76%)
  • Dental Insurance (71%)
  • Vision Insurance (63%)
  • Retirement Savings Plan (65%)

Employers also consider a number of other incentives to snag top talent including signing bonuses, health insurance, generous vacation time, and professional development opportunities.

As for perks, places often offer flexible work schedules, social events, the option of telecommuting, paid parental leave, employee discounts, onsite gym or access to a gym offsite, a compressed schedule, or free/subsidized meals.

Importance of Certifications

Ultimately, the difference in salary comes down to specialization. For IT pros, that means skills and certifications. Both increase the marketability of a professional. Employers may increase salaries between five to ten percent for professionals with sought-after skills and abilities.

Some of the most popular certifications, as identified by the Robert Half guide, include CISSP, CCNA, CompTIA A+, and PMP®. However, certifications show more than proving a skillset. They also signal to employers that a professional is committed to keeping their skills up to date at all times. With the ever-widening cyber security gap, certifications and willingness to keep on top of the latest updates are becoming more and more of a commodity.

Certifications can mean the difference between thousands of dollars in salary. That’s why, at LeaderQuest, we balance by-the-book training that helps people pass their exams with real-world, hands-on experience. This ensures our students can take their learning beyond the classroom and be fully prepared for a brand new career.

We understand the pressures of working full-time while still wanting to advance education and earning potential That’s why we offer classes during the day, at night, on campus, or online to meet any schedule and learning style.

Ultimately, a certification is a great, cost-effective way to get into the lucrative IT field for the fraction of the cost of a university. With the continuing upward trend in salaries, the IT industry isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.

If you’re interested in building a successful career in IT, contact us and we’ll get you set up with one of our expert career advisers.

Contact us today and unlock your career’s full potential!

PMI, PMP, CAPM, and PMBOK are registered marks of Project Management Institute, Inc.

Is Getting Your Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) Worth It?

Is Getting Your Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) Worth It?

We get this question all the time from IT professionals. They want to make sure that their money and time is going to be well spent. So, is becoming a white hat hacker worth it? The short answer is a resounding, “yes.”

If you’re interested in cyber security, the CEH certification is a great investment based on the knowledge you’ll gain alone. Beyond gaining technical know-how, CEH is also a valuable certification for your professional career.

Read on for three great reasons to stop waiting and get your CEH!

Increase Your Salary

The number one reason to get this certification is to command a higher salary. With an average CEH salary starting at around $73,000 and going as high as $132,000, you’re sure to see an improvement in your paycheck. Getting your CEH can help you secure a quick raise at work and qualify you for other higher-paying positions when you’re ready to change jobs.

After comparing this against the cost of getting certified, it’s easy to see that your CEH is an investment that will quickly pay for itself and then some. If you can get your training covered by your employer, or paid for by a third party funding source, it’s a no-brainer.

Of course, CEH doesn’t have to be where you stop on the path to career advancement. With this certification and some experience under your belt, you’ll be well on your way to earning your CISSP and other certifications that can easily take your earnings into triple digits.

Fulfill DoD Compliance Requirements

If you’re interested in the Department of Defense (DoD) world, getting certified is a must. The DoD requires all of its Information Assurance officers be certified before handling sensitive information and network security.  EC-Council’s Certified Ethical Hacker certification fulfills the DoD requirements for the CSSP Analyst, CSSP Infrastructure Support, CSSP Incident Responder, and CSSP Auditor roles.

The DoD is having trouble finding enough qualified candidates to fill these roles, which is why certifications like Security+ and CEH are so popular right now. With DoD contractors all over the United States (and abroad), getting CEH-certified offers a unique kind of job security no matter where life takes you. With demand at a record high and professionals with the required certs in such short supply, you can be sure that the salary for these DoD contractors will continue to climb.

