Certification and Real World Training When You Want  It

Why Get Ceritifications...

Let's talk about certification. From a personal aspect on certification, I was first certified since 1996. I get my share of questions from people in the field as to what are my feelings about certifications. Some times we get into heated discussions with people that are opposed to them. There are pros and cons to the argument and this article will make the case for gettingand for staying current.

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The Argument FOR Certifications

Why would someone that's working for a company bother to get certified especially if they already have a college degree and have been working for a number of years for one employer?

Here are some points to consider.

1. Show Your Value Through Certifications

The way I look at certfication is that someone takes the time to better themselves. By showing your skills are up to date you might be more in line for the next promotional progression in your role or for the next role. Your also showing your employer that you're a valuable member of the team and that you're willing to learn new things.

Additionally, you'll be able to make a better argument for that next version of technology that you want to introduce into your enterprise. Perhaps part of the reason your company has been skittish is because they are concerned that the staff knows the current version better and would like to hold off on upgrades. You can take part of that argument away by getting certified on the new technology.

2. Market Yourself By Gettng Certified

There is also the marketability factor. You may not think you need to be marketable because you're not planning on taking a new job anywhere else especially in this job market. But it is that exact comment -- this job market -- that should make you WANT to prove you're at the top of your game.

If your job is outsourced and you're lucky enough to keep it with the outsourcer you want to be able to make sure they understand just how valuable of a resource you are to the company which is now their customer. If the outsourcer brings in their own staffers you want to at least be up to their speed or faster and certifications help prove that on top of your own employment records and performance reviews that your skills are relevant.

You see certifications are a particularly unbiased barometer of your skills. This scenario is also true for any downsizing that may come from your employer. If they are going to try to do more with less they will need the people at the top of their game and this is another way to show that.

Mergers of business or buy outs of companies also fall into this category.

3. Stay Up-To-Date With Certifications

Certifications are an inexpensive way to show proof that you're keeping your expertise current and up to date. You're passing the industry's measurement of knowledge based on their skill assessments of the role where they are certifying the results of your testing efforts.

Some people in technology today have simply made their way up through the ranks and it is a way for them to differentiate themselves from their peers. Nothing will make you stand out to management like taking on additional education and getting business aligning certifications, especially when they are not required and you are setting a new bar for the organization.

Since being certified, I have not looked back. That is also part of what is keeping me afloat in the current storm.

So in summary, getting certified:

- Shows that are you skills are current
- Shows initiative when certifiying is not required
- Seperates you from peers
- Verifies to management that the ceritification provider is effectively validating you skills for them
- Keeps you valuable and marketable in the event of a slowdown, takeover, merger, etc.
- Raises management's confidence level when they need to move to newer technologies that the staff is ready for the challege.
- Provides you with pesonal satisfaction that you've mastered new material

Hopefully this article has been helpful in showing the reasons to get certified. There are lots of employers that feel the same way. It just gives you the competitive edge over other candidates.

If you are looking to get certified on the newest technologies then give us a try.

Also, learn how to get trained for FREE. Also, get a free exam voucher with each course that you take with us.

We are here to help you acheive your goals.

Thanks for reading...

Michael W Krout, MCSE, MCSA, MCTS, MCITP, CVE 5.0, MCT


Some of the biggest stories of the year don't even hit the front page. One of them is Identity Theft. You see the commercials about Life Lock and other products but do you know that it is on a rise. More and more people are being targeted as our economy grows and the outreach grows. When you think about it everything that we do is connected to the internet. This is thanks to social media and also IoT. By the way IoT stands for "Internet of Things". Just think about the movies that have come out recently. Any one see the movie "Fate of the Furious". When the main villain said "Make it rain".

Then all of the cars started falling from parking garages and also started driving themselves. These are just some of the things that have been made available through "Cloud Computing". There is more to come. Do you have a device like "Alexa", "Google Home"? What do they do when you are sleeping? They are learning about you. They are soaking up the data to help sell you more products. This comes from "Big Data".

So all of this data is out there for the taking. We have heard all of the stories about the election being tampered with in the last election. How about the new back door found in the AMD and Intel microchips? It is getting pretty scary out there. But, you need to look a little closer at your identity. It takes 10 seconds to lose your identity but 6 months or more to get it back. Here are some statistics:

  • In 2014, more than 1 billion records containing personally identifiable information were leaked.
  • Medical identity theft is on the rise 500,000 victims in 2014 alone.
  • In 2014, $5.8 billion was givern to identity theft theives from the IRS due to fraudulent returns. thieves use random social security numbers to file tax returns and by chance this could be yours.
  • The number one consumer complaint to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission(FTC) in 2017 was identity theft. It has ranked 1st place 18 years running.
  • Children aree susceptible to identity theft. Since most people under the age of 18 are not actively applying for credit or monitoring it, inors are becoming easy prey.
  • 19 or more people become victims of identity theft every minute.
  • The average victim can expect to spend $500 dollars and over 60 hours on average resolving each identity theft crime.

So, what can we do to keep our assests safe? Where can we turn?

There are different monitoring agencies that can help to monitor your information. But, do they restore your identity after it has been stolen? There are some but how much. We will look at this a little later. Let's look at some things that you can do to safe guard your information.

  • Be alert to impersonators-phising websites - look like the original but has a different email address that it is sent from - always asking for a password reset or some other PI (personal information)
  • Safely dsipose of Personal Information (PI) -use a wipe utility for hard drives - usee a shreedder to dispose of bills and statements.
  • Encrypt your data -Use BitLocker encryption on your hard drives - use some type of encryption tool to protect your files and folders.
  • Keep passwords private - use a credential vault - Use passwords that use non-alphanumeric characters and password phrases "1 L1k3 1c3 cr3@m @nd c@k3!".
  • Don't overshare on Social Networking Sites - don't tell to much information about your life - identity theives can use this information to create profiles that can be used to impersonate you.
  • Use Security Software - update your anti-virus and anti-spyware with the latest patches - update your computers with latest service packs and software releases.
  • Be wise about WIFI -before you send personal information over your laptop or smartphone on a wireless network in a coffee shop, library, airport, hotel or other public place, see if the information is protected. Try to only put information in https websites. They are protected by SSL (Secure Socket Layer) protocol. This encrypts your information when it is being sent using industrial grade encryption.
  • Lock up your laptop - never walk away from your laptop without locking it. Press the Windows Key plus the L key. This will lock the latop top - Always logoff when your finished using the laptop. Consider implementing BitLocker encryption on your hard drive. This protects the data while it is at rest. This makes it impossible to get information off the hard drive with an encryption key. So, if your hard drive is stolen your information is safe.
  • Read privacy policies - these are there for a reason - they are there to protect you - it puts the responsibility on the provider to keep your information safe - If you don't see or understand the policy then consider doing business elsewhere.
  • This is all good information you saying "But where can I find additional information or help". That is a good question. Keep in mind, I want to save money. You said that average cost to restore identity starts at $500. Is there a cost effective way to save money? Is there a guarantee somewhere that will ensure I get my identity back and restored?

    We can help you will all of the above. We offer services that are low cost and best in the industry. If you want more information and learn more about identity theft and prevention then just click here. We are here to help you be proactive against identity theft.

    Michael W Krout, MCSE, MCSA, MCTS, MCITP, CVE 5.0, MCT
    Idea Dudes LLC

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