Showing posts with label Top 10. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Top 10. Show all posts

Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Top 10 IT Certifications of 2017


With 2017 fast approaching we've listed our Top 10 certifications that we believe will best equip you in the new year. We've included certifications that range across various technologies and develop different skills such as security, networking, project management and cloud. Let us know in the comments what you think of our list. 

1. (ISC)2 CISSP

A recent report from recruitment firm Robert Half found that 77% of UK Chief Information Officers (CIO) believe that “they will face more security threats in the next five years because of a shortage of IT security talent”.

(ISC)2’s CISSP certification is a gold standard for IT professionals in high managerial and technical security roles. This certification proves deep competence, skills, experience and credibility to design, engineer, implement and manage their overall information security program.

The Information Commissioner’s Office recently identified that cyber security breaches increased 88% since the beginning of 2015. So, it’s unsurprising businesses are looking to bolster their security policies and defence by employing those certified at the highest level. As a result, we’re positive that CISSP will continue to be an excellent route to reach the top security roles in this industry.




2. EC-Council Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH)


EC-Council’s Certified Ethical Hacker
certification prepares you to identify weaknesses or vulnerabilities within a business’ network. The difference is that rather than exploit these security gaps, you use these skills to protect a business and patch any potential exposures.

EC-Council have dedicated thousands of man hours into researching the latest trends and uncovering the covert techniques used by the underground community to come up with the latest Version 9 exam and curriculum.

It’s no doubt this certification will continue to gain popularity in the IT industry, and recent large scale hacks with the likes of Yahoo, Tesco, Netflix, Reddit and TalkTalk proves the need for increased cyber security skills.

3. Cisco CCNA (Routing and Switching)

Cisco’s CCNA (Routing and Switching) certification teaches you the skills for network support positions and is the starting point for many successful careers in networking.

The skills shortage the UK are currently in the midst of means that demand for professionals with a certification in networking will continue to grow. A Cisco report found that in 2015 there was shortage of 1.2 million professionals skilled in IP networking – with the number expected to grow in the coming years.

This certification acts as a solid foundation to any networking career, so it’s certainly one to target in 2017!

4. The Open Group TOGAF 9.1 Certification

Thousands of companies now use The Open Group Architecture Framework (TOGAF) and as a result the demand for those certified and familiar with the TOGAF framework has continued to grow throughout 2016.

This certification dives into four Enterprise Architecture areas:
  • Business – processes, design and optimisation
  • Applications - creating strategic architectures
  • Infrastructure - networks, hardware, security, server locations, operating systems and capacity
  • Data – placement, requirements, maintenance and reporting

The trend of more businesses adopting Enterprise Architecture skills like those in TOGAF mean this certification can propel almost any career in the IT industry. Skills and knowledge in the Architecture Development Method (ADM), The Enterprise Continuum and the TOGAF Resource Base can help you get a better return from your IT operations, helping things run faster, cheaper and reducing risk. 

5. Microsoft MCSE: Cloud Platform and Infrastructure

One of Microsoft’s latest certification additions is this MCSE: Cloud Platform and Infrastructure, which develops your expertise in Microsoft’s cloud-related technologies and managing a modern data centre.

With a wide range of electives to choose from to get this certification, it’s one that will unquestionably be held by a knowledgeable, expert group of professionals.
Microsoft’s recent drive in Azure computing, with an investment of $3 billion in Europe data centres, means the Azure route will likely be one that experiences high levels of interest. Similarly, the need to offer greater security to business networks means the Securing Windows Server route may be equally popular in 2017.

Microsoft recently streamlined their technical certifications, so if you aren’t already familiar with the changes, check them out here



6. EC-Council's Certified Network Defender

Launched this year, the Certified Network Defender certification is expected to follow the CEH in becoming one of EC-Council’s most demanded products.

Developing skills in network security controls, protocols and devices, risk and vulnerability assessments and choosing appropriate firewall solutions, you’ll act as the first responder to any network security incidents.

As business environments increasingly adopt Cloud technologies and Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) becomes commonplace, businesses need to improve their network security. First responders are crucial in this respect and have the potential to significantly mitigate damages following a security breach.

This certification comfortably makes the Top 10 list and should definitely be a cert you keep your eyes on!  

7. Microsoft MCSA: Windows Server 2016

Another one of Microsoft’s new certifications is the MCSA: Windows Server 2016, which develops the fundamental skills needed to develop and manage your Windows Server environment.

