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

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

** You must be a US Citizen, Permanent Resident or Have a Valid US Work VISA to be eligible.

This week, over 10 million people filed jobless claims- a number that will likely skyrocket each week as many industries continue to be impacted by the pandemic. Millions of Americans are being told to work from home, but with a grim outlook of their future. While many people around the globe are losing their jobs, tech workers throughout the IT industry, have seen growth in hiring demand. Now more than ever, it’s the responsibility of EdTech leaders like NexGenT to lead the charge in upskilling and retraining people everywhere into IT jobs.

NexGenT is proud to have served thousands of students over the course of the last few years from every conceivable background- guiding people through their first uncertain steps in IT all the way into engineering roles and beyond. Those people have gone from living paycheck to paycheck to earning six-figure incomes in as little as 3 years. Using this history to guide us, it has never been more important than during the current crisis to fill the void. That is why NexGenT is offering scholarships for people to be able to acquire the essential skills to launch IT careers in the fastest way possible.

What we’re doing to help

NexGenT is offering $5 million in IT scholarships to the CompTia Network+ training course- specifically for current IT students not able to attend school and workers in Covid-19 affected industries. Our goal is to aid as many people affected by COVID-19 in the coming months as possible. What this means is that NexGenT is offering 5,000 people FULL scholarships to our CompTIA Network+ training program valued at $997 which includes weekly LIVE coaching and mentorship (Exam fees not included). These students will have access to the same full set videos, tutorials, labs, and exam preparation that our full Network+ online course offers. Obtaining an industry certification like the CompTIA Network+ is crucial in successfully landing your first IT job.

The IT Job market is growing, even in the midst of the pandemic. Roughly 918,000 tech jobs remain unfilled RIGHT NOW.

“The CompTIA Network+ certification is the only job role based IT certification exam that verifies you have the essential knowledge and skills in networking to develop a career in IT infrastructure.” 

CompTIA’s Website

 Network engineering is a foundation for most of the unfilled IT jobs, whether you want to be a cloud architect or a cyber security specialist. Starting your IT career begins with a solid foundation in networking.

CompTIA Network+ prepares candidates for the following job roles:

How Much Can I Make with CompTIA Network+ Certification?

Here are a few CompTIA Network+ jobs and their average salaries according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics:

  • Network administrator – $86,340
  • Network support specialist – $67,510
  • Network system analyst – $92,740

The benefits of a CompTIA Network+ 

  • Vendor neutral and internationally recognized certification
  • Validates technical knowledge and skills in networking
  • Prerequisite for anyone looking to break into IT 
  • Zero experience needed

If you’ve been impacted by the Covid-19 layoffs or school shutdowns, take this opportunity to apply for this scholarship to our Network+ training program. Our admissions team will review your application and determine whether you are eligible right away.

(2-minute application)

Who is this for?
NexGenT is looking to help people who are going to be affected or are currently affected by COVID-19. Those who have lost their jobs, on the verge of losing their jobs, or are unable to continue schooling in the traditional way. Note ** You must be a US Citizen, Permanent Resident or Have a Valid US Work VISA to be eligible.

How many seats are available? 

5,000 seats are available for our CompTIA Network+ training program which includes live weekly coaching and flexible training hours.

How long is the scholarship available?

These are being distributed on a first-come-first-serve basis for applicants who are able to show they have been impacted by the Coronavirus layoffs and shutdowns.

How long will I have access to the material

You’ll have access to all training and learning material (notes, videos, labs, and exam prep) for 12 months. The 12-month period starts at the time you’re granted the CompTIA Network+ course scholarship and given access to the course on our NexGenT learning platform.

“ I do have my Network + now and I passed that with flying colors because of the NGT training”

-Makeia Jackson, NexGenT Graduate

NexGenT at Cisco Live 2019

NexGenT at Cisco Live 2019

Wow! NexGenT was excited to be there as Cisco Live celebrated its 30 year anniversary this year and they spared no expense. How big was Cisco Live 19? 28,000 attendees, 1.2 million online views, 45,000 unique devices connected and 75,000 TB of data passed through their network which was a new record. To say the event was big, would be an understatement. It definitely was the place to be in the IT industry!

