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Traditional IT Certification Exams Are Broken : NexGenT Certifications Create Job-Ready Engineers

Traditional IT Certification Exams Are Broken : NexGenT Certifications Create Job-Ready Engineers

Tired of interviewing “certified” engineers that look great on paper, but don’t actually have the skills to match their certifications? In a 2015 CompTIA study, 91% of employers believe IT certifications play a critical role in the hiring process and that IT certifications are a reliable predictor of a successful employee. But test takers have long figured out ways to cheat certification exams in order to appear more qualified. And in 2020, it’s become a huge problem.

In a recent interview with the Washington Post, a professor of engineering at Purdue University said that there was a “massive number” of students who had used online resources like braindumps to get the answers to their exams, with as many as 60 students out of 250 doing so in one class. A brain-dump occurs when an individual takes an exam and then publishes all of the details online for other students to cheat. Unfortunately, this problem isn’t isolated to academia.

A 2019 investigation in Tampa, Florida, revealed an entire company that shared the exact certification exam with their staff the day before the test in order to maximize the number of team members certified. Quite frankly, it’s only getting worse as more and more exams move online…

Since the majority of testing has gone virtual in 2020, the rate of cheating has risen more than 8x, according to the CEO of ProctorU, a service which provides trained proctors to watch test-takers. This is common to see when the economy goes down, as people become desperate to find work and rationalize that it’s ok to cheat. But that doesn’t make it right.

Skills vs. Theory

This exposes a larger truth… Traditional IT certification exams are broken. Cheaters can exploit a number of loopholes in the current testing environments, from buying braindumps online to hiring proxy test takers. The result is that you can no longer rely on traditional certifications alone. That is essentially why we built NexGenT. We wanted to create a new standard of certification that verified a candidate’s true skill set. NexGenT students are a great place to look if you are trying to find and hire IT professionals. 

NexGenT founders, Terry Kim and Jacob Hess, were IT instructors in the U.S. Air Force and have over 40 combined years of experience in information technology. Their military backgrounds inspired them to build a unique training program with a curriculum unlike any other. Think about it, our military trains hard to learn skill sets that are needed on the battlefield. They go through rigorous bootcamps so that when they get out into the real world, they can hit the ground running. As IT instructors, Kim & Hess trained hundreds of young adults in a matter of months how to set up and deploy networks in the field. 

After separating from the military, both founders worked in the private sector for companies like Cisco Systems and Arista Networks. After getting to know CIOs of major companies across industries, it became obvious that the issue of finding skilled engineers and cheating on certification exams was a real problem.

That’s when we decided to take the “military grade” instruction from the Air Force and incorporate it into a new training approach – the FSNE program. FSNE stands for Full Stack Network Engineer, an evolution to network engineering that is critical in today’s IT landscape to address the entire IT stack we see across the infrastructure. Our certified FSNA & FSNP engineers now encompass the full set of skills across routing, switching, wireless, voice over IP, and network security… Everything you need to build out a functional enterprise network. NexGenT certifications are taught by industry veterans via both live training and real world projects that teach actual skills, instead of focusing on theory, book reading, and bubble-filling. The beauty of this approach is that these skills cannot be circumvented by online braindumps. To learn them, you actually have to put in the time and effort and to gain the certification, you actually have to perform the skills. 

When someone is tested on skills, cheating is not an option.

Training Skilled Engineers

If you are seeking to hire top IT talent, you should be looking for skills-based knowledge instead of certification based knowledge. 

Our FSNE advanced training includes 3 hands-on projects…

  1. Full Stack Networking Project – designed to provide an understanding of a complete HQ/Branch network and the project build-out process. In this project, students design and deploy a robust full-stack network with a headquarters and two branch offices.
  2. Cisco ASA SSL VPN Project – which walks students through the design, deployment and support of Remote Access SSL VPN on a Cisco ASA.
  3. Colocation Data Center Project – which enhances the existing Full Stack Networking Project by adding High Availability and dynamic routing with EIGRP at the HQ site.

In just 22 weeks, students are transformed into certified professionals equipped with three certifications: the Full-Stack Network Associate (FSNA) certification, the Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) certification, and the Full-Stack Network Professional (FSNP) certification. But our engineers do not receive their certifications until they’ve passed a Skills Qualification Check that’s administered live by a NexGenT Instructor. That means you can rest easy knowing that the NexGenT verified engineer you’ve hired is capable of doing the job on day one, just as if they were ready to hit the ground running in the battlefield. 