Windows Server is a robust technology that consistently experiences steady demand and is highly valued within the IT industry.  

This certification is an excellent place to learn the skills to install, upgrade and migrate servers, configure Nano Servers and manage advanced AD DS infrastructure.

This certification is also a stepping stone to the MCSE: Cloud Platform and Infrastructure, which this certification acts as a prerequisite for. 

8. AXELOS PRINCE2 Foundation and Practitioner 

The PRINCE2 Foundation and Practitioner certification is one that covers the basic methodology and terminology of PRINCE2. 2016 saw an increased demand in project managers due to the growing scale and complexity of projects being undertaken today. Demand is so large that it’s expected 15.7 million new project managers will be needed across the globe by 2020.

The skills you’ll learn ensure projects have a common and consistent approach, regular reviews or progress against plans and the assurance that projects must have a business justification.  

This certification is also increasingly demanded because of its relevance across industries. Unlike many technical certifications it can be applied across the board, and therefore makes those who hold it, that much more employable.

Firebrand is the only provider to offer both the foundation and practitioner course in just three days and we’ve currently certified over 1,500 students. 

9. Microsoft MCSD: App Builder

Learn to create and implement modern web applications as well as develop the skills to build a modern mobile and web applications service with the new MCSD: App Builder certification.

A study by Gartner found that the market demand for mobile app development will grow at least five times faster than internal IT organisations’ capacity to deliver them.

The MCSD: App Builder is the top certification in developing the skills to design and implement application architecture, security and user experience, and we’re confident it will skyrocket in 2017. 

10. CompTIA Security+

CompTIA’s Security+ certification develops the skills to troubleshoot security events and incidents and operate within applicable policies, laws and regulations.

This certification is vendor-neutral and is developed with the input from industry, government, academia and front-line practitioners. This means you can be sure it’s content reflects the current needs of the industry and it's also largely why this certification will almost certainly continue to perform outstandingly in 2017.

Some of the key topics covered include network security, threats and vulnerabilities and application, data and host security.

Firebrand is a CompTIA platinum partner so you’ll benefit from the highest level instructors and the most up-to-date curriculum. 




Tuesday, 15 September 2015

10 best books to help you pass your Six Sigma certification

 By Sarah Morgan

The business methodology of Six Sigma can help your business to improve output by identifying and then removing, the causes of errors.

We’ve conducted research into which books on the market are best to help you get your Six Sigma Yellow, Green or Black belt certification. We then cut them down to a list of 10, to ensure whatever help you need within Six Sigma, there’s a book here for you.

Six Sigma Yellow Belt

The Six Sigma Yellow Belt course, with no real prerequisites, can give you a broad understanding of Six Sigma practices and methodologies that you can implement into your business right away. More Yellow Belt info can be found here.

1. Certified Six Sigma Yellow Belt Exam Secrets Study Guide: CSSGB Test Review for the Six Sigma Yellow Belt Certification Exam by  CSSYB Exam Secrets Test Prep Team 
ISBN: 978-1516700301

It covers an enormous amount of topics. One of the most comprehensive books out there and is specifically designed to help you study for the exam. As well as being extremely well-researched, it highlights tactics and areas of focus that’ll be useful when in the Yellow Belt exam room.


Includes:

  • Practice questions
  • 5 secret keys to exam success
  • A vast list of topics like CTQ, Quality Function Deployment and Gantt Charts

How good is it?

It’s one of the best Six Sigma books on the market focused on exam tips, and could provide you with the exam technique that could make the difference in helping you get the knowledge to pass.

2. The Six Sigma Yellow Belt Handbook by H. James Harrington & Frank Voehl 
ISBN: 978-1932828245 

Crammed with years of practical Six Sigma knowledge, this helpful handbook is both practical and insightful. You’ll learn what skills are required of someone who is Yellow Belt certified and how that will contribute to the improvement of your business. Another great plus is the inclusion of how statistical tools are important to your business.


Includes:

  • What is at the heart of the Six Sigma concept
  • Statistical tools for Yellow Belt
  • A wealth of knowledge and understanding

How good is it?

It’s definitely a great Six Sigma book to have at your disposal. Although it’s primarily focused on Yellow Belt, it’s useful for any level of Six Sigma. It has the knowledge you need to get started and can also help experienced Six Sigma users with some general pointers.

