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.”

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.

It is so frustrating when your computer “freezes” or, worse yet, when it shuts down while you’re in the middle of an important project. That’s when a technical support specialist is needed. It’s his or her job to help people who are experiencing technical, hardware or software issues with their computers or other electronic devices. You call your company’s technical support specialist to troubleshoot and, hopefully, resolve your issue.

That’s an overview of the general job of a technical support specialist. However, these are five job responsibilities of a technical support specialist that you may not be aware of.

1. Takes remote control over customers’ computers

Most often, a technical support specialist can walk a customer through steps necessary to remedy the problem, install software on the computer and start a program for the first time via the phone. He or she can also help troubleshoot issues a customer may face while using a software program and recommend tips to remedy the situation. If that doesn’t work – or if the customer just doesn’t understand – the tech support specialist may need to take over the computer remotely and perform the necessary steps to resolve the issue.

2. Trains customers on how to use hardware and software

Some companies assign their technical support specialist with writing operating instructions and training employees on the software or hardware needed to perform their jobs. When the customers learn how to use equipment properly, it protects and preserves both the hardware and software.

3. Maintains and upgrades network systems

A technical support specialist keeps a company’s network systems up to date by upgrading components as needed. He or she also gathers and records data to ensure that the system is working efficiently, studying workload and the network’s capacity. When the tech support specialist conducts a cost analysis, he or she lets the company know what to expect when upgrading or purchasing new hardware or software.

4. Tests software and hardware

Even with new equipment or software, there can be issues or incompatibility with existing programs and hardware. A technical support specialist is often tasked with the duty of testing for compatibility and computer components. This is also a way to confirm program objectives and specifications, make certain they operate in accordance with established standards and improve existing programs. If there is an inconsistency or issue, the tech support specialist can recommend changes or make modifications.

5. Oversees and administers data

The security of client, employee and internal corporate information is of prime importance to any organization. The technical support specialist may be in charge of overseeing the company’s data, maintaining passwords, backing up and securing databases, and restoring files when necessary. It’s important that he or she remains professional to protect the confidentiality of the company’s information. 

The skills needed for the job

It goes without saying that anyone who plans to work as a technical support specialist should have an interest in computers and be technically adept. However, there are additional traits that employers look for when hiring technical support specialists:

  • Excellent communication skills
  • Ability to make technical information and instructions user-friendly
  • Strong customer service standards
  • Patience
  • Ability to multitask
  • Analytical ability
  • Above-average problem-solving abilities
  • Software maintenance and testing
  • Knowledge of database performance

How to become a technical support specialist

Computers play important roles in everyday life, and that means that they constantly need upgrading and maintenance. That’s why technical support specialists are in such demand. MTI’s Technical Support Specialist diploma program teaches you the competencies needed to earn a globally recognized CompTIA A+ certification, an essential starting point for an exciting career in IT.

MTI’s program provides you with hands-on education and a foundation in common hardware and software technologies, giving you skills to support the complex IT infrastructures present in most industries.

You’ll learn to:

  • Install, configure, upgrade and restore PCs
  • Identify security breaches
  • Help end users connect their computers so they can work from multiple locations
  • Configure and service mobile devices
  • Evaluate and choose hardware components to customize systems
  • Troubleshoot and solve computer problems
  • Understand the ins and outs of multiple operating systems

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, job opportunities in computer and information technology fields are growing faster than those in any other field. Studying at MTI gives you valuable hands-on experience and a working knowledge of most types of computer hardware and many applications. MTI trains you to service and maintain computer systems and networks for small businesses and large corporations. Once you receive your MTI diploma and earn CompTIA A+ certification, you will be qualified for an entry-level position as a technical support specialist.

Get the skills and certification you need from MTI College, and you can help customers resolve their computer hardware and software issues.

The age of Internet technology has come with advantages, certainly, but it has also brought vulnerabilities and new ways for criminals to profit. As computers get smarter, so do cyber criminals. IT security programs are more important than ever to businesses and individuals to help protect them from information breaches and more.

These are the top IT security trends to watch for in 2018:

GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation)

PC magazine heralds GDPR as the most anticipated and important security factor in 2018. The regulation requires companies that do business in the European Union (EU) to protect the personal data of those they do business with. Those companies that do not comply risk fines of as much as 4 percent of their global revenue. To prepare for the GDPR, which goes into effect May 25, 2018, most companies are performing security assessments and hiring additional security professionals, as well as lawyers.

