All posts by Anthony Sequeira

IT Certification News – May 8, 2021

Featured Article – Choosing Your Training Provider

In one way, students have it easier than ever today. There are more online training options than ever before! Great. Unfortunately, this can lead to much indecision, and maybe even some poor initial choices.

Here are some of our tips:

  • Self Assess Your Optimal Learning: Self-assess how you best like to learn! Do you need to read then practice? Do you need to watch then practice? Do you need to read, drill, watch, practice? Being honest with yourself about how you learn IT best will help you as you identify the training provider(s) that best suit your needs!
  • Investigate Training Provider Claims: The IT training space is more competitive than ever! Companies like Pluralsight have the power to offer 10,000+ courses covering every topic you can imagine, at a shocking price per month. As a result of pressures like this, you will see lots of false or misleading claims in the industry. For example, consider the former industry darling of CBT Nuggets. CBT Nuggets boldly states, “train with the IT elite” and then invites you to meet their trainer team. Thirty percent of the trainers they then display (six trainers at press time) have either resigned, been fired, or transferred to other departments. Of that thirty percent, one hundred percent are the IT elite of which they boast! Famously skilled trainers like Jeremy Cioara and Network Chuck were actually gone from CBT Nuggets completely back in 2020. Another gross trick online providers pull all the time is to modularize courses purely for the benefit of boasting about their number of courses. Do your diligence when investigating claims. Those six great new Cisco courses might really mean one mediocre CCNA needlessly split into six pieces.
  • Try Before You Buy: If you cannot sample the actual videos, or practice exams, or texts that you are buying – there is most likely a big problem! You should be ready to demand samples of the actual content. If none are provided, it might be best to look elsewhere.
  • Investigate Support Options: Nothing can feel as bad as hitting roadblocks in your studies and not having ANYONE to talk to. Be sure to investigate options with the provider regarding your support. This includes not only technical roadblocks you have while studying, but also includes support of the raw training materials. How long does it take to get that broken video replaced?
  • Consider Specialized Providers: Companies like LinkedIn Learning have jolted the industry with vast numbers of high-quality courses available for affordable prices. This is great. But do not ignore the specialized training providers out there. A Cloud Guru is a great example of a recent training provider that shot to the moon success-wise by remaining hyper-focused on one topic – CLOUD!
  • Get Ready to Juggle Several: With prices falling in training all the time, you might end up with several training providers. And that is great. Just know when and why you are using each. If budgets are tight, you can always leave subscription services for a month or two and return when their specialty training is timed right for you. Anthony Sequeira of AJSnetworking.com maintains to this day subscriptions to Lammle.com, ITProTV, A Cloud Guru, Pluralsight, Linkedin Learning, and O’Reilly. Of course, this is probably a bad example since he only needs to pay at A Cloud Guru. The benefits of being a trainer are numerous!
  • Watch for Deals: With all of the fierce competition, be on the lookout for crazy deals. Weeks or even months of access might be offered free at various times. We love free!

What’s New in Certification

CIO Magazine Releases the Top 15 In-Demand IT Certifications for 2021

Just in case you did not know the top 15 in-demand IT certifications for 2021 – here is a list we endorse from CIO magazine!

https://www.cio.com/article/3562331/top-15-it-certifications-in-demand-for-2021.html

A Key CompTIA Certification Exam Approaches Retirement

How time flies when you are having fun! The “old” Security+ exam (SY0-501) is set to retire July 31, 2021. It is now most likely time to really start considering a cut over to the new SY0-601 available now.

AWS to Release a New Version of SysOps – Associate with Hands-On!

You can register to take the new version of AWS Certified SysOps Administrator – Associate (SOA-C02) starting on June 29, 2021. The first day to take this new exam will be July 27, 2021. The current version of the AWS Certified SysOps Administrator – Associate exam (SOA-C01) will continue to be available through July 26, 2021.

