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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.

How to Escape the Help Desk and Make More Money!

How to Escape the Help Desk and Make More Money!

Are you working in an entry-level help desk job that offers no real chance of career advancement? It can get frustrating, handling the same problems day in and day out. However, the skills you’ve gained have real value, and you can translate them into a more challenging and lucrative career in IT with a little help.

In this blog, we’ll show you why it’s so hard to escape the help desk, how to make help desk experience on your resume shine, and how certifications for current and new skills can provide a path to a better career.

Help Desk: The Black Hole of IT

There’s a good reason the help desk is notoriously hard to escape. Companies that find competent help desk employees rarely want to let them move to other roles. This is especially true for those who work nights or weekends. Many companies will make promises of a path to advancement during the hiring process but refuse to allow any movement once you’ve become good at your job. This kind of role is so hard to escape because once a company finds a competent employee to fill the role, they really don’t want to let them go. The best help desk employees have a unique combination of communications skills and technology skills, and companies worry about being able to find another person to fill their shoes.

Of course, not all companies are like this. If you’re lucky enough to work at a company that promotes from within and sees the value of your contributions, you may be able to move within your company. In this case, much of this advice still applies to you. You’ll have to prove that you’re ready to expand your role and take on new challenges. Certifications are a tangible accomplishment that can show management you’re ready and have the knowledge they need.

If your company isn’t open to advancement, though, the best option is often to look for a new position elsewhere.

Polish Your Resume

Help desk experience actually provides many skills you can add to your resume to make it shine. One huge asset is problem-solving savvy. Being able to think on your feet and find solutions is vital.

Help desk staffers can also claim a powerful commitment to providing fantastic customer support that exceeds expectations. Employers want to know you always have the customer in mind. This will give you an advantage over other IT professionals applying to the same position because they will have no frame of reference for customer service. Finally, your technical ability and familiarity with various business systems can give you a leg up on the competition.

Here are some bullet points to polish your help desk experience for your resume:

  • Problem-solving savvy and solutions expertise
  • Powerful commitment to providing fantastic customer support that exceeds expectations
  • Expanded perspective that includes the customer experience
  • Technical ability and familiarity with various business systems

Legitimize Your Experience

Putting a good spin on your previous experience is important, but you can also use the skills you’ve acquired to pass exams for valuable IT certifications. Some of the most common certs that you likely already have the skills to pass are ITIL and A+. By getting certified, you show employers that you’ve mastered these skills in an official capacity and increase their confidence that you’ll be a great hire. For many IT roles, candidates who don’t have certifications are sorted to the bottom of the list and don’t get considered for the position. When compared against an uncertified individual, certified professionals are the obvious choice.

However, ITIL and A+ may be below the level that you seek to work at. If you already have mastered these skills, more advanced certifications can provide a path to more advanced positions.

Choose Your Path

Building on your help desk experience, you have a few options for training that can quickly qualify you for new positions. In this blog, we’ll present two career paths that help desk workers are poised to move into by training in networking or cyber security.. Networking it a highly technical field where the correct certifications can open many doors. Cyber security is seeing a huge growth spurt and has thousands of job openings for qualified individuals.

Certification training is focused on helping you gain the skills and knowledge to pass certification exams quickly. By combining a few highly-sought after certifications with your experience, you’ll become a desirable candidate for jobs in your new area of expertise.

Either of these paths will help you increase your earning potential and make it much easier to find a great position. But, beyond that, they provide a clear path for continued career advancement the longer you’re in the industry.

Network Support Specialist

If you’re interested in cabling, network protocols, and how systems communicate and interact, this could be a great path for you. This program starts with Network+ training, which develops foundation-level networking skills to help you understand how networks operate. CCNA training will help you develop hands-on skills required to install, configure, operate, and troubleshoot medium-size routed and switched networks and resolve connectivity issues. Finally, CompTIA Security+ training covers the anticipation, identification, and prevention of threats and vulnerabilities as well as basic cryptography concepts.

Our Network Support Specialist program targets entry-level CCNA jobs such as Network Support Specialist, Network Technician, Network Administrator and similar IT job roles. This program combines CCNA, Network+, and Security+ to create a well-rounded network skillset that arms students with the know-how to handle myriad projects. This includes assembling and configuring secured networks, addressing existing network security issues and more. Network Administrators are listed as one of the most in-demand positions for 2019, so it should be no surprise their salaries range from $70,000 to $120,000.

