After getting laid off in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, Eric decided to focus on a new career in cybersecurity. This is the story of how he made that switch.

“I’ve always been a techie. I’ve got tons of computers at home that I tinker with all the time. And I just love helping people by looking at their current environment. They tell me, ‘We’re having trouble with this, how can we fix it?’ And that’s what I’ve always liked doing with IT.”

Watch the video below, and read on to learn more about Eric’s IT training success story.

Trouble with the Pandemic

Eric moved to Colorado in 2012 and had a great career in IT sales. In college, he had double majored in business and computers and enjoyed having one foot in each world.  Eric switched companies so that he could stay in Colorado. Not longer after this switch, his company merged with another. They were struggling when COVID-19 hit, and he was laid off in April of 2020.

Looking for a next step, Eric’s brother reminded him about his passion for cybersecurity. Eric started working on getting some certifications he hadn’t needed for his career in sales, and completed his Security+ in a month of self-study. He was looking for a next step when he met up with Ken Hoerning. Ken is one of the Career Training Consultants here at ACI Learning (formerly LeaderQuest), and was able to advise Eric on a plan of action.

“Ken walked me through start to end, ‘Here’s how we can get you into this class, here’s kind of what it looks like, here’s what the courses are going to be, here’s what you can anticipate,’ all the way through the test.”

Training at ACI Learning

Eric took our one-week CISSP prep training course, and chose to also attend an evening schedule.

“For the CISSP program, I actually took the class both in the day session and the night session. The day session was about 8 hours a day. Everything was remote, so you’re basically on your computer and the instructor is talking about things and it’s very interactive. You have sample questions and group discussion, but mainly it’s going through the book in the best way possible. ACI has their own materials for this. ACI will let you resit as many times as you want so that was a very nice offer.”

“I think ACI did a very good job as far as being able to get in the highlights and provide materials in the time they had. They give you access to several test banks, which is very nice. I worked with some of my classmates and we started a daily training session to share information and go over practice questions.“

CISSPs are information assurance professionals who define the architecture, design, management, and/or controls that assure the security of business environments. The CISSP certification was the first certification in the field of information technology and cybersecurity to meet the requirements of ISO/IEC Standard 17024.

Our CISSP training offers a job-focused approach to the cybersecurity process while providing the basic skills required to prepare for CISSP certification. Get live training, online or in person, from an instructor with industry experience. You’ll also gain access to a plethora of practice tests, videos, and other resources designed to teach you everything you need to know to pass the exam. If you’re not feeling ready, you can resit the course as many times as you’d like for up to 24 months! And when you’re done, you’ll have the full support of our Career Services team to help you find the job that’s right for you.

If you’re not ready to tackle something as advanced as CISSP, we offer foundational courses in our Computer User Support Specialist program, as well as mid-level certifications like CCNA, Certified Network Defender (CND), Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) and more!

Career Services Support and Getting a DoD Job After Training

Eric worked with our campus Career Services staff to find his ideal job: working with a DoD contractor. Our Employment Development Managers (EDMs) specialize in helping graduates perfect their resume and online presence, make connections with local people and companies, and get the interviews needed to land their dream job.

“Michelle Martin has been wonderful. She sent millions of things to me per day saying, ‘You should check out this and this and this’ and it was really helpful. So just the energy and the passion that ACI had and their commitment of making sure everything went well, all the follow-ups, everything else, was very helpful.”

Michelle and I talked many times. I was very passionate about finding a DoD position. And so she said you should connect with this person on LinkedIn or this person on Amazon, and talk to these individuals and she made some introductions and it really helped.”

As of early August 2020, Eric has accepted a position as a Cyber Network Architect for SAIC, pending a clearance level approval. Congrats, Eric!

“ACI’s main benefit is the fact that they have a recruitment specialization that will help you locate your new job. You can use that as much or as little as you want. So if you ignore them they will not be able to do much, but if you say, ‘Hey I need some help with this,’ they are very willing to step up, help, make introductions. And the other part is that if you went through the week and you still feel like, well I need some help, ACI is constantly having these classes and you can re-sit these classes as many times as you want. And they’re more than happy to do that.”

Are You Ready to Level Up Your Career?

With classes running weekly for the most popular IT certifications, there’s never been a better time! If you’re ready to have a conversation about training at ACI Learning, just fill out the form below.