Monday, 30 June 2014

3 Cisco CCNA certificates to boost your career in Networking


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The CCNA is a consistently well-regarded industry certificate, assessed and supported by Cisco, an industry behemoth with 45% market share for products in the networking and communications sectors. The CCNA is an immensely popular certification amongst network professionals, but why should you actually bother with it?

A CCNA cert will not only prove and document your own knowledge, you’ll demonstrate to your boss that you have the skills and drive to progress in your career. It could even be that crucial bargaining chip to secure a raise. Having one of the CCNA certifications on your resume will help you stand out from others when applying for the same job and proves to the hiring manager that you have the requisite skills in networking.

Any one of the CCNA certifications could be the jump start you need to move up in your career. 


'A brief introduction to Cisco's associate level certifications'


Image courtesy of mconnors/ morgueFile
Cisco CCNA Security

Prerequisites - Any valid CCENT, CCNA Routing and Switching, or any CCIE certification.
The CCNA Security certificate demonstrates to organisations that you possess valuable skills involved in the implementation and maintenance of secure networks and server architecture.

With an increasing number of industry and government compliance mandates becoming necessary, even a basic level of network security can prove critical in accelerating your career. Complying with well-known security standards can provide a massive bonus to organisations; who are often more than willing to pay for someone with the skills – In the UK, Network Security Engineers earn an average salary upwards of £48,500.

As part of the certification, you’ll prove skills in the installation, monitoring and troubleshooting of network devices in order to maintain confidentiality and availability for both data and device.

Cisco CCNA Wireless

Prerequisites - Any valid CCENT, CCNA Routing and Switching, or any CCIE certification.
The wireless job market has been expanding at pace for years with companies of all sizes upgrading their infrastructure to include wireless. A study by Canalys shows that Wireless LAN shipments will represent 18% of all enterprise networking value in 2018. As one of the leaders in network innovations, it will come as no surprise that Cisco is already the market leader and actually account for 53% of wireless shipments.

Having a CCNA Wireless certificate on your resume will make it clear to prospective (and current) employers that you can implement and maintain wireless network technology.
If you already work with Cisco network infrastructures the CCNA Wireless will set yourself apart from other candidates and demonstrate a broad range of skills. Alternatively, if you’re already working within the wireless field with other vendor platforms, and you’re interested in expanding into Cisco’s technology, this certificate could prove crucial.
The CCNA Wireless certification demonstrates your knowledge in WLAN fundamentals, basic WLAN security, installation of Cisco LAN networks and WLAN maintenance.

Cisco CCNA Voice

Prerequisites - Any valid CCENT, CCNA Routing and Switching, or any CCIE certification.
Whilst better known for their network products, Cisco is also a major provider of Voice over IP (VoIP) to enterprises. The CCNA Voice cert is your first step to a career in voice networking. You’ll demonstrate you have the skills needed to deploy and maintain a Cisco Voice infrastructure using technologies like: Voicemail solutions, IP PBX and IP Telephony.

This certification confirms you have the required knowledge for specialized roles in voice technology. It’s a specialised sector, but one that pays well - Cisco Voice Engineers earn an average salary of £40,000 in the UK.

Now’s the time to get an official Cisco certification

The UK’s GCHQ (Government Communications Headquarters) security arm has just approved a number of CISCO products as secure. The certification allows the products to handle information up to the UK governments “Official” classification and will likely provide a big boost to the value of the Cisco brand.

The Cisco-certified will be amongst those reaping the rewards of this new government support. So what are you waiting for, ride the Cisco wave and get certified

About the Author:       
Sarah writes for Firebrand Training on a number of IT related topics. This includes exams, training, certification trends, project management, certification, careers advice and the industry itself. Sarah has 11 years of experience in the IT industry. 

Friday, 27 June 2014

Four great benefits of the PMP certification


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Certifications are the perfect indicators of the skills, knowledge and experience you possess in your field of expertise. Whether you’re a network engineer, a software developer or project manager, certifications will always give you the edge over your competition, but this is not the only benefit.

