What We Do? Improving Employability Everyday

by Jeff - Jan 20, 2017


improving Employability Every Day

Greetings 2017!

As we start the new year it’s a great time to remind our learners, students, teachers, and career counselors about the two (2) key ingredients that ensure we focus on our “what we do”: Improving Employability Everyday.

At LearnKey we believe that our passion around “what we do” and our “descriptive behaviors” is what drives our culture.

Every team member in our company knows that our “What we do” is aligned to these three words: Improving Employability Everyday. We started redefining our true purpose as an organization through Simon Sinek’s The Golden Circle, over three years ago and truly believe it is the fabric, along with our descriptive behaviors, that drive our culture.

We are so fanatical about this belief that any new employee team members (i.e. welcome most recently: Neil Olsen and Nina Sepulveda) must know that they must possess these key behaviors and understand “The Golden Circle” BEFORE they are even hired.  Because the moment they start, that accountability to our customers and team members begin.

My goal is to meet with every team member throughout the year and remind and reinforce my commitment to them and that I will be held most accountable to those behaviors. Therefore, it is good to once again share these with you and the entire world:

Our “Why, How and What”:

“Why”: Dreams fulfilled through better learning.

“How”: Personalized learning solutions that teach job readiness skills, leverage your natural talents, and are aligned to in-demand careers.

“What”: Improving Employability Everyday.

Our seven (7) fundamentals that describe our employee culture:

Be a fanatic about response time. People expect us to respond to their questions and concerns quickly, and rapid response is one of the easiest and best ways to stand out.

Set clear expectations. So there are no misunderstandings, and remember to clarify all the time. This avoids any miscommunications.

Welcome innovation. Creativity in our products and offerings can be produced and packaged differently to meet customers’ needs.

Be a great listener. Understanding expectations and customer needs is the way we want to do business. The best talker is a good listener.

Do your homework. Be prepared for customers, product ideas, referrals, team member support, and the best way to show you’re serious.

Be a problem solver. Solve a problem, fill a need, is how we should do business with customers and in assisting other team members.

Leverage team members. To get things done, meet deadlines, and fulfill customers’ needs. Two heads are better than one.

Welcoming in the new year is a good time for me to give thanks to our team who, day in and day out, commit to themselves, as well as the learners, counselors, and teachers we support that “what we do” is focused on Improving Employability Everyday.

Also, a special thanks to Simon Sinek and the CEO’s of Vistage Group 508 who remind me all the time how important it is to have our message clear and concise.

Best Regards,

Jeff Coruccini

“Improving Employability Everyday”

CEO- LearnKey, INC.



MTA OS Fundamentals (98-349): Same Name, Same Exam Number, Not The Same Content

by Jason - Dec 12, 2016


Whenever I am asked to write an entry for this blog, I usually do the writing mid-week. But, last week our great crew was busy filming the course I get to tell you about today, and that is the updated version of the MTA (Microsoft Technology Associate) Operating System Fundamentals course, which maps to MTA exam 98-349.

Most of the time, when we put together a new version of a course, it is for a new exam (specifically name or number). This time, though, the exam name and number are the same. What changed, then? Oh, about half of the test objectives as the exam has been updated to include Windows 10 content and remove content that just applied to Windows 7.

For example, exam topics such as Aero configurations, Windows Media Center, and Windows XP mode are all gone as they are not in Windows 10, but features such as Insider Preview, Current Branch, and Windows Store apps are exam topics. Furthermore, the wording of many exam topics has changed to “Configure….” rather than “Understand…”, placing a greater emphasis on knowing how to do operating system configurations in Windows 10, not just knowing what they are.

Now, the specifics: There are six domains on this exam:

  • Understanding operating system configurations
  • Installing and upgrading client systems
  • Managing applications
  • Managing files and folders
  • Managing devices
  • Understanding operating system maintenance

This course covers these domains thoroughly, through the video training (which we just completed filming), pre-assessment and post-assessment tests, practice labs, and a project workbook with plenty of practice exercises for configuring Windows 10. All of these tools will help you pass the 98-349 exam and increase your employability as, according to Microsoft, Windows 10 has been deployed to over 400 million devices in its first year of release. Thus, businesses which need desktop support technicians and computer repair shops definitely need people who are skilled in configuring Windows 10, which this course and certification will provide.



