In cosmetology school, you’ll learn to cut and style all types of hair. You’ll use your creativity to apply color and highlights, and you’ll learn the techniques to apply makeup flawlessly. Once you graduate and pass your state board exam, you’ll be ready for your first salon job. Being successful in your new cosmetology career goes beyond the technical skills: you also need to practice good salon etiquette to earn the respect of your clients and coworkers. The good news is that exhibiting proper salon etiquette is pretty much common sense.

As you hone your technical skills, build your reputation as a respectful, professional stylist. Follow these 10 commonsense rules of etiquette; they’re not that much different than those you would practice in most social situations.

Be on time. When a customer selects a particular appointment time, it’s for a reason. If you are so irresponsible as to come to work late, take too much personal time or make your customers wait, you’re immediately off to a bad start. Be considerate and respectful of your customers’ time and mindful that your behavior reflects on the salon’s reputation.

Keep your cell phone quiet and out of sight. Taking personal calls while you are doing a client’s hair is just plain rude. Restrict your calls to breaks and lunchtime. If there’s truly an emergency at home, instruct your family to call the salon and leave a message.

Get a clear understanding of what your client wants, and be honest about what you can do. If your client wants a shorter haircut, for example, you need to clarify exactly what that means. Shorter to her might mean a trim, but to you it could indicate a complete style change. Also, if a client with stick-straight hair wants curl and volume, you might need to explain why her hair’s texture might not give the exact results she wants. Be very clear to avoid disappointment. It’s ok to make suggestions, but never just assume.

Remain courteous and professional when talking with your client. Avoid talking about volatile topics, including religion and politics. Watch your language, too, so that you don’t offend anyone. If possible, focus on the client’s interests and hobbies. It might help to take notes after your appointment so that you’ll know what to talk about next time – the new grandchild, her dog, the vacation to Hawaii, etc. Hopefully, you’ll develop a long-standing professional relationship with your client. Remember that referrals are good for your business!

Look the part. What you wear and how you look reflects on your work. If you show up looking as if you just got out of bed, that’s not going to bode well with your clients. Be clean, neat, well-manicured and well-dressed. Your clients come to you hoping for a new look – or at least a better look – and your appearance can give them hope that they can look that good, too.

Smell good.  Make sure your breath is clean and fresh, avoid excessive perfume and don’t forget to use your deodorant. You and your client (as well as your coworkers) will be in close quarters long enough to notice.

Avoid gossip. Don’t talk negatively about your boss, the salon or your coworkers to your clients, and don’t share gossip. It never ends well.

You don’t need to shout. Nobody likes a loudmouth. Speak at a level that’s loud enough to be heard, but not by everyone in the salon.

Prepare your station before your client arrives. Have all of your tools set up and ready to use, and clean your station. Sweep up the hair from your previous client, and be prepared to offer your full attention to the client in your chair.

Keep learning. A hairstylist’s world is ever changing and competitive. To stay on top of the latest trends, tools and techniques you’ll need to keep learning. Attend seminars and trade shows. Take professional classes. Read the trade magazines – and know what the celebrities are wearing and doing. If you do, you’ll be more confident and comfortable doing hair.

Are you ready to become a hairstylist and study cosmetology? Regardless of your goal in cosmetology, MTI’s Paul Mitchell The School helps you develop the beauty and cosmetology skills you need for a rewarding career. Maybe you want to work in a family member’s salon or for a world-class franchise. Perhaps you’d like to share your expertise by teaching others or work as a professional makeup artist. The opportunities are out there.

At Paul Mitchell The School, you’ll learn salon techniques, as well as the business fundamentals you’ll need. You’ll learn about marketing, merchandising, client retention and cash flow management. All of that plus small class sizes and one-on-one attention from your industry-professional instructors will prepare you for the next step: taking the California State Cosmetology Board exam. From there, the sky’s the limit.

Make your dream a reality. Register for the cosmetology program at MTI College today.

Medical assistants play vital roles in today’s healthcare industry, helping doctors perform a number of clinical and administrative duties. These include administering medications, checking vital signs, drawing blood, removing sutures, noting patient medical histories, processing insurance claims and more. As you might imagine, medical assistants work in hospitals, doctors’ offices and clinics, but they are needed in other locations that might surprise you.

Here are five places where medical assistants can apply their versatile skills in the healthcare industry:

Retirement facility

Medical assistant jobs are in demand, partially because of a rapidly aging U.S. population. As people age, they usually need more medical care. A logical place to put the skills of a medical assistant to use is a retirement facility – nursing home or assisted living facility. Many of the residents are not sick; they are just elderly and need assistance. In many cases, medical assistants can administer their medication, give injections or check vitals. They may also assist residents with their daily hygiene, help them get around in wheelchairs and with walkers, provide first aid and handle basic physiotherapy sessions. In addition, because many retirement facilities have their own on-staff physicians, medical assistants can be a big help to them.

Palliative care facility

Cancer treatments like chemotherapy and radiation may effectively eradicate some or all of the disease, but both come with side effects (pain, nausea, fatigue, muscle weakness, insomnia, etc.) and disrupt quality of life. Palliative care helps relieve the symptoms and helps patients and families live the best way possible for as long as possible. Medical assistants who work in a palliative care facility can assist cancer patients with their daily care, administer medication, change dressings and lend support. They are also an excellent resource for families of patients because they can keep them up to date on the course of treatment, handle administrative tasks and offer emotional support.

