Jumpstart your IT or cybersecurity career by applying in 5 minutes or less
We are excited to share with our NexGenT students and graduates a new employment program designed to help facilitate immersive experiential learning. This opportunity includes working full-time on-site as a member of a consulting team dedicated to supporting the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Information Technology (IT) Operations and Network Engineering challenges. NexGenT is able to offer this employment opportunity in partnership with LeoRose Consulting and Booz Allen Hamilton, both prominent IT service providers to our national defense, civil and intelligence agencies.
With COVID-19, the ChooseVA reorganization effort, and the ever-present challenges associated with serving those who have served – now is a great time to be at the VA.
Quick Look at the IT and Cybersecurity Employment Opportunities
Employment type: Full-time W2; 40 hours expected
Length: 6-12 months with possible full-time employment offer with a company on the VA contract
Location: One of the 2000+ VA facilities (no long-distance travel or relocation)
When: On a rolling basis, the VA will be opening different job titles at different times. That being said, it is best to submit your application NOW to be considered first for any existing or potential job title that matches your desires and qualifications!
Predicted open job titles: Cyber Security Engineer, Program Analyst, Junior Program Analyst, Security Analyst, Security Technician, System Administrator, Senior System Administrator, Systems Engineer, and Junior Systems Engineer
Number of open positions: Unsure at this time, it could be up to hundreds if we have the qualifying students to fill the positions!
Throughout the program, candidates will work full-time (40 hours expected) with members of the 15 servicing companies as well as VA military & civilian staff to solve real-world challenges in all areas of IT, including:
Enterprise Network Management
Enterprise Application Services
Test & Evaluation (T&E)
Strategy and Planning
Requirements Development & Analysis
System and Data Migration
This opportunity has the potential of resulting in a full-time position with a company on the VA contract. It is also available for taking at any one of their 2000+ VA facilities around the US.
And one of the best parts: No relocation required thanks to their many facilities!
Ready to take the leap? Click here to apply now and to be considered for any of the potential job openings they will have now and in the future.
A Special Message for Veterans
Although this opportunity isn’t only for veterans, we’ve strategically partnered with LeoRose Consulting and Booz Allen Hamilton to honor our veterans. Both are prominent IT service providers to our national defense, civil, and intelligence communities. With COVID-19, the ChooseVA reorganization effort, and the ever-present challenges associated with serving those who have served – now is a great time to be at the VA.
Though we believe anyone can succeed in IT if they have the grit and passion for it, veterans are particularly apt to excel in such an opportunity as this.
IT and cybersecurity are natural next steps if you’re looking to change course out of the military or looking for a stable career you’ll be happy in. Take a moment to listen to what former marine Marcus Mapes had to say about his NexGenT decision.
NexGenT was founded by two Air Force veterans who trained thousands of personnel to be job-ready in only a couple of months. We bring that same military-style training philosophy and get our students job-ready in an expedited fashion without any B.S.
We believe that veterans are some of the best kinds of people for IT work: they know the importance of diligence, teamwork, and the weight of responsibility. They have experience in all three of those areas and then some.
How to Apply
Positions are OPEN NOW for 2000+ VA facilities across the US!
If you are not a NexGenT student or alumni, you may still apply for this opportunity if you have at least a few years of IT work experience or education. Candidates interested in being considered for any existing and future opportunities are encouraged to apply for the program by submitting a simple application and updated resume using this application link.
Note – please tailor your resume to an IT or cybersecurity role. Please include any relevant certifications you possess and include the month and year that you began and departed each position in the work experience section of the resume. If you are a student and need quick pointers or IT resume templates to help revise your resume, then please use NexGenT’s Career Service website here.
If you have any specific questions or if you would like to learn more about the program, you may reach out to Samantha Stuber, NexGenT Head of Career Services at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Gamers and IT professionals are cut from the same cloth. Both are team players. Both are tech buffs. Both grew up “wired.” The main difference? Top IT professionals hang out in the boardroom, not the bedroom.
Many famous coders, network engineers, and developers started as gamers:
Programmer/developer and one-time software engineer John Romero. (His favorite game? “Chrono Trigger” on the SNES).
Gamers and IT professionals share similar personality traits. Both have a competitive streak. (You can’t play “Fortnite” without one). And the will to succeed. (Just ask programmer-turned-billionaire-businessman Tim Sweeney!)
There are obvious parallels between gamers and successful IT professionals like network engineers. If you game at home, apply those skills to a new job in the lucrative IT sector. You’ll never have to put down the controller!
