IT Career Juice Blog


Jumpstart your career with the latest and greatest news on IT hiring trends, emerging technologies, and the skills and certifications that modern employers demand. Blog posts are written by subject matter experts, and continually updated with current figures and analyses.


Featured Posts

Soft Skills to Excel as an IT Help Desk Technician

Master Technician, Darril Gibson, breaks down the essential soft skills for peak performance and upward mobility in IT help desk job roles.

Top Soft Skills for IT Careers

Help desk technicians (and all IT professionals) need a full range of hard and soft skills to excel in their career. Hard skills are specific, measurable abilities, such as configuring Windows or troubleshooting a Cisco network, while soft skills refer to a person’s capacity to effectively interact with others. As demand for IT talent continues to rise and the workforce becomes more competitive, those who compliment their knowledge and training with superior soft skills will be in the best position for long-term success.

Here are five of the most advantageous soft skills for IT help desk technicians:

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IT Jobs 2013: Top 10 Programming Languages In-Demand

Aggregate posts from the leading job boards indicate the best programming languages to land a job in 2013.

Programming Skills in Demand

With IT budgets at a five-year high, progressive organizations are developing new software systems and applications to boost performance, reduce costs and expand their reach across a fast-growing digital marketplace. The resulting increase in programming and development projects has placed computer programmers among this year's most sought-after professionals (IT or otherwise). 

CIO.com, a leading resource for IT executives, along with job board aggregator, Indeed.com, analyzed programming and development job offers across the top job boards to determine this year’s hottest programming languages. We built on this top-notch analysis to identify some of the key factors driving workforce demand for each language.

Here are the most marketable programming languages in 2013:

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IT Certification Path for Network Administrators

Darril Gibson, certified technical trainer and best-selling author of IT study guides, lays out a rock-solid IT certification path to begin or advance your career as a network administrator.

it networking certification path

Aspiring IT professionals frequently ask me questions like “How can I get into an IT job?” and “What is the best IT certification path for a network administrator?” Unfortunately, there isn't a one-size-fits-all answer because there are so many variables, such as how much knowledge you start with and what type of jobs are available where you live.

However, if you are focused on landing an IT job and you‘re willing to take the time to master the materials, you can earn several certifications that will make you highly desirable as a network administrator, one of the industry’s most essential and opportunity-rich positions. Learn the material, earn the certifications, and you’ll have an opportunity to shine at network administration job interviews.

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IT Certifications vs. Experience vs. Degree

Scott Skinger, CEO and Founder of TrainSignal, answers the age-old question of aspiring IT professionals; “Which is most important to landing the job: IT certifications, real-world experience or a college degree?”

it certifications vs experience

It’s that inevitable fork in the road for an IT professional. Determining the path that will lead you to the most success when sprucing up your resume to land that next job. What are employers looking for? Certifications? Experience? Degrees? Some combination of the three? It’s a dilemma faced by many looking to launch or advance their careers.

Ten years ago, I founded my company TrainSignal to develop training courses that help IT professionals learn new skills to grow their careers. Over the years, I've spoken to a lot of hiring managers to understand what grabs their attention when evaluating resumes. As it turns out, most are zoning in on those three factors: IT certifications, hands-on experience and education. So how do you determine the right blend to wow your future employer?

Here are some considerations when weighing the value of certifications, experience and degrees:

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What’s New in Cisco’s CCNA 2013 Certification Exam

Cisco has redesigned its CCNA certification to better align with next-gen IT job roles. This article looks at major updates to the new CCNA Routing & Switching credential, plus the key facts you should know to stay ahead of the curve.

Whats New CCNA Certification

The Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) is Cisco’s most popular certification, and one of the IT industry’s most marketable and prolific career credentials. CCNA certification demonstrates competence as a network professional, and proves that a certified pro can install, configure, operate and troubleshoot routed & switched networks.

As technology advances and networks become increasingly sophisticated, the job roles of network professionals evolve in turn. Cisco’s revamp of its flagship credential improves CCNA training and certification curricula by incorporating the skills IT professionals need to manage the networks of today -- and tomorrow.

Important changes re new CCNA Routing & Switching

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Escalating Cyber Attacks Spark IT Security Job Growth

An increase in high-profile cyber security breaches is driving new and emerging opportunities in the IT job market. This article presents a look at noteworthy attacks and the in-demand skills and cyber security job roles employers must fill to combat future threats.

Cyber Security Job Market

Despite recent advancements in cyber security infrastructure and technologies, the frequency and severity of high-profile attacks is on the rise. A January 2013 attack on the U.S. Energy Department is the latest in a string of malicious technological assaults targeting The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal and social media giant, Twitter. During the last several years, governments and corporations alike have seen critical digital defenses circumvented by sport-hackers, political dissidents and technologically-inclined malcontents. These attacks and thousands of others have reinforced the demand for a competent cadre of next-generation IT security specialists.

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Highest Paying IT College Majors

New workforce studies indicate the best computer majors by salary.

Best Computer College Majors 2013

I'm always analyzing employment studies and talking with technology executives about the IT skills and certifications they’re looking for in new hires. In addition to experience and credentials, education is a key factor in landing your dream job. In this article we’re going back to school for a look at the best paying IT majors of study.

The January 2013 salary survey from the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), which tracks college graduates’ job offers, and a recent Georgetown University study based on employment data from the U.S. Census Bureau, independently verified that Computer Science (CS), Computer Engineering (CE) and Computer Information Systems (CIS) graduates earn the highest starting salaries of all technology majors.

Here's a breakdown of the top 3 best paying IT majors:

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How to Practice Configuring Routers and Switches

For concert pianists and network administrators alike, practice makes perfect. Certified Cisco Instructor, Mark Sabo, explores the best ways to hone your routing & switching skills.

Ways to Configure Routers and Switches

One of the most common questions my students ask is, “What can I do to get more practice configuring routers and switches?” The best thing you can do is to go out and get some real equipment and build your own lab environment. Nothing beats having real equipment to touch, smell and practice with. You can find cheap routers and switches on the internet; eBay is the most popular place where people go to unload their old equipment for dirt cheap instead of trashing it. You don’t need new, expensive equipment for a home practice lab, and this presents the best opportunity. For those of us who don’t want to spend money on a practice lab, or want the flexibility of playing with routers wherever we are, there's GNS3.

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