The Good “R” Word in IT: Resourcefulness

by Jason - Jun 28, 2016


Most of my blogs lately have updated you on new courses we have in the works. So today, I figured I would change things up and start this blog with a story: Nearly 20 years ago, when I was still in my rookie year in my Information Technology career, I was sent on a business trip far, far away from my home base (well, not that far, but a plane and a time zone change was involved so, far enough).

I was there to do some software installations and software support, as was my role in this company. When I arrived, I was handed my to-do list for the day. The first half of the list looked fine. The second half of the list was all Windows Server tasks. One problem: I barely knew Windows Server existed much less have the ability to actually do anything with it. And being several hundred miles from home, I couldn’t just say “not my thing” and walk away. And they did not have an IT person on staff.

So what was I to do? Back then, I couldn’t just whip out my smartphone or tablet and start looking for how-tos or solutions online. And I knew that making a wrong move on Windows Server could take down the server. So I did not want to make any mistakes there.

That very day was the day I discovered a very important word in the IT business: Resourcefulness! I immediately thought “what resources do I HAVE”, not “what do I not have”. My resource: the lead network and server administrator back at the home office. I called him up, explained the situation, and after he laughed about sending a rookie to do a non-rookie’s job, he spent, off and on, two hours on the phone with me, walking me through, step-by-step, what to watch for and what to do. As a result, I got through almost every item on that list that day before I had to catch my plane home.

Continuing this, over my first year at this company, I made it a point to never say “I can’t do this.” I always tried to be as resourceful as I could be to tackle user problems and new challenges. This got me a new position and a substantial raise just one year into the job.

Now, what I have shared with you is just one of many examples where I have had to stop, think about how I could be resourceful when trying to solve a problem, and then use whatever resources I have. 18 years ago, it was a phone. Now, it’s a smartphone or tablet and a lot of searching and testing (and, yes, the occasional human contact, too).

No matter how new or not-so-new you are as an IT professional, every situation where you don’t know the solution right away gives you two choices: To be resourceful, or not to be resourceful. Are you the one who is willing to find a solution (and of course, verify before implementing it if you can), or, the one who says “no can do” or worse, you try something and make the problem worse?

There is no reason to not be resourceful nowadays. You have search engines, tutorials on YouTube, LearnKey courses, white papers, forums, and a whole host of other avenues to use. And, one of the best ways to be resourceful is to befriend those who are experienced in your field of work. Figure out who is willing to share knowledge and make those people your best “work” friends.

If there is one thing I can say from experience and observation in my almost-20 years of being in the IT industry, it’s this: Those who demonstrate resourcefulness move up the ladder from position to position and salary scale to salary scale. Those who aren’t either stay where they are, or they find themselves looking elsewhere for work.

So, no matter where you are in your IT career, remember the “R” word: Resourcefulness!


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8 LearnKey Career Paths That Will Increase Your Yearly Income

by Brad - Feb 18, 2015


According to the United States Census Bureau, the median household income in 2013 in the United States was $51,939. While this was a slight rise from the previous year, 2010 and 2011 both saw significant declines in the median household income. 2014 saw the median income rise to levels more consistent with those in 2010, but they are still significantly lower than in 2009.

Household income levels are related to the rise and fall in the economy, but there are steps that can be taken to see an increase in income during hard economic times. LearnKey has designed a series of training bundles to help job seekers prepare for careers that will continue to be in demand, even when the economy is poor. Here are eight of LearnKey’s career paths which have the highest potential to raise your salary above the median household income:

Accounting and Finance
Accounting and finance workers are responsible for financial documents, forecasts, reports, direct investment activities, financial analysis strategies, balance sheets, loans, payroll, auditing, bookkeeping and other financial transactions. Knowledge of computer programs is essential in today’s market. Individuals in the accounting and finance role need to keep up-to-date on the latest technology in order to increase the efficiency of their firms financial operations.

  • Median Pay: $61,000-$64,000 per year
  • Minimum Education: Industry Certifications (CPA or CMA) or Bachelor’s Degree (recommended not required)
  • Careers available in many industries (hospitality, corporate, government, etc)

Business Management
Business managers perform a broad range of duties in virtually every sector of the economy. Generally management roles are split into two levels, first-line managers and mid-level managers. First-line managers directly supervise a staff that performs various support services. Mid-level managers develop departmental plans, set goals, deadlines, implement procedures to improve productivity and customer service, and define the responsibilities of supervisory-level managers.

  • Median Pay: $78,000-$81,000 per year
  • Minimum Education: Industry Certifications or Bachelor’s Degree
  • Careers available in many industries (information technology, administrative, financial, purchasing, and human resources)
  • Should maintain and enhance skills in team building, leadership, and workplace law to maintain a competitive edge within company

Computer Security Specialist
A computer security specialist’s main responsibility is to ensure the security, integrity, and safety of an organization’s data. Individuals should have specific knowledge on wireless networking, cyber-space management and adapt their knowledge to stay ahead of cyber-attacks.