Six Sigma Green Belt

When you take on the Green Belt, you’ll cover detailed measurements and analysis and learn further techniques to improve operations. A full list of topics and further info can be found here. 

3. The Six Sigma Handbook by Thomas Pyzdek & Paul Keller 
ISBN: 978-0071840538 

This handbook includes every aspect of Six Sigma from Green Belt and beyond which is what makes it so good.

The fourth edition is revised to reflect the continually progressing area of Six Sigma and comprehensively walks you through the methodology, covering improvement techniques in all possible areas.


Includes:

  • Green Belt and Black Belt certification online quizzes
  • Links to walkthrough videos covering several practical processes
  • Great coverage of the sometimes neglected Lean methodologies alongside Six Sigma

How good is it?

A great in-depth guide, giving you understanding that’ll definitely give you a head start in the exam. It will also help you on the job, with brilliant attention to a wide range of practical processes necessary for someone who is Green Belt certified.

4. Six SIGMA Green Belt Study Guide: Test Prep and Practice Questions for the Six SIGMA Green Belt Exam by Trivium Test Prep 
ISBN: 978-1940978789

Ever used an exam study guide that is too fluffy and takes forever to tell you what you’ll actually need for the exam? This is the antidote. It’s brilliantly streamlined for efficient studying, only giving you information that is truly helpful.


Includes:

  • 100 practice questions
  • A review of every tested concept in the exam
  • Fully explained subjects that’re easy to digest

How good is it?

The most efficient and straightforward study guide for the Green Belt certification. A sure way to prepare yourself to pass the exam.

Six Sigma Black Belt

The Six Sigma Black Belt is for those who are responsible for leading projects using the Six Sigma & Lean methodologies. More info on the Black Belt can be found here.

5. The Lean Six Sigma Black Belt Handbook: Tools and Methods for Process Acceleration by Frank Voehl, H. James Harrington, Chuck Mignosa & Rick Charron 
ISBN: 978-1466554689

Another useful book that can vastly improve your understanding of Six Sigma. Built on a strong understanding, it comprehensively tackles the advanced level of Six Sigma in the Black Belt.


Includes:

  • Diagrams and illustrations useful to understand the more complex frameworks and processes
  • Insight from a well-respected and distinguished group of authors
  • Exercises, worksheets and templates to assist your continuous improvement

How good is it?

This is one of the best at covering the level of detail required in the Black Belt certification. It simplifies the Black Belt methodologies, helping you to apply them to your exam and to real-world situations.

6. The Six Sigma Black Belt Handbook (Six SIGMA Operational Methods) by Thomas McCarty, Lorraine Daniels, Michael Bremer and Praveen Gupta 
ISBN: 978-0071443296

This handbook does a great job of explaining the more difficult elements of Six Sigma, integral to passing the Black Belt. It aims to make you an expert in Six Sigma, explaining how to take on multiple projects and solve complex problems.


Includes:

  • A complete guide to understanding and writing financial reports
  • Project costing tools
  • Problem-solving tools like Design for Six Sigma and TRIZ

How good is it?

A very useful handbook to aid you whilst studying for the exam, as well as after you’ve passed, helping you use Six Sigma to solve tricky on the job problems. A great Black Belt resource.

General

There are many useful books out there that can help you generally with some, or all of the Six Sigma certifications.

7. Six Sigma For Dummies by Craig Gygi & Bruce Williams 
ISBN: 978-1118120354

It may seem too basic consulting a “For Dummies” book for help with Six Sigma, but it has great reviews and genuinely provides very useful information about the methodologies. If you’re studying for the Yellow Belt it’s a great resource to get you started. Its usefulness is not limited though, and does provide knowledge relevant and helpful to those studying both Green and Black belts and for those who want general Six Sigma guidance.


Includes:

  • Top dos and don’ts of Six Sigma
  • Plenty of thorough how tos
  • Top tips for those currently in the industry

How good is it?

Amazon have made it part of their “Best Books of the Year So Far” for 2015 - it also averages 4.3 out of 5 from 39 reviews. It’s a great read for anyone in project management, let alone someone taking a Six Sigma certification.

8. Six Sigma for Managers, Second Edition (Briefcase Books Series) by Greg Brue 
ISBN: 978-0071838634

Greg Brue is CEO of Six Sigma Consultants and is a Master Six Sigma Black Belt and aims this book at the busy managers of today. His expertise provides tips for those managers of how to use Six Sigma to be successful in your field.