Home healthcare

A medical assistant who enjoys (or requires) schedule flexibility might decide that working in home healthcare is a good option. Many people who need regular health monitoring choose to stay in their homes rather than in a nursing home or rehabilitation facility. Others may need post-hospitalization follow-up care. In these cases, a medical assistant can provide care in the patient’s home. Some of the duties may be similar to those required in an assisted living facility, such as checking vitals, helping with mobility issues and providing medical social services.

Insurance companies

A medical assistant is critically important to the smooth operation of a doctor’s office, hospital or medical clinic, and his or her duties are split between administrative and clinical responsibilities. If you choose to work for an insurance company, you will use more of the administrative skills you’ve learned. You will be able to understand patient medical records and be adept at organizing hospital admissions, lab services and insurance claims. Because you will know medical terminology and basic medical care, you would be a valuable resource to an insurance company.

Military

Four branches of the U.S. military – the Air Force, Army, Navy and Coast Guard – need medical assistants to help on bases and on the battlefield. Depending on the branch of the military you choose, you may be expected to complete additional training, including basic training that all personnel are required to take. As a medical assistant enlisted in the military, you would work with various teams of healthcare professionals in clinics on land or aboard ships. If you are deployed overseas, you would work in a mobile field hospital. If active military duty is not for you, perhaps work for the Veterans Administration (VA) in a hospital, outpatient clinic or rehab facility.

How to become a medical assistant

Medical assistants require comprehensive training in administrative, clinical and laboratory procedures. MTI College prepares students for a career in medical assistance in less than a year with impressive coursework that encompasses:

  • Medical terminology
  • Anatomy and physiology
  • Pharmacology
  • Medical protocol and procedures in clinics and laboratories
  • Front-office practices, including coding and billing procedures
  • Patient relations
  • Medical law and ethics

Additionally, a required 160-hour off-campus externship provides hands-on experience in a professional healthcare facility setting that gets you ready to hit the ground running.

Studying to become a medical assistant at MTI College offers additional benefits, including:

  • The flexibility of a new program that allows you to take classes just three times a week
  • Preparation for the National Certification for Medical Assisting (NCCT) exam. Exam can be taken on campus during class hours
  • Access to MTI’s job placement assistance after graduation

Once you complete your medical assistant program at MTI College, you should be proficient in the skills needed to perform diverse duties in the healthcare field and can look forward to an in-demand career. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the growth of the medical assistant field on the national level is expected to increase by 24 percent through 2024.

Contact MTI College today to study for a career as a medical assistant, a role that is critically important in the healthcare industry.

Internet technology has revolutionized the way we do things, both professionally and personally. Unfortunately, cybercriminals have found ways to infiltrate our computer networks and wreak havoc on them. Having effective network security programs in place is vitally important to organizations.

Here are some FAQs on network security that give you a better idea of how it all works to protect your data.

What is network security?

Companies and organizations use network security to secure the information they need to protect from unauthorized users and potential hackers. Network security is the plan or strategy these organizations use to monitor unauthorized access, exploitation and modifications of their networking assets. An essential part of network optimization, it is implemented with a combination of hardware and software to protect the network from viruses, malware, ransomware, hackers and denial-of-service attacks.

If a company employs layers of security, such as firewalls, antivirus software and an intrusion prevention system (IPS) to protect their data and network, they see better results. An effective solution also examines data security policies, disaster recovery options, vulnerability scanning and penetration testing (it simulates a real-world security threat).

What are the primary goals of network security?

There are three primary goals of network security, known collectively as the CIA Triad or CIA Trilogy:

  • Confidentiality, which protects data from unauthorized users by controlling access to that data, whether stored or in transit
  • Integrity, or version control, that allows information to be changed only by authorized users, who ensure it is accurate and can’t be altered by hackers or unauthorized users
  • Availability, designed to guarantee that data, network services and network resources are protected and available to those who need to access them, whenever they need to

What is a network security key?

Basically, the network security key unlocks access to the Internet. It’s the password or passphrase that authenticates all your devices to your network’s router so that you can obtain a signal and connect to the Internet. At home, you’ll find it on the back of your router; it may be shown as the Security Key, WEP Key, WPA Key, WPA2 Key, Wireless Key or Passphrase. The name “network security key” is interchangeable with “password” for your network connection.

What are the different types of network security?

As technology grows, network security options expand to meet the needs of organizations. Network security works by combining layers of defense to secure the information. There are five primary types of network security:

  • Network Access Control (NAC)
    This limits the number of users who should have network access.
  • Antivirus and antimalware
    Everyone knows that malware (malicious software) – viruses, worms, Trojans, spyware and ransomware – can infect a network and cause a lot of trouble. Effective antimalware and antivirus programs scan for malware on access, and then fix inconsistencies and damage, and remove malware.
  • Application security
    No matter how good the software you buy – or your IT department creates – is, it can be vulnerable to attackers. Application security is the hardware, software and processes your company uses to close holes and protect vulnerabilities.
  • Email security
    The easiest way to breach a network’s security is via the email portal. Attackers can use personal information to devise phishing schemes that trick email recipients into clicking on malicious sites. If you have an email security app, it can block incoming attacks and control outbound messages so they don’t put sensitive data at risk.
  • Wireless security
    A wired network is much more secure than a wireless network. If your network is wireless, you need to enable security products that are specifically designed for these networks.