Ransomware

Ransomware takes corporate “hostages” virtually when cyber hackers infiltrate a company’s industrial or transport automation or control system. They complete control, leaving the owners powerless to regain control. The only resolution is to pay the hackers a “ransom” to restore rightful control to the company. It is likely that in 2018, new targets for cyber hackers will emerge: high-profile or wealthy individuals and home-connected devices. The best course of action for companies is to be proactive – run backups frequently and keep fixing and updating systems.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML)

AI-based attacks are likely to increase. As machines get smarter and detect network vulnerabilities, so do the cyber criminals who use machine learning to dismantle them. Companies will need to up their game with new AI-enabled security tools, but it’s a good bet that criminals will come up with their own set of cyber battle tools. Some of those tools include new-and-improved spam and phishing schemes that automate intelligence gathering for advanced attacks. Automation or AI also may be used to infiltrate data sources by guessing passwords, and ML can let criminals know exactly whom to target in an organization to get past security protocols.

Breaches

Identity theft and POS (point of sale) breaches, including those of store computers and ATMs, are rising concerns. In 2017, there was a rash of data breaches that affected major organizations, including Yahoo!, Dun & Bradstreet, Saks Fifth Avenue, FAFSA, DocuSign, Gmail, Equifax and Verizon, leaving the personal data of millions at risk. The breaches led to interruptions of service and loss of revenue, forcing companies to patch vulnerabilities and implement better IT security programs.

Spoofing

The creation of fake IP (Internet Protocol) addresses by a hacker to impersonate legitimate sources is known as spoofing. It enables intruders to bypass security measures because of the “trusted” relationships between machines. Spoofing is often used in denial-of-service (DoS) attacks, in which applications or systems are held hostage by hackers, preventing legitimate owners from accessing information or services. The most common DoS attack involves overloading a network with so much information that it is unable to handle the barrage of data. The computer can’t process the request, so it becomes a “denial of service.” In related IP spoofing attack, it attempts to modify a DNS (Domain Name Server) to a specific IP address, which is often used to spread viruses and computer worms.

Unfortunately, new vulnerabilities to our technology are coming about every day, and 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 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 cyber crime and protecting our IT security.

If you were to ask Robert Young when it was that he first knew he wanted to be a teacher, the answer would be a little tricky. He has always believed in the power of education and for a long time has felt something of a calling to have a role in its delivery.

But as far as serving as a teacher in the traditional sense of the word, Young, an instructor of information technology at MTI College, never really pictured it for himself.

“I just hadn’t really thought of it. I wanted to do theatre. I’ve always loved doing theatre. But at the same time, I love giving away knowledge and the things I know, and performance can be a powerful way of doing just that.”

Most people might hear “performance” and “information technology” and think there couldn’t be a stranger pairing of academic or professional disciplines. But for Young, bridging the two fields makes perfect sense, and it tells the story of his journey to MTI.

Born and raised in Marin County, Young grew up in a time when information technology, at least the way we know it today, didn’t exist. One thing that did exist, however, was the “starving artist”—a phrase that refers to artists, musicians, and performers who try to turn their passion into a way to earn a living, often without luck.

So while he embraced his love for the arts, he also knew he had to be practical. He began working temp jobs in the banking industry, initially in accounting.

“When I first went to work back then, it was a time when a ‘computer’ was this huge machine in a huge room. It was kind of this mysterious thing.”

As Young continued in the banking industry, he impressed his supervisor with his work and started moving up the ranks. From accounting he transitioned to loan operations, which is where he first started working in the information technology field. Eventually, he became a database administrator, a role he served in for several years.

But after 30 years of working in the field, he knew it was time for a change. “After so many years, you just kind of get tired of the keyboard.”

Throughout all of that time, Young never stopped doing theatre. And he had a particular interest in historical and educational theatre. To him, being able to entertain and make an audience laugh while also learning something along the way—whether they even know it at the time or not—was a powerful thing.

So that’s what he did.

Over the years he’s played the role of many different historical figures, from going into schools and performing for groups of students, to taking the stage as Charles Dickens and performing for thousands at San Francisco’s beloved Great Dickens Christmas Fair.

And at some point, it just clicked. Young realized not only that theatre and performance were powerful avenues for educating audiences, but the craft of performance itself offered tools and skills that are essential for anyone to possess and utilize in the professional world.