Project Management Professional (PMP)

PMI’s PMP certification is one of the most prestigious and popular credentials in the project management field. Due to its prominence, project management professionals, more often than not, are inclined to add PMP to their collections. However, getting the cert is not easy, so it’s best to familiarise yourself with the benefits to help you through the process.

Entering new circles: Indirect benefits, such as this one, are often overlooked, even though they can turn out to be extremely valuable. Picture this; you are training to get your PMP certification where you meet fellow “PMP-to-be” candidates. This is a fantastic networking opportunity, because you are working towards the same goal, which may be true outside of the classroom as well. Once you have the certification, you are in the elite community of PMPs, where you can continue networking with likeminded professionals.

Prestige and skills: The PMP course will teach you new skills, which you’ll be able put into practice as soon as you’re out of the classroom. But that’s not all! Your certification will also give your personal prestige, as well as your CV a mighty boost. There will be times when those three letters next to your name will be the reason why you are hired over another consultant or freelancer.

Continuous learning: Recruiters, managers and executives are always seeking professionals whose appetite for knowledge is insatiable and who never want to stop learning. Learning is the key to staying on top of what’s changing and evolving around you. Preparing for the PMP certification is a demanding process and it’ll put you in the habit of pursuing knowledge. Never stop learning and you’ll be always a step ahead.

Higher salary: Okay, you would definitely think of this benefit, but we still need to talk about it, because the figures may surprise you. So, intangible and indirect benefits are great, but the most noticeable measure of your career progress is the amount you earn. Adding that PMP credential next to your name can quickly lead to a 20% increase in your salary or billing rate if you’re a consultant. According to itjobswatch.com PMP certified project managers, on average, earn over £58k per year. But that’s not all, 10% of PMPs get even higher paychecks. Experienced, capable and committed project management professionals are offered a salary of more than £85.

Network with your PMP peers, keep learning and exploit all the benefits of your PMP certification, and you can belong to that elite 10%.

Need some inspiration? Watch this video of some of the greatest projects in the world:



About the Author:       
Sarah writes for Firebrand Training on a number of IT related topics. This includes exams, training, certification trends, project management, certification, careers advice and the industry itself. Sarah has 11 years of experience in the IT industry. 

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Firebrand wins big at Microsoft Apprentice of the Year

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Firebrand Apprentice Kimberley Bolton was honoured last night alongside Firebrand Apprentice employers Hitachi and Pythagoras at the Microsoft Apprentice of the Year awards.

Kimberley, 19 from Maidenhead, was crowned Microsoft Apprentice of the Year (Medium Business Category) after beating hundreds of nominees to claim the title. Working as a Junior Support Consultant for Pythagoras, she spoke to Firebrand after winning her award and said: 

“ Becoming an IT apprentice is the best thing I’ve ever done. I’ve gone from having no confidence and no IT knowledge to winning Microsoft Apprentice of the Year. I’ve really had to push myself, and now it’s all paid off. ”

Reflecting on Kimberley winning the award, her Supervisor Richard Francis said:

“ We’re very happy for Kimberley, but it was all down to her. She joined Pythagoras with the right attitude and that is what has led to her winning this brilliant award 

The event was hosted at the House of Commons with Home Secretary, Theresa May and Microsoft UK Managing Director, Michel Van der Bel, presenting the awards. While passing on her congratulations to both Kimberley and Firebrand, the Home Secretary said:


“ Apprenticeships are incredibly important in helping young adults to develop skills in the workplace. Apprenticeships are hands-on and so much more about understanding what the working environment is all about. 


Two Firebrand Apprentice employers, Hitachi and Pythagoras were also honoured at the awards. Pythagoras, after picking up Apprentice of the Year, were highly commended in the Medium Apprentice Employer of the Year category, while Hitachi were highly commended in the Large Apprentice Employer of the Year category.

The awards recognise the growing success of the Firebrand Apprenticeship program. Since launching in 2012, Firebrand has now helped more than 100 young people pursue a career in IT through its Apprenticeship program.

