Making Networking Work for You

It’s not enough to simply send out your resume and hope for offers to come your way. In today’s job market, knowing someone could be the best way to get your foot in the door. The key is to connect with contacts who are relevant to your industry—and the type of career you’re pursuing. Luckily, there are plenty of solid strategies to help you cultivate a professional network and open up potential career opportunities.

When to Start Networking

The sooner you start networking, the better. In fact, a good time to take advantage of networking opportunities is while you’re still in school. That’s because you are likely surrounded by large pools of people who are interested in pursuing careers in related fields and by professors who could be invaluable sources for building new professional contacts.

In addition, if your school offers clubs or groups related to your industry of choice, joining one or more of them might be a great way to practice your business networking skills. Another option is to volunteer or intern at a company that’s relevant to your career goals—you could make connections with people in your industry who might eventually lead you to a job opportunity once you graduate.

How to network

The first step to networking successfully almost always begins with striking up conversations with strangers. There’s no getting around it. Often the hardest part is making that first contact—an easy way to do that is to jump in and introducing yourself. Then, it’s time to find common ground and learn more about the person by asking questions. You’d be surprised to find how much people enjoy talking about themselves if you give them the chance!

However, it’s not enough to just meet new people. You have to maintain relationships if you’re looking to build potential resources for future employment searches.

10 important networking tips

Now that you’re more familiar with how to network, it’s time to explore some strategies to become more effective at it. Some of these tips may seem obvious, but it’s easy to throw them by the wayside when you’re actually in conversation.

1. Be yourself

Many people can spot a phony, so be authentic. Show your true self rather than trying to put on a front to impress others. And don’t be afraid to add some humor into the conversation to lighten things up.

2. Be aware of your body language

It’s important that you appear open and confident in your body language. That means keeping your arms uncrossed, making direct eye contact, and, of course, giving off positive vibes with a genuine smile.

3. Be an active listener

Being a good listener entails really paying attention to what people are saying rather than just thinking about how you might respond. A good tip to try is to repeat the other person’s point in your own words. This shows that you are listening and that you understand what they are saying.

4. Never dismiss anyone as “unimportant”

A big mistake people often make is to write off others before getting to know them. You never know who could introduce you to your next boss—or be your next boss.

5. Connect the dots

A huge part of being a successful networker is to help other people connect, even if there’s nothing that is obviously in it for you. It’s important to be a giver and not a taker. In other words, leave your personal agenda at the door. If you go into conversations only thinking about what you might get from the other person, you’re doomed to fail.

6. Ask for introductions

One of the best ways to connect with important people is to be introduced by someone that they already trust—so don’t be afraid to ask. You have nothing to lose!

7. Follow up without being pushy

It’s always a good idea to follow up with a timely email—or even a chat on the phone. Just be wary of coming off as too desperate if you aren’t able to connect initially. Give the person time to respond on their own terms.

8. Stay connected

If you get a referral from one of your contacts, make sure to keep in touch about how the new connection is going. This could show your appreciation for the introduction typically help make it more likely that the referrals will continue.

9. Build a strong online presence

Tapping into online networking resources is pretty much a must in this digital age. Construct a professional and comprehensive LinkedIn profile with a compelling headline and a high-quality profile picture. Don’t just passively wait for others to see your profile—post industry-relevant content on your LinkedIn feed, engage with other’s content, participate in LinkedIn groups, and make sure to keep your profile up to date.

Consider engaging in other social media platforms as well. There are hundreds of them out there, and some are particularly relevant to specific industries. For example, platforms such as Instagram, Behance, Pinterest, or Tumblr could be particularly beneficial for those in the visual arts. Software developers might check out Stack Overflow or Find Nerd.

10. Be aware of your digital image

Review all your current social media profiles to ensure they don’t include anything inappropriate or offensive—some employers check social media sites as part of their screening process. Also, Google yourself frequently to see the kinds of results that are generated.

It’s understandable that putting yourself out there might feel intimidating. But building both your professional and social contacts could be a great way to expose yourself to people who could help further your career ambitions. Being comfortable and confident in your interactions with others is also a skill that could take you far in business, regardless of whether or not you’re looking for new job opportunities. So get yourself out there and remember to pay it forward!


What is the Singularity …is it a Danger?

The Singularity could refer to various future scenarios. What is the Singularity when it comes to AI? The technology Singularity refers to a time when AI may advance beyond human intelligence.

Contrary to many media claims, the Singularity isn’t happening right now. In fact, it’s unlikely to for decades and may never occur. We may better understand the implications of a potential Singularity by clarifying AI definitions.

These varieties of AI may help you understand what the Singularity could mean more clearly. Here we’ll discuss the current debate about the possibility and impossibility of the Singularity to highlight distinctions in AI variations.
We’ll also provide benefits and drawbacks for AI. Gaining a better grasp of how AI works could help you understand The Singularity and why it may or may not matter to you.

