Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Certification, not degree, Secured IT Job

Certification, not College, Secured Vet’s IT Job

An IT career was something John Barnes pursued for years, completing online-college level IT classes while enlisted in the Navy and working as an aircraft mechanic.  But it wasn’t until he completed CompTIA certifications required by Department of Defense Directive 8570, that John won his first IT job.

 “I didn’t get my first break until after obtaining Security+, which met one of the DoD Directives,” says John, now a help desk analyst with the U.S. Army Reserves (USARC) at U.S. Army Forces Command (FORSCOM) in North Carolina. 
In 2010, after five years in military service, he had to decide whether re-up with the Navy for an aircraft-centric career, or transition out of the service and pursue IT, the field he had long preferred, full time.
The economy was in recession. But John thought he had an advantage because—despite moves from naval air stations in Maine, to Fla., and tours of duty in Qatar and Africa—he had steadily taken college-level IT classes and online, pursing a bachelor’s degree in information technology through an online university.
“I was almost done with my degree, I thought I’d get out, and I should be fine,” recalls John, explaining that he liked the diversity of opportunities, growth and the security of the IT job market.
But after his discharge on Sept. 15, 2010, John was only offered contract aircraft mechanic jobs, most in Iraq or Afghanistan on a four-month rotation.  “Every time I went to a job fair (seeking an IT job), people would say, ‘we need you to have certifications,’” recalls John. “They were looking for someone who has A+, Network+ or other certifications.”
So John put his degree on hold and started working on his first certification: CompTIA Network+, an exam he successfully took (despite not having the A+ credential) soon after finishing a networking course.
He began looking for a job after the winter holidays, once he had earned what he dubs “The CompTIA Three”  (the A+, Network+ and Security+ credentials). He found his current job in about four weeks, starting in February.
He’s proud of his first IT job, which he secured through a recruiter, but plans to move beyond the help desk role.  Short term, he next aims for an enterprise desktop support job.  He plans to earn more certifications (Active Directory, Server Infrastructure, CCENT and CCNA) using his GI benefits, with a long-term goal of becoming a security administrator and later completing his bachelor’s degree in IT with a concentration in security.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Veterans Administration Accelerated payments for Training

What is an Accelerated Payment?
An accelerated payment is a lump sum payment of 60% of the tuition and fees for certain high cost, high tech programs. The Veterans Administration will make accelerated payments for one term, quarter, or semester at a time. However, if the program is not offered on a term, quarter or semester basis, the accelerated payment is paid for the entire program. To qualify, you must certify that you intend to seek employment in a high tech industry as defined by the VA. Accelerated payment is paid instead of regular Montgomery GI Bill - Active Duty (Chapter 30) benefits that you would otherwise receive.

Can I receive accelerated payments for computer training and certification courses?
Yes, as long as the courses have been approved for Veteran Administration benefits.

How much might the VA pay for a computer certification course?
To determine the exact amount of your benefits you must call the Veterans Administration at 1-888-GI-BILL-1 (1-888-442-4551) to speak with a Veterans Benefits Counselor.
The Veterans Administration pays for 60% of tuition and fees and 100% for certification tests under the Accelerated Payment plan.

Who qualifies for accelerated payments?
Only individuals eligible for the Montgomery GI Bill - Active Duty (Chapter 30) qualify for accelerated payments.
What programs qualify for accelerated payment?
Both degree and non-degree programs qualify. You must be enrolled in a program in one of the following categories:
  • Life Science or physical science (but not social science)
  • Engineering (all fields)
  • Mathematics
  • Engineering and science technology
  • Computer specialties
  • Engineering, science and computer management
What industries qualify for accelerated payments?
You must intend to seek employment in one of the following industries:
  • Biotechnology
  • Life Science Technologies
  • Opto-Electronics
  • Computers and Telecommunications
  • Electronics
  • Computer-integrated manufacturing
  • Material Design
  • Aerospace
  • Weapons
  • Nuclear Technology
  • Any other identified advanced technologies in the biennial Science and Engineering Indicators report published by the National Science Foundation
How do I apply for accelerated payments?
Ask your school to include you request for accelerated payment to the Veterans Administration when it sends your enrollment information to VA for processing. Your request must include your certification that you plan to seek employment in the a high technology industry.
How is my education entitlement charged for accelerated payment?
The Veterans Administration will divide your accelerated payment by the amount of your full-time monthly rate (including kickers and additional contributions) and will reduce your entitlement by the resulting number of months and days. If you do not have sufficient entitlement to cover 60% of tuition and fees, the VA will pay you based on your actual remaining entitlement.