To enquire about hiring an IT Apprentice or becoming one yourself head to - http://www.firebrandtraining.co.uk/apprenticeships

For more information contact: 

Ed Jones


T: +44 (0) 844 888 1684
E: ejones [at] firebrandtraining [dot] co [dot] uk



About Firebrand Training 

Firebrand is a leader in Accelerated Learning, and has training centres in the UK, DACH (Germany, Switzerland, Austria), Nordics (Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland) and Benelux (Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg).  

Since its inception in 2001 the company has grown at an incredible rate with over £100 million training completed by more than 35,000 students with over 96% of our students reporting that Firebrand exceeded their expectations.

Firebrand Training runs more than 165 courses, from Microsoft Windows, Windows Server and IT support courses, through to Cisco, Oracle, Lean Six Sigma, PRINCE2, PMP, ethical hacking and Agile.
Firebrand Training has been named consecutively for four years running in the Top 20 IT Training Companies in the World by TrainingIndustry.com and has won the Institute of IT Training – Training Company Of The Year for three consecutive years. It is a Microsoft, Cisco and PMI partner, and Firebrand Training Nordics is Microsoft Learning Partner of the Year (2010, 2011 and 2012) and is the first Microsoft partner business to achieve this award three years in a row.


Monday, 23 June 2014

Safe cloud computing is great cloud computing – secure it with these certs


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Earlier this month Tech Times and Top Tech News published two articles regarding some newly surfacing concerns about security in the cloud. Do businesses have to be worried about storing their data in those remotely located servers? Is the cloud more risky than storing your data locally? This article will discover how cloud computing can be made safer with the help of the relevant certifications.

Data breach: could the cloud triple the odds?

The latest study (Data Breach: The Cloud Multiplier Effect) by the Ponemon Institute revealed that IT security professionals expect that moving their data to the cloud will increase the chances of getting hit by a data breach. In fact, the 613 surveyed pros agreed that an increased use of cloud computing could potentially triple the risks of a data breach.

Rajat Bhargava, co-founder of JumpCloud, said "When you don't own the network, it's open to the rest of the world, and you don't control the layers of the stack, the cloud - by definition - is more insecure than storing data on premises." This surely sounds alarming coming from a cloud security professional, but don’t go switching that local server in your basement back on just yet, because Chris Wysopal begs to differ.

Secure the “third-party element”

Chris Wysopal, co-founder and CTO of Veracode thinks: “Risky software, regardless of deployment method, is what is adding unnecessary risk to organisations.”

“Enterprises are right to be wary of third-party cloud applications. However, this should have nothing to do with whether they are in the cloud or not. Instead it is because they are produced by third-parties, and thus enterprises have less insight into the security that went into the development. If an enterprise wants to reduce unnecessary risk at their company, avoiding the cloud isn’t going to protect them – but taking a hard look at their software procurement policies and processes will.”

Image courtesy of ddpavumba/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Get familiar with cloud security

As you can see, it is misleading to state and conclude that cloud computing – by default – brings greater risks to your business; you just need to thoroughly check your provider’s security standards and measures. But are you familiar with security in the cloud?

Learn all about security concepts, encryption technologies and access control methods on our cloud computing courses. Pick from the likes of CompTIA’s Cloud+ and Cloud Essentials or Microsoft’s MCSE: Private Cloud and you’ll learn everything you need to know about secure cloud computing. 

About the Author:       
Sarah writes for Firebrand Training on a number of IT related topics. This includes exams, training, certification trends, project management, certification, careers advice and the industry itself. Sarah has 11 years of experience in the IT industry. 

Thursday, 19 June 2014

Facebook is down, the four horsemen are on their way.

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UPDATE: Facebook went back online at 9:21am 19/06/2014. That was pretty scary people, 21 minutes without a pseudo social life through the inter-web. The cause of the crash is as yet unknown, I have my suspicions...




Facebook is down people, pack your bags, this is the apocalypse I  just know it.