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Key Contributor Award Winners- “Lights out” at what they do

by Jeff - Dec 05, 2016


Our Key Contributor Award is a true reflection of our culture. Recognizing employees who go about their work with pride of ownership and demonstrating our core values along the way. It gives me great pleasure to announce the recipients of our 3rd Quarter Key contributor award LearnKey employee’s Ben Lee, Tristan Roberts and Jacob Gardner who make up our “Lights Out Technical Support Team”

Ben Lee - Key Contributor AwardTristan Roberts - Key Contributor AwardJacob Gardner - Key Contributor Award

During July, August and September these guys released a major software update to our Learning Management Platform OnlineExpert.com and one of our client dedicated servers. It was the largest software upgrade performed in well over 10 years. Additionally, they supported the GMetrix Project which required allot of testing and implementation support.

They also re-negotiated one of our most costly contracts successfully reducing it by over 70%. To top it off they did that with a 40% reduction in staff. These initiatives we all deadline drive and they worked together, as a team to meet every critical deadline.

Every step of the way they demonstrated our core values (Ease, Value & Trust) by being Easy it is to work, showing real  Trust something we know is earned whether its meeting deadlines, ensuring our networks are operational, or testing that needed to be completed they always delivered on time each and every time. Value– is something they bring to work every day. We could not be more proud of their work and how they go about it.

Just like our previous winners, please join me in congratulating them for a job well done as I could not be more proud of this team!

Warm Regards,

Jeff Coruccini



Adobe CC 2015 Test Prep Series: Adobe Premiere and Some Adobe Exam Advice

by Jason - Dec 01, 2016


Hello again from your humble Senior Instructor. You may have noticed over the past several months a series of test prep courses we have released, all tied toward the new Adobe CC 2015 ACA (Adobe Certified Associate) exams. I wrote about the changes to the exams a while back, and, we have released test prep courses for Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, and Dreamweaver.

The fifth and final test prep course, Adobe Premiere, will be out soon. Premiere is the digital video production program in the Adobe suite, and we recently completed filming the course. In this course, we cover the five main domains of the ACA exam for Adobe Premiere CC 2015:

  • Setting Project Requirements
  • Understanding Digital Video
  • Understanding Adobe Premiere Pro CC 2015
  • Editing Digital Video using Adobe Premiere Pro CC 2015
  • Exporting Video with Adobe Premiere Pro

Our test prep courses are different than a full-featured course in that we focus solely on what you need to know to pass the exam, not so much on full coverage on how to use the program. Why have we done that for Adobe CC 2015? The reason is simple: There really is not much difference between Adobe CC and Adobe CC 2015. And, we already have full courses for the Adobe CC suite, authored by highly talented Adobe specialists, including Chad Chelius (Dreamweaver and Photoshop), Lee Wiley (Illustrator), Linda Dickeson (InDesign), and Ryan James (Premiere).

The sole purpose of the test prep courses is to fill in the gaps for the new objectives for the Adobe CC 2015 tests, and provide a little review on basic concepts for these programs, as they relate to the exam objectives. We do have a pre-assessment, post-assessment, labs, and a project workbook to accompany each of these test prep courses, and these tools also map to the exam objectives.

Speaking of exam objectives, having re-certified this year in all five of the Adobe programs for which we have built these test prep courses, here are some general advice tips from me to you on how to best set yourself up to pass these exams and obtain these certifications:

  1. Study the objective list top to bottom. For all five exams, one domain covers project terms and definitions. Do not gloss over this! This is 20% or so of each exam.
  2. Put yourself in the shoes of a real-life professional for whatever exam you are taking. For example, if you are taking the Illustrator exam, you’re a graphic designer for the day. Many of the exam questions are scenario-based, meaning that you need to read about a situation and choose the correct answer accordingly. Yes, the test questions still map very well to the objectives, but the test is there to make sure you can identify what to do in a real-life situation.
  3. For whatever program you are studying, make sure you can do tasks different ways, especially through using the Tools panel and the icons on the panel. Do not count on being able to use keyboard shortcuts to answer test questions (many Mac users I know cringe at the very thought of this, but, that is reality).
  4. If you get stuck on a question, mark it for review, make your best guess, and move on. Being that the exam is about half simulation-based, it is easy to get trapped for several minutes on a question to where you are trying to remember how to do what is asked. Avoid that trap. Your time management on the exam will be better for it. And, remember that you can miss a few questions and still pass. I had a few “uh oh, what do I do” questions on these exams and still passed each one on the first try. If I can do it, so can you.

