** You must be a US Citizen, Permanent Resident or Have a Valid US Work VISA to be eligible.
This week, over 10 millionpeople 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.”
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.
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.
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”
If you want to become a network engineer, you’re really going to like what I’m about to tell you.
Do you know why?
Because you’re about to discover that becoming a network engineer takes way less time and money than you probably think.
But before we dive into it, let’s talk about a big fat lie we’ve all been told:
If you’ve been living on this planet for most of your life, and you want to become a network engineer, you’ve probably heard of the endless number of requirements that you need to break into the field, haven’t you?
If You Google It…
Here’s how it usually goes: First, they tell us that we need a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science, Information Systems or Computer Engineering.
Then, we need relevant IT experience of about 5-10 years or something along those lines to be able to become a network engineer.
I’m not making this up. As I write this, the number one Google result for the query “How to become a network engineer,” says exactly that… (go check for yourself if you don’t believe me).
Anyway, by that logic, and if my math isn’t too far off, getting a degree, a couple certs and enough experience to become a network engineer should take you somewhere around 10 years…
Well guess what? Ain’t nobody got time for that.
I personally know a guy who graduated with a non-tech degree from a school in the east coast. He didn’t like his job when he started working so…
He decided to switch careers and become a network engineer because he was intrigued by the flexibility and benefits that we all know can come with it. But, he had one little issue: he knew nothing about tech.
Yet, 5 months after getting into this career blueprint program, he managed to become an associate network engineer. And, only a year after that he became a network engineer at Samsung, where he is part of the infrastructure team.
How crazy is that?!
I know another guy with a similar story—probably even crazier to be honest. He went from being unemployed to becoming a network technician and getting promoted 3 times (all the way to senior network engineer) in just 23 months!
And the most mind-blowing thing is that he had no degree nor a stack of certs to show off. All he did was add real value to the company he was working for at the time.
“Ok but let’s be real, dude! These people are probably one in a terabyte so this doesn’t change anything for me.”
Did something like that cross your mind while you were reading about these two guys?
It does sound a little fishy. But, the truth is that even if you have zero experience today, you can become a network engineer in less than a year if you have a career plan laid out.
Obviously, it’s not a walk around the park –I’d be the first one to tell you that. You’d still have to put in the work to level up your skills and knowledge of networking and the IT industry in general.
But, with that said, it’s possible to go from even nothing to a network engineering role paying you somewhere around 75K or more in around 12 months (or, if you will, much faster than what it would take you if you choose to follow mainstream advice).
And, moving forward, you could even become a systems or solutions engineer making way over 100k a year within just 2-4 years even if you have zero experience today.
Picture that for a second… making more than 10k every month, working from home half of the week, being able to buy what you want, etc., and doing it without racking up tens of thousands of dollars in debt and wasting precious years of your life running in circles like a puppy chasing its own tail.
Wouldn’t that be awesome?!
If you truly want to become a network engineer and then go all the way to systems or solutions engineer, and want to get amazing results much faster than what most people think is even possible,
Here are 5 steps you need to take:
1. Get a rock-solid networking foundation (60-120 days)
Take some free training from companies like Cisco and get a certification such as the Network+ from CompTIA, which covers almost everything you need in this step.
Even though this is the first step, keep step 4 in your mind. This way, you can make sure you’re on the right track from the very start of your journey to getting an amazing job and breaking the 6 figure salary mark.
2. Get relevant hands-on experience
If you’ve ever tried to get a technical job, you probably know that the number one thing employers look for in a resume is hands-on experience.
Try to get some experience in a helpdesk role, and help out small businesses and friends for free. Or, if your situation allows it, land a 3-month internship even if it is non-paid.
The experience you gain in this step will give you the confidence to move to the next one. So, do everything you can to level up your skills. Try to get some used equipment and set up your own lab, build your own PC, or take advantage of free tools like this one.
Anyway, in step 3 you want to work on as many projects as you can. Try to learn new skills from working with vendors and partner engineers in several projects.
While you’re leveling up your skillset, go ahead and ask your employer to sponsor your certifications so that you can expand your knowledge and further help the company (frame it like that, it will increase your chances of getting a “yes” from your boss). You can use this template to ask your boss to pay for your training.
With that said, however, stay focused on gaining hands-on experience during this step –nothing matters more than that.
I’m going to repeat that in italics.
Nothing matters more than hands-on experience!
