Earning a CCNA Certification
CCNA is the acronym for the Cisco Certified Network Associate certification that is offered by the Cisco Company. A certification from Cisco, more so CCNA, is considered a first-level career certification in apprentice knowledge of networking. With an approved CCNA certification, the certification holder is considered skilled in installation, configuration, operation and troubleshooting of routed and switched networks. It also means such an individual can implement and verify remote site connections in wide area networks.
In the 640-802 exams, a passing score is required to be Cisco certified. However, this score is subject to change by use of statistical analysis. Because the exam questions and passing are subject to change, Cisco does not publish exam passing scores; instead candidates receive a score report that includes the passing score for the given exam as well as the exam sections’ score breakout.
There are many other CCNA certification papers that candidates can undertake and one of these is the CCNA Security certification. Such a certification validates that the holder has acquired the knowledge and the skills to secure Cisco networks. In addition, this CCNA certification is offered to a network professional that has demonstrated his or her ability to develop a security infrastructure and is able to recognize network vulnerabilities and threats and mitigate such threats. It is necessary that the professional be able to use the Cisco technologies to maintain integrity, confidentiality and availability of network resources and devices in a competent way. Again, this requires a pass in the 640-553 IINS (Implementing Cisco IOS Network Security) test.
Consider for example, what you are expected to cover before you take up a CCNA certification exam. You need to have good knowledge of Cisco-based network protocols, bridging and switching techniques and hardware components, routing, WAN protocols, LAN design and good knowledge of the OSI Reference Model of communication. A good knowledge of Cisco basics will also be necessary with some background knowledge in networking. As you can see, this is not an easy ride for a beginning network engineer. To make it easier to learn however, a software called packet tracer helps beginning learners make virtual configurations, deployment and implementation of Cisco systems and reproduce networks the same way as in the real world. It is a great tool to have if you are learning Cisco all by yourself.
A CCNA certification is valid for three years after which you must re-certify it passing either an ICND2 exam, a concentration exam, a Cisco Specialist exam or a professional-level exam.
One of the recurring stories of the last half-century of the American experience is the outsourcing of the middle class. Jobs, particularly in manufacturing, have been oursourced or outright eliminated as cheaper labor from overseas has replaced “American made” in our stores and our lives.
In the process, the United States of America has become more of a bedroom community for the rest of the world. We commute to our offices, then spend the rest of the day telecommuting all over the world to manage finances here, push info there, open this account in a third place. In the process, America’s middle class has changed from production and manufacturing-based to information and technology based. That’s because “making things” doesn’t make as much money as “making money” does. There’s always a way to turn one dollar into two, which is why accounting work is such a great bet for a steady, lucrative career these days. But first you’ll need an online accounting degree.
If you’re looking for solid accounting courses, you can start online. Accounting courses advertise liberally, and there are options for everything from home study, to online courses, to fully accredited universities offering their services. It makes sense to check all of them out, price them, and take a look at your job prospects once the course is done. Someone with an accounting degree from a top university will obviously be worth much more on the open market coming out of class than someone who home-school themselves. However, it costs much, much more to get a CPA degree from a top university than most accounting courses online or at home will run you.
It’s important to understand that accounting courses aren’t just for young folks or people looking to change their profession. Accounting can be a seasonal supplement to your regular job, as from January to April a CPA can earn tens-of-thousands of dollars through freelance work. You’ll put in long hours, of course, but if you need the extra money, it’s worth it. Especially since accountants will always be in demand for as long as we have currency. (And for the record, I’ve seen no evidence that we’re going to a Star Trek-like existence in which the notion of currency and capitalism are outdated.)
Even if you’re only doing your own taxes, accounting courses can pay off. Free courses are available for download, and if you learn the ins-and-outs, you can end up saving yourself not only a bunch of cash on accountant’s fees, but a bunch on write-offs and declared expenses. It’s worth looking into, especially if you’re good with numbers.
So join the new middle class. Things aren’t going to go back to what they were 40-50 years ago, and an online accounting degree could help you make the jump to the financial status that you’ve long wanted.
I don’t know about you but, I’ve been trying to find a job all of my life. It’s true. Ever since my first job in high school, I must have had two dozen jobs … from being an inventory clerk, to working the polls to a glamorous high tech executive in a highly sought after field. But, alas, times are a changing. Finding a job in this climate is neither glamorous nor rewarding. But, for those of you who are tired of trying to find a job, you might want to consider looking for a business opportunity.