Achieve Unparalleled Job Security

The rate and severity of cyberattacks is climbing and causing billions of dollars of damage to companies and organizations the world over. According to the Ponemon Institute, “the average price for small businesses to clean up after their businesses have been hacked stands at $690,000; and, for middle market companies, it’s over $1 million.” Against expenses like this, it becomes quite cost-effective to hire cyber security professionals who can protect company assets before they’re attacked.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Information Security Analysts have a fantastic 32% job growth outlook for 2018-2028, much faster than average for all industries. DoD contractors, cyber security defense firms, and large corporations are creating a huge and growing demand for qualified cyber professionals which virtually guarantees employment now and well into the future.

Get CEH Training at LeaderQuest

If you’re ready to upgrade your paycheck and open new career opportunities, come get CEH certification training at LeaderQuest! Forget about self-paced learning and YouTube videos. Our cyber security school is led by industry experts with real-world experience, so you get the knowledge you need to excel. You’ll be ready to pass the CEH certification exam on the first try, but if you have any problems you can re-sit the course for free over the next 6 months.

You can complete our CEH course in 5 weekdays with our daytime schedule or over 2 weeks on our evening schedule. With an included test voucher (CEH exam cost included) and onsite testing center, you can complete your certification and get back to work as efficiently as possible. So, are you ready to increase your job security and salary in a growing and lucrative industry?

Learn more about LeaderQuest training.

 

Save $200 on the CEH (Practical) in 2019

Save $200 on the CEH (Practical) in 2019

If you’re interested in building a career in cyber security, Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) and the CEH (Practical) are a great choice. Read on to learn about how the deal we’re offering on the CEH (Practical) exam and how it differs from the regular CEH exam.

Get $200 off through the end of 2019!

October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, and we thought that would be the perfect time to announce that we’re offering $200 off the price of CEH (Practical) exam vouchers through the end of 2019! That means you could register for this exam for only $300 instead of the usual $500! The voucher is good for 1 year from the purchase date, so you don’t have to be completely ready to take the exam when you buy the voucher.

What is the CEH Practical?

The CEH Practical is the next step for those who have achieved the CEH credential. This rigorous exam is 6 hours long and includes 20 realistic scenarios with questions designed to validate critical skills in the ethical hacking domains that are outlined in the CEH program. Where the CEH exam is about validating knowledge, the CEH (Practical) is about showing that you can implement that knowledge in real-world scenarios.

This exam makes use of virtual machines, networks and applications to mimic a real corporate network. In the exam, you’ll be presented with scenarios and asked to put into practice the knowledge gained from CEH training.

CEH (Practical) credential holders have demonstrated their ability to:

  • Exploit their understanding of attack vectors
  • Scan networks to identify live and vulnerable machines in a network.
  • Perform OS banner grabbing, service, and user enumeration.
  • Perform system hacking, steganography, steganalysis attacks, and cover tracks.
  • Identify and use viruses, computer worms, and malware to exploit systems.
  • Perform packet sniffing.
  • Conduct a variety of web server and web application attacks including directory traversal, parameter tampering, XSS, etc.
  • Perform SQL injection attacks.
  • Perform different types of cryptography attacks.
  • Perform vulnerability analysis to identify security loopholes in the target organization’s network, communication infrastructure, and end systems etc.

Why is it great for your career?

Employers want to know that you have the practical skills to help defend them against incoming cyber attacks, and there’s no better way to show it than attaining your CEH (Practical). For those who are newer to the industry, this can be especially beneficial. According to Payscale.com, the average Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) Salary is $78,979, and some make as much as $126,000. Those who have more experience or credentials will usually fall on the higher end of this scale.

Get CEH Training at LeaderQuest

If you’re ready to upgrade your paycheck and open new career opportunities, come get CEH certification training at LeaderQuest! Forget about self-paced learning and YouTube videos. Our cyber security school is led by industry experts with real-world experience, so you get the knowledge you need to excel. You’ll be ready to pass the CEH certification exam on the first try, but if you have any problems you can sit the course again for free over the next year.

You can complete our CEH course in 5 weekdays with our daytime schedule or over 2 weeks on our evening schedule. With an included test voucher for the CEH exam cost included (not CEH Practical) and onsite testing center, you can complete your certification and get back to work as efficiently as possible. So, are you ready to increase your job security and salary in a growing and lucrative industry?