For those trying to log into Facebook from the UK and US right now (19/06/2014, 9:00 AM) you will be greeted with the following message:

"Sorry, something went wrong. We're working on getting this fixed as soon as we can."



I would say head to Down Right Now to keep tabs on the outage, but ironically Down Right Now is, well, down right now. Try saying that three times fast. So while Facebook is down, here's three novel ideas to keep you occupied.


  1. Actually get some work done
  2. Talk to people in person
  3. Go outside and get some fresh air, maybe go for a walk
We'll keep you updated as to when the system is back online.




About the Author:       
Sarah writes for Firebrand Training on a number of IT related topics. This includes exams, training, certification trends, project management, certification, careers advice and the industry itself. Sarah has 11 years of experience in the IT industry. 

3 Firebrand’s shortlisted for Microsoft Apprentice of the Year


We are proud to announce that 3 Firebrands have been shortlisted for the Microsoft Apprentice of the Year awards.

Since the launch of Firebrand Apprenticeships in 2012, we have accelerated the careers of more than 100 young people. We are creating more opportunities than ever; since December 2013 we have more than trebled the number of committed apprentices. What’s more, it’s not the first time one of our apprentices has been nominated for the Microsoft Apprentice of the Year award.

Launched in 2010, these prestigious awards are a chance to recognise the achievements of those involved in Microsoft-backed apprenticeships. Nearly 5,000 young people have already completed or are on a Microsoft partner apprenticeship.  The most successful of which will attend the awards ceremony at the House of Commons on Monday 23rd June.

In addition to recognising young talent, this is a great opportunity to celebrate the role of small to medium sized businesses that support the scheme. Not only can employers nominate their apprentices, apprentices are given have the opportunity to nominate exceptional employers.

The shortlisted Firebrands


Firebrand apprentice partner, Hitachi, have been shortlisted for the prestigious "Employer of the Year" award.  A fantastic organisation to work for, Hitachi have employed multiple apprentices through Firebrand, since our apprentice program launched in 2012. 

Pythagoras, a Microsoft Gold Partner, are shortlisted for two awards the "Employer of the Year" and "Apprentice of the Year" awards. Kimberley Boltondiscovered by Firebrand and employed by Pythagoras, is the outstanding apprentice up for the "Apprentices of the Year" award.  Kimberley was a newcomer to the industry when she began her Firebrand Apprenticeship via the Server & Database Associate program. During her time with Pythagoras she has prospered and currently provides fully fledged support for Microsoft Dynamics CRM within her organisation. 

If you are looking to accelerate your career in IT, check out our Apprenticeship website for more information on the programme and vacancies currently available.

Good luck to our three shortlisted apprentices!

By 

About the Author:       
Sarah writes for Firebrand Training on a number of IT related topics. This includes exams, training, certification trends, project management, certification, careers advice and the industry itself. Sarah has 11 years of experience in the IT industry. 

Monday, 16 June 2014

4 Vital reasons why you need the ISO27001 standard

Information security management systems provide the basis for policies and procedures covering all legal, physical and technical aspects of an organisations information security. Information is an extremely valuable asset. It is therefore crucial that an organization design implement and maintain a coherent set of policies, processes and systems to manage risks to its information assets.

ISO27001 is the internationally recognised standard for information security management systems. It’s one of the most highly regarded security specifications and is considered the best practice for IT security management. But why should you comply with it?

1. Control risk within the organisation

It’s hard to quantify your organisations security risk and even harder to validate it. Frank Ohlhorst, a regular contributor to TechRepublic describes how, “…the primary risk of risk management comes in the form of bad data, or more specifically, data resulting from incorrect intelligence.” Bad data can lead to bad decisions. But ‘bad’ doesn’t even begin to describe the consequences that these decisions can have on your organisation.

The ISO27001 standard ensures that you can identify and manage risk in a structured, methodical and ultimately effective manner.




