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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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7 Barrier-Breaking Women in Technology

7 Barrier-Breaking Women in Technology

Women are expected to be brave, determined, persistent, and strong while still being compassionate, loving, and relationship-oriented. A woman’s plate is always full. They’re asked to juggle conference calls, product delivery schedules, and travel requirements with weekday soccer practices and family barbeques.

Many years ago, women had to make the hard choice, work or family—but in today’s technologically connected world, the number of women excelling in the business world is growing. By April 2018, there will be 24 women Fortune 500 CEOs. Of these leading ladies, 11 are managing STEM companies (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics).

The Raw Truth about Women in Tech

  • Only 6.7% of American women graduate with STEM degrees vs. 17% of men, meaning men are 2.5 times more likely to qualify for some of the highest paying industries.
  • Women currently hold only 7.5% of all U.S. patents and represent only up to 15% of all inventors.
  • According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, women currently hold less than 25% of STEM jobs.

But STEM is all around us—we all know you don’t have to be in a STEM-focused company to be making huge technological waves. For example, Mattel’s CEO Margo Georgiadis is leading her company in retail technology breakthroughs with their new Hello Barbie, designed to teach young girls how to code. Meanwhile, smaller companies and nonprofits are empowering women to join the world’s fastest growing industry.

With the IT and cyber security gap continuing to grow, attracting new talent to the industry is vital. Let’s meet some of the women who are determined to change these numbers!

7. Sepideh Nasiri—CEO of Persian Women in Tech

Sepideh Nasiri is the CEO of Persian Women in Tech, founded in 2015. Residing in San Francisco, Nasiri has a pulse on the emerging technologies of the Silicon Valley. Seeing the need for more women in technology roles, she founded her nonprofit to help empower women to seek technology careers.

Her focus on the Persian community is due to the large number of Iranians who have immigrated to the U.S. over the last 50 years. Their children are now first-generation Americans with strong ties to their traditional culture who have experienced the economic opportunities of the United States.

Nasiri saw the need for a support platform that would encourage these women to balance and embrace technology and culture and embraced it whole-heartedly.

6. Fei-Fei Li—Chief Scientist of AI for Google Cloud

Fei-Fei Li is the Chief Scientist of AI for Google Cloud. Before working for Google, Li was the Director of AI at Stanford University and is considered a leading expert in computer vision, a process which involves teaching computers to recognize objects in images.

Soon after, she was recruited by Google to run the Google Cloud Machine Learning group. Li believes firmly in the future of AI, saying the following in an interview with Elle Magazine.

This is going to transform every single industry, from health care to education. I imagine a world in which AI is going to make us work more productively, live longer, and have cleaner energy.

-Fei-Fei Li

This innovator is changing the face of technology, working to fulfill the dream of a health and brighter tomorrow. Li’s passion reminds women that they can expertly navigate and design emerging technologies.

5. Vicki Hollub—Revamping Occidental Petroleum

Another trailblazer, Vicki Hollub is the first woman to head one of the big American oil companies. Elected to Occidental’s Board of Directors in 2015, Vicki dreamed of a smarter and leaner strategy. In 2016, she became President and CEO and has made that dream a reality.

In the last two years, she has pushed the advancement of smarter technology for a leaner and more sustainable Occidental Petroleum. This has reduced the total cost per barrel by more than half by implementing a more effective field technology.

Not only has this brilliant woman spearheaded the way into this traditionally male-dominated industry, she’s used technology to find more efficient solutions and increase profit margins.

4. Safra Catz—Head of Oracle

Safra Catz has served as co-CEO of Oracle since 2014. She has been one of the most prominent voices in the Silicon Valley, demanding that the growth and advancement of digital technology include AI while understanding its effect on the global industry. It is no wonder that she is one of the highest paid female CEOs and is also deeply revered in the business community.

During her tenure, she has pushed her vision for the future of cloud and platform technology. At the Utah Tech Tour, Catz said, “Tech is about solving problems people don’t realize they have yet. To solve problems, you don’t want to exclude half of your group.”