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The Ultimate Study Guide for the EC-Council Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) Exam

The Ultimate Study Guide for the EC-Council Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) Exam

Let’s be honest, no one likes studying. No matter the subject, it’s tempting to procrastinate. After all, some tests you can take on an hour of sleep and two cans of Red Bull. Unfortunately, the Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) is not one of them.

Given the ever-growing importance of cyber security, maybe it’s no surprise that the CEH is rated as one of the hardest exams in the IT world. A four-hour long affair that costs $950 or more, it’s not something you want to do more than once. That means studying smart is everything if you want to learn how to ethically hack.

Fortunately, there’s no need to go it alone. We’ve prepared a list of resources and handy advice so you can pass with flying colors.

Exam Overview

“To beat a hacker, you need to think like a hacker.”
—EC-Council on CEH

The Certified Ethical Hacker is a vendor-neutral certification focused on cyber security and penetration testing. Its goal is to certify that a professional is able to identify weakness and vulnerabilities that a malicious hacker could exploit. In ethical hacking or, “white hat,” hacking, this information is used to help an organization strengthen its defenses.

Here’s the lowdown on the test.

The purpose of the CEH credential is to:

  • Establish and govern minimum standards for credentialing professional information security specialists in ethical hacking measures.
  • Inform the public that credentialed individuals meet or exceed the minimum standards.
  • Reinforce ethical hacking as a unique and self-regulating profession.

If you’re not sure if you want to get your CISSP or CEH, check out our blog on 5 Essential IT Certifications for Cyber Security Jobs.

CEH Exam Quick Facts

  • Exam Voucher Cost: $950 – $1,199 (this is the Certified Ethical Hacker certification price)
  • Number of Questions: 125
  • Duration: Four hours
  • Format: Multiple choice
  • Test Delivery: ECC EXAM, VUE

Source: EC-Council

Though it may seem pricey, CEH-certified individuals make an average salary of $90,000 per year and as much as $126,381. With earning potential like that, the investment is well worth it.

CEH Prerequisites

The CEH program requires the candidate to have two years of work experience in the Information Security domain and should be able to provide a proof of the same as validated through the application process unless the candidate attends official training. If a candidate has completed official EC-Council training either at an Accredited Training Center, via the iClass platform, or at an approved academic institution, the candidate is eligible to attempt the relevant EC-Council exam without going through the application process. LeaderQuest is an Accredited EC-Council Training Center

Free Resources

Of course, everybody wants free hacker training! Fortunately, the EC-Council provides a variety of free resources to get you started. Begin by heading over to the CEH assessment which provides 50 questions that will give you an idea of how prepared you are to dive in. It’ll help you gauge what needs the most attention.

Next, the EC-Council’s comprehensive exam blueprint dives deep into which subjects will be covered in the text, how they are weighted, and even how many questions will be devoted to each topic. Going one step further, the EC-Council CEH Candidate Handbook v2.2 covers not only the nitty-gritty details, but also lays out a CEH career path, discusses the application process, and even outlines a strict code of ethics that white hat hackers must follow.

If you need to study on-the-go, this free EC-Council CEH™ v9 Exam Prep (which includes some in-app purchases) provides you with 600 practice questions over seven different subjects. It’s available for iPhone, Android, and through Amazon. It’s perfect for Certified Ethical Hacker online training.

Lastly, it’s important to stay in the mindset of a hacker and the EC-Council white papers are a great way to do that including the 10 Deadly Sins in Virtualization Security and 5 phases every hacker must follow.

Best Textbooks

Internet resources are great, but they can only take you so far. At some point, putting money into your CEH study is a wise choice. Here are the most highly-rated textbooks and what you can expect to learn from them.

Study with an Expert

No matter how hard you study alone, there’s bound to be gaps. If you’ve hit a wall in your studying, or are worried you’re missing key information that will help you pass, don’t go through it alone. At LeaderQuest, we offer a 5-day Certified Ethical Hacker training course taught by industry expert instructors. They know what they’re talking about because they’ve been there and had years of real experience. They’re ready to help you get certified while also preparing you for the real-life challenges you’ll face during your cyber security career.