Some organizations choose to take additional measures to secure the information produced by their data processing. These can include:

  • Intrusion prevention systems (IPS) to scan network traffic that blocks and prevents cyberattacks
  • Web security that is implemented to restrict a staff’s access to particularly vulnerable websites and block web-based threats
  • Mobile device security to control which mobile devices may be allowed to access the network, as many cybercriminals now target mobile devices and applications
  • Behavioral analytics that employ tools to detect abnormalities in network activity
  • Data loss prevention (DLP) software that prevents users from uploading, forwarding and printing information in an unsafe manner

Where can I learn more about network security and networking programs?

MTI College offers a fast-paced, hands-on Network Administration and Security associate degree program that prepares you for an entry-level position as a networking professional. Computer networking is critical to large companies and industries, such as health care and banking, that rely on secure, shared databases. Completing your associate degree in Network Administration and Security, and earning CompTIA Network+ and Security+ certification, may open the door to an entry-level job as a:

  • Network administrator
    You would be responsible for setting up and maintaining an organization’s computer network to keep costs down and production up.
  • Security specialist
    In this important role, you would protect a company’s computer network and make sure that only authorized people could gain access to confidential information. You would also have to monitor the network’s infrastructure and firewalls.
  • Information security analyst
    You would look for security breaches and investigate violations, install firewalls and generally help keep a company’s computer network safe from hackers.
  • Systems administrator
    This job entails taking care of the day-to-day operation and upkeep of a company’s computer network.

Get the skills and certification you need from MTI College, and you can be on the road to fighting cybercrime and protecting our IT security.

After countless cases of data misuse – including the major Facebook scandal involving Cambridge Analytica – companies realize more than ever how important it is to have reliable network security. If they have branch or remote locations, it can be complicated (and expensive) to control and ensure database security in all locations.

To find your best solution to security issues, you first need to know just what is involved and what the options are.

What is network security, and why is it important?

Companies and organizations use network security to secure the information they need to protect from unauthorized users and potential hackers. Network security is the plan or strategy these organizations use to monitor unauthorized access, exploitation and modifications of their networking assets. An essential part of network optimization, it is implemented with a combination of hardware and software to protect the network from viruses, malware, ransomware, hackers and denial-of-service attacks.

What is SD-WAN?

SD-WAN, software-defined WAN (wide area network), is used by companies to connect their networks, which may include branch offices and/or data centers that are far away from the headquarters or main location. Traditionally, WANs use special proprietary hardware to connect their various locations. SD-WAN can manage many types of connections – MPLS, broadband and LTE – to deliver business-class, simple, secure WAN connections without the hardware aspect.

How does software-defined WAN protect networks?

It integrates security, policy and organization by creating a secure connection among network endpoints. The company benefits from:

  • End-to-end encryption across its entire network, including branches and data centers
  • A scalable key-exchange usage and SD security that effectively authenticates all end points, which ultimately results in secure communication throughout the network and the cloud
  • Better control of the network from a centralized location
  • The ability to layer security encryption measures

What types of SD-WAN architecture exist?

SD-WAN is an overlay architecture that offers a networking foundation that is much easier to control and monitor than traditional legacy WANs. By using the cloud, software-defined WAN centralizes and simplifies network management. SD-WAN can be just software-based or a solution that uses both hardware and software:

  • Premises-based uses an on-site appliance that is more economical for small, localized businesses.
  • MPLS-based places appliances at various end points, creating a virtual IP network that provides end-to-end control.
  • Internet-based allows the customer to choose a web provider, has multiple appliances at each location and pays for part of its connection to be SD-WAN.

What are the advantages of software-defined WAN?

Because of an increasing demand for bandwidth and decreasing (or restricted) operating network budgets, corporate WAN managers are looking for ways to optimize their networks cost-effectively and without compromising quality. SD-WAN benefits companies by:

  • Helping optimize traffic flow and performance in branch offices
  • Routing traffic over cost-effective services like broadband
  • Replacing the traditional routers in branch offices with appliances that gauge and utilize different types of transport technologies based on performance
  • Decreasing the complexity of the network with easier configuration, one-touch deployment, continuous monitoring and centralized troubleshooting
  • Managing costs by using the cloud for connectivity and services, thus bypassing the need for expensive routing hardware
  • Delivering branch agility by integrating multiple links, devices and services to work in tandem
  • Optimizing appliance performance with secure access to enterprise and cloud applications
  • Providing more flexibility than traditional WAN technologies like T-1 or MPLS

Gartner estimates that SD-WAN will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 59 percent through 2021, pushing it to become a $1.3 billion market. By providing simple solutions to the increasing concerns of network security and database security, the projection makes sense.

How do you get into the field of network security?

Since new vulnerabilities to our technology are coming about every day, the need for IT security specialists is growing. MTI College offers a fast-paced, hands-on Network Administration and Security associate degree program that prepares you for an entry-level position as a professional network admin specialist.