Under Catz, Oracle has built a high school on its main campus and designed classes geared toward involving women in tech. “We wrote a curriculum that brought fashion and computing together in a class called wearables,” Catz said.

And she is right! Technology is an incredible tool supporting all industries—empowering young women is the first step.

3. Ginni Rometty—Climbing to the Top of IBM

Ginni Rometty made her way up the ladder for 36 years before becoming the CEO of IBM in 2012. This iconic tech company is making big moves by transitioning into a data company while focusing on cloud and AI technology. Rometty has developed new divisions within IBM to support their growth into new sectors of IT.

In an interview the Harvard Business Review, she said, “We’re a 106-year-old technology company, and we’re the only tech company that has moved from one era to the next. When you’re in tech, you have to transform.”

Under Rometty, IBM has created WATSON, an AI service that provides machine learning and cognitive computing consulting services. Rometty says, “WATSON will touch one billion people by the end of the year.”

2. Mary Barra—Rallying General Motors

As CEO of General Motors, Mary Barra is rallying for a world with zero crashes, emissions, and congestion to save lives, protect our planet, and save valuable time. Not only is she paving the way for women, Barra is setting a technological standard for the auto industry.

After only two weeks as CEO, Barra was challenged very early when she had to face the impious ignition recall in 2014. Her tested leadership and level-thinking helped GM land back on its feet after recalling 13.6 million vehicles.

With Barra at the helm, GM is rebuilding their empire by focusing on innovative tech. She wants to meet the needs of tomorrow, not just today, with autonomous vehicles, mobility apps, and their self-driving fuel cell electric platform.

In her own words. . .

We are reshaping our company and delivering consistent, record results for our owners through disciplined capital allocation to our higher-return investments in our core automotive business and in new technologies that are enabling us to lead the future of personal mobility.

-Mary Barra

1. Sheryl Sandberg—COO of Facebook

Sheryl Sandberg is a shoe-in for the more influential women today in technology. She has been the Cheif Operating Officer of Facebook for 10 years and spent six years as a VP of Google. During her time at Google, Sandberg developed a lucrative online advertising platform making billions. She has also written two books with the sole purpose of empowering women and addressing real-life issues.

This leading lady believes in the power of technology while also addressing the economic and social responsibilities that come with tech’s vast reach. She continues to address the growing concerns around the impact Facebook and tech have on our daily lives.

As the tech companies have gotten big, we have a really deep responsibility, and that responsibility grows as we grow. We need to address both sides of that, and that’s what we’re doing.

-Sheryl Sandberg

She believes that tech is not something to be feared, but to be understood and investigated—just like anything in life. Sandberg’s first book, “Lean In” empowers women to grow and understand their worth in the workplace. Her book evolved into the Lean In Foundation, a community of women from across the world moving toward equality.

The Future of Women in Tech?

We applaud all the women in tech who make it their business to advocate and grow the tech community. These women are all brilliant in their own ways, and we thank you for investing in women and bring tech to new, exciting places. We are at our best when we all work together and have a voice.

What is the CASP Certification and is it Right For You?

What is the CASP Certification and is it Right For You?

It’s no secret that cyber security is an ever-growing concern. In 2016 alone, the National Crime Agency reported over 2.46 million cyber attacks. As demand for cyber IT specialists skyrockets, ensuring professionals have the necessary skills has been a challenge.

That’s where the CASP exam and certification comes in. Designed to test enterprise cyber security skills, it can be a great investment for an IT pro looking to level up their career. But is it right for you? Read on to find out.


So… What is CASP, Anyway?

CASP, or CompTIA Advanced Security Practitioner, is a mastery-level certification developed to provide verification of cyber security skills. It’s currently the only advanced, performance-based IT certification that focuses on practitioner skills at the five to ten-year level.