LeaderQuest classes come with a CEH VUE exam voucher (value $1,199) and an opportunity to take the test at our onsite location. That way, you don’t have to stress about the details and can focus on passing. You also won’t have to pay the $100 eligibility application fee for self-study students. If you ever feel like you need a refresher, we offer free class resits to all our graduates.

No matter what your schedule, we can work with you. Our classes are available on campus, online, during the day, or at night. We will work with your schedule to get you certified and strengthen your earning potential.

Don’t tear your hair out studying for your Certified Ethical Hacker. Train with the experts at LeaderQuest and kick your cyber security career up a notch. Your next Ethical hacking job is out there today.

Learn more about LeaderQuest training.

 

The Most Lucrative IT Careers for 2019

The Most Lucrative IT Careers for 2019

It’s no secret that IT is exploding. Forbes has  predicted as many as 3.5 million unfilled positions in the cyber security industry by 2021.

Given this scarcity, it’s no surprise that the salaries for IT professionals are skyrocketing, but the size of that jump might be more than you expect. Salaries for software developers and information security analysts increased 17 percent and 18 percent respectively since 2013 while compensation for computer systems analysts rose a whopping 21 percent.

So what does this mean for IT? In this examination of the Robert Half 2019 Technology & IT Salary Guide, we’ll be exploring areas of growth, examining average salaries, and reviewing other information that’s essential for anyone thinking of getting into IT.

Counteract Inexperience with Quick Learning

As the world shifts towards automation, the need for talented IT professionals is far outstripping the supply. That’s why companies have become willing to hire professionals with less experience but who are motivated to learn quickly.

With technology evolving faster than ever, employers are also looking for new hires who can stay on top of technology in their own time. That means passion is a big selling point.

On the flip side, those with skills and techniques related cloud technology, open source practices, mobile development, big data, cyber security, and other new technologies will definitely be given preference in hiring.

Expanding IT Industries

Though the need for IT is rising everywhere, the three industries with the biggest demand are healthcare, financial services, and manufacturing.

  • Healthcare — Big innovations are needed to improve patient care by modernizing healthcare operations.
  • Financial services — In the wake of the Equifax breach, this shouldn’t be surprising. Both big data and information security initiatives drive the need for pros in this industry.
  • Manufacturing — While manufacturing has been slow to adapt, things are changing quickly with the trend toward automation.
  • Software as a Service (SaaS) — This industry is growing quickly as more companies leave traditional software behind for tailored solutions with great support.

The most in-demand job roles include:

Highly Valued Technology Certifications

Certifications are always in high demand as a way for employers to verify the skills of a new hire. The skills and knowledge required to pass these exams give employers confidence that they’ve made the right hire.

IT Salaries for 2019

In Robert Half’s extensive salary guide, they break down the numbers for what people in the 25th, 50th, 75th, and 95th percentile will make. Which percentile an individual falls into is decided by things like level of experience, special skills/expertise, job complexity, location, and other such factors.

When looking at these charts for yourself, it’s important to remember that the 50th percentile represents the midpoint. Those just getting started in the industry will be closer to (or below) the 25th percentile. Those with a lot of experience or credentials would fall in the 75th or 95th percentiles. For more information on using the salary guide, check out the video below.

When you examine the chart below, you can see that IT salaries top out with executive positions such as the Chief Information Officer ($171,750 – $293,000), Chief Technology Officer ($147,750 – $263,000), and Chief Security Officer ($148,000 – $270,000).

While that’s the highest of the high, it’s still worth noting that many of the salary ranges for IT roles easily reach over $100,000 including specialties and years of experience. Here are just a few high paying jobs in technical services, networking, and security.

Technical Services, Help Desk, & Technical Support

As you can see from the chart below, these positions represent the lower end of the salary range in IT. However, with the midpoint salary range for most positions around or over $50,000, it’s still much more than a living wage.

While salaries start in the $30,000 to $40,000 range, they quickly move to $50,000 – $60,000 as they get more and more specialized. This is especially true for systems administrators and systems engineers.

