Here’s a story for you all: While trying to hustle out of the house yesterday to get to work and continue filming our upcoming PowerPoint 2016 course, I got an email message from a coworker asking me “are we up to speed on the upcoming CCENT and CCNA changes?” My first reaction was “Am I…what? What changes?”
Understand that, as the LearnKey Senior Instructor, one of my duties is to scan the Microsoft, CompTIA, and Cisco websites for exam changes (and I do this every week to 10 days). In fact, I was just on the Cisco website last week. I must have been in between scans because, sure enough, I went to the Cisco website, and, there they were, announcements on new exams, and, more importantly, retirement dates for current Cisco exams.
So, after some further investigation, here is what we discovered: First, no Cisco certifications are changing. But, several exams are indeed being replaced. Here is the story, in a nutshell:
Interconnecting Cisco Network Devices (ICND) Part 1: The current exam is exam 100-101. The new exam is exam 100-105 (and yes, it is out there). The last day to test on exam 100-101 is August 20, 2016.
Interconnecting Cisco Network Devices (ICND) Part 2: The current exam is exam 200-101. The new exam is exam 200-105 (and yes, it is out there, too). The last day to test on exam 200-101 is September 24, 2016.
Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) Routing and Switching: The current exam is exam 200-120. The new exam is exam 200-125 (also out). The last day to test on exam 200-120 is August 20, 2016.
What has not changed: The ICND Part 1 exam will still get you the Cisco Certified Entry Networking Technician (CCENT) certification. And, the ICND Part 1 plus the ICND Part 2 exams will still get you the CCNA certification, with the option of just taking the 200-125 exam instead.
With this information, we at LearnKey have already gone to work in updating our Cisco curriculum. In fact, look for an updated ICND Part 1 exam course early this fall, followed by an updated Cisco Implementing Network Security (IINS) course for exam 210-260 (another new recent exam), followed by an updated ICND Part 2 exam course. I will have some details of these courses in a future blog entry. In the meantime, here is the link to the details on these changes: https://learningnetwork.cisco.com/community/ccna-rs-certification.
For now, those of you studying for the CCENT or CCNA Routing and Switching exam have about three months to complete your certifications under the current exam versions.
Hello everyone! Not long ago, I shared with you some changes Adobe is making to their suite of Adobe Certified Associate (ACA) exams.
So, to get a first-hand look at the new exam format, I went and took the Adobe Photoshop CC 2015 exam for Windows. Now, mind you, it’s been :::covering my mouth::: years since I last took an Adobe exam, but I wanted to see what these new “scenarios” on the Adobe exams were all about. Plus, I had seen and heard some chatter from online forums and the like about how vastly different this exam is compared to previous Adobe exams. Given that part of my role as senior instructor here is to make sure we stay on top of exam changes, I took the plunge and took the exam.
And, yes, the exam has changed. But, the changes, in my humble opinion, were not drastic. I say that because though some questions look a little different, and yes, there are scenarios to go through, the core of any certification exam is still present. And that core is: Know the objectives and know ALL of the objectives!
Here is an example: Let’s look at the first domain of the Adobe Photoshop ACA 2015 objectives:
Domain 1.0 Setting Project Requirements
1.1 Identify the purpose, audience, and audience needs for preparing images.
1.2 Demonstrate knowledge of standard copyright rules for images and image use.
1.3 Demonstrate knowledge of project management tasks and responsibilities.
1.4 Communicate with others (such as peers and clients) about design plans.
Now, this is taken straight from the exam objectives as published on Adobe’s website. Someone studying Photoshop might be so focused on Photoshop that this domain just gets glossed over. And then, when a project question comes up on the test, the first thought is “uh-oh” or something worse.
And, with the scenario-based questions becoming a part of the Adobe exams, take a wild guess what types of questions are parts of these scenarios? I’ll give you a hint: Domain one. Besides, in order to be a Photoshop expert, shouldn’t one know what to do with meeting audience needs and know about copyrights and be able to work with others (like clients) on projects?