Don’t just take our word for it. After securing a role as a Network Support Analyst at CarMax, one of the graduates from our FSNE program was told by his manager, “You knew more in your interview than other people I’ve interviewed with 10-15 years of experience.”

If you are ready to level up your team with an NexGenT certified engineer, fill out the type form at the bottom of our Employer Relations page to get in contact with our team and set-up an interview with NexGenT verified candidates that are ready to get started today. OR upskill your current team with one of our live education programs, which are enrolling now

Full Stack Network Engineer February 2020 Cohort Graduation

Full Stack Network Engineer February 2020 Cohort Graduation

On the evening of September 3rd, we gathered for our virtual graduation ceremony to celebrate the recent success of our Full Stack Network Engineer 2-21-2020 cohort. This was truly an exciting moment for everyone as the cohort members completed the Full Stack Network Engineer (FSNE) program having put in their passion and hard work over 22 weeks to achieve success. The cohort began on February 21st 2020, and completed with 17 graduates this past July. 

Through the program students learned exactly what it takes to be an effective and successful Network Engineer in today’s workforce. Having most students starting out with no prior experience, their knowledge was built from ground zero where they learned the fundamentals of networking and progressed all the way to planning, designing and deploying their own multi-site, enterprise-grade networks by the end of the program. The students from this cohort are now in the job hunting phase, and two of the students have now landed a new IT job since graduating – one as a Support Engineer for Amwell, and another is now a Systems Consultant at OP Technology LLC.

 

What’s the program like?

The FSNE program prepares students for the real-world by rigorously vetting their skills and knowledge over 22 weeks and across multiple checkpoints and milestones which include multiple certifications. The first certification that students must achieve is the Full Stack Network Associate (FSNA) certification from NexGenT. To achieve this students must pass a written exam and also deploy a real network on their own which supports routing, switching, wireless networking, voice over IP, and network security. After achieving the FSNA, students then work on obtaining their Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) certification from Cisco Systems. The goal is for the students to knock out this certification by the 90-day mark before moving into the advanced training aspect of the program. Upon entering advanced training, students immediately begin learning project management skills and working to design and build their first project. Their first project is a very robust 3-site network deployment with a headquarters and two remote offices. Two more projects are then deployed where a Cisco ASA with remote access SSL VPN solution is deployed, followed by a Colo Data Center deployment for redundancy and additional network services.

networking project network engineer nexgent

 

After planning, designing, implementing, supporting, and finally closing all three of these projects, the student must pass their final skills qualification and troubleshooting check, in order to achieve their Full Stack Network Professional (FSNP) certification from NexGenT. Throughout the program students also receive career help and have many career-related milestones to accomplish relating to their career plan, resume, and personal branding. After completing all program milestones and capstone projects, the students then move to the job hunting phase where they focus strictly on landing their new job or promotion.


There are currently three other cohorts running who will soon be graduating and celebrating similar success, and our next FSNE cohort launches in October 2020. To learn more about getting on the path to become a network or systems engineer with robust training, project-based learning, career planning, and real-world skills certification with zero upfront costs, then click here.

FSNA FSNP Full stack engineer Cisco CCNA

 

Please congratulate our recent graduates!

Akmal Suareze, FSNA-0049

Alexis Brewster, FSNA-0051, FSNP-0020 

Cameron Akers, FSNA-0052

Chandler Wallingford, FSNA-0054, FSNP-0017

David Leitman, FSNA-0057, FSNP-0022, and Cisco Certified Network Associate

Edward Prince, FSNA-0059, FSNP-0027

Joshua Cooksey, FSNA-0062, FSNP-0023

Lola Bode-Omolulu, FSNA-0064, FSNP-0021

Paul Deppe, FSNA-0065, FSNP-0024

Rayvon Scott, FSNA-0066, FSNP-0018

Richard Martinez, FSNA-0067, FSNP-0015, and Cisco Certified Network Associate

Ryne Green, FSNA-0068, FSNP-0025

Terrence Eskridge, FSNA-0069, FSNP-0029

Timothy Ott, FSNA-0070, FSNP-0028

Tracy Thibault, FSNA-0031, FSNP-0026

Congratulations folks! You have all put in some serious effort and have accomplished a magnificent feat!