Computer networking is critical in most industries that rely on secure, shared databases – industries such as health care and banking. Completing your associate degree in Network Administration and Security, and earning CompTIA Network+ and Security+ certification, may open the door to an entry-level job as a:

  • Network administrator
    You would be responsible for setting up and maintaining an organization’s computer network to keep costs down and production up.
  • Security specialist
    In this important role, you would protect a company’s computer network and make sure that only authorized people could gain access to confidential information. You would also have to monitor the network’s infrastructure and firewalls.
  • Information security analyst
    You would look for security breaches and investigate violations, install firewalls and generally help keep a company’s computer network safe from hackers.
  • Systems administrator
    This job entails taking care of the day-to-day operation and upkeep of a company’s computer network.

Get the skills and certification you need from MTI College, and you can be on the road to protecting our IT security.

The year was 2000. Attila Miszti, a recent graduate of MTI College’s IT program, had just received his first weekly paycheck.

Alumni Spotlight - Attila Miszti

At the time, he felt like it was all the money in the world.

But as he thinks back on it now, Mr. Miszti believes that paycheck represented something much bigger than anything that could ever fit into a wallet. To him, it represented just how much MTI College believes in its students and strives to empower them to succeed in learning, and life.

“That job was waiting for me once I graduated. One of my MTI instructors worked for Gap Corporate, and he helped line up a full-time contract position for me while I was still completing the program. That really showed me how the people at MTI go beyond the mission of educating and training their students, and help connect them with real professional opportunities and great employers.”

To fully understand the outcome of Mr. Miszti’s experience at MTI, you need to go back to what led him there in the first place.

After graduating from Del Campo High School in 1998, Mr. Miszti knew that college was his next move. The next fall, he enrolled at a local community college as a way to fulfill the general education requirements he knew he’d eventually need, while earning an associate’s degree at the same time.

But not long after enrolling, it became clear that a change would have to be made.

“After I enrolled I was only able to get into two of the five classes that I was going to need to fulfill my gen-ed requirements,” Mr. Miszti recalled. “It was incredibly frustrating. At that point I knew I didn’t want to take six years to earn a degree that should only take four just because of congestion in the system.”

It was the late 1990s, and the dot-com boom was in full swing. Mr. Miszti had always been interested in computers and technology. While exploring various options for changing schools, when he looked deeply into the programmatic offerings and reputation of those options one clearly stood out—MTI College.

It didn’t take long for Mr. Miszti to realize he’d made the right choice. A student in the IT program, he was learning the most current and relevant topics happening at the time. He was able to get exactly the courses it would take to complete the program in two years. And his instructors were experienced professionals who were personally invested in his success.

But that really only tells half the story.

As Mr. Miszti was working his way through the program, he volunteered to help with some of the IT work that was needed at the new building that MTI College was opening. The dedication and quality of work he demonstrated there led to an offer of a part-time job at the College while he was completing the program.

And it was through that part-time job he worked while he completed his academic program that one of his instructors, who also worked for Gap Corporate, offered him a full-time contract position once he graduated.

“It showed just how important that decision to attend MTI College was. I was able to build a network and leverage the knowledge I was gaining into some meaningful opportunities that laid the foundation for my future career. All because of how personally invested the instructors there are in their students.”

With his IT career in full swing, Mr. Miszti knew he was in a position most others that were his age, and working in his field, weren’t.

“I was in my late 20s, and I already had 10 years of corporate experience under my belt. Not many others did.”

While he enjoyed working in IT, Mr. Miszti still wanted to take his career to even greater heights. Although working in IT brought its fair share of challenges, those working in the field typically weren’t in a position to make decisions that would directly impact the overall health and future of the organization.

This is where Mr. Miszti envisioned himself, and he knew that more education was the path to get there. So he decided to return to school to pursue his undergraduate degree in economics at the University of San Francisco. Once again, MTI College came through for him. He was able to transfer all of the credits he’d earned at MTI to the program at USF and, as a result, earn his degree in just two years.

“MTI puts a lot of emphasis on its accreditation and positioning students to advance their education by transferring MTI credits. That clearly was a big benefit for me when I decided to go back and earn my bachelor’s degree.”

Eventually, Mr. Miszti took a position at Citigroup, and not long after decided to return to school to earn his master’s in business administration (MBA), this time at Sacramento State. It was his unique blend of IT knowledge and experience with a high-level education and training in business that, he says, set him apart in the eyes of employers.

After Citigroup, he took a position with the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD), where he quickly ascended from grid planning, to supply chain, to the position of Director of Line Assets, where he oversees line maintenance throughout the service territory.

“MTI accelerated a lot of things for me and opened some unconventional doors. Being able to get such great experience in a corporate setting at a young age made all the difference in the world.”

In his position with SMUD, Mr. Miszti spends much of his time evaluating resumes and filling open positions in his department. He uses his experience, made possible by MTI, as a guide.

“I value a combination of education and experience. I seldom hire folks who just have the educational component. I find that they’re not as well equipped to jump into a corporate and operational environment.”

And for anyone considering MTI College for their education, Mr. Miszti has advice on what they should know, and what to expect.

“One of the big advantages to MTI is that they take care of everything with regards to scheduling and courses. They ensure that you’ll get the exact courses you need within the timeframe to complete your program on time.

“And they’re always reexamining their programs and offerings to make sure they reflect the needs of local business and industry. This isn’t something that’s talked about very much, but it’s very important and a big part of MTI’s success at putting students in a position to succeed in their field of study upon graduation.