LEARN MORE

Information Security Analyst

If you like the idea of securing networks and systems and preventing cyber attacks, this program might be ideal for you. With more cyber attacks happening every day, the need for security professionals has skyrocketed. This program starts with Security+ training, which will help you understand the field of network security and how it relates to other areas of information technology. CND instructs entry and junior-level network security administrators on Defense-in-Depth network security preparedness. It covers the protect, detect, and respond approach to network security. Finally, CEH is the most comprehensive ethical hacking course in the world and is a must-have for every cyber security professional’s portfolio. This course immerses students into a hacker mindset where they are shown how to scan, test, hack, and secure systems. The includes a live lab which is an intensive, interactive environment that gives students in-depth knowledge and practical experience with current essential security systems.

Our fifteen-day Information Security Analyst program is ideal for those interested in becoming Network Analysts, Network Technicians, Network Administrators, System Administrators, System Security Engineers, Firewall Administrators, Network Security Engineers, IT Managers, IT Professionals, Security Specialists, and other similar job roles. Security professionals in roles like these most often make between $115,000 and $160,000.

There’s never been a better time to gain cyber security skills as nationwide demand for these roles is soaring. Between hacks like Equifax 2017 and ransomware such as the WannaCry attack, digital security is getting a huge amount of attention. Many companies are seeking to protect their networks and data before the next big breach. By adding these powerful certifications to your resume, you’ll be ready for many of these positions.

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Are you ready to start a new career?

It’s time to leave the help desk nest! LeaderQuest offers training online or on campus to make it easy to get the skills you need. We also offer our classes in a one-week daytime format or you can take classes in the evening over two weeks while keeping your day job.

Our industry expert instructors will make sure that you learn not only what you need to pass the exam, but the know-how to need to excel in your new role. With the cost of the test included and an on-site testing facility, we make getting certified a snap.

Don’t wait to start on your future IT career. Email us today!

CONTACT US

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.

Contact Us!

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.

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

$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.

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 (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!

Contact Us!

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

Top 3 IT Jobs for Transitioning Veterans

Top 3 IT Jobs for Transitioning Veterans

A Brave New World for Transitioning Veterans

Transitioning out of the military can seem like a daunting undertaking. Leaving behind the world you’ve known for the 9-5 workday is bound to cause anxiety. Don’t worry! Many of the skills you’ve gained in the military can help you get hired and start a great IT career in the civilian world. In fact, a tech job is the perfect next step for many veterans, especially if you’re tired of being on your feet.Veterans Transitioning IT Jobs

It may seem hard to get your foot in the door to the IT world with no experience. However, certifications get you the skills you need in a matter of months or even weeks. That’s way less time than a degree. If you’re interested in IT careers, you’ve come to the right place.

Check out our list of tech jobs that are great for transitioning veterans. Keep reading for salaries, job titles, and more information for some of the most relevant computer jobs that will ensure your success in the next stage of your life.


Information Security Analyst

it jobs transitioning veterans

Why It’s Ideal

If you’ve got a security clearance, this may be the perfect role for you to jump into because clearance gives you a huge head start to get hired! Right now, the Department of Defense (DoD) has made securing the nation’s information systems a top priority, especially when it comes to national defense. For this reason, DoD contractors are required to have baseline certifications that ensure they know how to properly handle secure information. On top of this, many of these companies are run by veterans and know the value of bringing them on board.

Job Outlook

In 2016, Information Security Analysts had a median salary of $92,600. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that this role is expected to grow around 28% from 2016 to 2026. This is much faster than average for all industries (6%).

What You’d Do

At a basic level, information security analysts plan and implement security features for computer systems and networks. In practice, these roles can have a huge variety of daily tasks. For more information, check out our interview with Jason Thompson, who works as a Data Systems Security Specialist at one of the three largest banks in the US.