Singularity Definition

The Singularity is a hypothetical idea about a potential future. It’s not inevitable. In fact, scientists, experts, and engineers debate if it’s even possible. For AI Singularity to happen, artificial intelligence must advance beyond that of humans.

That’s key to the Singularity definition – intelligence that surpasses human cognition. This idea makes headlines. But it’s not necessarily worthy of them. In fact, the notion may sometimes create more disinformation than news.

Jared Holt, from the think tank Institute for Strategic Dialogue, speaks to this. He says companies like Microsoft and Google inflate the potential of their products. That this ignores embedded limits and flaws within their AI propagates disinformation.

Fact is, the Singularity likely doesn’t pose a danger to us. But media misinformation, like what Holt points to, might. Let’s explore facts and definitions for a better understanding of AI and its potential impact.

What is the Singularity | AI Pros and Cons

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What is intelligence?

The notion of AI as “smart” raises the question – what is intelligence? If we’re to believe the hype of AI creators and proponents, data regurgitation qualifies as intellect. That’s because AI language models and data processors copy data patterns and mimic human communication to deliver data results to users.

This may be a form of knowing… but could knowledge at this level equal or surpass human intelligence? One way to test this might be to ask if AI can apply its learned information in a meaningful way.

The definitions of knowledge and intelligence show this difference between them. Intelligence is about the application of learning rather than just its access and delivery. Applied learning works with information, it may make improvements or adjustments.

For instance, AI can access and deliver the data for how to build a bird feeder. But can it suggest how to make a better bird feeder than one that currently exists? The intelligence it takes to do this kind of work involves understanding the experience of owning or using a bird feeder.

AI can’t have a human (or bird) experience. Humans have ideas about things that haven’t been thought about yet – a better bird feeder than this one. AI can create new content from old content. But can it have new ideas?

AI is a machine that converts data inputs into organized outputs. These outputs seem meaningful and relevant to our human brains. But the AI makes data connections thanks to software programming. It isn’t making meaning as a human brain does.

Our minds have complex neural processing linked to our human experience. It’s a level of awareness beyond the AI realm of possibility. We’re impressed with AI results because our complex minds can interpret AI outputs as meaningful. But it’s our interpretation that makes this meaning, not the AI.
This isn’t to say that human experience and consciousness equals intelligence. But experience and awareness inform our intelligence by creating meaning out of data. This process, crucial to intellect, isn’t possible for AI.

AI can infer probabilities and find correlations. While impressive, these processes aren’t interpretations or awareness.


What is AGI

AGI stands for artificial general intelligence. It’s defined as AI that reaches the level of human intelligence. Although many creators and marketers for AI products claim their work can elevate AI to this point, it’s debatable.

This type of AI contrasts with ANI, artificial narrow intelligence. ANI has a detailed, designated purpose. Specificity of design and execution make ANI achievable and even impressive. Generative AI, such as ChatGPT, serves as an example.

But contrast, artificial general intelligence remains unspecified by definition. Experts, philosophers, and researchers point out gaps between AI’s promises and accomplishments. It’s in this void that we see the consequences of that vagueness.

Is artificial general intelligence possible ?

You’ll find varying answers to this question depending on who you ask. AI creators, such as Google’s DeepMind CEO, will say yes. While most AI scholars and experts, without dollars at stake, point to its impossibility.

Even the OpenAI blog from the creators of Chat GPT, speaks of AGI in terms of “if” it is possible. These proponents of AGI’s potential tend to speak of human level intelligence in terms of work productivity.

That’s because AI systems may be programmed to outperform human workers at certain tasks. For instance, computers can work faster at calculations and data summaries than humans. This doesn’t necessarily give AI greater intellectual capability than humans, though that may often be the claim.

For instance, an AI can output list of historical dates to perform faster than a human on a multiple-choice test on historic dates. But can an AI construct a better essay regarding the significance of those dates with insight into their relevance today?

Is artificial general intelligence possible? Not at our current technological state. But we don’t know what innovations may come. So, AGI doesn’t exist, but the possibility for it in the future does.

Why isn’t generative AI the same as AGI ?

Generative AI is a form of ANI. Artificial narrow intelligence (ANI) performs a particular function within a narrow framework and specific skillset.

In the case of generative AI, that framework is a dataset, such as a designated section of the internet. Generative AI creates content within that domain and through a specific language model.

AGI stands for artificial general intelligence. It’s non-specific and aspires to achieve any task a human can perform. Generative AI isn’t quite as ambitious as AGI… and that may be the smartest thing about it.

What is ASI ?