– The NexGenT Team

 

NexGenT Celebrates Graduates of First Cyber Security Cohort

NexGenT Celebrates Graduates of First Cyber Security Cohort

Certified and Reaching Success

Last week here at NexGenT we congratulated our very first Cyber Security Specialist cohort for passing their skills qualification check and becoming certified as a NexGenT Cyber Security Associate (NCSA)! The cohort began on March 23rd 2020 with 23 students graduating from their technical training this past August.

Out of the 23 graduates who now hold an NCSA certification, 3 are now also CompTIA Security+ certified and 3 others have already landed their first job in the industry, some even with little to no experience prior to joining the program. That is what project-based learning and real-world skills training will get you! Several other students from the cohort also already have job interviews lined up which they feel very confident about. 

We spoke to Roberto Buenrostro, NCSA #0025, about his experience completing the program. When he signed up for the Zero To Engineer, Cyber Security Specialist program from NexGenT, he was working an array of part-time positions unrelated to IT but had a couple certifications such as CompTIA  Net+ and A+. He quickly realized that certifications look great on paper, but what was missing from his resume was hands-on skills and knowledge. “A lot of other schools give you theoretical knowledge but NexGenT gives you a lot of the hands-on practical knowledge to actually know what you’re doing.” 

cybersecurity bootcamp

What’s The Program Like?

The ZTE programs are similar to that of an online bootcamp – getting straight to the meaty topics, getting hands-on knowledge and skills, and working projects instead of theory. Over the span of 22 weeks (on a 20 hour per week schedule), the program focused on 4 weeks of network fundamentals and network security, 9 weeks of core cyber security skills, and 8 final weeks of practical skills vetted inside a robust cyber range. Students had a substantial amount of engagement with ransomware, botnets, and various red team / blue team scenarios. By the final weeks, they were launching backdoor shells, gaining access into remote administrative servers, and proving their ability to mitigate these same attacks.

To become NCSA certified, students are required to do more than just a fill in the blank. They must complete and pass a military inspired skills qualification check (SQC) where they are required to perform a checklist of skills. The cyber SQC mimicked 2 cyber range scenarios including stopping exfiltration of banking data, and using snort rules to identify and remove malware from an office network. To be able to identify an attack, find the root source, delete, and prevent takes a lot of work and the students were successfully able to handle these challenges thrown at them. It was a great journey to see them level up their skills and become cyber rockstars!

Our second and third Cyber Security Specialist cohorts have also recently launched on May 22nd and July 17th 2020, respectively, and our fourth will launch on September 18th 2020. To learn more about becoming a cyber security professional and getting high-quality training with zero upfront costs, click here

 

 

CERTIFIED AS OF AUGUST 9, 2020

NCSA-0002 Shirl Marshall
NCSA-0003 Eric Madlangbayan
NCSA-0004 Naioma McPherson
NCSA-0005 Amer Saleemi
NCSA-0006 Don Jayathilake
NCSA-0007 Jon Mallory
NCSA-0008 Gabriel Innecco
NCSA-0009 Ahmed Abdelmoneim
NCSA-0010 Tracy Orr
NCSA-0011 Sid Real
NCSA-0012 Lester Daniels
NCSA-0013 Taylor Beckner
NCSA-0014 Ralph Venisee
NCSA-0015 Antonio Rodgers
NCSA-0016 Sylvester Rolack
NCSA-0017 Michael O’Reggio
NCSA-0018 Joseph Orozco
NCSA-0019 Scott Fearon
NCSA-0021 Wendi Jonkers
NCSA-0022 Ryan Delaney
NCSA-0023 Rashiem Briggs
NCSA-0024 Lorraine May
NCSA-0025 Roberto Buenrosto

 

Stuck at the Help Desk? These 5 Aspiring IT Engineers Cracked the Code

Stuck at the Help Desk? These 5 Aspiring IT Engineers Cracked the Code

You know the routine. The waning hours of the day, checking off support tickets, babysitting laptops, and working through the grey hued workday with a dispassionate weight on your chest. Your stepping stone into the industry has felt far to much like a landing stone and after all this time it’s no longer new and exciting. You can guess what will happen tomorrow and the day after that. You know what’s expected of you when working help desk, and you meet it with resignation.

Sound familiar? 

Working the help desk can make you think that there’s nothing else to IT work and that you’ve seen it all one-hundred times over. We’re here to tell you that’s not true.

These 5 trailblazers are proof that there’s more for you after the help desk. 