Qualifications You’ll Need

A bachelor’s degree in a computer or information science helps for this career, but it isn’t required. For many positions, all you really need is a few certifications. If you’re going to work for the DoD, they have a list of certifications that will allow you to fulfill the requirements needed to get into the information security world. The most important certification is CompTIA’s Security+. This foundational certification will teach you basic computer and network security skills. When you’re looking to building on this, you’ll want to add the EC-Council’s Certified Network Defender (CND) to your toolkit, enabling you to understand vulnerabilities in your systems and how to protect them. If you’re looking for a capstone achievement, the Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) will show employers that you understand information security backward and forward.

LEARN MORE


Computer Support Specialist

computer jobs for vets

Why It’s Ideal

Also called help-desk technicians, this is a great place to get started in the IT industry. If you worked with computers during your service, you may already know many of the skills you’ll need to get hired as a Computer Support Specialist. This is an ideal place to start because you don’t need much education to be able to apply, but it can offer excellent pay.

After starting at the help desk, you can work your way up as an IT professional. If it doesn’t feel like a good fit, don’t worry. It only takes one or two years in a position like this to create a great foundation for future career growth.

Job Outlook

In 2016, this job had a median salary of $52,160. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that this role has an expected growth rate of 10% from 2016 to 2026, faster than average (6%) for all industries.

What You’d Do

As a Computer Support Specialist, you’ll install, configure, and maintain computers/networks to ensure that your business operates smoothly. You’ll also assist users to keep their computers working properly and help them get the most out of their systems. Most exciting of all, you’ll have a hand in security for the computers and networks you take care of and will play a vital role in preventing cyber attacks.

Qualifications You’ll Need

To get started, all you’ll need is a few basic certifications to stand out from the crowd. The first is the IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL), the most widely accepted approach to IT service management in the world. Next, getting your CompTIA A+ certification will show employers that you can build and configure personal computers for office use. Achieving your CompTIA Network+ will give you the skills you need to build networks and connect systems to them. Finally, getting CompTIA Security+ completes the picture with one of the most in-demand certifications available today. With the frequency of cyber attacks growing by the hour, security has become an essential concern for all businesses.

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Network Support Specialist

good IT jobs for transitioning veteran

Why It’s Ideal

Network Support is highly in demand right now, making it easier to get hired and offering great job security once you do land the gig. As more and more companies go digital, and as new companies spring up all over, networking needs aren’t going anywhere. Because this role is so specialized, and the CCNA certification is so challenging, you can be sure you’ll have an abundance of job opportunities in any metropolitan area. You can start off as a support specialist and soon advance your career as a network admin or network architect.

Job Outlook

In May 2016, this role had a median salary of $67,770. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that this role has an expected growth rate of 6%, which is around average.

What You’d Do

Network Support Specialists are experts in all things network related. You’d be responsible for selecting and installing cabling, routers, and switches to help create a network that meets the needs of the business or organization.

Qualifications You’ll Need

To excel in this position, you’ll want to get your CompTIA Security+ and Network+ certifications, which we detailed in the Computer Support Specialist listing. Once again, Network+ forms the foundation of your knowledge while Security+ will teach you everything you need to know about building secure networks that protect your employer’s assets. However, the most important certification for this role is your Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) Routing & Switching. This certification is your golden ticket in the world of networking. It’s hard to achieve, but it will qualify you to get started in this growing industry.

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IT Jobs and Cyber Security are Thriving

it careersAs a transitioning veteran, you’re looking for the best place to invest your time and education to ensure a great career for yourself. To that end, you’d be hard-pressed to find industries that are growing faster than cyber security and information technology.

Why is that? Simple. Companies are struggling to keep up with the rising threat of cyber crime due to one major problem: they can’t find enough qualified candidates. 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. About one-third of information security jobs require a cyber security certification, compared to 23 percent of all IT jobs.

The solution is simple! Get certified and get the tech job you really want. At LeaderQuest, we offer flexible scheduling that works best for your current situation and learning style. You can take classes online, on campus, during the day, or at night.

Many of our classes last between 5-15 days, so you can get certified and back into the workforce as quickly as possible. As an organization with a long time commitment to veterans, many of our staff have been there and know the challenges that come with the transition. They’ll help you navigate your GI Bill®, make the best of your benefits, and get you equipped for a brand new career.