Imagine a computer programmed with super intelligence surpassing that of humans. What is ASI? It proposes the reality of this awe-inspiring concept. If ASI existed, it would function beyond human capabilities. However, many researchers, scientists, and experts argue that ASI may only ever be just an idea.

Others, especially computer scientists and AI creators, claim ASI could materialize anytime from 2065 to 100 years from now. This presupposes technology that doesn’t yet exist and requires massive speculation. But we get it, the resulting thought experiments might be fun.

Is superintelligence possible ?

ASI isn’t yet possible. However, we don’t know if it might become possible someday. Much like artificial general intelligence, artificial super intelligence is currently only an intriguing idea. It’s a powerful concept, creating more media buzz than most ideas merit.

Still, humans continue to ask, is superintelligence possible? Reasons for these queries span the gamut, from Hollywood movies to workplace disruptions and human mortality.

  • • Potential for the Singularity tends to raise emotions from excitement to fear of death.
  • • It can often be a fun thought experiment.
  • • Some share concerns that AI may replace their jobs or even careers.

Maybe someday ASI could become possible. That’s all it takes to inspire wild musings across the globe. From science fiction stories to morning shows, humans can’t get enough of the idea that computers will one day outdo us.

Media outlets also seem remind us on a regular basis that AI can help do tasks we’d rather not. From navigating us home to summarizing massive amounts of data, AI has perks.

What are the Benefits of AI ?

There are several potential benefits of AI. Employers are investing millions into artificial intelligence tools and apps in efforts to boost their bottom line. That’s why many researchers and media outlets focus their AI interest on its potential impact on business, work, and the overall economy.

For instance, McKinsey claims to have found 63 generative AI use cases spanning 16 business functions that may deliver a total value in the range of $2.6 trillion to $4.4 trillion in global economic benefits per year.

Let’s break out potential benefits to see how AI could impact workplaces.

  • • Increased efficiencies for AI implemented tasks. An example might be searching for, filtering, and summarizing libraries of relevant information for researchers.
  • • Faster customer service capabilities. For instance, chatbots and self-checkouts reduce time for customers who may otherwise await assistance.
  • • Fewer opportunities for human error. Although AI can’t provide a human touch, it also doesn’t get tired or need regenerative personal time.

These examples of potential AI perks are grounded in former user experiences and results. There may be many more possible benefits to come that we haven’t even imagined yet.

What are the Dangers of AI?

AI has also presented us with drawbacks based on user patterns and results. These may sometimes have a negative economic and/or social impact. So, it could be useful to weigh them against the potential benefits.

  • • Increased unemployment due to workforce replacements by AI. Many content creators may find their work can be done more cheaply by generative AI.
  • • Discriminatory filters embedded into AI applications may impact user perspectives and subsequent behavior.
  • • Outdated or corrupted data may lead to the spread of misinformation. This could have a negative impact on society if not regulated or at least vetted.


What is the Singularity but a mere idea compared to the far reaching benefits and drawbacks of AI at work today. It’s the difference between potential and reality. It’s intriguing and may even be fun to ponder the Singularity definition.

But the Singularity doesn’t present a danger currently. Instead, we can more deeply invest in the potential benefits of AI and respect its limitations. Interested in studying these possibilities? Click our links below to check out artificial intelligence degrees and programs.

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How to use AI Research for Writing a Paper 

How to use AI Research for Writing a Paper

AI research could work for you as an ethical and efficient tool to help construct a paper. From ideation to creating a hypothesis, AI could kick off your research. Then artificial intelligence could also guide your construction of an outline and your structural content.

Let’s explore how to use AI research at each phase of writing your next paper. We created this step-by-step guide to help you. It includes relevant AI research and writing resources. This article could also help streamline your writing process without raising plagiarism concerns.

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How to use AI apps for research

As your paper’s due date encroaches, you might find yourself facing a blank doc on your computer screen. We understand. Sometimes it’s tough to get started or you may also feel stuck at points along the path. Here’s an outline of the creation phases with AI research apps to stimulate and streamline your writing process from start to finish.

Ideation This phase involves brainstorming, investigating, and blue sky thinking. Reach for the stars and don’t worry about the solidity of your ideas yet. Stay open minded and write it all down. Sometimes a seemingly crazy idea could inspire greatness.

AI apps for ideation: Ayoa, Itonics, Coggle
Features/Tools: mind maps, whiteboards, collaboration games, idea targeting, flow charts

Hypothesis Establishing a hypothesis lays the foundation for your research paper. It’s the core element of your idea. Some find a hypothesis by analyzing data. Others make an educated guess. Then they check the data for supportive material and conclusions. Sometimes research disproves the hypothesis, which could also make for a great paper.