Position Title

25th Percentile

50th Percentile

75th Percentile

95th Percentile

Help Desk Tier 1

$32,250

$38,750

$46,000

$55,000

Help Desk Tier 2

$38,250

$45,750

$54,750

$64,500

Help Desk Tier 3

$49,000

$58,500

$70,000

$82,750

Desktop Support Analyst

$51,000

$61,250

$73,250

$86,500

Systems Administrator

$68,000

$81,750

$97,750

$115,750

Manager

$82,000

$98,500

$117,750

$139,000

Systems Engineer

$86,250

$103,000

$123,250

$145,750

When you’re looking to get into IT for the first time, it’s important to have a base of knowledge to draw upon. Our Computer User Support Specialist program combines popular ITIL® and CompTIA training programs necessary to develop the skills you’ll need for entry-level IT.

If you’re looking to get started in IT with little to no experience. Learn more about us by clicking the link below.

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Networking/Telecommunications

Network Administrators are listed as one of the most in-demand positions for 2019, so it should be no surprise their salaries range from $74,000 to $126,000, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Many higher level network positions such as Network Engineers, Managers, or Wireless Network Engineers start around $90,000 to $100,000 and can go as high as the $150,000 to $160,000 range.

Position Title

25th Percentile

50th Percentile

75th Percentile

95th Percentile

NOC Technician

$52,250

$62,500

$77,000

$98,750

Telecommunications Specialist

$59,500

$71,500

$85,250

$100,750

Network Administrator

$74,750

$89,000

$106,750

$126,750

Telecommunications Manager

$79,750

$95,500

$114,500

$136,000

Network Engineer

$92,000

$108,750

$130,500

$154,250

Network Manager

$94,750

$113,500

$135,750

$162,000

Wireless Network Engineer

$102,000

$122,000

$146,250

$173,500

Network Architect

$114,00

$137,500

$164,500

$195,000

If you’re interested in the networking positions, our Network Support Specialist Program teaches fundamentals, competencies, and qualifications that are necessary to start a career in networking. Through these classes, you’ll learn how to install, configure, run, verify, and troubleshoot medium-sized networks.

Interested in learning more? Click the link below.

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Security

Cyber security is rapidly expanding and in desperate need of more professionals to stay on top of security. The compensation for these roles reflects this high demand.

In cyber security, even the jobs in the 25th percentile start around $90,000. With rising concerns about data from the Equifax breaches and others, it makes sense that Network Security Engineers, Data Security Analysts, and Information Systems Security Managers most often make between $115,000 and $160,000.

Position Title

25th Percentile

50th Percentile

75th Percentile

95th Percentile

Network Security Administrator

$93,000

$111,500

$134,000

$158,750

Systems Security Administrator

$93,750

$112,250

$134,750

$159,750

Network Security Engineer

$98,500

$118,000

$141,750

$167,500

Data Security Analyst

$105,000

$125,250

$149,500

$178,250

Information Systems Security Manager

$116,000

$139,000

$167,250

$199,750

With the gap between cyber skills growing wider by the day, the industry provides professionals with unparalleled job security and a world of opportunities. Whether you’re interested in working on securing networks, keeping data safe, or even getting inside the mind of a hacker, cyber provides a variety of great, high-paying options.

Interested in learning more about how our programs can help you build a career path toward cyber security? Click the button below.

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Perks, Incentives, and More

Most IT positions include generous benefits packages. Here are the most common benefits broken down by the percentage of companies that offer them:

  • Medical Insurance (88%)
  • Paid Time Off (80%)
  • Dental Insurance (71%)
  • Vision Insurance (60%)
  • Disability Insurance (58%)
  • Life insurance (53%)
  • Employee Assistance Programs (39%)

Employers also consider a number of other incentives to snag top talent including signing bonuses, health insurance, generous vacation time, and professional development opportunities.

As for perks, places often offer flexible work schedules, social events, the option of telecommuting, onsite gym or access to a gym offsite, a compressed schedule, or free/subsidized meals.

In addition, employers offer 14 days paid vacation for the first five years of employment and nine paid holidays including floating holidays. Employers also match 3-4 percent of employees’ 401(k) or Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) contributions on average.