“It just all of a sudden seemed apparent. There are aspects of performance that will absolutely contribute to the level of success you achieve, no matter what your profession may be. You’ve got to be able to improvise; you need to understand body language and voice, and how to communicate in a way that puts things in the appropriate emotional context.”

This is what brought Young to MTI. He joined the faculty in 2008 and began teaching the Art of Live Presentation, which is a required course at the College. While professional presentation typically conjures images of PowerPoint and other software tools used to actually lead a presentation, the course also is about teaching all of those soft skills that employers look for.

At the same time, Young’s extensive professional background in information technology also made him an obvious candidate to teach courses with an IT focus, such as Computing Essentials and the Microsoft Office 2013 Pro Suite of productivity programs, to students studying business management, accounting, legal, medical, IT, and cosmetology.

For Young, using technology is about more than simply plodding through programs and a series of executions. What he expresses to his students is that technology is something that has a very real impact on the living experience of people everywhere. Being able to connect with people, whether through theatre and performance or by understanding what they need and want from technology, is what drives him.

“From my early days working in the industry, that’s what interested me. How people relate to technology. And I think that’s the unique thing that my background in theatre brings to an IT setting.”

And he’s found the ideal home at MTI.

“The culture here is amazing. Everyone here is really devoted to student outcomes, which is why our students and graduates achieve the levels of success they do. Students here get a lot of guidance and support along the way. What I would say to a student who’s thinking of attending MTI is that you should expect to come out of the experience as an improved ‘you.’”

When he isn’t teaching, Young enjoys traveling to places like New York City—where he once lived briefly—and London. And, clearly, he spends much of his time away from the classroom performing as a way to entertain and enlighten. He enjoys playing the role of Charles Dickens at the Great Dickens Christmas Fair.   But he says there’s a unique sense of fulfillment that comes from teaching performance and information technology at MTI and seeing the transformation that his students experience.

“For me it’s about service and being there for students who are motivated to achieve meaningful goals. It’s really great to see people become awakened to these dynamics and gain an understanding of how to apply them to their careers. Knowing that I’ve played a part in that feels good.”

You’ve made up your mind that you want a career working with technology. Whether you are just beginning your career, you have career experience in other industries or you work in tech and want a different job, you need to know how to apply for jobs in a way that helps you land interviews.

There are certain things you should and shouldn’t do during the process that is looking for a job, tech jobs being no exception. “What are some of those things?” you may be asking. Well, we’re glad you asked because we’ve compiled a list of dos and don’ts below to help your application get noticed, secure an interview and land a job. Good luck!

DON’T home in on just one company or a few different companies

There is no shortage of tech jobs in need of passionate applicants. Wanting to work for Google might be your dream job, but that doesn’t mean it has to be your first job; nor is Google the only tech company looking for employees. If you decide on having an unwavering staunchness in your unwillingness to work for any other employer, you might be waiting a while to get into the tech industry.

Be sure to diversify the companies you apply to and submit quality applications to each one. A wider net will typically result in landing more fish, or jobs, to choose from.

DON’T emphasize quantity over quality when it comes to applications

Notice how in the previous tip we mentioned submitting quality applications. Putting effort into a smaller number of applications for jobs you can truly see yourself doing will, more often than not, yield better success when it comes to getting interviewed for tech jobs, as opposed to blindly firing resumes at hundreds and hundreds of postings across the web.

Submitting a quality application and well-thought-out cover letter shares more about who you are with the potential employer than a simple resume ever could. It takes more time and effort to craft company-specific cover letters, and while it might not be the most enjoyable process, if you submit a few at a time on a consistent basis, your labor should yield more fruits in the form of job interviews.

DON’T hide your employment experience, even if it seems like it is not applicable

Your previous work experience is valuable when applying for tech jobs for a couple of different reasons. It allows prospective employers to see what you have been up to and what kinds of skills you can bring to the table.

Another reason to disclose your work experience is to harness the power of networking. They can see where you have worked or are currently working, which may lead to the discovery of some mutual acquaintances who, in turn, may be contacted to speak highly of you. Many employers fill jobs by hiring people they know or whom their employees know. IT and other tech industry jobs are no exception.

DO APPLY, even if you do not have a tech-related degree

You miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take, or so the old adage goes. Searching for a tech job is no different. Even if you think you might not be qualified and you still apply for the position, you have already increased your chances of landing an interview exponentially. If you have the knowledge needed to do the job but not a degree in computer science, it may be enough in some cases if you are able to demonstrate your skills.

