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NexGenT’s Head of Career Service, Sam Stuber

NexGenT’s Head of Career Service, Sam Stuber

Sam Stuber heads NexGenT’s Career Service and Journey team (which she refers to as, “The Dream Team” as the teams’ goal is to help every student land their dream job). As the head of the Dream Team, Sam works with her all-star Career Service and Success Coaches to ensure that every student succeeds and lands their dream job.

Sam is driven by her belief that a good education is the key to a successful life. This makes her passionate about revolutionizing higher education to make it more accessible and affordable to all. 

Prior to NexGenT, Sam started a company that helped students afford higher education through scholarships and crowdfunding. During this time, Sam helped over 200 students gain access to scholarships that allowed them to attain a post-secondary education. Sam also worked as a Career and College counselor, helping over 4000 students navigate the uncertain time in their life from transitioning out of high school into college or their first career. 

Sam has a certificate in Career Planning and College Admissions from the University of California, Berkeley. She also has a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration with a concentration in Entrepreneurship and a minor in English from California State University Fullerton (Go Titans!). 

A fun fact about Sam is that her goal is to go to every national park in the U.S.!


About NexGenT Career Service

Our NexGenT Career Service team works with you to develop your job attainment skills. We do this by first analyzing your individual strengths and weaknesses to build a custom career development plan. Your job success is so important that we dedicate a Career Success Coach to meet with you 1:1 to ensure you’re on track to reach your personal goals. Your Career Success Coach works with you to master each career milestone of a professional resume, cover letter, IT or cybersecurity interview preparation, a professional LinkedIn profile, and ultimately, a job and career success plan.

We look forward to helping you level up and achieve your career goals!

If you aren’t already a student, apply for NexGenT’s Full Stack Network Engineer program hereor NexGenT’s Cyber Security Specialist program here!

How to Find an IT Job During a Pandemic

How to Find an IT Job During a Pandemic

There are great opportunities, even in a crisis

With the outbreak of the Corona Virus forcing nearly 13% of the US population out of work through furloughs and layoffs, many are in a panic to find new jobs. While the announcement of millions of jobs lost is troubling, there is still hope in landing a stable IT job.

Because many IT roles can be done remotely, and their work is essential in keeping businesses digitally functioning and safe, there are still great hiring efforts for IT professionals. So, how do you find an IT job during a pandemic? 

Work your network

With all of the amazing job boards and tech tools for job seekers, networking is still the most efficient way to score an interview. Don’t keep your job search a secret. Let your network know that you are looking for an IT job and the type of industry you were interested in. 

While networking digitally, LinkedIn is an excellent tool to check in with your network and ask about positions that may be available. Also, consider community groups or IT forums on sites like Reddit, Facebook groups and even public Slack Channels

In community groups, you will be in forums with professionals with a similar skill set to troubleshoot ideas, fine-tune your skills and talk shop. They’re also a great resource to find out about opportunities and to talk about your job search. In many IT Forums, they often have a “jobs”thread where they will post about job openings and let job-seeking group members ask for help on their career search.

Get your resume in shape

A hiring manager or recruiter spends on average just 6 seconds looking at a resume before they decide to read on or reject a resume. Even if you have excellent experience and skills, if your resume is lackluster in any way it will get ignored, and with some Application Tracking Systems (ATS) an untailored resume may get rejected. 

To make your resume more appealing, be sure to use job descriptions as your guide. Your resume should contain the requirements and job responsibilities listed on the job description that you possess so that you appear aligned to the position. Words that are used consistently on a job description are likely a “keyword”, which is a word that an ATS will scan to put you at the top of the candidate list as a good match. 

A few other quick resume tips:

  • Lead your resume with a strong skill section.
  • Keep your resume to 1-2 pages maximum.
  • Highlight your experience gained through your certifications.
  • Keep all information relevant to the job you are applying for, but remove anything that does not support your first job.

Connect with IT Recruiters 

A recruiter can be your secret weapon in getting the job you want. You can find recruiters who specialize in placing IT professionals by doing a search of IT recruiting agencies in your area or through doing a LinkedIn search for “IT Recruiter”. 