“MTI has been in business 50 years. That doesn’t happen by accident.”

Sometimes things are just meant to be. That would certainly be an appropriate way of describing Jenni Burton’s journey to MTI College.

A 2012 graduate of the Paralegal Studies program at MTI, Burton never really expected her professional life to go in the direction of a legal career. Born and raised in what she describes as the Sacramento “bubble,” Burton simply knew that she had a passion for helping people.

After graduating high school in 2006, her mind was set—she was going to attend a local junior college and pursue a degree in nursing. But as she started down that path, Burton quickly discovered that the extreme demand for nursing degrees in the area meant that she would likely have to wait for entry into her program.

“I would have had to wait longer than I wanted to, and I knew I didn’t want to put my career on hold that long. So I had to rethink what direction I wanted to go.”

One thing Burton was sure of was that she still wanted to embark on a career in a field where she would be able to make a difference in people’s lives. And another profession in which she knew that would be the case was law.

“The idea of being in a position of standing up for ‘the little guy’ and making sure people who find themselves in tough situations had the best possible advocates backing them up was really appealing to me.”

Being from the Sacramento area, Burton had heard of MTI College and was aware that it offered accelerated programs, but at first that was all she really knew. She determined that a paralegal studies program was the best fit for what she wanted, and as she researched area programs the picture became even clearer.

A friend of Burton’s was very familiar with MTI and helped open Burton’s eyes to just how respected the school was. She then discovered that the Paralegal Studies program at MTI was approved by the American Bar Association (ABA)—which distinguished it from other respected programs in the area—and her decision became clear.

“Being ABA approved is a very big deal. It means that that program is held to a higher standard than others. Another great thing about MTI that I found was how flexible they are with students, giving many options for them to complete the program.”

Throughout this time, Burton had been working at Raley’s Supermarket, in its online customer service department. When customers put in their grocery orders online, Burton was one of the team members who would put those orders together and have them ready for the customers to pick up.

And as luck would have it, many of her regular customers were attorneys.

“I remember I’d be talking with them and they’d always say how respected the MTI program was in their professional circles. How they knew that anyone coming from the MTI paralegal program would be so well versed and prepared to enter the legal field that they’d usually hire them on the spot.”

It didn’t stop there.

One of her regular customers at Raley’s was an attorney at a major Sacramento law firm and actually worked with Burton to get her foot in the door at that firm while she was working her way through the program at MTI. At first she started working as a file clerk. From there she moved on to reception and calendaring and then helping with discovery.

“That was another great thing about the MTI program. I was able to apply what I learned in my program on the job.”

She continued her work with the law firm as she completed her courses in the Paralegal Studies program, utilizing MTI’s convenient day and evening course options and four-day class week. Since she’d completed general education courses at the junior college she had attended, Burton would only need one-and-a-half years to complete the program.

She stayed with the firm for a couple years and, after completing the program at MTI, put her credentials to work at another firm specializing in employment law, where she continues to work today, helping stand up for the little guy.

“It feels good knowing that I’m playing a major role in helping people who need support. And I’m constantly amazed at just how comprehensive and relevant the MTI paralegal program is. I felt totally prepared coming out of the program and do feel like I was ready to hit the ground running.”

Other aspects of Burton’s MTI experience she appreciates are the bonds and friendships she was able to build. To this day she remains close with several of the students that she was grouped with in her last full year of the program.

In her time away from work, Burton most enjoys relaxing and spending time with her husband, Josh—also a graduate of MTI’s Paralegal Studies program—as well as their two children. The couple is currently remodeling their home, and the entire family enjoys taking care of their two dogs and two cats.

“And maybe one of these days we’ll get chickens, but who knows.”

Regardless, Burton says she will always believe in MTI and its mission of empowering students to achieve their professional goals. And to those students who are considering enrolling at MTI, her advice is simple.

“Don’t hold back. MTI is an amazing school with amazing programs. Don’t sell yourself short when it comes to your future or your education. They’re very supportive and focused on giving every student the support he or she needs to succeed. The really want to know you on an individual level, and that’s something you really don’t see that often in higher education.”

Technology’s importance in everyday life and business continues to grow by leaps and bounds. It has revolutionized the way legal processes function, creating a wonderful career opportunity for a paralegal with excellent technology skills.

Changing rules

According to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, the courts expect attorneys and their support team (including paralegals) to be up to date on electronic stored information (ESI). Since paralegals are usually assigned discovery tasks, it is crucial that they understand ESI and e-discovery.

Ethics and professional conduct

The American Bar Association in 2012 amended its Model Rule of Professional Conduct to include technological knowledge in a legal professional’s obligation to keep client information confidential. In California, Formal Ethics Opinion No. 2015-193 details tasks that attorneys and paralegals must comply with to ethically and competently represent their clients (in terms of technology).

Efficiency and cost control

Legal technology costs have diminished over the last 10 years, but the greatest expense is in processing, storing and searching for data. The cost for each case is different, so it is important for a paralegal to be aware of technology tools that can reduce both firm and client costs. Having electronic information that is accessible to those who need it increases the efficiency of the legal process.

Value to employers and clients 

A paralegal who is technologically skilled is an asset to a law firm. Attorneys are busy people who rely on paralegals to search databases, do research electronically and keep abreast of new rules that are updated electronically. If a paralegal knows where to go to quickly and gather information a lawyer or client needs, he or she is performing a valuable service.