There was no shortage of big announcements at Cisco Live 19, either. From the opening keynote by Chuck Robbins, CEO of Cisco, everyone knew Cisco is poised to move into the next decade with aggressive innovation that will lead the IT industry into the Internet of the Future. Then Cisco’s VPs took over and set the stage for the week and what Cisco would showcase. David Goeckler, EVP/GM, Network and Security, provide exciting insight into where Cisco is going as he announced the use of Software Defined Networking over Multi-domain architecture to provide the ability for the separate domains at the Access Layer, the WAN and in the Cloud to operate as one. With this technology the Network Engineer will be able to automate all the way from the user to the application across the entire network. Then Scott Harrell, SVP/GM, Enterprise Networking Solutions, introduced us to WIFI 6 and 5G and how Cisco is using those to expand the campus network. Sacha Gupta, SVP, Product Management, followed up Scott by showing us how Cisco DNA would be implementing AI and Machine Learning to help Network Engineers be able to quickly and accurately diagnose problems in the network and resolve them through the use of anomaly detection automatic packet capture to show what was happening when the user was experiencing issues. He proceeded to explain how in the coming months Cisco will provide the innovative capability of Machine Reasoning that will actually identify the anomalies in your network based on your specific setup and use case. The keynote went into how Cisco is preparing for a post Quantum computing world. Basically, the current encryption methods we use will be defeated easily by the quantum computer and it is imperative that we make our encryption stronger before the quantum computer is realized. The technology is getting so smart it is mind blowing!

Chuck Robbins finished up the opening keynote with probably the biggest announcement of all as he unveiled Cisco’s New Certification Suite. The current engineering suite is being completely restructured and they are adding an all new software suite known as the DevNet Certification. This certification will be for software developers in the area of DevOps.

NexGenT co-founder, Jacob Hess, was able to get a thorough break down of all of the changes to the Engineering Certifications from the Product Manager for Cisco Certifications, Greg Cote. Check it out the video at the link below.

We were also able to get an in depth interview with Ryan Rose, Cisco DevNet Certification Developer. Now, NexGenT can better understand what the DevNet Certification is and how to train people on it. C video coming soon that will provide the detailed information.

After the Opening Keynote NexGenT was able to get exclusive access to the World of Solutions at the Cisco Showcase. We got a private tour of the Network Operation Center by the Network Architect in charge of designing the entire Cisco Live 19 Network, David Hunt. He walked us through the network which spanned not only the San Diego Convention Center, but also reached to the surrounding hotels at the Marriott and Hyatt. He further explained how they had basically taken over the wireless access points in the convention center so they could provide a great network experience to all 28,000 attendees. Full video breakdown below.

After that we were able to walk the entire showcase floor all by ourselves. For us, it was like a kids in a candy store, as we really got to “Geek Out!”

We learned all about WiFi 6 and 5G. We found out that these two exciting new technologies are not necessarily competing, but are great compliments if used correctly. WiFi 6 will greatly increase wireless capabilities within buildings and the surrounding areas and 5G will give you increased functionality when you are on the go and don’t really have the ability to connect to a WiFi access point. Cisco is offering WiFi 6 capable access points today. We actually were able to get an interview with Cisco’s Product Manager for WiFi 6. Watch the video to learn more.

It was also really exciting to see how Cisco partners with other vendors to provide innovative solutions. Companies like Google, Dell, Pure Storage and Net App. We actually got up close and personal with two of the solutions. One other partnership we learned about is how Cisco partnered with the City of New Orleans. Using Cisco products like DNA center, routers, and cameras they worked with the city to help reduce crime. We found out that through this partnership crime has decreased to the lowest it has been since Hurricane Katrina ravaged the city. We spoke with the account manager for this solution and she provided some passionate, inspired insights. You have to see this video!

Cisco Live 19 was a fantastic experience for NexGenT. We had a lot of fun and learned a whole lot! If you want to see where the industry is going Cisco Live is definitely the place to go. Next year they will be in Las Vegas and we cannot wait to see what new innovations they have to announce! Maybe NexGenT will see you there.

The Truth About IT Certifications And Landing Your Dream IT Job

The Truth About IT Certifications And Landing Your Dream IT Job

If you are into IT you’ve probably heard of dozens of different certifications that are usually required to break into a job, haven’t you? Well, let me tell you something: entry level certifications are not the kind of requirement that you would think they are; they are simply a filter.

When IT companies are looking for candidates to fill entry-level roles, they often contract a recruiting business to help them with the process. They give them an overview of what the ideal candidate looks like and a very specific description of what he/she will be doing at the role. Recruiting businesses use those requirements, which include certifications, to narrow down a large applicants list. This increases their odds of finding someone that meets the description as fast as possible so they can present their client with a small pool of “ideal” candidates and move on to their next client.