There’s never been a better time to get certified and enter the IT workforce in the computer technology career of your choice. Don’t wait to get your future started. Reach out and contact us today!

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LeaderQuest IT Training Moves to New Baypine Road Location

LeaderQuest IT Training Moves to New Baypine Road Location

After months of searching and a lot of hard work from our staff, we’re excited to announce that our new LeaderQuest Jacksonville facility on Baypine Road is officially open for business!

We’ve been looking for an opportunity to expand for some time, and, after seeing the damage caused by Hurricane Irma to our old campus, we knew it was time to make the move. Our new facility includes an onsite Pearson VUE Testing Center and state-of-the-art classrooms.

But our facelift isn’t the only change you’ll be seeing down in Florida. We’re also welcoming our new Campus Director, Robert Estes. Robert is a successful business professional with over 20 years of experience working with startups and Fortune 500 companies. He’s held leadership roles in growing and developing sales/marketing teams.

A graduate of Florida State University, and a life-long Floridian, Robert served in the U.S. Navy on the USS Independence stationed in Japan. He received two service campaign medals during forward deployments in the Persian Gulf.

You’re Invited to Our Open House!

To celebrate these momentous changes, we’re inviting everyone to our Open House at our new Baypine Road location on January 31st. Stop in to enjoy some food, meet our new director, and get a tour of our new campus. Throughout the event, we’ll be holding prize drawings, so feel free to stick around and enjoy the fun from 4 pm to 7 pm.

Come see us at our new location at 8663 Baypine Road, Bldg 4, Suite 104 in Jacksonville, FL 32256. Questions? Comments? Email us at hello@leaderquest.net.

RSVP Here!

About IT Training at LeaderQuest

it careers

Established in 2003, LeaderQuest offers a variety of training programs in person and online to help students get IT and cyber security certifications. Programs take 5 to 25 days and are taught by expert instructors with experience in the field.

After getting certified, LeaderQuest makes it our number one goal to help each student get a great position through career assistance. In addition to Jacksonville, LeaderQuest also has campuses in Denver, Colorado Springs, and Dallas.

If you’re interested in getting trained, contact us today!

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

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

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

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

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


Sixteen Years of Service

June 1999 – January 2015

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

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

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

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

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


Joining up with LeaderQuest

January 2015 – March 2015

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Cyber Security All-Star

February 2016

“Immediately upon obtaining my Security+ certification I was offered a position as an Information System Security Engineer, that jumped me up from my previous pay by about $20,000, just shy of making six figures.”

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

“Immediately upon obtaining my Security+ certification I was offered a position as an Information System Security Engineer, that jumped me up from my previous pay by about $20,000, just shy of making six figures,” he said.

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

 


Today

December 2017

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

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

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


Interested in IT Training?

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

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

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

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The Most In-Demand IT and Tech Skills of 2018 and Beyond

The Most In-Demand IT and Tech Skills of 2018 and Beyond

Between cloud computing, increasing automation, artificial intelligence, and more, there’s no doubt that trends in the tech world have forever reshaped the skills professionals need to remain viable in the workplace.

In CompTIA’s most recent series, they’ve been examining the skills that companies value most and have broken them down in a comprehensive research brief. It examines different job titles, skillsets, and how the overall picture of what it means to be an “IT Professional,” looks like in the modern workplace.

Want to know if you have the most in-demand IT skills? Just fill out the form below, and we’ll send you the Future of IT Skills Research Brief and send you emails about local events, cyber security updates, and more.

Already subscribed? Just drop us a line and we’ll send you the research.


Do you have the skills you need to succeed?

When you need to pick up a new skillset, IT certification can get you there fast. Getting certified takes hard work and dedication, but  LeaderQuest can prepare you for a number of different certifications including A+, Security+, CEH, CISSP, PMP, and more!

We also offer a number of cyber security training courses which you can day online, on campus, during the day, or at night. We’re here to fit your schedule.

Are you ready to start your best career? Contact us today!

Cyber Security Training – Top 10 Jobs

Cyber Security Training – Top 10 Jobs

This just in: Cyber security training—or a cyber security degree—are today’s hot-ticket job items. Now is the best time in history to be in the cyber security field—for new-to-the-market graduates as well as veterans, retirees, and those simply needing a career change. People with cyber security certifications are in demand as never before, and the industry is only going to grow.

