LeaderQuest & CASY Partner for Veteran Success

LeaderQuest & CASY Partner for Veteran Success

Our nation’s veterans deserve quality jobs. LeaderQuest is committed to helping service members transition into fulfilling careers, which is why we’ve partnered with Corporate America Supports You (CASY) to further this pursuit. CASY offers award-winning employment support services to veterans and has actively helped more than 56,000 military spouses, active-duty military, and veterans connect to high-earning careers.

CASY is part of the VetJobs OCEAN (One Central Employment & Advancement Network) family of websites. VetJobs.org is the No. 1 online resource for military-affiliated job seekers looking to attain a rewarding career and maximize their earnings.

CASY Helps Vets Get Hired

A partner of the U.S. Department of Labor, CASY works with both employers and job seekers to achieve their mission. They provide free employment readiness, vocational training and one-on-one job placement services to veterans. CASY works with over 4,000 companies that share an interest in helping veterans start and grow lifelong careers. The National Labor

Exchange feeds into the CASY job board directly, helping connect veterans with new opportunities faster. All of this combines to help a LOT of veterans get hired!

What’s the Process Like?

First, you’ll need to create a profile. Within 48 hours, a counselor will reach out to you to discuss your background and career goals. They’ll want to know:

  • What do you want to do?
  • What career do you want to build?
  • What’s your skill set?
  • Do you have a degree or any other secondary education?
  • Where do you want to live?
  • Have you signed up for any training?

Each counselor has a list of resources to help them get veterans into the careers they’re seeking. This includes resume training, interview prep training, work from home training, and more.

Your counselor will look at jobs with you and teach you to use the CASY job board effectively. They’ll offer lots of coaching and mentoring, but ultimately you need to determine what it is you want to do. If that requires further education, CASY will connect you with a training provider that can meet your needs and has shown they’re committed to veteran employment. The counselor will keep working with you until they hear a YES about getting a job. Once the spouse or vet gets hired, CASY stays in touch.

If you’re a veteran, veteran’s spouse, or active-duty service member interested in learning more about CASY, get in touch with them here or click the button below.

Connect with VetJobs

LeaderQuest Trains Veterans for New Careers

So, how is LeaderQuest involved? We’re proud to be one of the training providers that CASY refers veterans to. LeaderQuest specializes in helping veterans and other career changers quickly get the training and certifications needed to start a career in Information Technology. We work with both Chapter 31/33 funding and VET TEC to make this training available to veterans and active-duty servicemembers, as well as veteran spouses.

Each of our five campuses across Colorado, Texas, and Florida has a team of Employment Development Managers (EDMs) that work with our graduates to make sure their job hunting and interviewing skills are sharp. Similarly to CASY, our EDMs support each graduate with one-on-one job search assistance. We’re not done until each graduate is employed—we remain a resource to them for the rest of their career. Our graduates go on to build careers in Cyber Security, Networking, and Project Management.

If you’re interested in starting or advancing your career, get in touch with us by filling out the form below.

When to Invest in IT Certifications over College Degrees

When to Invest in IT Certifications over College Degrees

In today’s fast, market-driven economy, it can be difficult for a newcomer or career changer to decide between technical or IT training / certification(s) and traditional college degree paths. We take a look at these two alternatives so you can decide which one is right for you!

Key Differences Between IT Training and Degree Programs

There are a few fundamental differences between traditional college programs and technical training programs. A traditional college will generally mandate certain “area requirements,” or classes you must take outside of your major to graduate with a degree. It is important to realize that with any traditional college degree, a great deal of time commitment and financial investment is required. Your area requirements can take a year or more before you are even able to begin actual technology courses.

Turning to IT training and IT certification, there is a stark difference. These programs do not require students to take courses in other subject areas. Students are able to jump right into technology courses, each of which has a clear application and certification. Course length varies widely depending on the course, program, certification, and school.

IT certifications are different than a degree a student would receive by attending a traditional college. A college degree in Information Technology usually has subjective courses, depending on the issuing college. A technical or IT certification is confirmation of knowledge at a national, or in some cases, international standard of a certain area of applied technology.

What Timing Fits Your Plan?

Time Money Outcomes - Do They Equal Out?As we mentioned earlier, timing is a big consideration when making the decision between technical training and college. Colleges generally operate on a semester basis, meaning that the average course lasts approximately 15 weeks and you get about and average of 3 hours per week of class time.