Once you make the connection, keep in mind that Recruiters are currently being bogged down now more than ever so they may not get to you as quickly as you may hope. A Recruiter’s #1 goal is to get a position filled, not help candidates find positions, but sometimes your goals can align if you nurture the relationship.

To keep the connection fresh, make sure that you are giving, not just asking for help finding a job. Share one of their job postings within your network or let them know about something industry-related that you think may appeal to them. 

Choose companies in industries that are stable

Right now it’s important to stick to industries that are not only stable during these uncertain times but are actually thriving. Currently, the healthcare (and HealthIT) shipping, online learning, grocery, and communication industries are hiring despite the pandemic, along with a good number of technology companies. 

All of these companies need IT professionals to keep them functional online, connected and secure for their end-users and customers.  

Before choosing a company, take a look at how they are handling the COVID19 crisis both for their customers and their employees. Not only will this help you figure out if the company culture is a fit for you, but it’s also something that consumers are considering when they make purchases.

Check big (and small) job boards

Large job boards like Indeed and Ziprecruiter are great places to have your resume and start your search, but also take a look at smaller, more niche job boards where you’ll have fewer candidates to compete with for jobs. 

Check out sites like Angel List, PowertoFly, Remote.io, Flexjobs, and your alumni’s (if you have one) job boards. 

If you are not seeing much available in your city, be sure to also check for remote positions as the distance may not be an issue for many IT roles. 

Stay positive

While the job search may seem daunting, there are still plenty of great opportunities out there, especially in IT that are just waiting for you to apply. Don’t be afraid to ask for help and always put your best skills forwards. 

Happy hunting!

From Plumber to NOC Technician | People Of Zero To Engineer

From Plumber to NOC Technician | People Of Zero To Engineer

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.

The three projects required to pass the FSNP Advanced Course

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.”

Download our 5 Step PDF Guide to Becoming a Network Engineer

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.

And that, right there, is what it’s all about.

NexGenT Welcomes Michael LaMarche, Career Success Coach

NexGenT Welcomes Michael LaMarche, Career Success Coach

Michael is a Career Services and Success Coach who comes to NexGenT with professional recruiting experience and a background in higher education career services. Michael holds a Bachelor of Arts in Employee Relations and a Master’s in Organizational Performance and Technology from SUNY Potsdam.

Michael started the first seven of his fourteen-year career journey in the recruiting field in industries including healthcare, investment banking, IT, engineering, and consulting. Michael’s greatest achievement in the corporate sector was the placement of 1,100 employees during his tenure, which earned him a national ranking for his high level of successful employee placement. He then transitioned into higher education and joined Syracuse University. Over a seven-year career span, Michael had a very successful career. He was formerly the Director of Career Services which had oversight of 11 schools and colleges for 20,000+ students. His primary responsibility was developing strategic initiatives that would improve the student experience, increase retention rates, build corporate partnerships, and improve job placement outcomes. During his time at Syracuse University, he set three university records by achieving an 85% job placement rate for graduating classes of 3,300 students in 2017, 2018, and 2019.

Michael is extremely passionate about working with students and assisting them in achieving their career goals. His general philosophy is that he addresses each student individually so that he can help meet their specific needs and goals. He listens to their thoughts, works with them to pave new opportunities, and guides and supports students in developing a successful career path. In this way, he serves as a coach, mentor, and knowledgeable resource that works to maximize each individual’s potential for a successful future.

A fun fact about Michael is that he wrestled during his younger years. After seven months of training, he decided to skip his high school graduation to participate in the National High School Championships where he successfully placed 2nd and earned All-American status.


About NexGenT Career Service

Our NexGenT Career Service team works with you to develop your job attainment skills. We do this by first analyzing your individual strengths and weaknesses to build a custom career development plan. Your job success is so important that we dedicate a Career Success Coach to meet with you 1:1 to ensure you’re on track to reach your personal goals. Your Career Success Coach works with you to master each career milestone of a professional resume, cover letter, IT or cybersecurity interview preparation, a professional LinkedIn profile, and ultimately, a job and career success plan.

We look forward to helping you level up and achieve your career goals!

