Veteran Testimonial – Tristan Roberts

by Jenna - Feb 20, 2015


When my friend Joe talks about his time in the Army, he’s told me that he misses “that feeling of brotherhood.” While I’ve never served in the military, I have an incredibly close relationship with my family and remember how alone and cut off I often felt from their care, direction, and loyalty during the year I lived abroad after college.

After I came home and started working as a Veteran Services Rep, I was struck by the loyalty and caring that I saw demonstrated so often at LearnKey. I loved (and still love) listening in on the other LKVS ladies and hearing them talking about their vets’ successes. I loved (and still love) that in our weekly meetings we all (and by “we all” I mean the advisors, the VSRs, the Know Your Talents team, Jeff Coruccini and our awesome tutor Tristan) celebrate together whenever a veteran earns a certification, gets a job interview, or finishes their program with us. Most of all I loved—and love—that when we announce our vets’ successes, we say all their names instead of giving the group a number.

Tristan in particular continues to impress me with his efforts on our veterans’ behalf. When I met Tristan and put a face to the voice on the speakerphone, my initial impression was that he was just as mellow and calm in person as he was on the phone. Now that I’m starting to direct the veterans I assist to him for tutoring help, I really respect the way Tristan reaches out so quickly, offers his help and is always working to create more study materials.

Watching Tristan’s testimonial about the Blue Ocean program and looking back on my earliest days at LearnKey was a powerful reminder for me that OUR end goal here will never be racking up certifications, program completions, or even job placements. We’re here to give people the chance to build on the values they lived through their service to our country and to be the loyal, caring support system that they deserve.

This is Jenna’s debut LearnKey blog post! She has been a Veteran Services Rep with us for four awesome months. Jenna loves theatre, smoothies, her husband, and being asked about her year teaching English in China!


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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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3 Tips for Surviving Company Rightsizing

by Brad - Oct 09, 2014


Author’s Note: This post is based on an article which appeared in the May/June 2009 edition of the LearnKey newsletter.

In order to survive the always-changing face of business, all companies must go through a series of corporate “rightsizing” at various points in their lifecycle. Often, employees are laid off or transferred to support the new structure and goals of the company.

When a company goes through rightsizing, it’s often difficult to know if your job is safe or if you will get handed the dreaded pink slip. These three tips can help prepare you to survive the changes your company is going through:

  1. Become More Efficient. Companies are always looking for ways to cut costs and one area that often gets cut is employees. This often means more things need to be done in the same amount of time with fewer people than before. Learning to work more efficiently can help to set you apart from your coworkers. When you can do the work of two people in the same amount of time, your value will be much higher than those who can’t.
  2. Knowledge is Power. A key feature of the changing face of business is expecting employees to not only be good at the job they were hired for, but to be flexible enough to take on other responsibilities as needed. In the time I’ve been with LearnKey I have held several different positions, and occasionally been asked to assist others with tasks in which I had little to no previous experience. Gaining more knowledge, whether through books, online learning, or seminars, can help you to adapt to whatever situation you find yourself in.
  3. Continue Your Education. Take it upon yourself to learn the new things you need to learn – even if your company can’t compensate you. Buy products to help get you where you want to be and invest in your future. Set goals and hold yourself accountable for the outcomes.

As a learning company, LearnKey has a wide variety of training courses to help you learn the things you need to know to survive your company’s rightsizing. If you want to communicate your ideas and demonstrate your importance to the company, you will also benefit from our personal productivity courses. See our Course List for details.


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LearnKey Veteran Services Blue Ocean Program

by Beau - Oct 06, 2014


Summer 2014 has brought some great changes to our LearnKey Veteran Services team. Our team has been filled with committed and excited members who have a strong desire to provide the best service and learning experience to the Veterans in our program. To assist the team in providing the best service, we created the Student Resource Center. This new page on our website has videos, links, and other information that Veterans can use as a resource as they make their way through the Blue Ocean program. Another big milestone happened this August. We had our first Veteran graduate from the Blue Ocean program. Tristan Roberts was one of the first Veterans to be accepted into the Blue Ocean program and completed with certifications in CompTIA’s A+, Net+, Security+, and in Microsoft Office Specialist’s Word, Excel, and Outlook.

One benefit of the Blue Ocean program is that when students successfully complete the program they are guaranteed a job. Tristan was offered a job at LearnKey as the newest member of the Veteran Services team. With Tristan joining the team, I wondered what exactly  the Veteran Services Team did to get Tristan to this point. So I spoke with Brian Tremelling and Seth Boyack, two people who were instrumental to Tristan’s success. See what they had to say below:

Brian Tremelling | Veteran & Vocational Rehabilitation Advisor – Tristan was one of the very first to be accepted into our new Blue Ocean program. The Blue Ocean terminology simply implies big, as in big opportunity for our students. Tristan’s program included IT certifications like CompTIA’s A+, Network+, and Security+. It also included certifications in Microsoft Office, and education modules designed to help with interviews, resumes, and other skills that employers are looking for. Many people would think that having these types of credentials would be enough to launch anyone in their career. Unfortunately, work experience is the missing element whenever a student gets a new credential. The great thing about those who get accepted into our new Blue Ocean program is the fact that those who successfully complete the program have the opportunity to work with LearnKey and gain that work experience that they are lacking. Tristan is the first of many students who will accept full-time work with us as a way to begin their new career.