What is a business opportunity and why would you consider one? First and foremost is because you are in control of your own future. I’ve been “unemployed” for over six years now. Unemployment is really a figment of someone else’s imagination. I’ve tried various business opportunities over these last six years, since being laid off from one of my “glamorous” jobs. And, I must tell you there’s a sense of freedom and satisfaction from being your own boss that you just can’t get from working for “the man”, “the boss” … “the chief.” You are the CEO of your own destination.
Let’s take, for example, some of the benefits of developing your own business opportunity. Flexibility is probably one of the terms I’ve heard most often from self-employed people. Need to pick up the kids after school … “no problem.” Want to go see a baseball game in the middle of the afternoon … “go for it.” Want to take a vacation when it’s not so crowded … “when do we pack?”
Did you hate those performance reviews just as much as your boss did? Do you think you deserved a perfect 10 and pay level increase? But, your boss couldn’t give it to you because it wouldn’t be fair to the company’s policy? Well, guess what? Your own business opportunity rewards you as much as you want. You determine your pay scale based on your choice of business opportunity and how hard you work it!
Oh, and what about those silly political cat fights that go on throughout organizations.”Well, he said that and she said this.” There are no politics when you work your own business opportunity. The only thing political is how much money you’re going to donate to your party when you reap all of the benefits.
Of course, there is no magic business opportunity. I’ve made my share of mistakes in real estate and other high overhead businesses. But, some of the best business opportunities are right in front of our eyes. They require little to no overhead, no advance degrees, and can produce some serious money. No, they’re not illegal and no scamming here …
In fact, one of them is turning some serious dough for a whole lotta people … that’s Internet marketing ala Google advertising and affiliate marketing. I, myself, have turned to this great business opportunity. Yes, it took a little work and training, but it’s well worth the effort.
Regardless of what type of business opportunity you try, stop crying “woe is me.” There has never been a better time to learn a new trade, especially since you’re “unemployed” anyway. Here’s a great reference to check out these business opportunities.
A job working with celebrity musicians all day sounds glamorous but like anything else, careers in the music industry require hard work, dedication and long hours. First you need a passion for music; but if you are passionate, there are many rewards. Different routes lead to this exciting world and it’s important to decide which type of job is best suited to your particular skills.
For people interested in the technical side of music, a course at a music college will give the relevant qualifications. The recording studio is a hotbed of creativity, using sophisticated equipment. Being a Studio Engineer is a music industry career in the thick of things. The engineer is in charge of sound quality and works the sound desk when recording and mixing takes place. This position can lead to working as the Record Producer. Record Producers with experience can demand a high salary.
Having the right sound is not enough and artists need promotion to get ahead. This is where Music Promoters come in. The job involves organizing publicity in the form of interviews, press releases and personal appearances. Plugging the latest record on TV and radio is an essential part of this career in the music industry. The promoter is always looking out for the next big thing. Some promoters specialize in working for a particular music festival or live music venue. Recently, online music marketing is the way to promote artists directly to their fans.
Artist Managers, if they find the right act, can enjoy one of the most lucrative careers in the music industry. It’s all a matter of putting in the hours and luck if they find themselves in the right place at the right time. When a prospect is found, the manager will try to secure a recording contract and organize tours and publicity opportunities.
Some people like to specialize as a Tour Manager. Life on the road can be arduous and these managers need to have great organizational skills. They look after all the artist’s needs on tour and ensure that there is enough promotion around the gigs. They are also responsible for working out the route.
The A & R person is another essential link in the chain and they also hunt down the most exciting new acts, looking for a spark of originality that can be translated into record and ticket sales. It’s the job of the A & R to liason between the artist’s manager and record company to get the best deal. This is one of the most exciting music industry careers but entails many hours of listening to demo tapes and attending gigs in the search for something special.
Journalism is another strand of activity and Music Journalists enjoy going to gigs, reviewing records and interviewing artists. This career in the music industry brings a front row seat. Getting experience on a student paper or a regional newspaper can result in a job on a national music magazine.
I recently read with great interest about Leigh Steinberg and his efforts to help create a greener globe. I remember growing up in the Bay Area in the 70s. Mr. Steinberg was the “golden boy”, who took sports agency, then in its infancy, and turned into the incredible machine that it is today. He represented some of the greatest athletes of the time, including: Joe Montana, Warren Moon, Steve Young and Steve Bartowski. The movie Jerry Maguire was fashioned after this legendary man.