1. From Stuck in IT Support to Network Engineer

Chris Mendez was skeptical of NexGenT advertisements but willing to take a closer look and take a shot at breaking free from the mundane help desk. He developed an interest in learning about the back end of network engineering—a field that he was almost unaware of existed—and was fascinated by how different it was compared to his help desk position.

He landed a role that is worlds away from being deskside IT support. His days have taken on new perspectives, more responsibilities, and new opportunities to explore his passions and pursue a balanced life of traveling and security. He went from a small company servicing a few hundred people to working for his city and servicing thousands of people. It was an exciting jump in his career and a title that helped him increase his income and provide more for his family.

Chris found his freedom by breaking away from the help desk and is using it every day. If you are enrolled in the Zero To Engineer program, you are likely to virtually meet him as one of NexGenT’s alumni mentors.

You can also find his Day in the Life of a Network Engineer video on our YouTube page to hear a bit of his story and see how his work-life has completely changed. 

2. The Change that Resulted in a Promotion After 20 Years

Al Minnigan had been in the IT field for 20 years when he finally decided to invest in his education and took the plunge into learning with NexGenT. He was sick of “babysitting laptops” as an IT field tech and was ready to challenge himself to learn more and go further in his IT career.

His initial reaction when he encountered the course was built off of common excuses: I don’t have enough time, I need to support my family, I’m too old to go back to school. With some tenacity and spousal support, Al took his shot and decided to sign up for NexGenT. “I underestimated my ability to learn more,” he tells us.

Al started taking initiative to help out in new areas of work and his boss took notice of the extra work he was putting in. When an IT networking position opened up that Al was interested in, his boss recognized his efforts and encouraged him to keep applying. Not long after, Al was promoted to a Network Operations Technician.

Al has adjusted extremely well to his new position, enjoys having his own desk set-up with multiple monitors, and being challenged on a daily basis.

3. From Miscellaneous IT Work to Having Security as a Network Engineer

Chris Mickinnis was in an unsustainable grind of miscellaneous IT work that drained him and made him feel frozen in time. He worked with a small company, wore many hats, and often had to be on-the-go. He knew that his job would not sustain him and his family for long and he needed to move on to something more promising within IT. 

After watching a webinar from NGT founder, Terry Kim, he knew the Zero To Engineer program was his key to leveling up in IT. He created a schedule for himself to keep up with his self-study by playing the online course videos after his kids went to bed. He would even keep the videos on repeat while he was at work or in the midst of his commute to keep the information always fresh and flowing through his mind to help with retention and learning. 

One day, he was working on a project with a manager from another company who had heard of this program that Chris Mickinnis was studying. The manager was impressed by the fact that Chris had chosen to invest in his education and recognized that he was a driven and pro-active person. He asked to remain in touch with Chris and reached out to offer him a position when an opening became available. Even better, his new position as a Network Engineer for Kirby Corp now allows him to work remotely.

“I just get a little crack grin every time I say it because I can’t believe it happened,” Chris says in reference to introducing himself as a Network Engineer.

It’s not always clear where to turn, what decisions to make when it comes to building a career you love and are proud of in IT. But it can be done, and with NexGenT, you can earn that state of pride and renewed enthusiasm for the work you do.

4. From 7 Years in the Comfort Zone to Cyber Security Engineer

Jonathan Flores only planned to be at Verizon for 6 months but stayed for 7 years.

“Thinking back now, I was very comfortable financially and avoided looking for another job because I didn’t want to shake-up my life. However, working 60-70 hours a week left no time for me to enjoy my personal life.”

Jonathan wasn’t fulfilled by working at Verizon, but it was safe and familiar. He recognized that he spent so much time working he became an absent spouse and father. He decided to do something about it and pursue a career change he didn’t think was possible. He was ready to start working to live and not living to work.

Zero to Engineer showed him the possibilities of a future in tech and he felt like he finally had a grasp on navigating the IT industry.
“I’ll never forget what Terry told me about how prepared I should be for interviews, ‘You have to be able to articulate things, make them tell you to stop’. Zero to Engineer gave me the IT knowledge I needed to think like a troubleshooter and helped me land a network tech role at Navy Federal.”

Today, Jonathon is still employed with Navy Federal credit union and has since been promoted to a Cyber Security Engineer. His future is bright.