It was created at the request of the Department of Defense (DoD). During the process, CompTIA collaborated with government, military, and enterprise agencies like the U.S. Army, Department of the Navy, U.S. Air Force, Dell, Lockheed Martin, HP, IBM, and more.

CASP is a useful cert because it fulfills DoD Directive 8570.1. This rule states that all Information Assurance workers who work with selective data–which include a number of cyber security roles–must have a certification verified by ISO standard 17024.

This puts CASP in the category of other notable certifications like Security+, Network+, A+, CISSP, CISM, CND, andCEH. However, CASP helps you qualify for better paying, more dynamic jobs than some.

Though CASP’s history is military, it’s become increasingly more relevant in the enterprise world for companies with coexisting IT business needs and important security concerns.


Is CASP Right for You?

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 transitioning into management.

(Considering CISSP? Click here to see our CASP vs. CISSP infographic!)

CASP could be a smart investment if you’re in one of the following situations:

  • You’ve got a CEH or Security+ certification and are looking to make more money or dive deeper into cyber security, OR
  • You’ve got 5-10 years of IT experience and want to move up, but aren’t interested in management, OR
  • You’ve obtained your CISSP, are looking for a pay bump, but don’t want to stop, “geeking out on the keyboard,” OR
  • You’re looking for a career in enterprise cyber security and need something that can land you jobs with DoD compliance requirements

Once obtained, CASP opens doors for various advanced-level cyber security jobs. 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 network, computers, and information are as safe as possible, CASP could be right for you.

This includes opportunities such as:

  • Cyber Security/IS Professional
  • Information Security Analyst
  • Security Architect
  • IT Architect INFOSEC
  • IT Specialist Cybersecurity
  • Cybersecurity Risk Manager
  • Cybersecurity Risk Analyst

As stated above, CASP was developed at the request of the DoD and is valid for 8570 compliance. Because of this, it qualifies an individual for DoD positions in cyber security at the following levels:

  • IA Technical Level III
  • IA Manager Level II
  • IA Architect & Engineer Level I
  • IA Architect & Engineer Level II

Of course, the biggest benefit of CASP is that it’s a relatively low-cost way to increase job opportunities and salary, especially compared to CISSP. The CASP program can be completed at LeaderQuest in just one week of daytime classes, or two weeks for those who sign up for our evening schedule.

If you’re interested in CASP courses in your area, click below.

Get CASP Info


CASP vs. CISSP

One of the main critiques of CASP is that it doesn’t measure up to the Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) certification. But that’s like comparing apples to oranges.

The tests have different goals and represent two completely different career paths. Yes, CISSP has been around longer and holds slightly more street cred in certain areas, but CASP is more cost effective, easier to pass, and is a powerful way to open the doors to new positions.

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.

Still not sure how the two stack up? Don’t worry. We’ve provided a comprehensive guide below. Read on to see if CISSP or CASP is right for you.

CASP vs CISSP

Think CISSP is a better fit for your career? LeaderQuest offers low-cost courses for CISSP online and at our campuses in Denver, Colorado Springs, Dallas, and Jacksonville. If you’re interested in learning more about CISSP, get more info below.

get CISSP INFO


Are you interested in getting CASP certified?

If you’ve got 5-10 years of IT experience, aren’t interested in management, and are looking to make more money in the cyber security field, CASP may be right for you.

While it may not be as versatile as CISSP, it’s a cheaper, easier alternative for people in the enterprise cyber security world.

Weylin Piegorsch

CASP occupies a strongly-needed niche . . . I feel that it’s one of (the) most important certfications that I hold.

Weylin Piegorsch, Manager of Network Engineering for Boston University

At LeaderQuest, we have a team of highly trained professionals who can help you study and pass the CASP exam. With flexible classes, both online and on our campus, we’re here to ensure you succeed. We also offer professional skills assistance to help your job hunt after you graduate.

This certification could be the perfect way to advance your IT career. If you want to take the next step in your cyber security education, click the link below. Questions? Contact us here.

Get CASP Info!