Importance of Certifications

Ultimately, the difference in salary comes down to specialization. For IT pros, that means skills and certifications. Both increase the marketability of a professional. Employers may increase salaries between five to ten percent for professionals with sought-after skills and abilities.

Some of the most popular certifications, as identified by the Robert Half guide, include CISSP, CCNA, CompTIA A+, and PMP®. However, certifications show more than proving a skillset. They also signal to employers that a professional is committed to keeping their skills up to date at all times. With the ever-widening cyber security gap, certifications and willingness to keep on top of the latest updates are becoming more and more of a commodity.

Certifications can mean the difference between thousands of dollars in salary. That’s why, at LeaderQuest, we balance by-the-book training that helps people pass their exams with real-world, hands-on experience. This ensures our students can take their learning beyond the classroom and be fully prepared for a brand new career.

We understand the pressures of working full-time while still wanting to advance education and earning potential That’s why we offer classes during the day, at night, on campus, or online to meet any schedule and learning style.

Ultimately, a certification is a great, cost-effective way to get into the lucrative IT field for the fraction of the cost of a university. With the continuing upward trend in salaries, the IT industry isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.

If you’re interested in building a successful career in IT, contact us and we’ll get you set up with one of our expert career advisers.

Contact us today and unlock your career’s full potential!

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PMI, PMP, CAPM, and PMBOK are registered marks of Project Management Institute, Inc.

From Lost Soldier to Cyber Security Warrior: Lavall Woodhouse

From Lost Soldier to Cyber Security Warrior: Lavall Woodhouse

Lavall Woodhouse separated from the United States military in 2004 after being stationed in Mannheim, Germany and Fort Bragg, North Carolina. Like most veterans, Lavall had just come off of deployment and had little idea about what to do with his life after serving our country.

“There wasn’t really a whole lot of support in the idea of transitioning from the military to the civilian world, it was kind of like you’re on your own,” Lavall said.

Watch Lavall tell his story about training at LeaderQuest Dallas in his own words below:

Homeless and Directionless

Unfortunately, many of our veterans are lost upon their return, lacking a compass to lead them to success in the country they have been navigating the world to protect. LeaderQuest is here for that exact reason, to be a compass for individuals and lead them to success through IT training.

Lavall was in desperate need of guidance and had found himself in unfortunate circumstances leading up to his time at LeaderQuest Dallas. “When I first came to LeaderQuest, I was trying to rebuild in a sense. I was homeless, and I didn’t have a job.”

This is all too common, veterans 18-30 are twice as likely as the general population to become homeless.

The Start of a Brighter Future

Lavall was directed towards LeaderQuest Dallas by his vocational rehabilitation counselor who presented him with different training opportunities. He decided to go with LeaderQuest’s short-term certification training program and in 2016 and began his journey towards a fulfilling career in IT.

“My first impression was positive. Everybody that I had met had a great attitude in the idea that they were glad to have me there, and those attitudes were a large part of my choice”.

LeaderQuest’s Career Training Consultants evaluated Lavall’s situation and created a plan in order to ensure his success. He took the Network+, Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH), and Certified Hacking Forensics Investigator (CHFI) courses, all of which complemented his previous work experience.

Ready To Move Forward

Once he passed the certification exams, he then faced the next challenge of finding a job. Luckily, LeaderQuest was already one step ahead of him and ready to ease him into this next phase with one-on-one guidance from Erika Ofurum, LeaderQuest Dallas’ Employment Development Manager (EDM). “She sat down with us and started to learn about what we were into, what kind of backgrounds we had, and what kind of certifications we had. That’s when I started to get really confident,” Lavall went said. “She really rekindled that fire for me. That was exciting.”

Getting a Job with Amazon

Lavall’s excitement was intensified as more companies started to reach out to him. His hard work finally culminated in a job offer from Amazon to work for their web services team. About a year later, we asked him if he liked his new job. He told us, “I love it!”

“We all have this idea of wanting to be GREAT. That thought is within all of us, you just have to find it and then realize it.”