Cyber Crime Is on the Rise

Cyber crime isn’t going away. It only multiplies, like the monstrous Hydra: cut off one of its many heads, and several others sprout in its place. Big business, federal agencies, startups and individuals are all scrambling to keep up, but falling more behind every day. With more and more high profile hacks happening every day, cyber security awareness is at an all-time high!

According to the World Economic Forum, worldwide costs inflicted by cybercrime are expected to double, from $3 trillion in 2015 to $6 trillion in 2021. One reason why: an explosion in data—50 times greater than the amount existing today, Microsoft predicts. The “Internet of Things” will also grow exponentially, with some 50 billion devices going online over the next several years, the company estimates. And every device is a new opportunity for hackers.

The number of people on the Internet, too, likely will grow in number, doubling to four billion by 2020. And as we know, people tend to use more than one computer. Many have a laptop and a phone, maybe even two, and perhaps a tablet. All of these devices will need cyber security.

Meanwhile, hackers constantly shift their tactics. From identity theft, to malware, to ransomware, to something we haven’t thought of yet, cyber criminals slip through each new defense or go around it. Software can do a lot—and cyber-security software is a booming industry—but in the end, staying ahead of the black hatters will take ingenuity and skill that only humans can provide.

Cyber Security Certifications in High Demand

What is cyber security? Cyber security is essentially a set of measures taken to protect an individual, a company or a network from criminal or unauthorized use, and cyber security certification shows that an individual has trained in these techniques. Fortunately for cyber-security-degree holders, too few people can fill the bill. More than 1 million cyber security jobs will be available this year, according to one report. In 2015, an analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics data notes, more than 209,000 cyber security job postings were left unfilled. Worldwide, the shortage will worsen: the number of unfilled cyber security positions is predicted to reach 1.5 million over the next few years. Cyber security skills are poised to be one of the most in-demand tech skills of 2017.

“The field of cyber security is the least populated of any field of technology,” John McAfee, founder of Future Tense Central and CEO at MGT Capital Investments, told CSO Online. “There are two job openings for every qualified candidate.”

This supply-vs-demand imbalance puts workers with cyber security certification in the “catbird seat,” indeed. About one-third of information security jobs require an industry certification, compared to 23 percent of all IT jobs. In the U.S. alone, some 50,000 vacant jobs require 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.

So, for the graduate with a cyber security degree, the question isn’t finding a job, but which job to take. The unemployment rate in cyber security is zero, and for CISSP holders the ratio may even be three jobs per candidate—with higher pay, too. Because so many cyber security professionals are needed, cyber security schools (like LeaderQuest) have risen to the challenge of educating the next generation of cyber warriors. Our cyber security training program can help you quickly gain the knowledge and certifications you need to start a new career.


The Top 10 Cyber Security Jobs

Here are 10 top cyber security jobs, with average salary and number of openings July 2015-July 2016 as listed by Cyberseek.

Entry level

1. Cyber Security Specialist

Average salary: $81,603
Number of jobs: 6,741
Related certifications: CCNA, GSEC/GCIH/GCIA, Security+, CEH, CISSP
Recommended LeaderQuest Course: Cyber Security Specialist

Infosec specialists work to defend devices and networks against intrusions, fight cyber crime, and even hack other sites on an employer’s behalf. Understanding the risks to the organization’s information and data will be the focus of your work: you’ll look for vulnerabilities in systems and networks, and repair and strengthen them. You’ll need broad knowledge of information systems and cyber security.

VIEW PROGRAM INFO

Responsibilities vary depending on the job, but duties generally comprise:

  • Designing, testing, implementing and monitoring security measures for your company’s systems
  • Analyzing existing security requirements and establishing new ones
  • Configuring and supporting tools including firewalls, anti-virus software, and patch management
  • Defining access privileges and controls
  • Testing for vulnerabilities
  • Identifying anomalies
  • Monitoring security administration
  • Developing and updating business continuity and disaster recovery protocols
  • Designing and conducting security audits and recommending upgrades
  • Responding immediately to incidents
  • Conducting post-incident analysis

 

2. Cyber Crime Investigator/Forensics Expert

Average salary: $94,188
Number of jobs: 640
Related certifications: CEH, CPT, CCE, ENCE, GCFA, CCFE, CREA
Recommended LeaderQuest Course: Cyber Security Specialist

Called the “digital detective of the cybercrime world,” these cyber sleuths figure out how criminals got in and where they slipped through by examining data logs and other evidence. To do the job well, they must stay apprised of the latest cyber crime trends and how they work in order to find digital “fingerprints” and other evidence hackers might leave behind.