Includes:

  • Clear definitions of Six Sigma terms and concepts
  • Specifics about tactics and improving your planning
  • The latest in practical insights and tips

How good is it?

Another of Amazon’s “Best Books of the Year So Far” for 2015. It provides an up to date perspective from someone who has mastered the field with tips that can help you pass your exam and help you on the job.

9. Six Sigma for Everyone by George Eckes 
ISBN: 978-0471281566

If you’re looking for a book that doesn’t over-complicate the concepts of Six Sigma, look no further. This is perfect for someone looking to improve their basic understanding of the Six Sigma methodology – perhaps sitting the Yellow or Green belt.


Includes:

  • Straightforward explanations of terms and principles
  • In-depth examples for further insight
  • 10 basic tools each team member needs

How good is it?

Reading this will give you a solid foundation of knowledge before sitting your exam. It’s excellent at serving its purpose for those not looking to go over the top with Six Sigma.

10. The Lean Six Sigma Pocket Toolbook: A Quick Reference Guide to 100 Tools for Improving Quality and Speed by Michael L. George, John Maxey, David Rowlands and Mark Price
ISBN: 978-0071441193

An ideal reference guide for those studying both the Green and Black Belts. Contains excellent advice on how best to use the Six Sigma tools in different situations. With step-by-step instructions it can help you get a true understanding of how to carry out the processes you learn on the courses.


Includes:

  • Brief summaries of the 70 most important tools in Lean Six Sigma
  • Quick and easy reference guide to the DMAIC improvement cycle
  • Concise but thorough information in a pocket sized format

How good is it?

A handy book if you’re looking for something that isn’t too dense but still provides helpful information. It’s very useful when revising for either exam.

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, 30 May 2013

10 useful tools for admins which are free


By 


There are several pricey tools out there, but why waste money when these free and easy to use tools do the same job?

Here is a list of 10 of the most popular free tools most admins use in their day to day roles.

Winrar is widely for anyone who knows about compressed files. It handles several compressed types and formats. It is one of those programs you know to install as soon as you get your new computer. Winrar states on its web-site that there are "Over 500 million users worldwide make WinRAR the world's most popular compression tool today".

This piece of software will really impress you. It has advanced features that can deal with virtually all image formats available in the market. It is reliable and easily creates virtual drives on your computer, giving you the possibility to have endless virtual CDs and DVDs for instant access. ISO is widely used on the internet now, and although many go for MagicISO, Daemon tools does the job seamlessly without any problems. Just mount your image and you’re done.

With the security issues of today, it is important to keep a long list of different passwords for each of the accounts in order to isolate potential hacking incidents. But with so many accounts, it can be a pain to remember more than five at a time. This is where KeePass comes in. It will securely hold all your passwords in one place, taking that headache away from managing all of them. It has military grade encryption, ensuring they remain safe.

Xirrus saves time and work by checksing your WiFi network and by checking for rogue devices. It also troubleshoots connections, identifies calming connections and spots rogue networks or hotspots

Notepad++ is a handy source code editor which supports several languages. You can use it to create your html emails, scripts, compare files, etc... It’s a simple tool that does exactly what you need.

This helpful program tells you what is taking up the space on your hard drive. When your C drive is beginning to get too full and its performance starts to fall, this is the program you need. It quickly shows you what areas are taking up the most space making it easy to clean and remove unnecessarily bulky files on your computer.

This is tool you use when all else fails. Those moments where the standard antivirus/malware software can’t help or fix the problem, ComboFix is there to help. It finds and removes almost all rootkits and Trojans. Note that just like with all anti-viruses, before using it, you must make sure the others are completely disabled.

This tool allows you to quickly and easily create virtual hard disks. It also works with Hyper-V and Virtual PC. The difference between Disk2vhd and other physical-to-virtual tools is that you can run Disk2vhd on a system that’s online.

FileZilla is an FTP client, and is one of the best ones out there. It can easily move files to the network and is also cross platform. It Manages FTPS and FSTP protocols.

10. CCleaner

Most of us know CCleaner very well; it does the important task of getting rid of temporary files and Windows Registry problems. It does it much faster than most other tools, which if you have used any before, you would know the headache it causes watching that slow process bar move to the right. This is the tool to use when you feel your computer is not performing like it should and you know it’s not because of a virus. So get rid of your cookies and trackers and keep your computer smooth and secure.

Which free tool do you use the most?

Comment if you think we missed one, we would love to know more…

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.