'"Keep your information secure with ISO27001"
Image courtesy of  jscreationzs / FreeDigitalPhotos.net


2. Avoid security catastrophes

According to the Online Trust Alliance, over 740 million online records were exposed in 2013, identifying it as the worst year ever for data breaches. Just a quick glance at this infographic from Information is Beautiful quickly illustrates the explosion in data breaches over the last decade. And whilst the proliferation of electronically stored data has a part to play in this, it is abundantly clear that even the world’s largest (and most technologically able) companies aren’t doing enough.

Information security breaches can shatter customer trust and devalue your business. ISO27001 operation helps your organisation to prevent incidents occurring as well as providing strategies to manage incidents if they do occur.

3. Get the competitive edge

You’re always going to have to compete with other organisations for business. Get the edge over them by proving that you comply with ISO27001; you’ll differentiate yourself from the competition. Prospective clients and customers will recognise this and often choose a supplier that holds an ISO27001 certificate over one that doesn’t.  

4. Grow your business

ISO27001 compliant recommends organisations maintain supply chain relationships with equally compliant suppliers. If you want to create and build long-lasting trade relationships with larger ISO27001 certified enterprises, you’ll need to comply with the standard too.  


"A webinar from Vigilant Software CEO - Alan Calder"

Get ISO27001 Certified

It takes skilled and experienced professionals to ensure that organisations meet the demanding ISO27001 requirements. Demonstrate leadership in your field by learning to plan, implement and monitor an ISO27001 standard, within your organisation or for others, with the ISO27001 Lead Implementer certification

Having an ISO27001 certified implementer within your organisation is a brilliant way to achieve that ISO27001 standard and ensure your ISMS remains secure.

If you’re already an experienced auditor, now might be a great time to make the leap and get the ISO27001 Lead Auditor cert . In only 3 days, you’ll gain the skills needed to plan and perform audits in compliance with the ISO27001 standard.

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

How to hack and get paid doing it


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It’s a dark future. A central network of computers connects everyone and everything, monitoring the lives of its citizens and controlling all technology and information with an iron grip. That’s the scope of Watch_Dogs, the latest and biggest game from publisher Ubisoft. You play a hacker, manipulating the electronic world around you from the palm of your hand - or to be more precise, from your omnipotent smartphone.

It’s fun, and why wouldn’t it be? You’re empowered to fight the ‘bad guys’ with powerful hacking abilities. What’s more, even though you’re just playing a game, it makes you feel intelligent. Most might think this is all within the realms of fantasy but thousands of people around the world already make their livelihood from Ethical Hacking.

Referred to as White Hat, or Ethical Hacking - this revolutionary sector is thriving. Gartner expects to see an increase of nearly 40% in spending on worldwide security services during the period from 2011-2015, eventually surpassing £29 billion. It’s effect on our culture is huge; a cursory ‘Google News’ search reveals 48,400 results (in comparison, infosec yields 2,380 and 3D printing 33,300). US retailer Target ousted its CEO Gregg Steinhafel in May after foreign hackers stole up to 70 million items of customer data including some PIN numbers. Target isn’t alone; a report from cyber security think tank the Ponemon Institute revealed a company’s likelihood of suffering a large data breach over a two-year period to be 22%.

The need for professionals who can think, understand and behave like hackers is all too obvious. But to beat a hacker, you need to think like one. The ethical hacker is an individual employed within an organization who can be trusted to attempt to penetrate networks and/or computer systems using the same methods and techniques as a malicious hacker. With weaknesses identified in a safe but unflinching way, the organisation can more accurately defend themselves from increasingly expensive data breaches.

"The need for skilled hackers is real" 
Image courtesy of Grant Cochrane / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

But wait…

Before you embark on a journey into the deep web for a quick hacking tutorial, bear in mind, hacking real organisations is illegal and therefore unlikely to land you a job in the sector. Several sites offer great introductions to hacking and act as a kind of community sandbox for beginners and experts alike. Still, it’s unlikely to get you noticed by those prepared to pay for your skills.  