ESI overload

Paralegals and other law professionals must know how to access, retrieve and manage ESI to protect their clients.

ESI includes emails, Word files, spreadsheets, digital photos, videos, texts and IMs, call logs, voicemails, database records and social media postings that can be found in computer hard drives, network servers, USB drives,  databases and mobile devices and on social media websites.

Career opportunity and higher salaries

The rise of technology has created expanded responsibilities – and new job titles – for paralegals. Increasing your technology skill set can also increase your salary. New career opportunities are appearing for paralegals who specialize in e-discovery and legal project management. Your salary (and value) can go up if you are able to combine legal expertise and advanced technology skills in litigation, information governance, compliance and cybersecurity.

How to increase your technology skill set

There are several easy ways to make yourself invaluable to the legal industry as a paralegal, but being technically savvy is one of the best. Here are easy ways you can boost your skills:

  • Learn the legal technical vocabulary
  • Volunteer to work on e-Discovery and seek additional training
  • Accept offers from vendors who demonstrate litigation software
  • Read industry blogs and sign up for free webinars on changes in legal technology
  • Be proactive
  • Find a mentor to help you learn more about technology

MTI College paralegal program

If you’re fascinated by the legal world but becoming an attorney is not on your immediate radar, consider registering for the ABA-approved MTI paralegal program. It gives you the education you need to work in a law firm, government agency or corporate legal department, assisting lawyers and performing many of the same duties. The MTI paralegal program provides you with the minimum requirements to become a paralegal in California. In just two years, or less, you can earn your associate’s degree in paralegal studies and head out to begin a career in a field that the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics says is growing.

If you have the interest and the necessary personal traits to become a paralegal, enroll now in the MTI College Paralegal program for the education you need to get that important first job.

When Josh Burton was 16 years old, his first child was born. At 18, he was homeless. He turned 21 while on a 12-month deployment to Iraq after having joined the United States Army. That same year, he returned to the U.S., was stationed in Alaska, and bought his own home.

Burton knows how to persevere. He has fought his way through hardships. He has accomplished things that most people at the same age typically do not accomplish, like being a landlord at age 23.

It is the kind of determination that has served Burton well throughout his life. And it’s a big part of the story when it comes to his journey to MTI College, his student experience, and what he is doing today.

Having grown up in the Seattle area, Burton knew that after his military service was over he wanted to enter into a profession where he would be helping people.

“At the same time, I knew that there were a lot of different ways to go about helping people. I narrowed it down to engineering or law. I ultimately decided on studying law because it seemed more dynamic and entertaining, something where I’d be working on all kinds of different things every day.”

With his military service ending, Burton was able to take advantage of the GI Bill and thankfully price was not going to be a factor when it came to finding the right academic program. “I wanted to find a place that would have the best possible name that I could put on my resume.”

Another key aspect to his decision was the fact that he was going to relocate again. He had family who were living in the Sacramento area, and he decided on moving down to the area from his home in Washington.

“So I had to think about what I wanted. At first I figured I’d pursue a career as an attorney, but thought about it some more and decided that being a paralegal was the best path for me.”

Knowing virtually nothing about Sacramento, he began researching schools in the area and upon discovering that there was only one with a paralegal studies program that was approved by the American Bar Association, the decision became easy.

“Within three days of being out of the Army, I was enrolled at MTI. I knew it was the right place for me, and they made the process very easy. Because of the GI Bill, I didn’t have to worry about finances, and I didn’t have to do any of the coordination with getting that taken care of. The school handled all of the interaction with the VA.”

It was this heightened level of individualized support that Burton says characterized his MTI experience. He had attended community colleges in the past, and while they had different missions than MTI, the personal attention was nowhere near what he experienced at MTI.

“I was just a number at the other school. I couldn’t get the classes I needed, didn’t know when I’d be able to get the classes I needed. At MTI they worked closely with me, they made sure I was signed up for the right classes. I knew all four terms what I’d be taking, and if I started in January I would be able to complete everything I needed to complete by the following January.”

In Burton’s second year of the program, he wanted to complement what he was learning with real-world experience. Again, the support staff at MTI came through. It was a Tuesday when Burton went to speak with the counselors in Career Services. Two days later, he got a call from an area law firm. Later that same afternoon he had an interview, and when they saw he would soon be a graduate of MTI, he was offered the job.

Burton graduated in 2014, and he continues to work at the same firm to this day—with a twist.

He started working as office support. Within a matter of weeks, he was given a moderate case load as a paralegal, and eventually had taken on a heavier caseload than any other paralegal at the firm. But before long his professional path took an interesting turn. Another lifelong area of interest for Burton was computers. In fact, he built his first computer at the age of 10. When there was an opening for an IT manager at his law firm, Burton saw it as a chance to broaden his professional horizons.

Burton got the position and for a time was balancing his work as a paralegal—handling more than 25 employment law cases mostly during the evenings—and spending daytime office hours overseeing the IT operation. He earned the titles of both Senior Paralegal and IT Manager.

Today, Burton’s firm has expanded to multiple locations throughout California. He spends virtually all of his time “putting out fires” with regards to technology and overseeing all aspects of the firm’s IT needs. As a member of his firm’s hiring committee, Josh encouraged interviews with MTI College students or graduates. He recently began the second year of the IT degree program at MTI. In addition, he has returned to MTI on several occasions to speak with MTI students in the Paralegal Studies program. As the firm’s IT Manager, Burton has hired two IT Assistants from the college, so far.