AI apps for hypothesizing: Hyperwrite, Study Corgi,
Features/Tools: topic simplifier, thesis tester, research library creator, translator

Outlining Preparing an outline establishes a logical flow of ideas and punctuates the major points of your paper for clarity. With this goal in mind, you may want to check the order of concepts in your outline and summarize each one a bit. This could help your stick to the point and ultimately make your paper easier for the reader to understand.

AI apps for outlines: Hypotenuse, Taskade,
Features/Tools: keyword generator, custom tone, bullets, headlines

Structured Content Building the body of your draft involves reflection on each outlined section and summary. This is where you bring in the details and nuance that truly make the paper your personal take on the research. It’s the phase where your writing lays out the facts and develops your insights.

AI apps for structure: Scite, Trinka, Elicit, Scholarcy
Features/Tools: reference checks, academic writing language correction, data summary

These tools might seem too good to be true. But they can’t write the paper for you. However, using them in a thoughtful way could mean cutting down your research and writing workload.

AI is engineered to increase efficiencies and these apps are typically designed to suit your research needs. Eager to check them out but harboring worries about ethics? Let’s address this concern.


Is using AI plagiarism?

AI on its own can’t constitute plagiarism. Just like a book can’t plagiarize itself, AI plagiarism requires unethical human usage. You can could avoid using AI research apps in an unethical way with a few simple steps. Follow these guidelines to keep your AI research and writing ethical without losing efficiencies.

Create Structure
Generative AI results usually deliver content in organized bullets and paragraphs. This order of information can could help stimulate and inspire your structure. You can could match the system of organization without plagiarizing the content. Simply use your own words and corresponding ideas.

The body of your paper could be well informed by AI research without plagiarism. It’s a matter of digesting AI summaries and constructing new phrasing to express the ideas that could fit your premise.

This means more than rewording or simply paraphrasing. Your research paper has its own premise with writing that backs it up with clear logic. So, that means using ideas that could fit your chosen story.

Cite Sources
Research involves facts and data. To cite them, you’ll need to show sources. This can could be done by either using AI that cites sources or looking up the data and facts to find sources yourself.
It’s standard practice in research and paper writing to provide a valid resource. That means the government, a university, or an esteemed institution makes for a preferred source.

How AI could help you outline and construct a paper

AI research could help you in many ways. But it’s especially good for summarizing large amounts of data into bite-size chunks. That’s how AI could help when conducting research and writing about your results.

Some AI research apps have better sourcing and are typically more reliable than others. Artificial intelligence also usually offers specific efficiencies. So, it may be helpful to pay attention to the specific tools of each. That way you’ve got the perfect app for the job at hand.

Let’s look at this in action with generative AI and outlining. We’ll break it down to help you see how an AI research app could help at each step of the process.

How does generative AI work?

Generative AI apps combine a large knowledge base with a language model. The knowledge base could range anywhere from a massive website, such as, to the internet at large. A language model programs the computer to engage in a simulated conversation with a user.

These elements of generative AI function through machine learning. That means the computer program teaches itself the data within the knowledge base. The system then processes that information for the user, communicating the data through the language model.

How AI could help with outlining

Using generative AI involves the following steps to create an outline and structure for a research paper.

  1. Discovery
    a. Create a specific, relevant, and holistic query to use as a prompt in the AI app. The more detailed and targeted to your results, the more likely you will may find helpful answers to guide your research.
    b. Enter your query into the generative AI to prompt the search.
    c. Execute the search and read the results.
  2. Preparation
    a. Take notes on the generated results.
    b. Check the facts and data of these results for valid sources to verify the information and capture resources to cite in your paper.
    c. Draft an outline combining your hypothesis and these results.

Using AI to help create your paper’s structure

  1. Architecture
    a. Build structure for your paper with short summaries for each section in your outline that hit the key points. Use the generative AI results as a starting point from which you could write in your own words.
    b. Check the flow of this story for logic and to ensure you cover all the points you wish to make in your research analysis.
    c. Edit your content and ensure that it’s either your original work or quotations with explicit citations for the sources used.


AI research apps offer many helpful ways to make writing easier. With our ethical guidelines and your big ideas, you could save time and improve the quality of your research papers with AI. From ideation to actual writing, an AI research tool exists just to help you make it happen.

Click our links to learn more about what AI can could do to help you reach your research goals.

Exploring Bootcamps: Accelerate Your Path To Skill Mastery

In today’s rapidly evolving professional landscape, the demand for targeted skills and efficient learning pathways has never been greater. Enter bootcamps—a dynamic approach to education that’s redefining how individuals acquire in-demand skills for a successful career. With an emphasis on intensive learning, career-focused education, and fast-tracking skills, bootcamps are emerging as a powerful means of rapid skill acquisition in a variety of fields.

Gone are the days when a traditional four-year degree was the only path to professional success. In this era of innovation, where industries could transform in the blink of an eye, bootcamps have emerged as a compelling alternative. These programs typically offer an accelerated journey to proficiency, enabling learners to quickly gain skills and knowledge and enter the workforce with a competitive edge.