While this was expected and due, the shocking part of this news involves the question types in the new exam! AWS states:

“For the first time, exams may include a combination of multiple-choice, multiple response, and exam lab items. When you complete exam labs, you will be demonstrating skills relevant to a SysOps administrator role by building solutions with the AWS Management Console and AWS CLI.” (Source: aws.amazon.com)

What’s New in Training

Lammle.com Adds a Free Tier Membership and Makes Other Changes

Industry giant, Todd Lammle, has been hard at work over at Lammle.com. He is making a real push to enhance his B2C (Business to Consumer) model. This is great news since he was always very B2B (Business to Business) focused. One area where this was obvious was with pricing. Todd recently announced the following changes:

  • Lammle.com now offers a Free Tier membership that looks exciting, to say the least. He is creating free resources daily in this membership across all of his cert topics. These include AWS, Cisco, CompTIA, and a few more.
  • Lammle.com pricing was slashed. His EVERYTHING plan (Platinum Membership) is now $47 per month/$299 per year while his CCNA plan is $27 per month/$99 per year. In our opinion, the quality now far outweighs the cost at that site!
  • Lammle.com added complete textbooks to the Platinum Membership. Wow.
  • Lammle.com announced new upcoming courses for the library that are sure to impress the Cisco crowd (his main audience). These courses include hands-on approaches to some hard-to-find training topics like Cisco DNA Center and Cisco ACI.

Want more information? Here is his official post regarding the changes: https://www.lammle.com/post/welcome-to-the-new-lammle-com/

AWS Updates Their Free Cloud Practitioner Training!

Back in March of 2021, AWS completed more improvements to their free self-paced Cloud Practitioner certification training course. It still might not be as great as what you find elsewhere, but we checked it out…is it worth your time? YES! Enjoy!

https://www.aws.training/Details/eLearning?id=60697

PRO TIP: Even if you do not want to watch their entire course, use it to see what topics they might have added to their exam from these materials! As part of their update to the free course, the exam got a silent upgrade.

Student Spotlight

Sandro Balestrino (studies at IEprep.com)

Not really Sandro! Photo was unavailable at press time.

Sandro Balestrino has been a pure joy for the community of IEprep.com. He also boasts the highest live WebEx attendance of ANY IEprep.com member. And it is not just attendance, but Sandro always finds ways to participate.

Sandro is currently negotiating a career transition to the IT field. He started this journey in 2019 and to date, Sandro has obtained his Network+ and CCNA certifications. He is continuing his foundational studies with coursework in Python, Linux, and AWS cloud. Sandro is looking forward to putting his new skills to work in an IoT/cloud environment.

Sandro Balestrino trained as an aeronautical engineer and worked for most of his professional career in the automotive industry as an advanced diesel-powertrain engineer (wait, didn’t Ronnie Wong of ITProTV start this way?). He started his career in Europe – Italy, and Sweden – before continuing in the USA. During his time at Ford Motor Company, he was fortunate to be part of a small but very talented diesel engine R&D team. Their efforts on a novel diesel emissions after-treatment system earned the team a US patent and this system is still in production today on the Ford heavy-duty truck.

Sandro believes in life-long learning and prioritizes achieving new skills and knowledge every year. In addition, he maintains proficiency in more than one spoken language because this helps him to better understand the world at large.

Finally, Sandro still maintains an active interest in thermodynamics – one of his favorite subjects. He particularly enjoys spending time with his young nephew, who shares a passion for the large Watt-type oscillating-beam steam engines typical of the Victorian era. Sandro hopes to impart the same passions for learning and all things technological to my newborn niece. Sandro is also hopelessly addicted to his Nespresso machine, having abandoned an ill-advised foray into the world of semi-commercial espresso machines and precision coffee grinders.

AJSnetworking.com is so proud to spotlight Sandro Balestrino of IEprep.com. Sandro is now officially enjoying a free lifetime membership to the training site that he has helped make special. Congrats Sandro!

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