Become an IT Professional and Use Your Gaming Skills
So you want to get a job in the gaming industry? This is a highly competitive field — there are 2.6 billion gamers worldwide, up from 100 million in 1995 — so you should develop new talents to improve your chances of success. One route into this sector is through IT, where you can hone many of the skills you’ve developed playing video games — enhanced coordination, spatial awareness, improved concentration, memory recall, problem-solving, multi-tasking, the list is endless.
With the right training from a professional, you can garner the skills you need to work in IT, as well as industry certifications that help you land your first job in this field. The IT sector is crying out for talented gamers like you. And you’re going to love it.
What you can expect when you work in IT:
No day is the same. (You get to work on different projects.)
The opportunity to transfer your gaming skills to real-world environments.
The chance to work with similar people to you. (Many people who work in IT are gamers!)
There are loads of opportunities for career progression.
You earn good money! (Keep reading to find out how much.)
As you know, there are lots of job roles in IT, including coders, developers, and designers. However, network engineering roles are consistently ranked as one of the most in-demand tech jobs. Network engineers are similar to gamers in various ways. Both have excellent hand-eye coordination. Both solve complex problems. Both plan strategically. (If you’ve ever played Civilization, you know what we mean.)
“Understanding of computer and console game networking systems and technologies”
As a gamer, you have this talent!
“Strong communication and interpersonal skills; the ability to work as a part of a team.”
“Self-directed, focused, and detail-oriented.”
OK, there will be stuff you might not know, such as client/server models, peer-to-peer models, and latency compensation, but you can learn all this quickly. You could become a job-ready certified network engineer in just 3 months, even if you’ve never worked in IT before. (Or never had a job before!)
How to Move From Gaming to Network Engineering
Network engineers deal with various computer network elements and, in theory, video games are similar to these components. Therefore, you can transfer many of the skills learned in gaming to IT.
When you become a network engineer, you’ll optimize networking systems and collaborate with other engineers to improve performance. You’ll also:
Maintain network performance.
Enhance network reliability.
Look after data systems.
“Some of your other duties in the role of computer network engineer might include network modeling and analysis. This means you will have to analyze the particular networking needs of a business and determine which software and hardware solutions will suit them the best,” says Learn.org. “You will then plan out, install, and maintain those various solutions, which might include wireless adapters, routers, or network drivers.”
Do you have what it takes?
If you like to game, becoming a network engineer could provide you with a productive, profitable career. Plus, you can still play the video games you love. Some IT professionals still “game” outside of work; others play games at work.
With the right gaming skills and experience, you can become a network engineer (or another type of IT pro) in almost any niche. One of the most lucrative? Cybersecurity.
Gamers and cybersecurity network engineers have lots in common, so this shouldn’t be a difficult career to move into. Ninety-two percent of people in a recent study agree that gamers possess skills critical to cybersecurity, such as perseverance, logic, and an understanding of “adversaries”. Moreover, gamers are more likely to detect cybersecurity threats than traditional cybersecurity hires.
“[The majority] of cybersecurity professionals say the current generation entering the workforce that grew up playing video games are stronger candidates for cybersecurity roles,” says TechRepublic. “As cybersecurity pros struggle to keep up with evolving threats, one emerging pool of talent may help organizations stay safe: Video gamers.”
Working in cybersecurity can be rewarding. Like in popular video games, you detect threats, help innocent people, and fight against the “bad guy.” You also get the chance to work with governments and multinational corporations in the battle against cybercrime. Just like in Fortnite, you can save the world!
Cybersecurity is also lucrative for gamers. Average salaries range from $100-200,000 — well above the national average — and hit seven figures for the highest-paying jobs. Without a doubt, network engineering is one of the best-paid roles in cybersecurity. Your mission, should you choose to accept it? To set up, develop, and maintain computer networks — and keep everyone safe from the baddies.
Becoming a cybersecurity network engineer (or network security engineer) provides you with as much satisfaction as your favorite video game. You’ll be responsible for maintaining the company’s WAN, LAN, server architecture, firewalls, virtual networks, programs, and more. You’ll be the gatekeeper of the organization. The superhero of the company. The Lara Croft, Sonic the Hedgehog, or Master Chief. (Choose your character!)
You can even combine cybersecurity and gaming, and work as a cybersecurity network engineer in the gaming industry! There are loads of these jobs across the United States. (Not just Silicon Valley.) Check out these careers for video game enthusiasts:
Who? World-famous video game brand, famous for “Medal of Honor,” “The Sims,” “Dragon Age,” and more
Where? Orlando, FL
How much? $100-140,000 a year (estimated)
(Information correct as of July 2020)
Ready to Become a Network Engineer?
Unfortunately, you can’t leap from a gamer to a professional network engineer without any additional training. Sure, being a gamer puts you at an advantage, but you still need the help of a professional.