Get recognised

EC-Council offer a globally recognised course in Ethical Hacking. You’ll learn how to hack by immersing yourself in an interactive environment where you can scan, test, hack and secure your own systems. In addition, you’ll be taught intrusion detection, policy creation, social engineering and how to employ and defend against DDoS attacks. Finally your skills will be put to the test in an official exam. 


"CEH v8 and its new features"

With a CEH certification you could find yourself working for both private and public organisations and according to itjobswatch.co.uk,doing so could earn you a median salary of £51,500. 

Take advantage of this booming sector. With our award winning training you’ll get certified in just 5 days

About the Author:       
Sarah writes for Firebrand Training on a number of IT related topics. This includes exams, training, certification trends, project management, certification, careers advice and the industry itself. Sarah has 11 years of experience in the IT industry. 

Friday, 6 June 2014

Over 100 young people chose Firebrand Apprenticeships


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This week, Firebrand reached a great milestone in its apprenticeship scheme. As of today, 101 young people have decided to start pursuing a career in IT by joining Firebrand Apprenticeships.

As we have mentioned previously, the demand for new staff in the UK IT sector is over 150,000 people per year, according to Council of Professors and Heads of Computing. However, there’s still an annual shortfall of over 40,000 professionals.
Considering these ever-increasing number of unfilled jobs in IT, we are delighted to see that more and more youngsters are eager to learn practical skills that can kick-start their careers.


Firebrand Apprenticeships until now

The programme started in July 2012, and up until the end of last year, three cohorts (totalling 24 apprentices) completed their 12-month long scheme. Thanks to the increasing government support and events such as The Skills Show and National Apprenticeships Weeks, apprenticeship schemes, including Firebrand Apprenticeships, have started to receive greater exposure and therefore more interest from young people.

Since December 2013, the numbers of our committed apprentices have more than trebled, resulting in the reaching and passing of the #100 milestone.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg with Apprentice Assessor Charlotte Preece at The Skills Show 2013

Great moments and success stories

Since its beginning, Firebrand’s Apprenticeship scheme has seen some exceptionally devoted and hard-working young people.  We are truly spoilt for choice when it comes to picking Firebrand apprentices, who have had an outstanding performance during their time in the programme, but we’ll give it a go:



- Ben Sykes, one of our first apprentices passed his MTA Networking Fundamentals exam scoring 100% and got nominated for the Microsoft Apprentice of the Year award.

- Members of the very first IT Desktop Support cohort have all obtained the following certifications:
  • Level 3 Certificate in ICT Systems & Principles
  • Level 3 Diploma in ICT Professional Competence
  • MTA (Microsoft Technical Associate) Server Administration Fundamentals
  • MTA Networking Fundamentals
  • MTA Database Administration Fundamentals
- Ryan ‘Jim’ Curtis was the first Firebrand Apprentice to achieve the CompTIA A+, Network+ and Security+ certifications.

Why employers and young people should choose Firebrand Apprenticeships

The following story is written by apprentice mentor and instructor Gary Fildes, about the largest and most successful cohort of Firebrand Apprenticeships:

Meet our latest finishing cohort (IT Desktop Support), who on Friday completed their five week training allocation.  Over this period in the centre they have put in hours beyond the scope of the apprenticeship guidelines and professional delegates with some starting at 06:00 and finishing at 03:00 to revise for some challenging exams for their age group, whilst completing written apprenticeship assignments. 



This is what this cohort has achieved in those five weeks of training at Firebrand:
  • 14 CompTIA Strata
  • 52 MTA’s – Operating System, Networking, Security and Server Fundamentals
  • 12 CompTIA A+  *Extracurricular*
  • 11 CompTIA Network +  *Extracurricular*
  • 10 CompTIA Security +  *Extracurricular*

In addition, Jamila Telliam is the first Firebrand Apprentice to achieve the MCP: 070-680 Windows 7 Professional certification as well as all the above.

That’s 100 professional certifications that this group has achieved, which is absolutely exceptional.