In this article, we’ll delve into the world of bootcamps, exploring their essence of intensive learning and their laser-focused approach to career-oriented education. Whether you’re a recent high school graduate, a career changer, or someone looking to stay ahead of the curve, join us on a journey to uncover the potential of bootcamp courses.

What Are Bootcamps?

Bootcamps are intensive, short-term education programs that focus on teaching specific skills or subjects within a condensed timeframe. These programs are designed to provide practical, hands-on learning experiences and job-ready training geared to equip individuals with the skills needed for a particular job or career path. Bootcamps typically prioritize real-world application, experiential learning, and industry relevance.

Bootcamps typically cover a wide range of subjects, including coding, data science, digital marketing, cybersecurity, design, healthcare, and more. They aim to bridge the gap between traditional education and the rapidly changing needs of the job market. Bootcamps often emphasize project-based learning, collaboration, and building a portfolio of work to showcase to potential employers.

Key Characteristics

Key characteristics of bootcamps include:

  1. Short duration: Bootcamps are typically shorter than traditional degree programs, lasting anywhere from a few weeks to a few months. This condensed timeframe could allow participants to quickly acquire skills and enter the workforce.
  2. Intensive learning: Bootcamps provide an intensive and immersive education, focusing on hands-on experiences and practical training. Participants often spend a significant portion of their time working on real-world projects.
  3. Focused curriculum: Bootcamps have a specific and focused curriculum—bootcamp courses are tailored to the skills required for a particular job or industry. They cut out general education courses and dive directly into the relevant content.
  4. Industry alignment: Bootcamps are often developed in collaboration with industry experts and employers. This could help ensure that the bootcamp courses are up-to-date and aligned with current industry trends and demands.
  5. Flexible learning options: Bootcamps may be offered in various formats: there are in-person bootcamps and online bootcamps, as well as bootcamps that are full-time, part-time , and self-paced. This flexibility caters to a diverse range of learners and schedules.
  6. Job placement support: Many bootcamps offer job placement assistance, resume building, interview coaching, and networking opportunities to help participants with career transition after completing the program.

It’s important to research and choose reputable bootcamp providers to ensure that the program’s quality, content, and learning outcomes align with your career goals and expectations.

Diverse Bootcamp Domains

The world of bootcamp education is expansive, catering to a multitude of career paths. Aspiring coders could immerse themselves in coding bootcamps, gaining proficiency in programming languages like Python, JavaScript, and Ruby. Meanwhile, web development bootcamps delve into the art of crafting interactive and visually appealing websites, encompassing frontend and backend technologies.

Venturing into the realm of data science, bootcamps equip learners with the analytical skills required to mine insights from complex datasets. Design bootcamps nurture creative talents, teaching the principles of user experience (UX) and user interface (UI) design. Digital marketing bootcamps, on the other hand, guide participants through the intricacies of online advertising, social media strategies, and SEO techniques.

Advantages of Bootcamps

Bootcamps, whether they’re focused on coding, data science, digital marketing, or other fields, offer several advantages that make them an appealing option for individuals seeking to quickly gain practical skills and enter the workforce. Here are some of the key advantages of bootcamps.

  1. Accelerated learning: Bootcamps are designed to provide intensive and focused training within a short period, typically ranging from a few weeks to a few months. This accelerated learning format allows participants to acquire necessary skills in a condensed timeframe.
  2. Practical skills: Bootcamps are known for their hands-on, project-based approach. Participants typically work on real-world projects and scenarios, gaining practical skills that may be directly applicable to the job market.
  3. Industry-relevant content: Bootcamps are often developed in collaboration with industry professionals and employers. This helps to ensure that the curriculum aligns with current industry trends, tools, and technologies, making graduates more marketable to potential employers.
  4. Career switching: Bootcamps could provide a pathway for individuals to switch careers or enter a new field. They offer a streamlined route to acquire the skills needed to transition into a different job role without the time commitment of traditional degree programs.
  5. Networking opportunities: Bootcamps may bring together a diverse group of participants, potentially creating opportunities for networking and collaboration. Connecting with classmates, instructors, and industry professionals could lead to helpful contacts and potential job opportunities.
  6. Supportive environment: Bootcamps strive to provide a supportive learning environment with experienced instructors and mentors who guide participants through the learning process. This support helps participants overcome challenges and stay motivated.
  7. Career services: Many bootcamps provide career services, such as resume building, interview preparation, and job placement assistance. This might be particularly beneficial for those looking to secure employment quickly after completing the program.
  8. Cost and time efficiency: Bootcamps may be more cost effective than traditional degree programs, both in terms of tuition fees and the shorter duration. This could make them an attractive option for individuals looking for a faster return on investment.
  9. Flexibility: Many bootcamps offer a variety of formats, including in-person, online, full-time, and part-time options. This flexibility allows participants to choose a program that could fit their schedule and learning preferences.
  10. Focus on marketable skills: Bootcamp courses tend to focus on skills that are in high demand in the job market. This focus on specific, job-relevant skills could increase graduates’ chances of securing employment in their chosen field.