Meet Andrew, a veteran, and father-of-four, who enrolled in NexGenT’s Zero to Engineer program. He learned life-long IT skills (and work-ready soft skills) from top network engineers who have worked at companies like Google, Cisco, and Amazon.
After he completed the program, Andrew landed a job at NASA as a network engineer, where he specialized in WAN, CAN, and LAN engineering and management for more than 5,000 nodes. Andrew negotiated two raises and doubled his salary to more than six figures a year, before landing a position at Insight Global, and then Riot Games, one of the world’s largest video game developers. He now earns $200,000 a year.
Perhaps you’re like Andrew. You want to become a network engineer (or another type of IT pro) but lack the resources and contacts. With the Zero to Engineer program, you get hands-on technical education, industry-recognized certifications, virtual mentorship, flexible learning, and career services all from the comfort of your home.
Are you a gamer? Whether you want to become an IT professional in the gaming industry or another sector, you’re almost halfway there. With a little training, you could land the job of your dreams and earn a lucrative salary.
Craig Fowler was a plumber with an eye on the future, and now he’s an NOC technician at Thinktank NTG.
But let’s zoom out, back to the beginning: Craig had ambitions towards the radio, and he knew he needed to have a background in networking.
With this in mind, he started at The University of Phoenix for networking and telecommunications. He didn’t complete his education there–he was looking for something more, but he wouldn’t realize what that “more” was until later.
He found himself in a plumbing role because he was attracted to the hands-on aspect of it. During this time, he was sent a network test from a contracting company. The winds were changing.
He made such an impression with his testing scores that they said he could work with them anytime, a lifetime guarantee.
This experience sparked Craig’s inspiration to get back into networking. “Okay,” Craig thought, hope rising in his chest, “this must be telling me something.”
Enter stage left: A well-timed NexGenT Instagram ad for our Net+ course. He was hooked immediately.
Along with his career path changing, Craig also made a move to Indiana from Florida, and in the midst of that, started applying for networking jobs– he was going after his gut feeling with all he had.
He started with CompTIA and was excited to learn about Net+ as well as the variety of career paths available. Terry and Jacob’s teaching style spoke to him on every level.
“I enjoyed plumbing, it was lovely working there, but I knew it wasn’t what I wanted to do.” Craig confided, reminiscing on his time in that field.
Craig, after answering the call to go deeper into NexGenT, was grateful for how in-depth the course goes after Net+ (our entry-level certification). When Craig joined our Zero to Engineer course he was glad to be covering CCNA and CCNP.
Variety can make or break a course, and NexGenT delivered by offering the hands-on IT experience he was looking for—it provided the talking points he needed to land interviews and feel confident discussing what he had worked on.
The level of confidence you have in your skills can make all the difference in an interview. It’s about how you present your knowledge.
The project-based approach we take is one of the main aspects that separates us from more traditional paths.
Craig, on looking back over his time at The University of Phoenix, “I was at Phoenix for four years and didn’t come close to what I learned from NexGenT.”
Now that he’s seen and felt the difference, he’s not looking back.
“It changed my life. There’s a blueprint now,” Craig said, his enthusiasm evident, “It’s all starting to come to fruition.”
Looking ahead has a whole new meaning now, a new framework.
“That’s the great thing about NexGenT, the core course, the network engineering course. It’s getting you ready to achieve your goals.”
Every journey to completing a goal has its trials and challenges.
In the program, he would come up against confusion. Even while going through the project he would find himself struggling to troubleshoot and complete a task properly.
Instead of giving up, Craig recognized that he was being given the tools to succeed in an environment that would encourage his skillset to expand which ultimately helped him land his NOC Technician role.
“That’s when you get that ‘Ah-ha!’ moment—’okay, I can do this.’”
Because of that confidence and future-thinking, Craig was able to give a straightforward answer in interviews. “They asked me, what do you see yourself being in 5 years? I said a senior network engineer.”
Quick Tip From Craig: If you’re feeling stuck, keep pushing, go back to studying, don’t get discouraged. You’ll do a lot of interviews, a lot of them will be over the phone. That’s okay because they’re searching for the ones who know what they’re talking about. Keep moving forward. Remember to look for opportunities to learn.
Craig on why he recommends NexGenT, “You’re going to learn well and beyond what you think you’re going to learn.”
“It gives you the full-force experience, hands-on.” He continued, “You’ll take on a project that you can utilize in your interviews.” You’ll be able to talk about the immersion and the practice that you have under your belt.
“There’s a coaching call every week!” Craig said, “They’re giving you quality and quantity at the same time.”
“Thanks to NexGenT, I have succeeded and will be a lifetime learner.”
We’re always looking for ways to better support our students, and it’s great to hear that they feel it.