Although he says he does not have much spare time, when he does take time away from work he spends it with his wife Jenni—also an MTI graduate who is a paralegal at the same firm—and he also enjoys motorcycles.

Burton’s is a story of overcoming challenges, following your interests, and constantly improving yourself. During his time as a student at MTI, he earned all of the awards he possibly could have, including the MTI College Master Student Award, Outstanding Graduate, and Perfect Attendance, and he received the 2013 John O’Sullivan Memorial Scholarship from the Sacramento Valley Paralegal Association.

His advice to anyone considering the Paralegal Studies program at MTI is clear and direct.

“Really think about what you want to spend your days doing, and the type of people you want to be around. I knew I didn’t just want to work with numbers. I wanted to work with people. As a paralegal, I was able to work on all facets of a case, helping people who have been wronged. Even though I’m doing the IT thing now, I still feel close to it.

“MTI is a place that definitely has the best interests of its students at heart; and you’ll find other students there who are like-minded and just as driven as you. To this day I’m still good friends with some of the guys who I met in the program there.”

If you’re like 75 percent of Americans, you have a smartphone. You are probably an app user and keep in touch with friends, check the weather or your bank balance, and maybe even watch the latest hit on Netflix. If you wear a fitness tracking device, you have an app linked to it to monitor your steps, heart rate and more.

Technological improvement has made healthcare apps a reality. Apps have transformed the healthcare industry, benefiting both providers and patients. Currently, more than 318,000 healthcare apps on the market are helping to aid communication between patients and providers, reduce costs and increase the efficiency of delivering patient care.

Doctors can hold video conferences with their patients or colleagues across the globe on tablets and smartphones. They can access drug information, EHRs, research and studies instantly because the information is available on their personal devices. There are apps that show X-rays and CT scans, help with stress management, monitor insulin levels, remind you to take your medication and even detect cancerous tumors.

Healthcare apps can do some amazing things.

Apps to help patients stay in control of their healthcare

When you’re sick, the last thing you want to do is get dressed, go to the doctor’s office and wait in a room with a number of other sick people. Thanks to some innovative apps, you may be able to avoid that scenario and still get the treatment you need. Others let you monitor your illness.

  • Medici – Patients can text a doctor, describe their symptoms, send pictures if needed (of a rash, cut, burn, etc.) and possibly cut out unnecessary doctor visits, all while providing info on an app that is HIPAA compliant.
  • ZocDoc – There’s nothing worse than needing to see a doctor and being told you have to wait three months for an appointment. This app helps you instantly schedule an appointment to see a doctor within 24 hours.
  • Talkspace – This is online therapy via messaging with a psychologist. You pay a weekly subscription fee, which is usually less expensive than insurance co-pays and in-person visits, and a therapist is specifically matched to help you deal with your issues.
  • PediaQ – The only thing worse than going to the doctor when you’re sick is having to take your infant or child to the doctor when he or she is sick. With PediaQ, you contact a nurse practitioner who makes house calls for urgent pediatric care.
  • Sugar Sense – Diabetics can record their sugar levels throughout the day with this app that also gives an estimate of your HbA1C levels.
  • Pill Pack – The app user receives prescriptions by mail, which is not new. However, the packaging is.
    Pills come in date- and time-stamped individual packets in a dispenser so that you can take them in the proper order.
  • Epocrates – The number-one medical reference app among U.S. physicians, it details clinical practice guidelines and lists medical billing codes and drug information.
  • Patient Keeper – Through this Computerized Patient Order Entry (CPOE) app, a physician can order labs, radiology services, medications and other services or procedures for patients. A handy “favorite” feature allows the doctor to mark certain often-used procedures and medications to save time.
  • AmWell – Think of this as a virtual waiting room, allowing doctors and patients to connect remotely. Doctors can e-prescribe and accept patient payments in one app.
  • Medigram – An easy, secure way for the app user to go paperless, this app provides image sharing of scans and lab or test results.

Apps to help medical assistants or those in a medical assistant (MA) program

A medical assistant is critically important to the smooth operation of a doctor’s office, hospital or medical clinic, and his or her duties are split between administrative and clinical responsibilities. Many healthcare apps are available to help the beginning medical assistant or MA program student.

  • Epocrates – The number-one medical reference app among U.S. physicians and medical workers, it details clinical practice guidelines and lists medical billing codes and drug information.
  • Nursing Central – This app allows frontline medical personnel, such as medical assistants and nurses, do their jobs more efficiently. It’s not inexpensive, but it provides a database filled with drug information, a medical terminology dictionary and tools that assist in interpreting test results.
  • Medscape – This handy reference guide features drug names and drug interference information, 129 medical calculators and additional resources for patient care.
  • Medical Assisting Pocket GuideIdeal for newbies and students, it offers step-by-step procedural guides, help with building communications and clinical skills, and information on legal issues.
  • CMA Test Prep – This gives students in medical assistance programs a preview of what taking the CMA (Certified Medical Assistant) exam will be like and provides more than 2,000 multiple choice questions.
  • Visual Anatomy – An interactive reference tool, Visual Anatomy allows the app user to view high-resolution images that show each body part, with 3D models of the organs.