Who Should Consider Bootcamps

Bootcamps have gained prominence as a dynamic solution for individuals seeking to acquire specific skills, change careers, or stay current in an ever-changing professional landscape.

Bootcamps are not limited to a single demographic; they cater to a broad spectrum of individuals with varying aspirations and goals. Recent graduates find value in bootcamps as a means to bridge the gap between their academic qualifications and the practical skills required by employers. These immersive programs empower them to enter the workforce with a competitive edge, ensuring a smoother transition from academia to industry.

For career switchers, bootcamps provide a streamlined route to enter a new field without committing to a full-fledged degree program. Professionals seeking career enhancement and career growth within their current roles could leverage bootcamps to acquire focused skills that enhance their contributions and open doors to new opportunities. Additionally, lifelong learners and enthusiasts looking to explore new interests find bootcamps to be an accessible and engaging way to gain hands-on experience.

Because one of the standout features of many bootcamps is their flexibility, they may be an attractive option for individuals with busy schedules. Many bootcamps offer part-time, online, and self-paced formats, allowing learners to balance their education with existing commitments. This accessibility democratizes learning, enabling individuals from various walks of life to engage with educational opportunities that might have been otherwise unattainable.

Furthermore, the fast-paced nature of bootcamps is particularly suited for those looking to adapt swiftly to industry changes. With their focused curriculum and practical approach, bootcamps compress the learning curve, equipping participants with relevant skills in a short span.

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Choosing the Perfect Bootcamp

With the vast array of bootcamps, finding one that aligns with your goals could be a pivotal step in your educational journey. As you embark on this  path, here are some tips that could guide you in making an informed choice to help maximize your learning experience.

Researching Course Content and Curriculum

The heart of any bootcamp lies in its curriculum. Before enrolling, dive deep into the content of bootcamp courses it resonates with your learning objectives. Scrutinize the topics covered, the depth of material, and the relevance to your desired field. A curriculum should encompass both foundational concepts and advanced techniques, preparing you to tackle real-world challenges.

Evaluating Instructor Qualifications

The quality of instruction could directly impact your learning outcomes. Investigate the qualifications and expertise of the instructors who will guide you through the program. Instructors with practical industry experience and a deep understanding of the subject matter could enhance the value of the bootcamp, offering industry insights that textbooks alone might not provide.

Considering Student Reviews and Testimonials

Peer feedback could offer insights into the effectiveness of a bootcamp. Delve into student reviews and testimonials to gauge the overall satisfaction level and experiences of past participants. Candid insights from those who have walked the same path could provide a realistic view of the bootcamp’s strengths, weaknesses, and the kind of support you could expect.

Analyzing Job Placement Rates and Alumni Success

A significant measure of a bootcamp’s success lies in the employability of its graduates. Investigate the bootcamp’s job placement rates and alumni success stories. High job placement rates might indicate that the bootcamp equips students with the skills needed to secure meaningful employment in their chosen fields. Alumni success stories could showcase how the bootcamp’s training translates into real-world achievements.

Aligning with Personal Learning Goals

Each learner’s journey is unique, driven by personal aspirations and goals. Ensure that the bootcamp you choose aligns with your specific career objectives. Whether you’re seeking to switch careers, upskill within your current role, or explore a new field, the bootcamp should offer a curriculum that caters to your needs.

Considering Format and Flexibility

The format of the bootcamp is another critical factor to consider. Evaluate whether the bootcamp offers in-person, online, part-time, or full-time options that accommodate your schedule and learning preferences. Flexibility in learning format could ensure that you are able to seamlessly integrate education into your life.

While there are many benefits to bootcamps, it’s important for aspiring bootcamp participants to be aware of the challenges that come along with this fast-paced learning experience.

The Intensity of the Curriculum

One of the defining characteristics of bootcamps is their fast-paced curriculum. The condensed nature of these programs means that you’ll typically be exposed to a significant amount of information in a short span of time. This could be both exciting and overwhelming. To tackle this challenge:

  1. Stay organized: Keep track of your learning materials, assignments, and progress. Create a study schedule that breaks down each topic into manageable portions.
  2. Prioritize learning: Understand that not every concept could be mastered instantly. Focus on grasping the core concepts before moving on to more advanced topics.
  3. Practice regularly: Consistent practice may be key to retaining knowledge. Set aside time each day for coding exercises and projects.