VIEW PROGRAM INFO

Responsibilities include:

  • Examining device data
  • Finding systems and networks that have been breached
  • Preparing evidence for trial
  • Drafting technical reports
  • Working with law enforcement
  • Investigating security incidents and data breaches
  • Rebuilding damaged systems
  • Retrieving lost data
  • Giving expert technical advice to attorneys
  • Providing expert testimony in court hearings and cases

 

3. Information Technology (IT) Auditor

Average salary: $82,664
Number of jobs: 10,304
Related certifications: CISM, CISA, CISSP

An IT audit involves analyzing an organization’s IT structure, operations, and software programs. You might identify how your organization’s computer systems can better meet its needs, configure hardware and software programs to design new systems, and test systems to ensure that they are working properly.

The majority of IT auditors work in an office setting, primarily with computer systems. Depending on the employer, some auditors may be required to travel to evaluate the systems of clients. Auditors work independently most of the time, though larger projects may require some collaboration.

Desirable skills and talents among IT auditors include

  • Communication
  • Management
  • Understanding data security standards
  • Analytical skills
  • The ability to navigate a company’s IT system

 

4. Incident Analyst/Responder

Average salary: $70,647
Number of jobs: 17, 457
Related certifications: CEH, CPT, CCE, CCFE, CREA
Recommended LeaderQuest Course: Information Security Analyst

The “first responder” to a cyber attack, an incident responder may work as part of an incident response team. In this job, you’d be a cyber superhero, coming to the rescue in times of security system trouble. You’d work as quickly as possible to solve the problem or problems, and do what needs doing to prevent whatever happened from happening again.

VIEW PROGRAM INFO

Duties include:

  • Pinpointing errors or potential vulnerabilities in networks and systems
  • Developing a strategy for handling emergencies, including communications
  • Watching for suspicious activity on systems and applications
  • Collaborating with colleagues
  • Running risk analyses, security audits, and penetration tests
  • Writing incident reports

 


Mid-level

5. Cyber Security Analyst

Average salary: $89,232
Number of jobs: 29,160
Related certifications: ECSA, CEH, CISSP
Recommended LeaderQuest CourseInformation Security Analyst

A security analyst is responsible for the digital security of the company or government agency they work for. They analyze existing security policies and protocols and do a thorough audit to find existing weaknesses in the system and anticipate future ones. As opposed to systems administrators, who ensure that the IT systems are running properly, security analysts analyze data and may recommend changes to protocols, tools and methodologies, but would not implement them. Cyber security analysis takes a great deal of attention to detail and an analytical mindset.

VIEW PROGRAM INFO

Duties include:

  • Assessing new firewall technologies
  • Customizing security software so that it’s unique to your organization
  • Making sure security measures are still within budget
  • Auditing contractors and making sure they have proper security clearances

 

6. Cyber Security Consultant

Average salary: $107,282
Number of jobs: 21,612
Related certifications: OSCP, CPP, CISSP, CSC, PSP

Listed by Dice.com as among the 10 highest-paid cyber security professionals (Dice also lists a salary of $198,909 for this work), security consultants work with clients on cyber security strategy. You’ll need to know best practices and recommended procedures, and be a good communicator.

Duties include:

  • Discussing security issues with department heads and staff
  • Researching authentication protocols, security standards, and security systems
  • Planning and designing robust security systems
  • Disseminating technical reports and other documents
  • Implementing, defining and maintaining corporate security policies
  • Testing for vulnerabilities
  • Testing new security software
  • Guiding and supervising IT teams
  • Responding to security incidents
  • Offering cyber security awareness training
  • Providing detailed analyses of events

 

7. Penetration and Vulnerability Tester

Average salary: $90,590
Number of jobs: 12,702
Related certifications: CEH, CEPT, OSCP, CVA, CPT, CISSP
Recommended LeaderQuest Course: Cyber Security Specialist

We know about black hat hackers—they’re the “bad guys” and the reason we need cyber security in the first place. Penetration and vulnerability testers have the same skills, but use them for good, working to beat cyber criminals at their own game.