5. From Tech Support to Network Administrator and a 20K Pay Bump

Nick Harvey was hungry for progress in his career and went on the hunt for a solution. He was looking for a different experience than his 8+ years in help desk and tech support—something new, a challenge.

He attempted Udemy courses, but it missed the mark. What he wanted was accountability and an active community where he could learn and grow in his new IT pursuits, while equipping himself with certifications that would get him IT jobs, and out of help desk.

He found his perfect fit in the IT training program when he joined the NexGenT family.  When it came time for job hunting, Nick Harvey shared that though he didn’t have the “practical” IT networking experience, but working on the Full Stack Network Engineer (FSNE) project gave him the confidence and solid understanding to take on his new network administrator role. “I really think the networking project we did is the primary reason I got the job,” Harvey said.

Harvey is now a Network Administrator, making an extra $20,000 annually. A salary increase like this makes a big difference for him and his family.

What can this mean for you?

Change is hard. Routine is hard to break free from. However, if these 5 examples of students that broke free from the help desk and support are any indication, it’s worth the leap. It’s more than possible to break from your help desk comfort zone and from your easy routine to go after something bigger and more exciting.  

If you see yourself in any of these stories, don’t hesitate to reach out to our team and learn about what your options are via the chatbox on our website. We’re ready and hoping to help you build an IT career you love in a way that provides lasting connections, and solid foundations.

You can apply to the Zero To Engineer program now and fill out a quick assessment to see if you qualify.

 

NexGenT Announces New Employer Partnership with The Department of Veterans Affairs via Booze Allen Hamilton and LeoRose Consulting

NexGenT Announces New Employer Partnership with The Department of Veterans Affairs via Booze Allen Hamilton and LeoRose Consulting

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!
  • How to apply: Anyone can apply using this quick application form

What would I be doing?

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
  • Cloud Computing
  • Enterprise Application Services
  • Test & Evaluation (T&E)
  • Cyber Security
  • 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 careerservices@nexgent.com.

Ready to take the leap? APPLY NOW  

 

6 Inspiring People Who Made A Career Change from Warehousing to Information Technology

6 Inspiring People Who Made A Career Change from Warehousing to Information Technology

It’s another shift on the night crew. The last time they saw the sun, it was setting; the next time will be when it’s rising. Their muscles complain as they do their work, the strain across their shoulders is a familiar companion.

They’ve gotten accustomed to this schedule. Heavy lifting, operating machinery, the cold echo of the stone floors, the fluorescent lighting. A nocturnal life. When was the last time they kissed their partner goodbye over breakfast?

Sound familiar?

A lifestyle and taxing job on the body can only sustain so long. We can hear your inner thoughts begging for something new. But we get it–career changes can be daunting! It’s hard to figure out where to turn, where to look for an opportunity that will challenge you in new ways and provide a more sustainable future.

I.T. is a field that is always changing and adapting, and I like to think a little of that rubs off on those who take on the trade.

Adaptability will take you far. Let’s take a look at 6 game-changers who decided it was time to end their warehouse careers and learn how to break into I.T.

#1

From a Chemical Operator constantly exposed to danger to an Operations Engineer at Google

Keron Taylor was working as a Chemicals Operator at BASF, one of the world’s largest chemical companies. His job included driving forklifts, unloading tankers, and running multiple chemical reactions, which regularly exposed him to danger. When Keron cracked his wrist in a non-work-related accident, it set him on a new path.

He was scrolling across Facebook, was caught by Terry’s webinar, and enrolled in the Zero to Engineer program right there. By Module 4, he gained the confidence to apply for entry-level I.T. jobs and landed a contract position with Modis as an Operations Engineer at Google. What he learned in Zero To Engineer was right at the front of his mind though all his interviews.

“My job duties went from putting my body in harm’s way to adding devices onto networks and porting fiber into racks. My routine is incredibly flexible now, and I’m constantly collaborating and working with employees across various teams.”

#2

From Forklift Operator to Junior Network Administrator in 16 months

Daniel Adams came from a position as a forklift operator for a chain manufacturing company. About a year and a half into his warehouse career, he was thinking about a change. “This isn’t what I want to do with the rest of my life.”

After deciding to get back into I.T. (he had studied it in high school), he came across a CompTIA Network+ ad online from NexGenT. A good deal for a new world of opportunity. After flying through the course, he knew he wanted to join the ZTE program and lean into his passion.

NexGenT is designed to get you I.T. experience without a degree.