  • Median Pay: $75,000-$86,000 per year
  • Minimum Education: Industry Certifications or Associate’s Degree
  • Careers available in many industries (government, retail, manufacturing, data processing, and other information industries)

Computer Systems Analyst
A computer systems analyst determines which type of computer system will best serve the needs of a business or organization, by helping them run more efficiently. This position requires the ability to focus on more than a single project. At times a computer systems analyst may be required to work on multiple projects at one time. Computer systems analysts will often work with the managers of different departments to determine what technology and computer systems are needed.

  • Median Pay: $71,000-$81,000 per year
  • Minimum Education: Industry Certifications or Bachelor’s Degree
  • Careers available in many industries (computer systems, insurance, banks, and hospitals)

Database Administrator
A database administrator determines ways to organize and store data using database management system software. They identify user requirements, test and set up databases, and coordinate modifications to the systems. A database administrator understands the platform on which the database runs, ensures data integrity, backs up systems, and manages the performance of systems. A database administrator ensures that users have access to the data they need and keep data safe from unauthorized access.

  • Median Pay: $73,000-$77,000 per year
  • Minimum Education: Industry Certifications or Bachelor’s Degree
  • Careers available in many industries (computer systems, insurance, banks, and hospitals)

IT Network or System Administrator
IT network or system administrators are tech savvy experts, responsible to ensure the day-to-day efficient use of networks and systems within a company or organization. This position requires an individual to be knowledgeable with cyber-security practices, to protect a business’s important information.

  • Median Pay: $69,000-$71,000 per year
  • Minimum Education: Industry Certifications or Associate’s Degree
  • Careers available in many industries (government, retail, manufacturing, data processing, and other information industries)

Software Developer
Software developers are responsible for developing applications for computers and other devices that allow people to perform a specific task. They also design systems that are used to control networks or run various devices. Developers work closely with customers to ensure that their needs are understood and will work through any complaints. A developer is responsible for any upgrades and maintenance to a program.

  • Median Pay: $90,000-$93,000 per year
  • Minimum Education: Industry Certifications or Bachelor’s Degree
  • Careers available in many industries

Web Developer
Web designers create, design, develop, and maintain websites using authoring and scripting languages, create content and digital media, and employ standards and technologies for both business-to-business and business-to-consumer e-commerce websites. Along with the look of a website, a developer is also responsible for the technical aspects and content of a site.

  • Median Pay: $60,000-$63,000 per year
  • Minimum Education: Industry Certifications or Bachelor’s Degree

Income and education information courtesy of the Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition. Accessed March 2014.


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6 Simple Tips to Advance Your Career

by Brad - Feb 12, 2015


Do you ever feel trapped in a dead-end job or feel like you’ve reached the height of your career? I’m sure most of us have felt that way at some point in our lives. Most of us want to advance in our careers, but we don’t always know where to start.

A couple of years ago, I worked on a course which required extensive research on how to succeed at work. While I’m sure there are many things we could add to the list, all of my research seemed to boil down to six simple steps that anyone can follow to advance in their career.

Be Consistent

While it can be fun and exciting to be spontaneous, it is rarely appreciated in most workplaces. This doesn’t mean that you can’t have fun at work, but inconsistency can quickly kill your career. Simple things like following a set schedule, arriving on time for your job, and maintaining a high quality of work can put you on the fast track for a promotion. There are few things more frustrating for a manager than not knowing when employees will show up or what the quality of their work will be like when they do.

Challenge Yourself

No matter how enjoyable your job is, performing the same tasks day after day can get repetitive and make you feel like you’re in a slump. Sometimes the fix for this can be as simple as developing a better way to complete a task. If that’s not an option, you may choose to volunteer for new assignments or use your downtime to work on new projects.
Another way to challenge yourself is to learn new skills. Many employees have access to training programs through their companies, and for those who don’t there are many online options, such as LearnKey’s self-paced training courses. The more knowledge and skills you can acquire, the more valuable you can make yourself to your company.

Show Loyalty

You may not always agree with everything, but supporting your manager’s decisions can go a long way toward advancing your career. Your manager may not always do things the way you would do them, but that doesn’t mean their method is wrong. Don’t undermine your manager’s authority by airing your grievances publicly. Carefully determine which battles are truly worth fighting and talk to your manager privately if you have a legitimate concern.