The article was announcing Leigh Steinberg’s 23rd Annual Super Bowl Party. But, more importantly, the article talked about how Mr. Steinberg is promoting the “greening up of sports”. He’s participating with and communicating through The Sporting Green Alliance, which is promoting the use of sustainable technologies in arenas and stadia around the world.
Sports events, in general, don’t seem to ever run out of steam. Yes, event tickets drop off every now and then, but there is a fascination with sports that transcends logic. I think it could very well be that we put athletes on a pedestal. They achieve super human feats that are, in our minds, unimaginable. Yet, they seemingly perform these feats with ease.
After reading this article, I started doing a little more research into Leigh Steinberg. I found a number of fascinating information about Mr. Steinberg. He’s clearly a man of great integrity, with a passion for giving back to the world. One gentleman that I actually spoke with knew Leigh when he first signed up Steve Bartowski. Leigh was a visionary even at that time … recommending that anybody he represented donate money to their alma mater or to their community. I read someplace that the amount of charitable donations now exceeds $250 Million. Take that back to the Wall Street.
The whole notion of giving and sustainability is, of course, part of the grander scheme of life. Most people during economic downturn will turn inward and refuse to participate. Mr. Steinberg seems to have accelerated his efforts in these areas. In fact, many corporate sponsors pulled out of the Super Bowl event, including Playboy Enterprises and Sports Illustrated canned their annual parties.
The invitation only affair will sport a number of events where the proceeds will go directly to worthwhile charities. He’s also sponsoring a live video conference between our troops in Iraq and a one on one with as of yet, unannounced, celebrities. How cool is that?
There are many good career opportunities in catering and hospitality. Candidates have an excellent choice of California Culinary Schools to choose from. They offer knowledge and practical training, financial assistance for those eligible, and a gateway to the world of work. Courses give the opportunity to take up careers in kitchens and front of house or in management.
The California Culinary Academy in San Francisco offers Le Cordon Bleu Culinary Art programs, taught by professional chefs and managers. The facilities are of the highest quality with equipment up to industry standard. This culinary school in California has been welcoming students since 1977, delivering Degree and Certificate Programs in small classes. Le Cordon Bleu Patisserie and Baking courses are also available. Subjects covered include Business Management, Wine Appreciation, and Hotel Operations. Students enjoy trips to the wine growing area of Napa Valley. The Careers Service provides advice on preparing for job interviews and writing a resume. The college expanded in 2004 with a new campus, located in Portrero Hill in San Francisco.
Degree courses in Le Cordon Bleu in Culinary Arts is also available at the California School of Culinary Arts in Pasadena with a 12-month study program and three month’s externship. There are other short-term programs and Associate of Occupational Studies. Patisserie and Baking, Hospitality, and Restaurant Management are on offer. Students can receive advice on finding a job in various fields, including restaurants, hotels, spas, country clubs, casinos, cruise ships and vacation resorts. There is also a campus in Hollywood.
The Kitchen Academy in Sacramento operates accelerated training programs, put together by the finest chefs. Lessons are entirely conducted in a kitchen environment with customized work stations and there are no classrooms. Some programs can be completed in thirty weeks and courses can be taken on mornings, afternoons, or evenings. This California culinary school also has a campus in Hollywood.
The International Culinary School at the Art Institute of California at Santa Monica offers Associate Degree courses in Culinary Arts and Bachelors Degrees in Culinary Management. Diplomas are also awarded for The Art of Cooking and Baking and Pastry. This culinary school in California has further campuses in Santa Ana and San Diego.
The City College of San Francisco is a two-year college and offers a wide variety of subjects. These include Baking, Confectionary Show Pieces, French Culinary Arts, Food Purchasing, Kitchen Management, Nutrition and Food Service, and Sanitation.
The National Culinary School in Le Mesa, San Diego is a vocational school in operation since 1976. Practical training is offered in small class sizes and with state of the art equipment. Training is tailored to the individual in Culinary Arts and Baking and Pastry. Students at this friendly California culinary school go on field trips to the meat market and the fish market.
Why stress at a job you don’t like? If you’d to find culinary art schools in your area and would like info on financial ad options, visit:
How many people actually stick with the career they started in after they graduated from college? A study shows that not many people do because they have found something later on in life that interests them. It is like shifting to another course in your sophomore or third year so if you are not happy with your job, perhaps you may find a more rewarding career as a nurse.
Nurses are high in demand in the market, even during this recession. This is because hospitals need more staff to help patients and also to fill the gap of nurses who have and will be reaching retirement age very soon. To become a nurse, all you have to do is go back to school and get the proper training.