Seth Boyack | Veteran & Vocational Rehabilitation Advisor – When I originally spoke with Tristan prior to him being accepted into LearnKey’s Blue Ocean program I could tell right away that he was motivated and hungry for such an amazing opportunity. Upon enrolling, Tristan shot out of the gate with the dedication necessary to find success. LearnKey teaches students with various learning styles; some students require more direction and others are able to move through our program without a lot of management. Tristan was the latter. Tristan and I would communicate on a monthly basis mainly for check-ins and progress reports. One of the major reasons Tristan saw so much success was directly correlated with the open line of communication we had together. Tristan’s program wasn’t perfectly smooth; there were times when he’d have to travel a couple hours to a testing center in order to sit for his certification and another time where he failed one of his exams on the first attempt. These bumps in the road proved to be pivotal. Not only did they continue to reconfirm Tristan’s drive to successfully complete the program, but it also gave Tristan and me an opportunity to work as a team and come up with the best solution possible. Tristan knew that he could trust what I said I was going to do and I knew that I could trust Tristan to deliver on his end as well; this mutual trust and the ability to have open communication is the crux of the Veteran Service Advisor and their student. No matter how you slice it or what educational path you go down, school is challenging. What LearnKey aims to do is provide students with a detailed career track, the education necessary to successfully complete the training, and a team whose sole responsibility is to make sure our students are successful. Attention to detail is what students need whether you’re learning on a campus or doing so in the comfort of your home.


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BLS Education Grant

by Beau - May 08, 2014


If you look at the About Us page on our website you will see the mission of not only LearnKey, but the entire Better Learning Systems family – “Dreams Fulfilled Through Better Learning.” As an online education company, we know that obtaining and maintaining your education is important. Earning industry certifications can provide you with the skills you need to land your dream career. It is also important to keep your skills sharp and updated with the most current certifications. For those of you who fall in either of these categories, you know that both of these goals require a great amount of time and money to complete.

Earlier this year the BLS team developed an educational grant program designed to provide LearnKey educational courseware at a discounted rate or at no charge for individuals who qualify. Our goal with this program is to be able to provide assistance to those who need some help in reaching their educational and professional goals. With the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicting a 30% increase in programming, software development, and other IT-related fields, it is more important than ever to enter the workforce as a certified, qualified candidate with the confidence and skills you need to succeed in your career.

For more information or to apply for this educational grant program, visit the LearnKey website or download the Better Learning Systems Education Grant application here. Everyone at LearnKey is committed to providing the best in online video courseware and is excited to be able to lend a hand in getting your dreams fulfilled.


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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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eLearningPlanner.com – Try our new career and leadership tool

by Colin - Apr 04, 2013


We recently released a free tool for job seekers: elearningplanner.com – a leadership trait and career pathway assessment that identifies your specific leadership talents and recommends career paths based on your answers to a short (about 2 minutes) survey.

We couldn’t just leave it at that though – we LearnKeyed it up a notch by matching eLearning bundles with your selected career paths, and to top it all off, every user receives a free Career Readiness 101 course at the end! So not only do you have a prescribed eLearning plan to become career-ready for your chosen path, but we give you some free Microsoft Office basics to get you started!

To give you an idea of what kind of results you can get from the assessment, I decided to be the test subject and go through it myself and post my results.

My Leadership Talent: Patience

With the leading talent as patience, you will naturally be a dependable, persistent leader. You will be most efficient in leadership when you can manage to a process or system. You value making a difference for others and therefore naturally earn respect and create harmony in a group or team. Naturally, you will like support and serve your team, allowing them to have the praise and recognition for their accomplishments. You will do well when you have clearly defined deadlines for meeting team goals and objectives.

My Recommended Career Paths

Finance & Accounting Professional
Administrative Professional
Graphic Design Professional

Now for accuracy: notice how “Graphic Design Professional” is on my list of recommended career paths? While I manage LearnKey’s online marketing and social media, my strengths lean toward graphic design and layout. As for my leadership style – a structured, clearly defined environment has always been where I thrive the most. Scheduling projects all willy-nilly throws off my workflow and I’m nowhere near as productive as I could be. My results show exactly that!

If you’re interested in finding out what your ideal career paths and leadership talents are, be sure to visit elearningplanner.com and take the survey for yourself. Be sure to sign up for the free Career Readiness 101 course at the end!


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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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