When can accelerated payments be made?
Accelerated payments may only be made for terms or other enrollment periods that begin on or after October 1, 2002.
Can school related expenses (such as books, supplies, and living expenses) be counted as tuition and fees for accelerated payments?
No. Only the school's tuition and fees can be considered for accelerated payment.

Visit CertificationCity.com for Training and Certification in the IT and Computer Field

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

How much money will I get under the Post-9/11 GI Bill?

How much money will I get under the Post-9/11 GI Bill?

The Post-9/11 GI Bill reimburses your tuition & fees to your school and makes housing and other payments directly to you.
Your school will receive a percentage, as determined by your length of active duty service, of the following:
  1. For resident students at a public Institution of Higher Learning (IHL) all tuition & fee payments are reimbursed.
  2. For private and foreign IHLs tuition & fee reimbursement is capped at $17,500 per academic year.
  3. For students whose tuition & fees exceed $17,500 per academic year who are attending a private IHL in AZ, MI, NH, NY, PA, SC or TX and have been enrolled in the same program since January 4, 2011 schools will be reimbursed either the actual cost of the program or the maximum in-state tuition & fee reimbursement rate for the 2010-2011school year, whichever is greater.
  4. For reimbursement information for on-the job or apprenticeship programs click here
  5. For reimbursement information for vocational flight training programs click here
If you are attending a public IHL as a non-resident student or a private IHL that is more expensive than the $17,500 cap you may be eligible for extra payment under the Yellow Ribbon program.
You may also be directly paid:
  • A monthly housing allowance (MHA) equal to the basic allowance for housing (BAH) amount payable to an E-5 with dependents, in same zip code as your school. This allowance is paid proportionately based on your enrollment.
    • If you are attending school at the 1/2 time or less rate or are on active duty or the spouse of an active duty member receiving "Transferred Benefits" you will not receive any MHA.
    • If you are attending school overseas you will receive a MHA of $1,346.88 a month for 2011 which is the average amount for all CONUS locations (that amount will change to $1,368.00 for the 2012 academic year.
    • If you are enrolled solely in distance learning you will receive a housing allowance equal to 1/2 the national average.
  • A yearly books and supplies stipend of up to $1000 paid proportionately based on enrollment
  • A one time payment of $500 may be payable to certain individuals relocating from highly rural areas.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

VA GI Bill Benefits Guide

Reimbursement Programs

Most Cisco Certification exams are eligible for reimbursement under the G.I. Bill. Effective August 1, 2011, you may be entitled to reimbursement for more than one “license or certification” test (previously only one test was allowed).

  • Military Education Benefits Users Guide: Review the most common military educational benefits you could be entitled to.
  • COOL (Credentialing Opportunities On-Line): COOL can help you find civilian credentials related to your military occupational specialty, understand what it takes to obtain the credentials, and see if there are available programs that will help pay credentialing fees.
  • DANTES: The mission of this organization is to support the off-duty voluntary education programs of the U.S. Department of Defense.
  • Military Spouse and Family Assistance Programs: Learn more about the education benefits the DoD, Dept. of Veterans Affairs, and each of the service's have to offer. Many spouses now also qualify for GI Bill transferability.
  • MyCAA: This employment assistance program provides up to $4,000 of financial assistance to eligible military spouses who are pursuing a license, certification or Associate’s degree in a portable career field and occupation. 
  • ebenefits.va.gov

    Don't forget that TrainingPlanet.com online and self study IT certification courses are available and also various IT 'Boot Camps' nationwide.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Certification Secured Vet’s First IT Job

Certification Secured Vet’s First IT Job

An IT career was something Derrick Graham pursued for years, completing online-college level IT classes while enlisted in the Navy and working as an aircraft mechanic.  But it wasn’t until he completed CompTIA certifications required by Department of Defense Directive 8570 at a New Horizons Learning Center in Durham, N.C., that Graham won his first IT job. “I didn’t get my first break until after obtaining Security+, which met one of the DoD Directives,” says Graham, now a help desk analyst with the U.S. Army Reserves (USARC) at U.S. Army Forces Command (FORSCOM) at Fort Bragg in North Carolina. CertificationCity.com is working with CompTIA to get more military veterans into IT careers through our Troops to Tech Careers program.  

Check your benefits here

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Become CCNP and CCIE Written Certified in Three Weeks

Become CCNP and CCIE Written Certified in Three Weeks

Are you ready to take your CCNA certification to the next level?

Don't miss this chance to become CCNP and CCIE Written Certified in Three Weeks, Guaranteed!

CompTIA SmartBrief