The problem with this process is that IT companies and recruiting businesses have different interests. On one hand, you have a business trying to fill a position in a hurry with what they believe, often times without having a clue, is an ideal candidate. On the other hand, you have IT companies looking to get the best people to perform a job. Nevertheless, the criteria used by recruiting businesses to determine the best candidates are paper certifications like the CCNA, which are earned by taking a written exam…

Related: Secrets to obtaining 6 figure job offers from top tech companies within 2-4 years even if you have zero experience today! 

You might already be aware of this. But, I’m telling you anyway because you or someone you know may be considering spending a lot of time and effort (and money) racking up certifications thinking that they will be able to develop their skill sets in the best possible way (sure, they might get their foot in the door because some certifications are famous. But it’s likely that they won’t be prepared to hit the ground running). This, despite the fact that there are countless examples of people that have made it to the top of the IT world without having many fancy certifications. All they’ve done is rely on foundational knowledge, hands-on experience and a great deal of motivation.

If this is how things really work, then the question is: how can you break free from the system’s inefficiencies and protocols, learn the skills you really need to know (no fluff), proof that you can perform essential tasks on real world equipment and avoid being filtered by “requirements” without wasting money on paper certs? The answer is quite simple. All you need to do is get the best entry/associate level certification in the world.

This ideal certification should fill up your resume with the skills that companies look for in job candidates! It should complement your resume with the knowledge that gets most hiring managers excited and eager about speaking with you to offer up an interview. But let’s wait a second and assess the situation. The real problem can’t be solved just by gaining knowledge; it’s about gaining hands-on experience, applicable skills and the best foundation to get you started in the field of IT. It’s about setting you on the right track and making sure you don’t get filtered by the obsoleteness of the hiring process, right?

If this is the case, then why not just learn to do all these things on your own? After all, there are several things you can do to gain skills such as building your own PC from scratch, working on your own labs using free software online, or even offering help to your friends and family with their devices. You’ll probably have trouble understanding the essentials of networking (but you can read a book for that) and learning how all the components of a network work together, and you would still run the risk of being filtered by the system since you wouldn’t have a title. But, you’ll gain the most valuable asset in IT (or in any other industry): hands-on experience.

There is a way of acquiring all this knowledge, skills and experience while also gaining one of those coveted fancy titles that can get you through the first filter. I’m talking about a certification that incorporates all of this together using a hybrid model between online and in-person methods. This ideal certification doesn’t only give you key foundational knowledge of IT, but it provides you with an understanding of all main areas of networking from routing and switching to cloud to voice over IP. Want to learn about it? That’s what I thought.

It’s called the Full-Stack Network Associate certification. It was put together by two former Air Force IT instructors who graduated over 1,000 engineers during their service, many of whom went on to set up and manage live networks all over the world. This basically means that they don’t mess around. They are not going to teach you a bunch of fluff that you don’t need like most educational institutions do. They are going to get you field-ready, just like if you were about to be deployed to Afghanistan to set up and manage network communications.

They do this through an online self-paced course called Zero to Engineer and a 5-day in-person boot camp where they teach you how to handle real world equipment. At the end of the boot camp, you get a shot at getting certified on over 100 real world skills. On top of that, once you earn the Full-Stack Network Associate title, you get a spot in their employer network.

An FSNA understands networking essentials, routing, switching, voice over IP, cloud, automation, wireless, cyber security, data center, and how it all works together. They also have advanced skills such as configuring private WAN to VPN failover for disaster recovery. This is exactly what companies are looking for!

But not only that, the certification is structured in such a way that by the time you earn the title you’ll have many ways to proof your ability to anyone. Whether it is by showing your full-stack networking project (included in the Zero to Engineer course), speaking with authority about the latest trends and about how the IT industry works or performing specific tasks on real equipment.

There’s no reason for you or the people you care about, to spend their time, effort and money trying to pursue their goals the traditional way when there are much better ways to go about it. The IT industry is full of opportunities for people who are willing to learn and are motivated to level up. Now, I must admit there might be many people who fit this description and possess multiple certifications as well. So, the real question is: how do you differentiate yourself from the pack? I think you already know what to do.

What are you doing to differentiate yourself from everybody else?

Comment below!