Friday, 20 May 2016

Pass your Windows 10 exam 70-697 with these top tips

 By Sarah Morgan


In January 2016, just six months after its release, it was estimated that Windows 10 was active on 200 million devices. This means Microsoft’s latest operating system is currently growing faster than any version of Windows ever. It is at the forefront of Microsoft’s cross-platform vision aimed at improving usability and reliability. Windows 10 runs on PCs, mobiles, tablets, servers and games consoles.


Image courtesy of Microsoft

The growing popularity of Windows 10 means businesses need people with the skills to install, configure, manage and troubleshoot the new operating system. This gives you a huge opportunity to get ahead of the curve and learn Windows 10 skills before the majority of other IT professionals. By passing the Windows 10 70-697 exam: Configuring Windows Devices, you'll achieve both the MCSA: Windows 10 and Specialist: Windows 10 certifications. These will prove to employers that you have advanced skills on the latest version of Windows. If you’re acting quickly to make the most of this opportunity, below are our five top tips to get you the necessary Windows 10 skills to pass your Windows 10 70-697 exam.


1. Use Microsoft Virtual Academy


Microsoft Virtual Academy has a huge amount and variety of resources aimed at helping you get the knowledge and skills to pass Microsoft exams and achieve Microsoft certifications. There are videos, articles and more to help you learn about Microsoft technologies. Plus many are aligned to Microsoft exams.

The new release of Windows 10 means there aren’t a great amount of resources. However there are a couple of videos and presentations that are extremely useful for helping you study for the Windows 10 70-697 exam. The first, “Getting started with Windows 10 for IT professionals” has 9 different sections all dedicated to teach you more about Windows 10. Titles include, “What’s new in Windows 10 deployment”, “Runtime provisioning in Windows 10” and “Windows as a service: What does it mean for you business?”. There’s also “Accelerate deployment of Windows 10 at scale”. This includes an hour long video that covers some of the key topics in the 70-967 exam.



Image courtesy of Microsoft

The Microsoft Virtual Academy is ideal for giving you information that can help with your preliminary exam preparation. It’ll familiarise you with the new features of Windows 10 and how it differs from previous operating systems.


2. Take a course


Learning from a course is the best way to make sure you cover all the content you need to be prepared for the exam. Courses are dedicated to giving you all the skills and knowledge you need, not only to pass the exam, but to be able to use them in your workplace.

Firebrand offers accelerated 6 day MCSA: Windows 10 and Specialist: Windows 10 courses that both prepare you to sit the 70-697 exam. Remember, you’ll achieve both certifications after you pass. As with all Firebrand courses, you’ll spend 6 days in an immersive classroom environment. You’ll learn from an official Microsoft instructor and bounce ideas off other students in the classroom. 


3. Take Practice tests


Practice tests are the best way to replicate the types of questions you’ll face in the real exam. They’ll also cover the full range of topics the exam could include. This’ll give you a better idea of what topics you’ll need to study. What is unique about practice tests is the immediate feedback they give you. This highlights any weaknesses you may have and gives you the chance to focus your studies in those areas.

MeasureUp is the official provider of Microsoft practice exams. It is one of the most extensive resources for IT certification practice tests, offering packages for a large range of exams.  You can find the Microsoft exam 70-697 practice exam here. This includes 119 questions to help you refine your knowledge on subjects like Windows desktop administration, maintenance and troubleshooting, Active Directory and Microsoft Intune. It then gives you thorough explanations about where you went wrong and how to improve.

MeasureUp’s 70-697 exam practice test costs £79 to buy. Alternatively, 60 and 30 day online versions are available for £72 and £66.

Firebrand also offer free and comprehensive practice tests for the 70-697 exam. You can access these on pages for MCSA: Windows 10 and Specialist: Windows 10. You can also find practice tests for all of Firebrand’s other 200+ accelerated courses.


4. Use a revision guide


Getting a revision guide is crucial to studying successfully. They give you integral information about the exam topics. They’ll dissect complex technologies or theories giving you in-depth detail. Plus they’ll often indicate which sections require more focus than others. Here are our top recommendations for the 70-697 exam.

Microsoft’s official revision guides are often a great place to start and are closely aligned to the exam content. The revision guide for the 70-697 exam, “Exam Ref 70-697 Configuring Windows Devices” is no different. Written by Microsoft MVP, Andrew Bettany, it covers exam objectives including, plan desktop and device deployment, configure networking and storage and manage data access and protection. It also pushes you further with varied real-world scenarios that show you how your new knowledge can be used.

You can find it on Amazon here. The ISBN is 978-1509303014.