So why is Firebrand’s Apprenticeship scheme the obvious choice?
  • University: Four years of your life resulting in over £40k debt and you’ll have to find a job with no technical qualifications or hand-on experience.


  • Firebrand apprenticeship program: ZERO debt, great technical qualifications and hand-on experience with an employer
Testimonials

Over 70% of our apprentices strongly agreed that their time with Firebrand was essential in starting their careers in IT and 80% said they'd recommend Firebrand Apprenticeships to a friend. But enough of the numbers, let's see what they really said:
  • “My apprenticeship with Firebrand has been a fantastic experience, it has taught me so much and really opened up the doors to my career in IT. Personally it was a much better option for me that the traditional Uni route and I would recommend it to anyone!”
  •  “When I first started the Firebrand apprenticeship, I wasn’t expecting the apprenticeship to be so outstanding! I loved every aspect of the apprenticeship:  going to a new place, meeting new people, the accommodation, the way everything was taught and gaining even more qualifications to use in the future. Within the time of the apprenticeship, I have gained a huge amount of qualifications that would take some people years to achieve/to work towards. I am very proud of what I have achieved through Firebrand.”
  • Firebrand apprenticeships have offered me everything I need and more to begin my career in IT. The facilities and resources are great, but what sets firebrand apart from the rest is the staff. At Firebrand they go above and beyond to help you, couldn’t ask for a better bunch of people!”
Are you leaving school and looking for a challenging career? Or do you know any 16-24 year-olds passionate about technology? Visit Firebrand Apprenticeships and get more information about the programmes we offer. 

About the Author:       
Sarah writes for Firebrand Training on a number of IT related topics. This includes exams, training, certification trends, project management, certification, careers advice and the industry itself. Sarah has 11 years of experience in the IT industry. 

Thursday, 5 June 2014

Now is the best time to get a SharePoint 2013 Certification


By 

Certifications have always been a great way to demonstrate your skills within IT. For both prospective job candidates and those already employed - certifications are increasingly looked-for to distinguish the good from the great.   

Microsoft SharePoint has bloomed into a multimillion-pound-a-year business that now dominates web application framework. Since its 2001 launch, the flagship product has successfully iterated for over a decade. As a result, it is now one of the best and most widely used web technologies. SharePoint is not just for the Fortune 500 companies (of which 78% use the software) – it’s a powerful and invaluable tool for anyone working in IT.

 
  "An introductory video from Microsoft"

Last year Microsoft launched SharePoint 2013 with a host of new features, improvements and fixes. The newest version supports key innovations like: better branding for your web presence, an emphasis on big data and a tighter integration with Excel, improved public-facing website hosting and better mobile support.

"SharePoint's basic features from Hitachi Solutions Canada"

SharePoint 2013 represents a huge leap in the product’s lifecycle but many professionals won’t even take advantage of these new features – for the motivated, it’s never been easier to stand out from the crowd. But what’s the best way to prove your know-how? Well, straight from the horse’s mouth of course, Microsoft offer two industry recognised SharePoint 2013 certifications.

Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert: SharePoint (MCSE)

The Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert: SharePoint (MCSE) is a globally recognised standard for IT professionals. With it you’ll boost your expertise in helping a company organise, sync, collaborate and share information across their entire organisation.

Microsoft identifies five modules along with their associated exam for this official cert:
  1. Installing and configuring Windows Server 2012
  2. Administering Windows Server 2012
  3. Configuring Windows Server 2012 Services
  4. Core Solutions of Microsoft SharePoint Server 2013
  5. Advanced Solutions of Microsoft SharePoint Server 2013
Note: Steps 1-3 of this cert will earn you a Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA): Windows Server 2012 certification – helping you to reduce IT costs and deliver more business value.

MCSE: SharePoint certified professionals earn a median salary of £50,000 and qualify you for a job as a systems or network analyst.

Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer: SharePoint Applications (MCSD)

With this cert under your belt you’ll demonstrate your skill at designing and developing collaboration applications with Microsoft SharePoint. You will need a solid foundation of web programming, including HTML5 with JavaScript and ASP.NET MVC 4 before beginning this cert.