And with that, the best of luck to you in your pursuit of the Adobe ACA CC 2015 certifications!



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Routing and Switching Fundamentals Part 2 Released!

by Brad - Nov 23, 2016


Today, we are excited to announce the release of our Routing and Switching Fundamentals Part 2 (200-105) course.

Routing and Switching Fundamentals Part 2

In LearnKey’s Routing and Switching Fundamentals Part 2 (200-105) course, users will gain the skills necessary to prepare for and take the Cisco ICND2 exam (Exam 200-105). The main topics covered include LAN switching technologies such as STP and EtherChannel, routing technologies including OSPF and EIGRP, WAN technologies, infrastructure services such as cloud, QoS, and ACLs, and infrastructure maintenance, which includes SNMP, AAA, and network programmability. The 200-105 exam is the second exam needed to obtain the CCNA Routing and Switching certification.

Our hope is that through our courseware we may provide learners with the guidance, preparation, and skills they need to succeed. For more information and to learn about additional LearnKey products visit our website.



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Happy Thanksgiving!

by Brad - Nov 21, 2016


Happy Thanksgiving from LearnKey

The Thanksgiving holiday is coming up at the end of the week (at least for us in the United States), and you know what that means: Holiday Hours.

The LearnKey offices will be closed for the Thanksgiving Holiday on Thursday, 11/24/16, and Friday, 11/25/16

LearnKey offices return to normal business hours for the rest of the month: offices are closed Saturday 11/26 and Sunday 11/27, and will re-open on Monday 11/28 (Sales and Client Services: 8am – 5pm MST, Tech Support: 7am – 6pm MST)

We wish everyone celebrating a happy Thanksgiving, and hope everyone has plenty to be thankful for!



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Get a Microsoft Certification? Get Your Acclaim Badge!

by Jason - Nov 11, 2016


Last week in this blog space, I wrote about the new, streamlined certification paths Microsoft recently released. This week, I have another piece of Microsoft certification news to share with you, and that is, Acclaim badges!

What do Acclaim badges give you? Industry recognition of your newly earned certification. Instead of your having to log on individually to any social networks you may be a part of and individually post your new accomplishments, Acclaim allows you to connect to your social networks (I am on LinkedIn, for example), and add these badges to your profile. To give you a personal example: This year, I renewed my Microsoft Office Master Certification. To do this, I had to pass (hold on while I count…) three core exams and two expert exams (I actually took all five core exams for a total of seven Microsoft Office certifications). Now when it comes to telling anyone about this through social media, well, I’m lazy. But, thanks to these Acclaim badges, I can just log in to Acclaim, find my new certification, and connect to LinkedIn and post the badge there. In fact, I am in the process of doing this as I write this. Here is what the pending badges screen looks like:

Microsoft Acclaim Badges

All that has to be done is to click the Accept button, log into whatever networks you have for social media (LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, or others) and from there, you can post these badges to your social media profiles.

There is the option of emailing these badges to others or posting these badges on a website. Either way, these badges provide an easy means for announcing to whoever and wherever your newly earned certifications.

And recently, Microsoft has added MCP (Microsoft Certified Professional) badges in addition to the existing Microsoft Office badges, so now you get a badge for passing an MCP test. Finally, though this is a Microsoft post, many other companies participate in the Acclaim badge program, including, for example, Adobe.

The best part of this: In the time it took me to write this blog post, I also claimed the three badges you see above plus an Adobe ACA badge for a test I recently passed and posted those on my LinkedIn profile. You, too, can obtain and use these Acclaim badges to let people know of your certifications so you can broaden your career opportunities. Now that is what I call a win-win.



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Happy Veterans Day!

by Brad - Nov 11, 2016


Today is Veterans Day, a day set aside in the United States to honor those members of our society who have served or continue to serve in the armed forces. Veterans Day has a long history of observance, dating back to 1938 when the United States Congress approved the 11th of November to become a legal holiday, Armistice Day, to celebrate the anniversary of the end of World War I. In 1947, the holiday was expanded to honor all veterans, not just those who died in World War I, and in 1954 Congress officially changed the name of the holiday to Veterans Day.