As a “white hat” hacker, you’ll look for and exploit applications, systems, and networks, simulating cyber attacks and then explaining how and why the attacks worked, all with an eye toward improving security.

VIEW PROGRAM INFO

Duties include:

  • Penetration testing
  • Creating and using new tools or tests
  • Discovering and explaining attackers’ methods
  • Documenting findings and sharing them with senior staff or IT teams
  • Testing the physical security of systems, network devices and servers
  • Finding and filling security holes
  • Setting and reviewing requirements for new security solutions

 


Advanced level

8. Cyber Security Manager/Administrator

Average salary: $113,407
Number of jobs: 15,120
Related certifications: CCNA, CISSP, Security+, ENSA, CISM

Security Administrators deals with myriad cyber security issues, and what they do depends on the employer. Generally, they administer, install, and troubleshoot an organization’s security issues.

Duties include:

  • Assessing networking and vulnerability scanning
  • Installing and supporting security software and tools including anti-virus, firewalls, and patch management
  • Establishing and analyzing security requirements
  • Developing and updating disaster recovery protocols
  • Defending systems from modification and unauthorized access
  • Watching network traffic for unusual activities
  • Installing and configuring computer security software
  • Improving security awareness
  • Conducting security audits

 

9. Cyber Security Engineer

Average salary: $107,705
Number of jobs: 45,549
Related certifications: CNNP, CISSP, CEH

Cyber security engineers, also known as information systems security engineers (ISSE), are the ones who design an organization’s cyber security systems. They also put these systems in place and monitor them.

To become a security engineer, you should have a strong technical background in vulnerability and penetrations testing, application and encryption technologies, and network and web-related protocols.

Duties include:

  • Identifying and defining system security requirements
  • Developing information security plans and policies
  • Developing strategies to respond to and recover from a security breach
  • Planning and implementing security awareness programs
  • Installing software such as firewalls and data encryption programs
  • Testing for vulnerabilities and penetration
  • Monitoring for and investigating security breaches

 

10. Cyber Security Architect

Average salary: $117,403
Number of job openings: 6,921
Related certifications: CISSP, CEH, CISM, CSSA

A security architect builds, designs, and oversees the implementation of computer and network security for a company or organization. These senior-level employees create very complex security structures and make sure that they work.

Duties include:

  • Researching, planning and designing high-end security architectures for IT projects
  • Building up public key infrastructures that include digital signatures and certification authorities
  • Installing and approving VPN, servers, IDS scanning technologies, and firewalls
  • Identifying issues around integrating new IT projects, and preparing cost estimates
  • Creating requirements for wide- and local-area networks, VPNs, firewalls, and routers and other network devices
  • Providing thorough analysis after each security-related incident

 


Cyber Security Requires Experience

A caveat: Although cyber security training and certification qualifies you to enter the field, don’t expect to rise to the top right away. It takes several years’ experience in the field to obtain a CISSP, for instance. Even with the best cyber security certifications, most graduates will need to start at the bottom of the cyber totem pole and work their way up.

“Just because you have a degree doesn’t equate to a high-paying position–you have to work for it, and many times that means you take the junior positions and get experience,” Gary Hayslip, deputy director, CISO for the City of San Diego, Calif., and author of the book ‘CISO Desk Reference Guide, A practical guide for CISOs‘, told CSO Online.

Many of the jobs listed here, even entry-level ones, need at least a modicum of experience to apply. A good first job may be systems administrator, network administrator, or security administrator.


LeaderQuest IT Training

Interested in Starting or Advancing Your IT Career with Cyber Security Training?

All it takes is a little IT experience and the right cyber security certifications to gain access to this huge industry and become a highly in-demand professional! Whether you’d like to come in and study at one of our four state of the art campuses or take advantage of our online cyber security certificate programs, a Career Training Advisor at LeaderQuest can help you make the career change you’ve been looking for.