Something on your application may catch the employer’s eye. And, if you never hear from him or her again, that’s basically the worst thing that can happen when you apply. You will not know if you don’t put in the effort and try.

DO differentiate yourself from other applicants

We hit on this earlier in the quality-over-quantity section, but it is important to stand out when applying for jobs in tech or any other industry. Writing a carefully crafted cover letter is a great way to do that. Cover letters allow you the opportunity to tell your future boss who you are, what makes you tick and, perhaps most importantly, why you would be a great fit at the company. Doing that would be rather difficult if you were to simply utilize a cookie-cutter cover letter template. Be yourself and make the most of your cover letters.

DO build your skill set

Are you interested in breaking into the tech industry but worry that you do not quite have the skills or knowledge to start your new career? You might not be as far off as you perceive yourself to be. The IT programs at MTI College are crafted to prepare qualified candidates for the current tech job market.

With a better understanding of what to do and what not to do in your hunt for a position in the tech sector, perhaps you are considering enrolling in an IT program.

MTI College can help you achieve your tech dreams

A stellar education can make all the difference in your pursuit of your dream tech job. Luckily for you, MTI College in Sacramento is proud to offer two unique information technology programs to aid you in starting a rewarding tech career: Technical Support Specialist and Network Administration and Security Associate.

MTI College’s IT programs provide comprehensive computer and information technology training that will help prepare you to be a competent employee in your respective tech specialty. Courses help prepare students for the successful completion of CompTIA A+, Network+, and Security+ certifications. Network Administration students aim for Microsoft MCSA certification in Windows Server 2016.

As a student in MTI College’s IT programs, you will learn a crucial set of skills you can utilize on a daily basis in your future career. You will have the opportunity to learn from MTI’s knowledgeable and experienced instructors who place an emphasis on your IT education.

MTI College full-functioning lab rooms, small class sizes, individualized attention, and resources from Microsoft Imagine Academy, CompTIA Academic Partnership, and LinkedIn’s Lynda.com.

MTI College Career Services Department offers students a wealth of job placement assistance prior to the completion of their respective programs. MTI’s job placement staff helps students and graduates in their quests for employment with resources such as:

  • Resume-writing assistance
  • Mock interviews
  • Other job-searching tools and resources

If you have a passion for working with computers and computer networks, one of MTI College’s IT programs might just be for you. Explore the advantages of MTI College and begin your journey toward your diploma today.

MTI College can help you realize your tech career dreams. Get in touch with us by visiting https://www.mticollege.edu/.

Sean graduated from MTI College’s IT Network Administration program in November 2015. He chose this degree because he believes it to be a skill that is in high demand and realized it is something he is very passionate about. It took him some time to come to this understanding, but the payoff has been well worth it. Immediately after high school, Sean enrolled at his local community college, bouncing from major to major, unsure of what he wanted to pursue. “I really couldn’t find something that would hold my interest and be able to pay the bills,” he recalled. He began looking into IT at the community college but became frustrated with the timeline. If that was something he was going to pursue, it would have taken him about three or four years, because classes were only offered at certain times and dates. Unfortunately, it was something that was just not able to work out with his schedule. “So, I looked around and tried to find a place to get IT training done,” Sean explained. “I found MTI and I loved them because the whole campus works in conjunction with one another. You never had a problem getting the classes you needed to graduate on time.”

According to Sean, the other main factor that determined his decision to enroll at MTI College was the Career Services department. After his first year at MTI, he would have access to temp agencies and job listings that would be mailed out to him to help find jobs within his field. “The job placement rate, within six months after graduation, was 95% when I was there. It couldn’t be beat. I wanted to go to school, and after I was done, I wanted a job. And a 95% chance I’d get a job after the program? That is icing on the cake.”

Sean’s experience at MTI was both humbling and impactful. “My first year there, I walked in thinking I knew so much about computers and the first several classes were introductory and would be very easy.” Although Sean was innately skilled at IT work, his courses were not as easy as he expected. He had one professor in particular who really made an impression. “He is an amazing human being and changed the way I looked at the IT field. Previously I looked at it as something I was good at. Something I could do to support myself and make decent money doing it. But, he helped mold it into a passion for me.” With both respect and a laugh, Sean added, “He really cultivated me and my fellow students into IT professionals as opposed to computer nerds.”