If you aren’t already a student, apply for NexGenT’s Full Stack Network Engineer program here or NexGenT’s Cyber Security Specialist program here!

NexGenT Welcomes Noelle Johnson, Career Success Coach

NexGenT Welcomes Noelle Johnson, Career Success Coach

Noelle Johnson is a NexGenT’s all-star Career Services and Success Coach, obsessed with helping job seekers get job offers. She has a background working for tech advocacy groups like CompTIA and the Future of Privacy Forum which has allowed her opportunities to work alongside some of the biggest tech companies in the world.

Prior to her time at NexGenT, Noelle was running an interview coaching company that focused on helping job transitioners get the coaching and resources they needed to secure job offers, writing, and doing public speaking on career-related topics. She has helped hundreds of people all over the world secure amazing jobs through her content and coaching. She has written for and has been quoted by various news outlets such as Forbes, Fast Company, Glassdoor, PowertoFly, and Cameron Diaz’ Our Body Book. 


What drives Noelle in career coaching is her mission to change the statistic that shows that 70% of people don’t like their job. She believes that everyone deserves to have a job where they feel valued, challenged, and balanced and seeks to help as many people as possible get into a position where they love what they do. Noelle’s favorite part of career coaching is seeing a student go from an uncertain career path to getting a job offer so good it makes her want to do a dance right along with her student!


When Noelle isn’t geeking out over resume formats and new LinkedIn functions, you can find her watching action movies, writing or debating about comic book characters with her preschooler.


About NexGenT Career Service

Our NexGenT Career Service team works with you to develop your job attainment skills. We do this by first analyzing your individual strengths and weaknesses to build a custom career development plan. Your job success is so important that we dedicate a Career Success Coach to meet with you 1:1 to ensure you’re on track to reach your personal goals. Your Career Success Coach works with you to master each career milestone of a professional resume, cover letter, IT or cybersecurity interview preparation, a professional LinkedIn profile, and ultimately, a job and career success plan.

We look forward to helping you level up and achieve your career goals!

If you aren’t already a student, apply for NexGenT’s Full Stack Network Engineer program here or NexGenT’s Cyber Security Specialist program here!

From Laid Off to Hired – How NexGenT Student Turned His Life Around And Broke Into IT

From Laid Off to Hired – How NexGenT Student Turned His Life Around And Broke Into IT

Kent Davis was in the mortgage industry, working as a Mortgage Originator and Processor but the truth was, he didn’t enjoy his job. The money was good and that’s what made it hard to leave.

Kent was unexpectedly laid off but he knew all too well, “The bad stuff always turns good, it’s just a matter of time. So you gotta keep it positive” he tells us. And with this mentality, he knew that he had a choice to make and opportunity was just around the corner.

After some soul searching, he made the decision to not return to the mortgage industry.  “I was dealing with finances and getting people loans but I just didn’t really want that to be my calling and IT is my calling, so I made the switch” Kent explains.

Download our free 5 step guide to becoming a Network Engineer

Kent had been interested in IT and computers since he was young. He never thought to break into the field professionally but was commonly the go-to computer guy for his family and friends, calling himself the “resident techy.” 

In exploring his options, he looked online at IT programs. The one that caught his attention was a Facebook ad for NexGenT’s CompTIA Net+ course.  He signed up and was pleased with the course and how much he was learning from the online videos. “I really liked it so I went and jumped into the full-fledged program and did the rest of the CCNA class with Jacob and Rob. [The instructors] definitely know how to convey information really well and keep your attention,” Kent says. 

And thus began his journey to change career fields through the Zero To Engineer program. 

Staying Motivated

It’s no secret that online courses require discipline. Kent quickly figured out the exact plan he needed to keep himself accountable with his studies. 

Thanks to the instruction given by Terry Kim in the course intro, Kent created a vision board. He organized it by three months, six months and one year goals – aiming to complete Net+ in the three months and CCNA in six.

Although losing a job is never a fortunate situation, Kent took advantage of the extra time and devoted roughly 6 hours a day to the course material. Leveling up was his new full-time mission.