Admit Your Mistakes

Everyone makes mistakes. John Wooden once said, “If you’re not making mistakes, then you’re not doing anything.” When you make a mistake, you have two choices: try to blame your mistake on someone else, or admit your mistake and work to correct it. In all areas of life, those who freely admit to their mistakes and work to correct them gain more respect than those who are constantly trying to push their mistakes onto others.

Stand Up for Yourself

You are an important asset to the company, and sometimes you need to remind your manager of that. Find ways to subtly market yourself, like offering to help on a project for which you have a private talent. Make a list of contributions you have made within the company and use those when asking for a raise or promotion. And don’t be afraid to ask. If you feel you are unlikely to get what you want, start with something bigger and negotiate down. If your manager has concerns about your work or qualifications, ask for feedback on how you can improve.

Find a Mentor

Sometimes all you need to get ahead is someone to show you how it’s done. Find someone you look up to and observe their work habits and methods. You can even formalize the relationship by asking the person to mentor you. Many companies have structured mentoring programs where you can set guidelines and define your goals and expectations. In the absence of a formal mentoring program, mentoring can happen as a natural outgrowth of mutual respect.

I hope you find these six tips useful and good luck in your career advancement!


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The Power of Certification

by Brad - Mar 13, 2014


Sometimes it’s good to take a morning away . . . away from the office, away from the desk, away from the computer.

Tuesday morning, I did just that. I took a morning away from LearnKey to speak to the Web Design class at Parowan High School in Parowan, Utah.

My wife is a student teacher at Parowan High School, and when her mentor teacher learned that I work as a Web Designer she asked if I would be willing to come talk to the class. She wanted someone in the local community to give her students a “real world” perspective on the concepts they are studying in class.

Presenting to the students at Parowan High School

The world tells us that we can become anything we want to be. Therefore, the world tells us that anyone can become a web designer. The world often fails to mention that while everyone can become a web designer, not everyone will become a good web designer. Like any other profession, to become a good web designer a person must put in a lot of hard work and dedication (a little bit of natural artistic talent doesn’t hurt either).

As an artistic professional (yes, web design is an art form), I can’t always remember the fundamentals of designing a good website. As in many other professions, the elements of good design became instinctual over time and I subconsciously implement them in every design I create. As a result, I had to re-learn the proper terms for things that have become second nature to me. I had to re-educate myself before I could properly give a presentation on the elements of a good design. LearnKey’s Web Site Design Course provides a great introduction to these important concepts and teaches students how to use the tools necessary to succeed in a web design career.

Education is a large part of what it takes to succeed in any field of employment. Even so, with the large number of people looking for work, a proper education may not be enough to set you apart from other job seekers. It’s the seemingly simple things that set candidates apart, things like extra training and industry certifications.

At LearnKey, we understand the need to rise above the competition. Many of our courses are geared toward preparing students for certification, whether they’re interested in the Adobe Creative Suite, Microsoft Office, or CompTIA’s A+ Certification. Our primary goal is to provide quality expert-led training that will enable students to get certified at a pace that works for them. LearnKey’s courseware is carefully mapped to exam objectives, with project manuals and practice tests to reinforce concepts taught in the training.

I guess even on my morning away I couldn’t stay away from LearnKey or its mission.

Thanks again to Deveny Pace and Nicole Washburn for allowing me to take up their valuable class time.


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LearnKey Career Preparation

by Beau - Mar 10, 2014


I recently read an article titled “8 Second Careers to Consider.” In a nutshell, the article is for people who are considering a second career and aspects of changing a career that need to be addressed before they make the change. The part of the article that caught my attention was a section that talked about making sure you have the necessary skill set for the new career you want to start. One important step is to evaluate which of your current skills can transfer from your old job to your desired job; also what skills you need to develop to ensure you will be successful in your new career.

I found that LearnKey has courseware that will prepare job seekers for three of the careers listed in the article. I would like to take a minute to explain how our LearnKey offerings coupled with previous work experience can provide you with some of the necessary skills you need to be successful in one of these three careers.

Market Research Analyst Study market conditions in local, regional or national areas to examine potential sales of a product or service. They help companies understand what products people want, who will buy them and at what price.

  1. Typical education requirement: Bachelor’s degree
  2. Job outlook, 2010 – 2020: 41 percent increase
  3. Median annual pay: $60,570

Take this free online career pathway and leadership assessment to learn your leadership style and which career path fits your behavior. | eLearningPlanner.com

Choose from individual courses or use our career and certification paths to guide you to a success career in the market research field.

Meeting, Convention, and Event PlannersCoordinate all aspects of professional meeting and events. They choose meeting locations, arrange transportation and coordinate other details.

  1. Typical education requirement: Bachelor’s degree
  2. Job outlook, 2010 – 2020: 44 percent increase
  3. Median annual pay: $45,260

Take this free online career pathway and leadership assessment to learn your leadership style and which career path fits your behavior. | eLearningPlanner.com

Choose from individual courses or use our career and certification paths to guide you to a successful career in the meeting, convention, and event planning field.