Cyber Security Training at LeaderQuest

There are times when we are alone and lost and there are times when we guide each other as human beings to find ourselves and our purpose. Lavall’s will had gotten him through the trenches of the military and his determination propelled his future into a fulfilling career.

Lavall served our country, fell down, and rose up to a bright new future. His situation is a perfect example of why we exist and what drives LeaderQuest employees to deliver the highest quality of service. LeaderQuest and Lavall will always be connected by his story and the continued story of how we plan to change thousands more lives through short-term training, certifications, and guidance.

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Hacking Fact vs. Fiction: Ethical Hacking 101

Hacking Fact vs. Fiction: Ethical Hacking 101

We’ve all seen it. The rapidly flashing screens. The confusing jumble of nonsensical numbers and symbols. Or, the lame PS1-esque graphics that Hollywood seems to think makes a mega hacker. Movie hacking is corny, goofy, and a convenient plot device when you want something to seem futuristic.

However, cyber crime is anything but humorous with $600 billion from the world economy lost last year alone from cyber attacks. Sometimes, the best way to fight a bad hacker is with a good one. So, what is hacking really? And, if you want to join the fight against hackers, what’s the best way to do so? Read on to find out!

What Hacking is Not

Before we establish what hacking is, it’s important to establish what it isn’t. The answer is, well, basically anything you’ve ever seen on TV. It’s not Newman telling Samuel L. Jackson he didn’t say the magic word and infecting all the computers as in Jurassic Park.

It’s not a man in a black light gyroscope twirling around while his green body dissolves into a swirling nightmare vortex as he says, “I’m in,” as in Lawnmower Man.

And, perhaps most importantly of all, it’s not trying to stop a real-time hacker with the most effective method of all. JUMPING ON THE SAME KEYBOARD TO DOUBLE YOUR ANTI-HACKING SPEED. (As seen in 2 idiots, one keyboard from NCIS fame.)

via GIPHY

Yeah, pretty much any scene in this supercut of amazing hokey Hollywood hacker badness is wrong. (And yet, so good!)

Hacking is just not that exciting. While we’d all love it if hacking involved flashing screens and fast-talking computer hackers breaking through encryption shields before uploading nano-viruses, that’s not how things work.

This all bring us to another question which is, why do we see hacking portrayed again and again in these increasingly silly ways? Well . . .

Why Does Hacking Look So Stupid in Movies?

It can be easy to think that Hollywood writers and executives are doofuses who don’t know the first thing about a keyboard, let alone hacking, but that’s not always true and things are changing as the public understands tech more.

For example, the tech-savvy show Mr. Robot actually employs a team to ensure that all of the tech stuff rings true. As for other shows, well, take a look at this video of someone doing a live hacker challenge and see if you can spot where this might not translate into film.

Turns out real hacking looks a lot like staring at a text editor for a long time, testing vulnerabilities, finding a way into the system, and then building yourself a backdoor so you can get back in. Text editors are notoriously nonsexy and nonexciting. You see the problem.

However, one of the biggest reasons that tech looks so silly is, well, everyone is trolling you as shown in this article from Gizmodo.

If you see something too dumb to believe, it’s probably a joke. Or at least a setup; the punchline of which is when you lean over to your date and exasperatedly explain that there’s no way that could happen since no CTO worth his salt would ever let that kind of information be remotely accessible instead of just relegating it to an isolated intranet, and besides that’s not actually what VPNs do.

-Gizmodo, “Why Hollywood Hacking Is So Hilariously Horrible”

With all this in mind, let’s dive into the truth behind the Hollywood glitz.

What is Hacking Really?

The word hacking has kind of become a catch-all for cyber attacks and cyber terror in general. Technopedia defines hacking as, “an unauthorized intrusion into a computer or a network.” Hackers may use the system or security features to accomplish a goal that differs from the system’s original purpose.