Prior to MTI, the extent of Sean’s experience was fixing computers for his family members and friends. But now, he just finished signing a contract to work as a PC technician for the Roseville Joint Union High School District. He was drawn to this position because his family is in education, as well. His mother works in upper-level management for a university in California and his father is a professor. This position combines his passion for IT and working in an educational environment. “I love being around people who want to learn,” he explained. His responsibilities will range anywhere from basic troubleshooting, to hardware and software updates, to fixing malfunctioning machines and removing viruses. Previous to this position, Sean worked at a software company as a helpdesk analyst, his official title being Customer Experience Specialist. He would work over the phone with employees, utilizing remote control assistance, for a CRM program that the company had built in-house. Sean would also troubleshoot email problems as well as help people get set up with new email addresses and domains.

Sean’s confidence in his ability to perform well in the IT field is inspiring. He attributed this to how well prepared he was through his education at MTI. “I learned enough there that I have not had any problems at all,” he explained. Not once thus far has he felt he did not know what he needed to in order to succeed. “So far with the credentials I earned there, if I get an interview, I get the job. I’ve only interviewed twice since I left MTI and I got the job both times. Partly because of the credentials I earned that they offered and partially because of the shop courses they had.” Sean also had two courses that were focused on preparing students for their career search. These classes taught him how to interview and how to write a resume. “They taught me everything I needed to know about walking into an interview and making the best possible impression.”

Looking back on his journey, Sean undoubtedly made the right choice. “One of the things that a lot of people don’t realize about the IT field is how fulfilling it could be. Because everyone thinks it’s just sitting behind a computer and typing, but really, in all of the jobs that I have had so far, I very much enjoy the fact that I am making other people’s days better.” Before MTI, Sean was a bit of a wanderer. He did not know what he wanted to do with his life and went through multiple majors to figure it out. He started off in culinary science, then went to biology. From there, he tried chemistry and then nutrition. But now, Sean is fixing problems for people and he could not be happier. “A lot of people discount just how people-oriented the IT field really is. And that’s my favorite part of it. I arrive with a smile on my face and leave with a smile on theirs.”

Moving forward, Sean wants to continue building his work experience to move into a higher-level position. He would enjoy being either a network engineer or a server administrator. He has all of the certifications he needs for a server administrator position because of additional courses he was able to take at MTI. He will have to take additional courses in order to be certified as a network engineer, which he plans on doing soon. In this moment, however, he is embracing how far he has come. “I’m employed. I’m a proud member of society. A few months ago, I was able to move out and am paying the bills on my own. MTI really was the launching platform for my adult, professional life.” He even referred his “better half” to MTI, as well. “I basically dragged her behind me,” he laughed. She went through one of MTI’s healthcare programs and had no problem getting a job in the medical field once she graduated.

Honestly, Sean would recommend MTI College to everyone. “MTI really sparked a fire in me that nowhere else really had. And every day now I go to a job that I love doing. I wake up in the morning happy to go to work. I don’t think that had I picked one of those other fields that I could have said that.”

Throughout history, boys have been encouraged to enter technical fields, and girls directed toward the arts because some have felt girls aren’t as competent as boys in those fields. What a misconception! Although this stereotype of women has permeated the work force for years, corporate leaders—especially those in technology —are rethinking that unfair classification.

According to NCWIT’s Women in IT, women in technology are making strides, but the numbers are not there yet. In the computing workforce, only 26 percent are women; just 7 percent are minority women. Only 20 percent of Fortune 100 companies are led by female CIOs. Even though women do the work, they are not getting the compensation they deserve.

On average, women must work 15.5 months to reach the salary a man earns in 12. Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff is one of those leaders who is trying to close the gender gap, hoping for a change that will bring equality to the work force and put more women in technology. Many Silicon Valley tech firms—Apple, IBM, Microsoft, Dropbox, Facebook and LinkedIn—are following suit. Last year, they signed the White House Equal Pay Pledge, promising to conduct an annual gender pay analysis and review hiring practices to check for biases.

Although there are still some roadblocks to overcome, there are opportunities. LinkedIn reports that the rate of female technical new hires rose 24.4 percent between 2008 and 2016. That’s promising—especially for women contemplating studying information technology. MTI College is the place to start. MTI’s IT program prepares you for an entry-level position as a technical support specialist.

Women have made tremendous achievements in the field of technology. Perhaps one day you will make your mark in the world as these women did with their breakthrough discoveries in computing, communications and gaming.