Secretaries and Administrative AssistantsPerform routine clerical and organizational tasks. They organize files, draft messages, schedule appointments and support other staff.

  1. Typical education requirement: High school diploma or equivalent
  2. Job outlook, 2010 – 2020: 12 percent increase
  3. Median annual pay: $34,660

Take this free online career pathway and leadership assessment to learn your leadership style and which career path fits your behavior | eLearningPlanner.com

Choose from individual courses or use our career and certification paths to guide you to a successful career as a secretary or administrative assistant.

Changing careers can be a scary and stressful step in life. I believe that LearnKey offers the best in educational video courseware and will provide job seekers with the skills foundation they need to be successful in their chosen career.


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Career Readiness Bundle now available

by Colin - Sep 21, 2012


We recently put together a new bundle which is perfect for high school students or people just starting out in the job market – the Career Readiness Bundle. This collection of courses teaches life and career skills important to succeeding in the business world. 12 new courses produced in partnership with Human Relations Media were released to be included in this bundle, and we added our previously released Know Your Talents™ course to the mix as well.

Included in the bundle:

  • Ten Easy Ways to KEEP Your Job
  • What’s Your Attitude? Getting in the Mood to Work
  • Communication Skills in the Workplace
  • Business Ethics on the Job
  • Making a Good Impression: Resumes, Interviews, and Appearance
  • Matching Your Skills, Talents, and Ambitions to a Dream Career
  • Think Before You Click: Playing it Safe Online
  • Workplace Etiquette: Why Being Polite Counts on the Job
  • The Seven Competency Skills for the Workplace
  • B Careful When U TXT: The Dangers of Texting and Sexting
  • Me and My 500 “Friends”: Staying Safe on Social Networks
  • The Dangers of Sexting: What Teens Need to Know
  • Know Your Talents™

Visit learnkey.com/careerreadiness for more information about the bundle and the courses included. As always, if you’re a current LearnKey customer, just give your favorite sales or customer service rep a call and they’ll make sure to get it added to your library!


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JavaScript Fundamentals Course Available!

by Allacyn - Feb 03, 2011


mlassoff-java2

If you read the recent post about Dice.com’s jump in ITIL requests, you should definitely finish reading this. JavaScript skills requests jumped by 98% to nearly 7,919 postings. In a recent article on Dice they talked about how there were 1,100 positions availble for people with JavaScript experience in the Silicon Valley alone.

If you are looking for a new career path to follow, with so many positions available, this may be the one! LearnKey has just released our newest JavaScript Fundamentals Course – for more information visit the product page at www.learnkey.com/js_fundamentals.


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New Year, New You – Certification Maps for 2011

by Allacyn - Jan 28, 2011


certification_tracks

If you are like me, you profess every New Year that you are going to make changes… Well it is almost February, and I haven’t even started to make any changes yet. When you decide to make these changes you usually do not take into consideration that figuring out what steps to take next can be so overwhelming, you quit before you start. For example, every year somewhere on my list is to be healthier (I am sure like many of you), but more often than not, sifting through all of the diets and exercise programs out there overwhelms me, and I just continue with my same routine.

If this sounds like you and certification is on your list this year, we have something to help you get started. Read more »


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Most in Demand IT Certifications for 2011

by Allacyn - Jan 10, 2011


The Robert Half Technology Salary Guide 2011 has found the most in demand job titles, skill sets, and certifications for the coming year. If you are looking to change careers or add to your skill set you need to read this to make sure you are looking at career paths that are in demand.

There will be high demand for application developers, .NET developers, systems administrators, database administrators and desktop support professionals.

In demand skill sets for the coming year include; programming , business mindset, technological proficiency, security, networking, infrastructure support, and electronic medical records.

Certifications in demand- Cisco certifications (Cisco Certified Network Associate), Linux (Red Hat Certified Engineer), Microsoft certifications (Microsoft Certified Applications Developer, Microsoft Certified IT Professional, Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer, and Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist), Project Management Professional (PMP), and Security certifications (Certified Information Systems Security Professional, Check Point Certified Security Administrator, and Check Point Certified Security Expert).

Check out the training LearnKey has available to help you get certified!


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Ohio ACTE. Wouldn’t it be great?

by Nathan Darling - Sep 02, 2009


Wouldn’t it be great if the teachers, counselors, and administrators responsible for our children’s education would get together and discuss ways to help students pursue their educational and career passions?  Wouldn’t it be great if it were happening in Ohio, on Sept 18?  Wouldn’t it be great if LearnKey was there?  Life is great!

Ohio ACTE


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