Quick Tip From Kent – It might not work for everyone but I like making notecards for the material. Even little things like the acronyms. For example, on the test it won’t break down “APIPA” in the question, it’ll just mention it. I found it helpful to quiz myself even on the smaller topics.  I also bought a CCNA book and went through and highlighted things for later review. The highlighting really helped.

Related: NexGenT Donates $5 Million in IT Course Scholarships During COVID-19

Getting Hired In His First IT Role

Perseverance and repetition will help you get to where you want to be. “I never thought I would apply so much in my life, let alone for one position,” Kent shares with a sigh of relief knowing that his search was over. After being done with the course, he searched rigorously for opportunities around him and submitted over 100 applications.

One company he heard back from, Mytech Partners, Inc. caught his attention from the first phone interview. This call in particular stood out to Kent – everything about it felt right. Not to mention, their values aligned perfectly.

Kent tells us that after the first phone interview, he had to go through an online assessment. “This thing was brutal!” He was given a 75 technical question test with 45 minutes to complete it.

Thanks to Kent’s hard work and study habits, he completed the assessment with an acceptable score and was called only two hours after completion for an in-person interview.  

Related: 4 Qualities That Will Prove To An IT Hiring Manager That You Are A Great Fit

The skills check didn’t stop there. During the in-person interview, Kent was required to whiteboard a series of technical topics to prove his ability to articulate what he knew.  No sweat off his back – he was grateful for the NexGenT instructors who thoroughly reviewed this skill in the course.

“I thought well, I’m glad I had this training because now I can just stand up here and be familiar with what to do.” Kent exclaims the interview process was rigorous. After all, to land a role as a Tier 2 Service Desk Technician, a company needs to feel confident in a candidate’s abilities. “It was really a good starter for me through that entire interview and I really felt like I related to the engineers who were interviewing me who are now my peers.” 

Kent soared through each interview and challenge and was in fact job-ready.

Getting Acclimated To IT

Kent spends a lot of time on the phone, dealing with calls, working on certain projects, building network diagrams, etc. “Things kind of change day-to-day whether I’m on the phone or on site.”

“When life closes one door it opens another. That really holds true for me”

Kent Davis, NGT ALumni

With a wide variety of work, he is getting a lot of experience and says he is trying soak up all that he can. “I’ve actually installed some hardware already within my first 30 days and I really enjoyed that,” he tells us. Kent calls it a steep learning curve but is thrilled to basically be getting paid to learn while he gets more comfortable in his new career. 

It was a big jump for him – going from the world of mortgages to the world of IT – and sometimes not knowing where to start is the hardest part.  “Knowing what you need to do to make the change is really critical. But [NexGenT] lays it out for you. They set that path and you just have to walk down it.”

He trusted the direction that he was being led in, followed the path and his vision board timeline, and successfully acquired the position he worked so hard for. A strong core foundation has helped him to understand every aspect of networking easily. 

Career Change:Life Change

As cliche as it might sound, if you are unhappy with your life, something around you has got to change. Since breaking into a field of work that gets him excited to wake up in the morning, life has completely changed for Kent. 


He admits he had to take a pay cut to get his start in the IT field, “But it doesn’t matter to me because now I enjoy what I do. I don’t dread a third of my life anymore. Eight hours a day is a lot of time to not enjoy what you’re doing. It’s a world of difference.” With the passion this man has for IT and his new position, there is no doubt that he will move up quickly into an advanced role such as Senior Network Engineer. But in the meantime, getting his feet wet in IT was a serendipitous life-change that he needed. 

“Thanks to NexGenT that I am happy in my life and in my career”

Kent Davis, NGT Alumni

He didn’t enjoy doing mortgages. “It paid the bills for sure, but IT is something I like coming in to work for. I don’t dread coming into work anymore” Kent says with a grin.

If you are craving a career change and want to break into a booming industry that you can be excited about each morning you wake up, reach out to us on our chatbox on our website or click the link below. 

If you or someone you know has been laid off recently, especially in the midst of this pandemic and would like to dedicate your available time to learning a new skill to break into the world of IT, click here.

Related: Want To Stand Out From Other IT Candidates? Read This First! FSNA & FSNP Certifications Could Be Your Answer