For those who have forgotten or have never taken up subject’s biology or chemistry in their previous course, they are required to take them because these are prerequisites and these are also things you have to know when you are helping a patient.
You are sure to find a school that offers a nursing program regardless of where you live as there are more than 1,500 programs offered in universities and colleges. You just have to find the right one that can meet your goals and objectives. Don’t forget to find out how much it will cost and also if their program is accredited by the nursing board.
Money should not be an issue when you are thinking of a career change because the school may have a grant in aid program or offer scholarship to deserving students. If you do not qualify, see if you can get a loan or do this part time so at least you are able to pay your way through college.
The most sought after position in the healthcare system is that of the resident nurse and although it will take longer to finish, you can expect to get a return on your investment later on as the starting salary for fresh graduate’s starts at around $45,000. This amount is still much higher than what other professionals make in other occupations.
But before you can start working, one more hurdle you need to pass is the state license exam. This varies from state to state so if you plan to work elsewhere, you will have to take another exam.
Once you gain years of experience as a nurse, you can set your sights on higher goals that will truly bring your career to another level. After getting a masters or a doctorate degree, you can find work as a consultant for the hospital, an instructor in a school or as a researcher for a private company. This is because your expertise will help train students and do a lot of good in helping researchers find cures for certain illnesses.
If you are no longer with your present job, why should you push yourself to wake up in the morning? Instead of being miserable, don’t you think you should do something about it? A change in your career for nursing or any other is a gamble because you are stepping into new territory.
You should be ready to face the challenges ahead and be open-minded to the things you will learn as this could save the life of the patient.
If you would like more information and access to:
- “How to” and Benefits Guide for the public service community
- 1-on-1 consultation with an enrollment advisor
- Access to millions of scholarships to help you finance your future
- Search thousands of jobs
Send an email to:
Do You Need Business Writing Classes?
College, high school, and even workshops are all learning experiences that most try to make the most of, no matter how old they are or why they are going through them. There are some classes that are going to mean nothing to your life, but there are some that you may want to take even if you think they are never going to be needed. You may not think that you should take business writing classes, but you may need these no matter what type of career you are going to pursue. These are better taken than ignored.
Some people can write, and others think that they are better off having someone else writing out important things for them. Even some that are highly intelligent have problems with clear written communications. One should not feel stupid if they are having problems with this. Most need to have business writing classes because getting things out in a professional and concrete fashion does take some training. A few can do it on their own, and do it well, but most need at least some guidance in this particular matter.
Business writing courses are offered in almost any college, and many high schools have this as part of their English curriculum. It can be required in some cases, but students that do not have this may want to see what they can do to get business writing classes into their schedule. You learn things that you need, even if you think that being a chef or fixing cars has nothing to do with writing. There are always going to be times when you have to write something in a business sense, and you should know what you are doing when you do.
What you are going to learn through business writing classes is how to properly prepare many types of business communications. Some people in business have executive or administrative assistants that can take care of this for them, but not everyone starts out a career with this type of help. Those that have their own businesses are probably going to have to do this on their own while they are getting things going and in the early years when they can not afford to have a lot of help. Some community colleges have business writing courses that you can take when you need them if you missed this in college.
Business writing classes are going to prepare you to send out sales communications as well as letters when you have to collect on a debt. Not all of these are pleasant, but you should know how to properly word and format these in a professional manner. If you don’t have the time to go back to school, or feel that your schedule will not permit you to take the business writing classes that you need, look for some easy classes online that allow you to do the work when you can. Those can be the best when you are already out of school and want the extra help.
Getting a job is not what it used to be nor will it ever be the same again. In the not so distant past, employers reviewed your resume, called you in for an interview and phoned a few references to make sure you “check out.” These days with the proliferation and easy accessibility of data, the “check out” phase is a bit more extensive and, quite frankly, downright scary.
Consider the fate of one of my candidates a few months back. She was submitted for a product management position at a very well known and “hot” Silicon Valley company. She was currently employed for 10 years by another respectable Silicon Valley company and worked directly in the space that the potential employer wanted. In addition, she had advanced degrees in the targeted industry. After several days of interviews, the candidate was rejected. The reason? “A more qualified applicant applied online.” That’s It! To this day, I’m still stunned by that experience.
Companies have become increasingly more attentive to candidate review. Every aspect of a candidate’s background is now open to scrutiny, including your online presence (as I’ve discussed in a previous post), both personal and professional.