Time Commitments

Bootcamps often demand a substantial time commitment. Balancing the demands of the bootcamp with your personal and professional responsibilities might be a real challenge. Here’s how to manage your time effectively:

  1. Set realistic expectations: Acknowledge that the bootcamp could require a significant time investment. Communicate your commitment to friends and family so they understand your schedule.
  2. Time management: Plan your days carefully. Allocate specific blocks of time for learning, practice, breaks, and other commitments.
  3. Avoid burnout: Remember that quality is usually more important than quantity. Overloading yourself might lead to burnout. Take breaks and engage in activities that help you recharge.

Financial Investment

While bootcamps offer an expedited path into the tech industry, they might come with a hefty price tag. Managing the financial aspect could be challenging, but there are ways to ease the burden:

  1. Research payment options: Many bootcamps offer flexible payment plans, scholarships, or income-sharing agreements. Explore these options to determine what works for your financial situation.
  2. Budget wisely: Plan your expenses throughout the bootcamp duration. Cut down on unnecessary costs and prioritize expenditures.
  3. Consider the ROI: Think of the bootcamp as an investment in your future. Research the average salaries for bootcamp graduates in your desired field to assess the potential return on your investment.

Managing Expectations

It’s easy to approach a bootcamp with sky-high expectations. While these programs may be transformative, it’s important to manage your expectations realistically:

  1. Embrace the learning curve: Understand that you’re embarking on a journey of growth. Mistakes and challenges are part of the learning process.
  2. Celebrate small wins: Acknowledge your progress, no matter how incremental it might seem. Each small achievement brings you closer to your goals.
  3. Be patient: Mastery takes time. Don’t expect to be an “expert” by the end of the bootcamp. Instead, focus on building a strong foundation that you could continue to build upon.

Staying Motivated

Bootcamps may require sustained motivation to overcome the hurdles and complete the program successfully. Here’s how to keep your motivation levels up:

  1. Set clear goals: Define your short-term and long-term goals. Having a clear vision of what you’re working toward could keep you motivated during challenging times.
  2. Find a support system: Connect with fellow bootcamp participants, mentors, or online communities. Sharing your experiences and challenges with others may provide emotional support.
  3. Celebrate progress: Regularly reflect on how far you’ve come since the start of the bootcamp. Recognizing your growth could reignite your motivation.

Maintaining Work-Life Balance

The intensive nature of coding bootcamps might blur the lines between work and personal life. Striking a balance may be crucial for your overall well-being:

  1. Set boundaries: Define clear boundaries between your bootcamp commitments and personal time. Avoid the temptation to work around the clock.
  2. Prioritize self-care: Allocate time for activities you enjoy outside of coding. Engage in exercise, hobbies, and spending quality time with loved ones.
  3. Practice mindfulness: Incorporate mindfulness techniques into your routine to stay grounded and reduce stress.

Beyond the Bootcamp: Navigating the Path of Continuous Learning and Growth

Completing a coding bootcamp is a significant accomplishment that could equip you with the skills and knowledge needed to embark on a career in the dynamic world of software development. However, the journey generally doesn’t end there. In fact, it could be just the beginning of a lifelong commitment to continuous learning, growth, and professional development.

Embracing Continuous Learning

The tech industry is constantly evolving, with new programming languages, frameworks, and tools emerging regularly. As a graduate of a coding bootcamp, staying up-to-date with these industry trends may be critical for remaining competitive in the job market. Here’s how you could make continuous learning a cornerstone of your post-bootcamp journey:

  1. Read and research: Regularly read blogs, articles, and online resources to stay informed about the latest developments in technology. Follow thought leaders and industry experts to gain insights into emerging trends.
  2. Online courses: Enroll in online courses, tutorials, and workshops to expand your skill set. There are a plethora of options.
  3. Personal projects: Undertake personal projects that align with your interests. This not only solidifies your learning but also showcases your skills to potential employers.

Networking within the Field

Building connections with professionals in your field could open doors to job opportunities, collaborations, and mentorship. Here’s how you might effectively network after completing your bootcamp:

  1. Attend tech meetups and conferences: Participate in local meetups and conferences related to coding, development, and technology. These events could provide excellent networking opportunities and a chance to learn from industry leaders.
  2. Use online platforms: Join online communities, forums, and social media groups related to your areas of interest. Engage in discussions, ask questions, and share your insights.
  3. Connect with alumni: Reach out to fellow bootcamp graduates. They could provide insights, advice, and potential connections in the industry.