My point is, just knowing a program forward and backward is not enough to have a valid certification. For Microsoft Project, you need to know how a project manager operates, not just how to read a cost report. For Microsoft Access, you need to know how to structure a database, not just know how to change a field to a long date format. For Windows Server, you need to be able to design a server solution, not just know how to set up DHCP.
And, for the Photoshop ACA certification, you need to know how a Photoshop project is managed start to finish, not just how to change colors on someone’s shirt using a nondestructive method (yes, you need to know that, too).
So, resist the temptation to just ignore or gloss over test objectives that are not directly related to the program you are studying. In doing so, you will have a much better chance of passing an exam and, you will be a start-to-finish expert in the area you are certified in, not just a I-can-do-this-in-the-program person.
Hi everyone and Happy Thanksgiving and safe travels if you are traveling (I am not, thankfully). If you are studying for any Adobe CC 2015 exam, you will want to pull up a chair and read this carefully because the Adobe CC 2015 exams have changed and changed a lot!
When I first took an Adobe exam (Photoshop CS3 and you can figure out how long ago that was if you have an abacus), about half of the questions were multiple choice and the other half were simulations. The simulations were tasks I had to complete, in the program, such as doing a Gaussian Blur or using one of the many tools available in Photoshop to transplant one piece of a picture to another, such as replacing bad grass with healthy grass.
Now, Adobe is rolling out a new exam format. In this exam format, the exams are much more scenario-based, to where instead of having one task to perform in a situation, you have several tasks to perform, all tied to the simulation.
While this makes for a much more realistic knowledge test for the exam (which, having taken a lot of exams in a lot of disciplines, I happen to like), it is a big adjustment, especially for those who have taken a few Adobe exams and/or are studying for an Adobe CC 2015 exam.
We at LearnKey are always trying to stay on top of these changes. One way in which we are going to start doing this (and continue doing for many areas, not just Adobe) is to add practice labs, tailored to the new exam format. We will be adding some Adobe Photoshop CC 2015 practice labs to our website in the coming weeks. And, as other exams are updated, we will add labs for those. This will help bridge the gap between our current courses and a new Adobe series, which we have in our plans for 2016. But we are not going to make you wait for good exam practice material just because a test format changes.
In addition to the labs, we will, as needed, update our current workbooks to match up with any objective changes and test format changes in these new exams.
These tools will give you, the student, the latest and greatest preparatory materials needed to become successful in your certification quest for Adobe or, for that matter, any certification you are pursuing.
After just over six (6) months on the job our newest employee of the month has taken a “can do” attitude along with a great “team first” mentality.
That is why it gives me great pleasure to introduce Jenna Welch as this month’s Better Learning Systems/LearnKey employee of the month! Not only has she learned various roles on the LearnKey Veteran Services team she is also cross-trained in areas of our client services and accounting support groups as well. This just further demonstrates her ability to be flexible and take on projects that are not only in her area of expertise but outside her responsibility. A true utility player on our team!
Check out what her nominating manager had to say about Jenna’s performance to date “Jenna Welch has shown us that she can adapt and change to what is needed to complete a project or task. She is extremely easy to work with and has already achieved Word & Excel 2013 Microsoft Certification. I trust that when I ask her to take on a task or project that she will complete it on time if not sooner. Jenna has proven to be a valued team player and we look forward to what we can accomplish with her as a part of the LearnKey family”.
Take a minute to get to know Jenna on the personal side with this fun Q & A:
- How many siblings do you have? 11 altogether (2 brothers, 2 sisters, 2 sisters-in-law, and 5 brothers-in-law)
- What is your favorite movie? Star Wars!
- What is your favorite band? No longer together would have to be Johnny Cash and the Tennessee Three, or the original E Street Band (RIP, Clarence Clemons). Currently together…it’s a toss-up between Frank Turner and the Sleeping Souls, The Gaslight Anthem, The Menzingers, Against Me!, and Alkaline Trio. Please don’t make me pick just one!