Here at LearnKey, we are proud to support our veterans, both those who have served and those who are currently serving. Both our Blue Ocean and Certify for Life programs are tailored specifically to helping veterans with career placement and lifetime learning. Our Student Resource Center and Career Services Center are a wealth of resources and information for veterans seeking to advance their careers, and our Veterans Services Team, many of whom are themselves veterans, are always eager to provide guidance to our services.

We wish to offer a heartfelt thank you to all those who have served our country in the armed forces, especially those who are now employed by LearnKey: Michael Watson, Jessica Staples, Kelly Woods, Tristan Roberts, Beth Ciaramello, and Grace Rollins. Have a good Veterans Day and thank you for your service!

US Flag in Utah


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Dreamweaver CC 2015 Test Prep Released

by Brad - Nov 04, 2016


LearnKey’s Dreamweaver CC 2015 Test Prep course is a complementary resource to go along with the Dreamweaver CC course, authored by Expert Chad Chelius. Although the Dreamweaver CC course readies you for the Dreamweaver CC exam, there are new objectives and types of test questions which are covered in the Dreamweaver CC 2015 Test Prep course. LearnKey Senior Instructor Jason Manibog takes you through these changes, so you will have the tools you need to confidently pass the Dreamweaver CC 2015 exam.

Our hope is that through our courseware we may provide learners with the guidance, preparation, and skills they need to succeed. For more information and to learn about additional LearnKey products visit our website.



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Microsoft Certifications – A Streamlined Process

by Jason - Nov 02, 2016


In my 15+ years of classroom training, and my now-nearly 1.5 years as LearnKey’s Senior Instructor (see the asymmetry in numbers there?), I have obtained many Microsoft certifications. What I always found challenging at times (besides the exams themselves) is having to figure out which test goes with which certification, and which tests I need to take (or can take as electives) in order to obtain a certain certification I have wanted or needed. While I was able to figure things out, it often took, well, more time than I wanted to spend reading a certification road map.

On that note, ladies and gentlemen, I bring you good news: Microsoft has revamped and streamlined the process and requirements for their certifications. I don’t quite remember how many certification paths there were before, but now there are only five. They are:

Mobility – Focuses on Windows 10 installation and configuration and configuring Windows devices.

Cloud Platform and Infrastructure – Focuses mainly on Windows Server 2012 and Server 2016 (which has exams in beta as I write this), and Microsoft Azure.

Productivity Path – Similar to Cloud Platform and Infrastructure, but swap Microsoft Azure for Office 365.

Data Management and Analytics Path – Focuses on SQL Server, SQL Server, and…you can guess the third one (hint: SQL Server).

App Builder Path – The path for programmers and aspiring programmers, as it covers web development, C#, and mobile apps, just to name a few.

Now, getting down to five certification paths is, well, really nice. But there is more to this streamlining process. Each certification path has a set of two or three exams to earn an MCSA (Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate). The Mobility path has just one MCSA (for Windows 10) while the others have multiple MCSA possibilities.

Once an MCSA is obtained, you will need to take a single elective exam (and most of these paths have multiple choices) to then obtain your MCSE (Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert) or, as is the case with the App Builder path, an MCSD (Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer). And, here is the big catch: to keep your MCSE/MCSD current, you need to pass one elective exam each year. This helps keep people current with these certifications.

So, to summarize: five certification paths, a handful of exams for each to reach MCSA status, an additional elective exam to move up to MCSE/MCSD status, and then passing an elective exam each year holds your MCSE/MCSD status. Streamlining indeed! And, we at LearnKey are going to be “freshening up” our Microsoft certification offerings over the next several months to best align our courseware with these new paths.

Finally, here is a link to the details of what I’ve discussed in this blog: https://borntolearn.mslearn.net/b/weblog/posts/microsoft-streamlines-technical-certifications.

Next week, I will bring you some news regarding Microsoft certifications and earning badges with certain certifications. Yes, these are badges you can use to broadcast your certifications all over social media. In the meantime, best of luck in your certification studies!



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