A reliable alternative to Microsoft’s study guide is the “MCSA Microsoft Windows 10 Study Guide: Exam 70-697” by William Panek. This is also closely aligned to the latest version of the exam to make sure the information you get is as useful as possible. As well as including plenty of content on all of the exam topics, it also gives you access to the Sybex interactive online learning environment. This gives you extra online content and flashcards to expand and vary your studies. This book covers the exam content in a slightly different way that may suit your leaning style, with the possibility to learn online at times when you may not have the book with you.

You can find it on Amazon here. The ISBN is  978-1119252306.


5. Use a trial version


Downloading a trial version of Windows 10 Enterprise is the best way to practice and implement your Windows 10 knowledge. Combine this with a revision guide and you’ll be able to walkthrough each 70-697 exam topic, learning to manage each Windows 10 feature as you go. This’ll help make your learning more real, giving you an edge in the exam room. 

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 May 2016

5 reasons to get ISACA CSX Practitioner certified

 By Sarah Morgan


The current shortage of cyber security skills is a massive employment opportunity. According to government research, two-thirds of big UK businesses have been targeted by a cyber attack in the last 12 months. This means businesses are searching desperately for people with the skills to make sure they’re not the victim of the next high-profile cyber attack.

The CSX Practitioner is one of the newest cyber security certifications on the market. It can be the perfect way to get the cyber security skills to take advantage of this massive opportunity. Below are the five best reasons why you should be looking to get CSX Practitioner certified.

1. Opportunity for employment


There are more cyber attacks happening than ever before, with over 700 million data records estimated to have been stolen in 2015. These include companies like TalkTalk
(157,000 records stolen, costing £60 million), EBay (145 million records stolen, costing an estimated £18 million), Target (70 million records stolen, costing £100 million) and T-Mobile (15 million records stolen, costing £13.2 million).

Cyber security job growth, at 74%, has increased at twice the rate of the overall IT jobs market since 2007. It is expected that by 2019, the industry will be short of 2 million cyber security professionals. This means there isn’t enough properly trained protection for businesses, creating a huge demand for professionals with high-level cyber security skills. The CSX Practitioner course will develop the cyber security skills that businesses are seeking. Whilst achieving the certification is the proof you have these skills.
Image courtesy of Sira Anamwong
/freedigitalphotos.net

2. Potential future career earnings


The CSX Practitioner course develops the technical security skills required in job roles like Cyber Security Analyst or Cyber Security Engineer. These roles command competitive salaries averaging around £50,000+  (all average salaries according to itjobswatch.co.uk).

The CSX Practitioner certification is the starting point for a journey towards many high-level cyber security roles. After you’ve progressed your career with experience in the cyber security industry, you’ll be able to aim for roles like Cyber Security Consultant (£62,500), Cyber Security Architect (£70,000), Cyber Security Manager (£70,000) and Head of Cyber Security (£97,500). You can also follow the CSX pathway, progressing onto the Specialist, then the Expert certifications. These will help you grow your cyber security skills throughout your career. This means starting your cyber security career with a CSX Practitioner certification gives you the potential to eventually reach a six figure salary at the top level.

3. Develop hands on skills


A key feature of the new CSX, is the hands-on nature of the skills covered. You’ll learn practical skills in all stages of the cyber security process simulating real-world scenarios. These include analysing network output, executing incident response plans, detecting incidents and performing disaster recovery plans. These are skills you’ll be able to directly implement in your IT security role. You’ll learn to identify, detect, respond to and recover from cyber attacks. Its practical nature and broad curriculum set it aside from most other IT security certifications currently on the market.

4. Learn the latest skills


As one of the newest certifications in the cyber security industry, the skills in the CSX Practitioner course are the hottest available. Getting CSX Practitioner certified guarantees you’ll have skills that can protect your business from the latest techniques threatening your business, identifying threats before they occur, implementing precautions to minimise threats and recovering from attacks. The Cybersecurity Nexus program has been developed to provide you with skills in five cyber security areas. These are:
Image courtesy of jscreationzs/freedigitalphotos.net

1. Identify
2. Detect
3. Protect
4. Respond
5. Recover

These are designed to cover the whole cyber security process, ensuring you have skills to deal with cyber attacks through every stage.

5. World renowned


ISACA have a 45 year history in which they’ve produced some of IT’s most respected certifications. Their CISA and CISM certifications are two of the most sought-after in the industry and these are supported by their CRISC and CGEIT certifications. This means you know you’re getting your cyber security skills from an industry trusted and globally recognised source. On top of this, the reputations of ISACA and the CSX extend worldwide. This means you can benefit from your certification wherever your career should take you.

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.