Microsoft identifies four modules along with their associated exam for this official cert:
  1. Programming in HTML5 with JavaScript and CSS3
  2. Developing ASP.NET MVC 4 Web applications
  3. Developing Microsoft SharePoint Server 2013 Core Solutions
  4. Developing Microsoft SharePoint Server 2013 Advanced Solutions
Earning an MCSD: SharePoint Applications cert will qualify you for jobs within software and web development. Within these ultra-competitive fields, this MCSD can make all the difference – 86% of recruiters indicate IT certifications are a high or medium priority during candidate evaluation).

So, what now?

Luckily, there are a number of great places to learn. But for those seeking the fastest way to get professionally certified – Firebrand Training guarantees to be the fastest route.

With us you will get MCSE: SharePoint certified - in just 6 days. And the same goes for the MCSD: SharePoint 2013 cert.

Find more details of our accelerated, all-inclusive training courses and discover why the training you’ll experience has helped win Institute of IT TrainingTraining Company of the Year” a record three times.

About the Author:       
Alex writes for Firebrand Training on a number of IT related topics. This includes exams, training, certification trends, project management, certification, careers advice and the industry itself.  

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Avoid an infosec catastrophe – three certifications that help


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Cyber-crime divisions of law enforcement agencies around the world took a great step towards defeating hackers responsible for malware such as Gameover Zeus and Cryptolocker, a ransomware that encrypts its victim’s information and demands money in exchange for the decryption key.

The authorities had recently seized control of two computer networks, specifically used for distributing malware to steal sensitive personal information, including banking credentials and passwords.

However, this is only a short-term victory and the UK’s National Crime Agency (NCA) warned people to take action now, in order to protect themselves against possible future attacks. 

Image courtesy of chanpipat/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Help your organisation stay protected against cyber-criminals; here are three IT security certifications that will help you:

(ISC)2 – CISSP

Due to the increasing complexity of cyber-attacks, the CISSP certification has become one of the most sought after IT security certifications.
As an advanced level certification, the CISSP was designed for experienced infosec professionals. As a CISSP-certified pro, you’ll be an expert in developing and managing security standards, policies, and procedures within your organisation.
To get this certification, you’ll need minimum 5-years of experience in at least two of the following vital topics:
  • Access Control
  • Telecommunications and Network Security
  • Information Security Governance and Risk Management
  • Software Development Security
  • Cryptography
  • Security Architecture and Design
  • Operations Security
  • Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery Planning
  • Legal, Regulations, Investigations and Compliance
  • Physical (Environmental) Security

EC-Council – CEH

The Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) certification is a relatively new credential in the industry, but its importance and influence have increased significantly since its inception. CEH introduces you to the so-called dark side of IT, i.e. the tools and techniques hackers use to attack systems.

With the CEH under your belt, you’ll know how hackers think to find and exploit vulnerabilities. Therefore you’ll also know how to take a more proactive approach and protect against threats by seeing beyond current security tools and policies.

On this course you’ll learn about a wide range of security topics, including but not limited to:
  • Scanning Networks
  • System Hacking
  • Trojans and Backdoors
  • Viruses and Worms
  • Social Engineering
  • Hacking Webservers
  • Hacking Web Applications
  • SQL Injection

ISACA – CISM

CISM, developed by ISACA, is a top IT security credential focusing on managing, developing and supervising information security systems and developing security best practices.
This certification addresses the needs of security professionals with enterprise level security management responsibilities. As a CISM certified pro, you’ll have advanced skills in:
  • Security Risk Management
  • Program Development and Management
  • Responding to Incidents
  • Governance, and Incident Management
If you haven't yet taken the necessary countermeasures to protect against cyber-criminals, do it now to make sure your money and data stay safe and intact.

About the Author:        
Sarah writes for Firebrand Training on a number of IT related topics. This includes exams, training, certification trends, project management, certification, careers advice and the industry itself. Sarah has 11 years of experience in the IT industry.