- What is your favorite vacation spot? I love the mountains, but my most memorable vacation was in Tokyo
- What was your high school’s mascot? Panthers
- What is the weirdest combination of foods you have eaten? Brownies and garlic cheese spread (delicious, by the way)
- What is/was the name of your favorite pet? My family had two tomcats named Thomas and O’Malley
- What was your first car? ’98 Dodge Intrepid (not recommended without a bottomless maintenance budget)
- If you could go anywhere in the world where would it be? India
- Would you rather sky dive, bungee jump, zip line, or parasail? Definitely zip line
- What is the funniest saying you have heard working here? Any/every time someone besides Brian says “Are we done here?”
- If you could eat dinner with anyone from the past, present, or future, who would it be and why? My grandpa passed away last summer so I would love to have one more conversation with him.
While I agree that Jenna tells the truth not sure I am ready to try Brownies and garlic cheese spread just yet!
Please join me in congratulating Jenna on this award as we are delighted to have her as part of our Better Learning Systems family.
As the Veteran Services Manager at LearnKey, I work with Veterans from all over the world who are looking for ways to get into the security side of IT when whey separate from the military. Everyone knows about the CISSP certification and what that means to those who are looking to go big in an IA (Information Assurance) career. Everyone looks at the benefits of the CISSP yet they also know that it comes with an extensive exam. Don’t get me wrong, I am pro-CISSP and we help a lot of Veterans to achieve that level of certification. I do, however, want to talk about the CompTIA CASP certification and how it can jump-start the IA career you have been dreaming of.
The Advanced Security Practitioner certification from CompTIA (CASP) is a relative newcomer to the IA world. It is CompTIA’s first certification at the professional level and it was designed to fill the gap between their Security+ and the ISC2 CISSP certifications. The CISSP is often described as being a “mile wide and an inch deep” which perfectly describes every manager I have ever worked for. Yes, the CISSP is a management level certification which is great, but probably not the place you will likely start out in your new career. The CASP on the other hand is where the rubber hits the road. It includes the skills and objectives needed to keep everything running with the good guys on the inside and the bad guys put out in the cold. Here is a great video that CompTIA put together to illustrate what I am talking about:
CASP covers the latest in cryptographic applications, vulnerabilities, virtual storage, secure DNS, network design, firewalls, risk management, VoIP, and more. Those who possess the CASP certification work on the front lines, protecting and defending their networks. This is certainly the reason why the DoD directive 8570 was recently updated and they pushed the CASP certification up to the mid and high levels within their baseline approval structure (https://iase.disa.mil/eta/iawip/content_pages/iabaseline.html).
Although the CASP exam is not easy, it is much less strenuous of an exam than the CISSP. It also doesn’t come with the difficult-to-prove prerequisites. Listen to what Tom Carpenter, published author and consultant, has to say about the CASP certification and what it means to you:
The bottom line here is that both certifications are great but you really need to consider taking things in a logical order. I am excited to help our Veterans to (metaphorically) kick down the doors between them and a great career in IA, starting with the CASP certification.
We’ve been teasing it for a while, but our A+ Certification 2012 course is now available! A+ is one of our most popular courses, so of course Tom Carpenter and our production teams went out of their way to make this version both entertaining and educational.
An A+ Certification is one of the core requirements for many tech support and computer service jobs, and is the gateway to more specific career paths. If you’ve been looking to get started in IT, or if you’re expanding your tech knowledge, this course is for you.
Visit the Product page for more course information
We have recently implemented a new program for veterans who certify through our Veteran Services program – it’s called Certify for Life. This is an excellent new program that can help save veterans hundreds if not thousands of dollars throughout the course of their career.
The way this program can help save veterans money is by giving them free courseware updates for the rest of their life. So, in four to five years when technology advances and makes certain certifications out of date, the veteran doesn’t have to pay for courseware again, they don’t have to try to get the VA to cover the courses and they don’t have to pay out of pocket either – all they have to do is call LearnKey and let them know that they are in the Certify for Life program and LearnKey will get them set up with the current courseware in their area of study for free.
eLearning Company Announces Free Training for U.S. Veterans
LearnKey’s “Certify for Life” program enables qualified U.S. veterans to receive video-based training, free of charge, after they’ve completed their initial training certifications through VA-sponsored programs such as VR&E and VRAP.