IT training and IT certification courses generally have a shorter course length than college. In general, you will be able to find IT training courses ranging from 5-30 days per course. Some certifications require multiple courses so, for example, you may need to take two 5-day courses to get one certification. Technical classes usually have more laboratory and classroom hours, because, while much of college is theoretical and independent work, IT training programs focus on hands-on applications of technology. The total amount of time it takes to complete training and achieve certification is variable and will greatly depend on your career goals, previous experience, the institution you are attending, and what certifications you’d like to earn. The timing will almost certainly be less than the four years it takes on average for a college student to receive any Bachelor’s degree.

Student services and career counselors are generally available at good technical schools and colleges alike to help you work through your career path and what courses you will need to achieve your goals. 

Employment and Career Opportunities

Now let’s take a look at which types of jobs value IT certifications over college IT degrees. According to Ramon Padilla, an experienced IT manager interviewed by Tech Republic, an online computing magazine, certifications are almost always preferred to degrees when the job is for something specific. This is because an individual can amass certifications, each of which has a very specific title, such as “Oracle Database Administrator,” and these coincide very well with job descriptions hiring managers are looking to fill. Having certifications is almost always better when the hiring is being done by another person who works in Information Technology versus a Human Resources employee or similar. Just saying you have an “IT degree” doesn’t answer too many questions, while having very specific and specialized certifications in areas where the company is lacking speaks volumes about how useful you will be if you are hired.

There are many jobs that require one of many available IT certifications. Just by looking at a career listing site, such as StackOverflow Careers (almost exclusively slated for technology jobs) and Indeed.com, you can see there is a massive collection of job openings just waiting for people with qualifying certifications to apply. For example, let’s look at a Computer User Support Specialist job. This position is a great entry level job for those who are looking to gain experience and pursue an IT career. There are no pre-requisites, prior experience, or college degrees required and with the right training and certifications, you can earn between $30,000 and $56,000 per year! For those who want to pursue additional training and certifications, it is easy to move up the ladder in a relatively short time.

Tech Careers 2016

One of the more profitable certifications to get is the Cisco Certified Network Associate or CCNA. This certification will give you all of the networking fundamentals, competencies, and qualifications needed to pursue an IT career in Network Administration. Network administration is a very well-paying job. Companies are constantly striving to keep up with increasing technology demands of clients and employees alike, and more and more careers are opening up every day. According to PayScale.com, just this certification yields salaries starting from a bit above $40,000 to well over $100,000! That isn’t too bad for a job that does not require a college degree. There are also several other IT certifications available from technology conglomerates around the world that can qualify you for several other well-paying jobs, including System Administrator, Network Administrator, Project Manager, and many more.

Cyber Security Specialties

A huge specialty in IT right now is Cyber Security. Companies have become much more concerned about the security of their computers and networks, especially after high profile hacks of large corporations like Sony have been leaked to the news. This has led to a large demand for cyber security professionals. Certifications like CEH or Certified Ethical Hacker and CISM or Certified Information Security Manager are in high demand right now.

Certified Ethical Hacker Payscale 2016

Another relevant certification available in Cyber Security is the Cisco Cybersecurity Specialist (CCS). According to Cisco’s Learning Network, all five of the IT security fields their certifications apply to have had large salary increases recently; this includes Data Security Analyst, Network Security Administrator, Systems Security Administrator, Network Security Engineer, and Information Systems Security Engineer. All of these jobs use some portion of the CCS certification, and their estimated 2015 average salaries range from $71,000 all the way to $156,000.

Note that in most cases, to achieve a good position in Cyber Security you will need several years of experience in addition to certifications but not necessarily a college degree. It is important to research a career path for Cyber Security to determine if four years of experience will benefit you more or less than four years of college.


In short, IT training and IT certification may be a viable alternative to traditional college. Especially if you are not ready or cannot afford to invest years and large amounts of money into “area requirements” and other general expenses. It also may be ideal if you need to progress along a career path quickly, are tired of your current job, or are currently unemployed. Finally, while only you can make the decision about which path is right for you, you should remember that IT certification is one of the few ways you can train so quickly and get paid a salary well above what some people who recently graduated from a Bachelor’s program may be able to get! Contact LeaderQuest today to learn more about our IT Career Training programs!