It specifically includes the following techniques under the umbrella of hacking:

  • Vulnerability scanning (checking computers on networks for known weaknesses)
  • Password cracking
  • Packet sniffing (apps that capture data packets in order to view data and passwords in transit over networks)
  • Spoofing attack (websites which falsify data by mimicking legitimate sites, and they are therefore treated as trusted sites)
  • Rootkit (programs which work to subvert control of an OS from legitimate operators)
  • Trojan horses
  • Viruses
  • Keyloggers (tools designed to record every keystroke on the affected machine for later retrieval)

However, there are a number of different ways that people who identify as hackers try to exploit networks and systems for their own gain. A Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks makes an online service unavailable by overwhelming with traffic with the sole purpose of shutting down a website.

Little known fact, one-handed standing laptop hacking is the most effective method.

Meanwhile, social engineering involves simply pretending to be someone you’re not to gain access into a system, as happened with the person who almost destroyed Wired writer Mat Honan’s life after one well-placed call to Apple support.

And not all hackers are created equal. While the word may conjure up images of a ski-masked man in a hoodie in a darkened room hunched over his laptop, ethical or “white hat,” hackers make up an important part of keeping networks safe.

Black Hat, Gray Hat, & White Hat/Ethical Hacking

Hackers are divided into three groups: White Hat, Grey Hat, and Black Hat. Named for the different colors of hats worn by characters in Westerns, Black, Gray, and White basically boils down to bad, questionable, and good, but the truth is a little more nuanced than that.

White Hack hackers are hired by companies to help identify security bugs in their systems. To catch a hacker you have to think like a hacker. They play an important part in security.

One of the strongest weapons in the fight against cyber criminals has been hackers themselves. Professionals with a deep understanding of how to penetrate the security of an online infrastructure are commonly deployed to find vulnerabilities that those on the other side of the moral hacking spectrum would seek to exploit.

-ITPro, “What is ethical hacking? White hat hackers explained”

Black Hat Hackers have a clear malicious intent. Whether it’s to extort money, crash a system, or just cause general chaos in a person’s life, they do what they do for personal gain in a way that harms others.

Gray Hat hackers, on the other hand, may, “violate ethical standards or principles, but without the malicious intent ascribed to black hat hackers.” Basically, while they’re not always above board, they do operate with businesses. (Although there is a debate on whether or not gray hat hackers should be allowed to discover security flaws.)

However, for those looking to make money fighting on the side of truth, justice, and the American way, ethical hacking represents a great way to make money doing work that’s sorely needed.

Ethical Hacking, The Real Story

What do ethical hackers look like? Look no further than this Lifehacker article about real-life white hat hacker Ben Miller. He talks about his career, what he does, and how he got there.

Many career paths that lead to white hat hacking are unconventional. Again, there is controversy in the industry about hiring black hat hackers turned white hat, but, even for those who start firmly on the ethical hacking path, it can be twisted.

In the case of Ben Miller, he got a degree in computer systems and networking . . . right before the dotcom bubble burst. Ouch. After a few rough years, he was hired as a networking administrator for a hospital and focused on strengthening systems while making sure they were HIPPA compliant.

His company offered a Certified Ethical Hacking course. He took it, loved it, and was hired one year later in ethical hacking by his instructor. Now Miller works trying to think like a hacker while stopping them dead in their tracks.

His recommendations for up and coming ethical hackers? Always be listening and reading, communicate with your client, getting certifications can help prove your abilities, and always document what you’re doing.

Want a Career as an Ethical Hacker?

If you’re interested in helping companies protect their data and stopping hackers dead in their tracks, certified ethical hacking might be for you! At LeaderQuest, we offer a 5-day Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) course to help you get trained, certified, and hired. Through our career services team, and personal job coaching with your very own Employment Development Manager (EDM), you’ll also get help with your resume, interview tips, and access to employers in the industry.

With room for growth and a zero percent unemployment rate in cyber security, it’s clear that a certification like this will make you highly employable for a long time to come. To make training easy for you we offer classes during the day, at night, online, or on campus to fit any learning style or schedule. When it comes time to take the test, we not only cover the cost of one certification attempt per course but also have approved testing facilities on campus.

If you want to join a career fighting for the good guys, don’t wait. Though sadly, this job will not involve two people typing on one keyboard. (Sorry NCIS.) Become an ethical hacker today!

Start a Career in Ethical Hacking!