First computer programmer, a 19th century royal

Ada Byron, Duchess of Lovelace, could have followed in the footsteps of her famous father, poet Lord Byron. Instead, she chose mathematics—unusual for a female born in 1815. She helped document notes on the “Analytical Engine” that her boss, Charles Babbage, invented in 1843. Ada’s algorithm to help Babbage’s machine count Bernoulli numbers earned her recognition as the first computer programmer. Sadly, Babbage was unable to secure funding, and his “computer” never came to fruition.

Rear admiral at the forefront of programming

Grace Hopper was a rear admiral in the U.S. Navy during World War II, but her other titles included “Queen of Software” and “Grandma COBOL.” She was known for developing English-language programming language, including FLOW=MATIC language that Common Business-Oriented Language (COBOL) was based on. In the 1950s, she was senior mathematician for a company that developed UNIVAC, the second commercial computer produced in the United States. At the same time, she created the “A compiler,” a program that translates source code from one computer language to another. Curiously, Hopper was the first to coin the word “bug” to describe a computer glitch after she discovered a real moth that got into her computer and caused a problem. To honor her legacy, the largest conference of women in technology, Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing, is named after her.

From Golden Age of Hollywood screen sensation to Wi-Fi pioneer

In the 1920s, Hedy Lamarr dazzled Hollywood as a beautiful screen star, but during World War II she used her talents to fight the Nazis. She and her co-inventor, George Anthiel, developed spread spectrum technology, an early form of encryption technology. They manipulated radio signals to control torpedoes remotely, forming an unbreakable code to prevent the interception of classified messages by the enemy. The technology was first used on naval ships during the Cuban Missile Crisis, and years later was the foundation for Bluetooth technology, Wi-Fi and Code Division Multiple Access (CDMI).

“Necessity is the mother of invention”

Police were slow to respond to emergencies in Marie Van Brittan Brown’s crime-riddled Queens, New York neighborhood. She took matters into her own hands to keep her home and family safe and secured a patent in 1966 for a home security system that featured peepholes, a camera, a monitor, a two-way microphone and an alarm button that reached the police. Her system was the basis for modern CCTV systems used for home security and police work today.

Bell Labs employees make strides in communications

Talk about multitasking! Dr. Erna Schneider Hoover worked in the technology department at Bell Laboratories during a time that they had an excessive volume of incoming calls. While she was in the hospital after giving birth to her second daughter, Dr. Hoover developed a telephony switching computer program that kept phones functioning during periods of heavy call volume without dropping calls. Her patent in 1971 was one of the first software patents issued.

Another Bell employee, Dr. Shirley Jackson, a theoretical physicist and the first African-American woman to earn a PhD from MIT, conducted breakthrough scientific research that enabled others to go on to invent the portable fax, the touchtone telephone, fiber optic cables and the technology behind Caller ID and Call Waiting.

Contributing toward a big slice of the Apple pie

Back when Steve Jobs was creating the Apple computer, graphic designer Susan Kare worked alongside him as the artist who, in a way, humanized the Mac. She crafted many of the now-standard pixelized interface elements, like the Mac smile, the trash can icon, the invaluable command icon and more. When Jobs left Apple in the mid-1980s, Kare followed. She worked for Microsoft, making Windows 3.0 user friendly, and then went on to do work for Facebook and PayPal.

Small screens and big dreams

Mary Lou Jepsen is an innovative technical executive and industry leader in screen display and imaging. At Facebook, she worked with Virtual Reality. At Google X, she created Google Lego TV. And as founder and former CEO of Pixel Qi in Taiwan, she helped develop low-power, sunlight-readable screens for mobile devices. Jepsen had a dream, however, to provide a computer to every child. She produced the XO, a low-power, low-cost notebook prototype for the nonprofit she co-founded: One Laptop Per Child. Her latest endeavor is Openwater, a company she founded with the goal of using a high-resolution 3D camera to see far into the body with explicit detail.

Fun and games that pay off

A pioneer and visionary in the graphic adventure games industry, Roberta Williams is best known for her PC adventure game series King’s Quest, which has had seven sequels. She and her husband, Ken Williams, founded Sierra On-Line Systems (later known as Sierra On-Line). Roberta popularized the gaming industry with her games’ intricate storylines and complex puzzles that enticed players to fight their way to victory.

Technology’s potential is limitless, and job growth looks good. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment for technical support specialists is expected to grow faster than average for all occupations. Industry leaders continue to acknowledge the importance of female workers and are vowing to employ more women. If you would like to be among the growing list, MTI College can help prepare you for a career in technology.

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