Smartphone apps to help doctors treat patients – at home and on a global scale

Telehealth is making medical care more convenient, preventive and less expensive. It helps physicians make better use of their time and have all the information they need (medical history, drug info, codes, anatomy charts, etc.) with them at all times. For doctors in third-world countries who don’t have the resources to treat all the patients who may need them, smartphone apps and mobile technology are making quality healthcare possible. In China, for example, more than 100 million people suffer from rheumatic disorders, yet there are only 5,000 doctors to treat them. An app developed by Smart System Disease Management (SSDM) lets patients connect with physicians via online consultations that are far less costly than traveling to a doctor for an in-person consultation.

More help needed in healthcare industry

The future is now in terms of medical technology and mobile healthcare apps. Medical assistant jobs are in demand. With new technological advancements, more technology-savvy individuals are needed to use them.

MTI College prepares students for a career in medical assistance in less than a year with comprehensive training in administrative, clinical and laboratory procedures. Additionally, a required 160-hour off-campus externship provides hands-on experience in a professional healthcare facility setting. For those more interested in technology, MTI College offers a medical billing and coding program that focuses on computer skills and electronic health records (EHR).

Contact MTI College today to begin your MA program.

If you live in Sacramento and are thinking of registering for a medical assisting (MA) program, you’re in the right place. According to TalentWorks, a job recruiting agency, Sacramento is one of the best cities for finding a job as a medical assistant, with a monthly demand of 270 jobs.  The best news is that demand for skilled MA students is only going up – regardless of where you live.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the growth of the medical assistant field on the national level is expected to increase by 24 percent through 2024. One reason for the increased demand for medical assistant degree holders is the rapidly aging population – the baby boomers. With technological advancements, more technology-savvy individuals are needed to use them. In addition, there is predicted growth in the number of physicians’ offices, hospitals and outpatient clinics to accommodate the increasing elderly population.

There is predicted growth in the number of physicians’ offices, hospitals and outpatient clinics to accommodate the increase in mature patients. Why, though, is Sacramento leading the way in job demands to serve those facilities?

Sacramento’s need for skilled MA students

With new key healthcare businesses moving into Sacramento, such as RxTE Health, new jobs will be created. There are already 100 biotechnology and medical device companies in the region, and the healthcare industry is responsible for approximately 20 percent of the total payroll for the region’s workforce. In addition, in recent years, more than $18 million has been spent on expansion projects at Kaiser, Mercy, Sutter and UC Davis. Whenever a facility expands, it needs more personnel to operate.

This year, in particular, the widespread flu outbreak is requiring even more trained medical assistants.

The roughest flu season in years

This year’s designer flu, the H3N2 strain, is claiming the most victims nationwide since the swine flu of 2008–09.

The death rate among people younger than 65 in California already hit 97 by the third week of January – and that doesn’t include the elderly, who are at greater risk. The flu can be especially devastating to the following groups of people:

  • Pregnant women
  • Children under 5 (and especially younger than 2)
  • People over the age of 65
  • Those with weakened immune systems and chronic medical conditions
  • Residents of nursing homes and long-term care facilities

Many of those who show symptoms of flu activity (cough, sore throat, headaches, fatigue, body/muscle aches, runny or stuffy nose, fever) are making outpatient visits or are being hospitalized. The CDC says the number is higher than in the past five flu seasons. Medical assistants are needed to help with the influx of patients who harbor infection, helping physicians who are extra busy and who need to focus on diagnosis and treatment. The medical assistant can be a lifesaver to a doctor or medical facility, performing the following tasks:

  • Welcoming patients and surveying the situation
  • Filling out patient charts
  • Overseeing patients’ medical history
  • Supervising patients’ insurance information
  • Organizing hospital admissions and laboratory services
  • Preparing patients for medical examinations
  • Collecting fluid samples
  • Taking vital signs
  • Drawing blood
  • Assisting the doctor during exams

When there is a shortage of trained healthcare professionals, as there is in Sacramento, patients can suffer from a lack of speedy and quality care.

Trying to keep up with industry demands

Unfortunately, the Sacramento region does not have enough trained graduates to keep up with its significant job growth – especially in the healthcare field – according to Sanjay Varshney, chief economist of the Sacramento Business Review. That supports TalentWorks’ report that indicates Sacramento has a 10-percent “unmet” demand for medical assistants, indicating that companies are having a difficult time filling medical assistant jobs.

Fortunately, MTI College at Sacramento offers a certified medical assistant degree program that prepares you for a career in medical assistance. You receive comprehensive training in administrative, clinical and laboratory procedures, and a required 160-hour off-campus externship provides hands-on experience in a professional healthcare facility setting. With the flexibility of MTI’s MA program, you can be on your way to that important first career opportunity by going to school just three times a week.

If home and family obligations require you to work while you earn your medical assistant certification, the MTI College program is ideal for you. In as little as one year, you can graduate and be ready to take your California Certified Medical Assistant (CCMA) exam. From there, it’s on to your first job and a career with many opportunities for advancement.

When you start your career as a medical assistant, it opens the door to more choices down the road. You will have a versatile portfolio of skills that you can take with you wherever you go.

Help Sacramento catch up with its rapidly growing healthcare job market. Contact MTI College today to start your  MA program.

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