Once you have a couple of certs and a great deal of hands-on experience, you’ll be ready to become a network engineer (steps 1 through 3 can take as little as 6-12 months). As you know, LinkedIn is a very powerful tool to land your dream job so…
Do you want job security and, eventually, a truly amazing compensation package? Then make sure you’re not left behind…
In a world where networks have tons of technologies integrated, learning the full stack of networking technologies will make you an asset to pretty much any company.
The full stack includes everything including data center, virtualization, automation, routing and switching, VoIP, cloud, SDN, IoT and cybersecurity. If you want to learn more about why becoming a full stack network engineer is the future, you can do that here.
Becoming a full stack network engineer will set you up for the next step…
5. Become a Systems or Solutions Engineer at a manufacturer or VAR (value-added reseller)
This step might seem far away, but if you know what you’re doing and have an experienced mentor, you could be here in 2-4 years. This position can pay anywhere between 100k and 250k a year. Not bad huh?
In this step, your goal should be to become a pre-sales engineer, post-sales implementation engineer or technical account manager. There are thousands of value-added resellers (VAR’s), and manufacturers such as Cisco Systems and Arista Networks.
Keep in mind that the IT skills gap is expected to keep growing and growing. So, if you follow these steps, soon you’ll be in a prime position to literally get whatever you want as a salary because your skill set will be extremely valuable.
The Ugly Truth
We’ve been told that it takes basically a decade to land a high paying technical job. Some of us even go to college for anywhere between 2 to 6 years, we study for certs, break into an entry-level role…
But then what?
When I was getting started I would’ve loved to have a mentor to guide me. I would’ve avoided all the pitfalls and traps that are patiently waiting for anyone looking to move up in the IT world –we can’t learn this in college or by earning certs, or even in entry-level roles.
Most people are sold into thinking that becoming a network engineer takes as long as becoming a lawyer or a doctor. No wonder we’re are alright with staying in entry-level roles for so long!
It’s not our fault, though. Colleges and universities want to paint a picture that makes it seem impossible to level up our skills without paying them a lot of money and spending a bunch of years studying –it’s their way to stay in business, I guess…
Why not take the alternative route to becoming a network engineer –one that costs less money and time– when there are so many examples of people who have already done it and many more who are currently doing it?
Imagine what you could accomplish in the next 6-12 months if you believe in yourself and enroll in a career blueprint program like Zero to Engineer.
You’d learn the full stack, get mentored by world-class engineers, build a personalized career plan, and become part of a community of rockstar IT professionals that had the guts to choose the alternative route.
You will surely look back and think that it wasn’t that hard after all. But, do you think you have what it takes to become a network engineer in less than a year?
Here’s one fundamental truth you probably already know: if you want to succeed in IT, you need to constantly gain new skills. In this field, staying on top of trends and being among the first ones to learn how to use new technology can pay great dividends.
But this isn’t that easy. It seems like every few days or so, a new technology promising to turn the industry upside down pops up somewhere. It can get very overwhelming, specially for people who are new to the IT world.
Fortunately, there are some tools out there that can be of a lot of help when trying to learn new skills and get familiar with the latest technology.
One of them is dCloud, a self-serving platform that you can use to learn about Cisco’s latest products and solutions in a very practical and engaging way.
It allows you to build demos, or customize the ones that are already in the platform, and share them with anyone else. DCloud is a great platform to carry out demonstrations and proposals, train yourself and others, and create sandbox labs.
If you’re looking to learn about new products and technologies and gain new skills, you should be interested in what dCloud has to offer. You can have access to a practical way to experience Cisco products and solutions for free.
We had the opportunity to interview dCloud Steve at Cisco Live. Here’s what he told us:
Imagine if you were working as a network or systems engineer and you were tasked with demoing a technology solution for a potential customer.
Instead of having to use real gear for a demo or hold lengthy technical discussion meetings you could simply use one of the demos in dCloud, customize it and be fully ready to showcase your solution.
DCloud allows you to have access to a broad list of pre-scripted demos that are fully supported, from 9 different Cisco architectures (collaboration, enterprise network, service provider, security, data center virtualization, etc.). All you need is a computer, a browser and an internet connection.
You can use dCloud to get familiar with new technologies, solutions and products, and even play around with them in a sandbox environment. All that’s needed to gain access to dCloud is to sign up for a free Cisco account.