ST. GEORGE, UT, May 11, 2012 /24-7PressRelease/ — LearnKey, a global provider of self-paced online training, today announced “Certify for Life,” a new program that provides free education for qualifying U.S. veterans. Certify for Life is available to veterans who participate in Vocational Rehabilitation & Employment (VR&E), Veterans Retraining Assistance Program (VRAP) and VOW to Hire Heroes programs offered through the Veterans Administration.
Visit veterans.learnkey.com for more information on our Veteran Services program.
It is starting to be really busy with our LearnKey 2012 production shoot schedule, and I’m very excited with some of our new courses and exams recently released the past three weeks. It started with our February 2012 release of our Advanced Security Practitioner Certification (CASP) course designed to provide students with an explanation and understanding of conceptualization of security topics, as well as theoretical instruction/demonstrations in designing and engineering security solutions. This training course prepares students for the CompTIA exam CAS-001. LearnKey Expert course instructor Tom Carpenter does a very thorough and solid job covering the key objectives.
Earlier this week we successfully released our Flash CS5 MasterExam™ that helps IT certification candidates put the finishing touches on their comprehension and confidence as a final step before sitting for the exam. With over 200 questions, this supplements the training and hands-on experience needed to pass the Adobe® Certified Associate (ACA) Rich Media Communication with Adobe® Flash® certification exam.
Another release this week is our PowerPoint 2010 MasterExam 77-883 which is a great way to assess the skills of your staff with the individual components of PowerPoint 2010. Increase productivity by discovering and correcting skill deficiencies, or to find out how proficient prospective employees are before you hire them.
We ended the week releasing our Dreamweaver CS5 MasterExam™ with over 200 questions that supplements the training and hands-on experience needed to pass the Adobe® Certified Associate (ACA) Web Communication with Adobe® Dreamweaver® certification exam.
Over the next couple of weeks I will share with you our 2012 Production release schedule for the remainder of the year. One teaser I can share with you is a very exciting course we plan to release about leveraging behavior – a perfect life skills and career readiness topic.
We are off to a great start, and I promise to keep you posted on our most recent product releases!
I just want to write a few words about a friend of mine that I met through our VA vocational rehabilitation program. Chris and I were introduced over this last summer when he began using the LearnKey program to advance his IT career. At the time, he was working in an IT role, but in a limited, part time position. Over several months of interaction, I have come to think of Chris as a friend as our whole group has been following his progress and cheering his success. In January, I was able to meet Chris face to face as he came into our recording studio to shoot a testimonial video. It was a great experience to get better acquainted and to learn that Chris served as a combat engineer in Baghdad, the same role in which my father served during WW2.
Showing support at the 2011 St. George Veteran’s Day Parade
LearnKey has been working with the VA VR&E (Vocational Rehab and Employment) program for the last year. The VR&E program is specifically for those veterans who have partial service related disability and the goal is to help the veteran find suitable employment and careers. We offer a number of courses and bundled program packages for the veterans which range from Web design, Graphic design, Cisco Pro, Video production, SharePoint, Office 2010, QuickBooks, CompTIA, Project Management, Database design, Windows Server, etc. We even help the veterans to find jobs with employers where they will truly fit in with the company culture.
I wanted you to know that just yesterday, we had one of the veterans we work with certify in CPEH (Certified Professional Ethical Hacker)! Chris L. has been studying using his LearnKey program that was provided by the VR&E program at the VA. He has been working hard and that work is certainly paying off. He is the first veteran in our program to attempt the CPEH and he will soon take the CPTE (Certified Pen. Testing Engineer) exam. Great job and good timing Chris, you managed to get that certification just in time for Veterans Day!