“You can go into this having no experience whatsoever, and they [Zero to Engineer] lay it out so perfectly for you, it’s easy to understand.”

He was able to make the switch and land his first I.T. role in under 3 months!

At $17.50 an hour to start, (an improvement from his warehouse wages) Daniel was set to grow in his first role at Rutter’s as an IT Support Technician, and work his way up doing what he loves. Below is our interview with him after his first day on the job (about one year ago). Since the interview, Daniel has been promoted to Junior Network Administrator with Rutter’s Dairy Farms!

#3

From grueling night shifts to System Administrator – Goodbye, on-the-job injuries!

Logan Brindley was tired of lifting 5-gallon buckets of chains every day and working late nights away from home. Uneven sleeping schedules, physically harmful work—the whole nine yards.

He knew it was time for a change. He had sustained an on-the-job injury that accumulated into an apple-sized hematoma on his knee, leaving him out of work for a month.

Logan’s wife stumbled upon a way for him to get I.T. training and experience without a degree: NexGenT!

Logan had been making $19 an hour, but after an engaging interview process with Efusion Programming (in which he was able to show off what he learned from his online IT training), Logan would be accepting an offer for $21 an hour as a System Administrator.

#4

From Injured Assembly Technician to Inventory Technician at Microsoft

Jason Benson is currently an Inventory Technician at Microsoft. It was a challenging road to get there. After suffering a back injury–and reinjuring himself multiple times–as an assembly technician, he knew it was time to move on to greener pastures.

Jason was introduced to NexGenT and decided to take the leap an sign up – after all, his body was in no condition to continue the taxing warehouse work he had been doing. This newly opened door and job position created a better environment for supporting his wife and children. With a special needs child, his health and flexible schedule were becoming more important as he wanted to be present in the raising of his kids.

NexGenT has helped him design solid career goals that “brighten his quality of life.”

#5

From a disheartened warehouse worker to a Senior Network Engineer making 6 figures

When Kwame Ohemeng landed in the United States from Ghana, he expected to pick up his technology career right where he left off. But it wasn’t as simple as he thought it would be. In the U.S., companies required certifications to validate a person’s knowledge.

Even with all his experience, he ended up working in a warehouse for a company that manufactured air conditioners.

While he was searching for resources online, he came across one of the Zero to Engineer ads. The program was offering mentorship from world-class I.T. industry professionals.

Once he completed the Zero to Engineer program and had his certifications, he was better equipped at selling himself during job interviews.

After being deemed overqualified for the first position he interviewed for ($70,000 a year salary), he landed a job at PCM, a company with over 20,000 employees. Kwame stayed with PCM for 3 years before making the move to another company. He became the go-to person in the IT department—and even a valued mentor in the NexGenT advisor network.

#6

From hauling chains at a lumber mill to Network Technician

Before discovering the CompTIA Network+, Jake Stephens was working in a lumber mill hauling green chain with pieces of lumber that were up to 300 pounds. The Network+ course confirmed he wanted to take his training further and he joined the Zero To Engineer program.

Now, he’s a Network Technician for Feynman Group.

Jake started at $13 an hour, but after just 31-days, once he had gotten his CCNA and proven his skillset without having any previous I.T. experience, he asked for $18 an hour and was offered $20 an hour instead (Moral of the story: never be afraid to ask!)

Jake is no longer required to put a strain on his body to make ends meet. He uses what he learned in the Zero to Engineer program as the fundamentals in his work.

By making this career switch, Jake feels more secure in what he’s doing—no more temp jobs— and has confidence in his children’s futures and the opportunities he can provide for them, and himself.

What can we learn from these 6 move makers?

Each of these stories included either a major life event or injury striking before they finally made a career change. But what we can all learn from these hard workers, is you don’t have to wait to go after a dream. You don’t have to put it off until you have no other choice. You can make that choice right away. Your success is waiting for you to decide you are ready to go all in and change your career. And we know the snowball affect: change your career, change your happiness, your income, your life. If these students of Zero To Engineer were able to do it, so can you.

If you’re ready to make a change, reframe your life, start a new career, or dare to strive for security and fulfillment, NexGenT is here to help make that happen.

Whether you’re brand new to the field, feeling stuck at an entry level position, or wising to return to the world of I.T.–we have a place for you.

Ready to make the next move in your career by learning how to become a network engineer or cyber engineer? Reach out via our support chat and we’d be more than happy to discuss your options.