One little known fact that most candidates are unaware of, though, is that potential employers can also check your credit history. Why would an employer care about your credit history? Because a “less than stellar” history MIGHT indicate that you are an “at risk” employee. For example, If you’re having financial difficulty you might be easily distracted and not perform well.
Another reason your credit report might be checked is to see if you’re “shopping around” with other companies. Sometimes, when candidates go hunting for a new job, they apply for new credit or insurance in that particular area. Credit bureaus report on many of these applications.
Sneaky, yes. But, all too real and legal …
The Fair Credit Reporting Act requires credit agencies to provide their data to anyone who has a legitimate business need. In fact, it gets even scarier. Employers can also use this information not just for employment screening, but also for promotions, re-assignment or retention.
Of course, the Fair Credit Reporting Act gives you rights as well. If you are rejected for any of the reasons above, the employer must tell you so. They are also obligated to give you a free copy of your credit report. Furthermore, you have a right to dispute any of the information on your report.
However, it is very difficult to know the “real reason” why you are rejected. Employers can reject a candidate for a host of reasons: better qualified candidates (as you’ve seen above), not enough experience … basically, you name it.
Credit history is one aspect of a prospective candidate’s personal history review. Extrapolating from your credit, insurance agencies can and do charge more for insurance. The reason? The insurance companies believe that there is a correlation between bad credit and insurance claims. More insurance cost potentially means more expense to the employer. And, the list goes on …
There are a number of companies now providing what’s being called an “Employment Score”. It’s an overall assessment of credit, insurance, auto scores and other variations. Knowing your employment score can prepare you for your next job interview. With profile in hand, you can at a minimum, be prepared to answer tough questions or, best case scenario, fix inaccuracies before they become a problem.
With the economy in the tank, foreclosures on the rise, and unemployment high, it’s imperative to be extra-prepared. Your employment score another tool that can help put you on the offensive, rather than on the defensive.
Every day today we’re bombarded by the media to believe that the sky is falling, you’d better run for cover … $700 Billion bailout … subprime market fallout … global recession. It certainly is true that we’re in for one helluva ride, but is there anything that we can do to make this ride a little less bumpy? Can we create for ourselves a sense of space that will keep us from falling into the black hole of media depression?
If you answer “yes”, then you stand a chance to change your life, get that job that you really want and live up to your own fullest potential. If you answer “no”, you’re destined to follow a prescribed path that is conditioning us for failure.
Lord knows that I am arguably worse off now than i was just a mere six years ago. Remember the dot-com blowup? The media and pundits all told us that Silicon Valley was dead and that we’d better stick our heads in the ground and wait it out. Yes, the Valley had slowed down tremendously, but those who did not follow the masses continued to plug away and ultimately survived and prospered.
I was recently introduced to a book called, Kickback. It’s about social guidance and our generation. We are influenced tremendously by what others say and do. We generally tend to follow what the masses are wearing, eating, drinking, etc. In other words, we are heavily influenced by peer pressure.
The author, Robert Urbanowski, asserts that we have changed very little since the stone age days. We use whtat he calls “social guidance” to determine how we should act, where we should live, and even how and when we should marry.
Urbanowski illustrates several examples of how social proof guides us in ways that immobilizes some from taking action, even when some tragic event is unfolding. One of the examples that he lays out in his first chapter explains how a group of 38 neighbors in 1964 failed to help a person who was brutally murdered right in front of their eyes. It was not until the victim was dead and silent did they end up calling the police. He goes on to explain the scientific reason behind their inability to react.
Some people might call this phenomenon “herd mentality”. In fact, marketers have been using advanced techniques to get the masses to buy for decades. They know that once the masses accept a certain thing as cool or acceptable, it will be easy to manipulate the rest of the herd.
Urbanowski continues to discuss how the ascpect of our social conscience has gotten us into trouble relative to excess consumption and debt. It is essentially driving us into a downward sprial. The real key to success is not driving toward fame, fortune and get rich quick schemes. But, to drive toward getting happy fast. This is the essence of the book. How can we achieve contentedness through the pursuit of happiness.
What does Kickback have to do with careers? It lays out a foundation for you and me to figure out what is important to us before we decide what job we want, how much money we need to make and what kind of car we want to own.
As Urbanowki points out … we don’t have to be like the American buffalo, heading toward impending disaster with our heads down. We have the ability to stop, look up and re-examine how we are approaching life. Is this the life we want to live or is it what everyone else is promoting around us.
Kickback by Robert Urbanowski.