Pursuing Further Education

While a coding bootcamp is designed to provide a solid foundation, some individuals might feel the need to deepen their knowledge further. Advanced bootcamp programs and further education options could help you stand out in a specific area or gain a deeper understanding of complex concepts:

  1. Advanced bootcamps: Many bootcamp providers offer advanced programs that focus on targeted skills or advanced topics. These programs could help you further refine your skills and knowledge.
  2. Formal education: Consider pursuing a formal degree in computer science or a related field if you’re looking to build a strong academic foundation. This option might be particularly appealing if you’re aiming for more research-oriented roles.

Building a Portfolio

As you continue your journey in the tech industry, a well-constructed portfolio could become an important asset. A portfolio is meant to showcase your skills, projects, and accomplishments, providing potential employers with tangible evidence of your capabilities.


Whether you’re a recent graduate, a career switcher, a professional seeking career growth, or simply someone with an insatiable curiosity, bootcamps could offer an impactful educational journey as well as taking a graduate degree programs. With their flexible learning options and industry-relevant curricula, bootcamps stand as a testament to the power of accessible, adaptable, and targeted education in the modern world.

The Digital Divide: What It Is and How It Impacts Us

Digital Divide Definition

The term “digital divide” refers to the gap between those who have access to information and communication technologies (ICTs) and those who don’t.

While the term “digital divide” came into play in the mid-1990s, it is still a hot-button public policy debate—above all, since it touches on social, political, and economic issues.

Why Is the Digital Divide an Important Issue?

In today’s increasingly digital world, access to technology and the Internet has become essential for communication, education, employment, and many other aspects of daily life. Those who lack access to technology or the skills to use it effectively are at a disadvantage, as they are unable to fully participate in the opportunities and resources offered online. This creates a significant divide between those who have access to digital tools and those who do not, exacerbating existing social and economic inequalities.

The digital divide not only limits individuals’ ability to access information and services but also hinders their educational and career prospects. Bridging the digital divide is crucial to ensure equal opportunities for all and to prevent further marginalization of already disadvantaged groups. It requires efforts from governments, communities, and organizations to provide equitable access to technology and digital literacy training, empowering individuals to participate fully in the digital age.

What Causes the Digital Divide?

The digital divide is a complex issue that has been shaped by a range of factors, including economic, social, and geographic disparities. One of the primary causes of the digital divide is the lack of access to technology that many low-income households and rural communities face. High-speed Internet and advanced technology tools often come with hefty price tags that low-income households may not be able to afford. Additionally, rural communities may not have the infrastructure in place to support advanced technology and high-speed Internet.

This lack of access to technology could lead to significant educational and employment barriers for individuals as they struggle to keep up with the demands of the digital age. Education and awareness about the benefits of digital inclusion could be key in bridging the digital divide, as well as policies aimed at expanding broadband access and reducing the cost of technology.

Check out the infographic below to learn more.

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Digital Divide Examples

The digital divide is evident in various scenarios, highlighting the disparities in access to technology and the Internet. One example relates to education, where students from low-income households may not have access to reliable Internet connections or necessary devices for online learning. This could hamper their ability to participate fully in virtual classrooms and access digital educational resources, potentially putting them at a disadvantage compared to their peers who have seamless access to technology.

Another example is the job market, where individuals without access to technology or digital skills might struggle to compete for employment opportunities that increasingly rely on digital literacy. They may face barriers in accessing online job portals, submitting electronic resumes, or participating in virtual interviews.

Additionally, the digital divide is evident in rural areas where the lack of broadband infrastructure limits access to high-speed Internet, potentially impacting both personal connectivity and economic development.


Who Is Affected by the Digital Divide?

The digital divide exists in a deeper way among low-income groups and communities. So, it is both a local issue and one that underdeveloped countries around the globe face. The gap is small in developed countries and large in developing countries.

The digital divide affects a range of people, young and old:

  • Those who live in rural areas without a digital infrastructure
  • Low-income households who can’t afford high-speed Internet
  • Students and workers who do not own a computer
  • Workers who are unable to keep up-to-date on technology due to lack of access to technology
  • Those with medical issues who don’t have access to telehealth appointments
  • People living in underdeveloped countries

Geographical Digital Disparities

There are also geographical differences across the United States, as well as within the states themselves.

The following tables illustrate this digital disparity. Some compelling takeaways include:

  • The average percentage of homes without internet for states with the highest connectivity is 9%; for states with the lowest connectivity, it’s 20%—that’s over twice as much.1,2
  • The average percentage of homes without a computer for states with the most computers is 4%; for states with the least, it’s 11%—that’s nearly three times as much.3,4

While states such as Connecticut, New York, and Maryland rank better than average in connectivity, there are cities within these states whose households have over 50% less connectivity than the states themselves

Five States with Lowest Internet Connectivity, 2017–20211

StatePercentage of Households without an Internet Subscription (U.S. Average = 13%)
New Mexico20.0%
West Virginia19.2%

Five States with Highest Internet Connectivity, 2017–20212

StatePercentage of Households without an Internet Subscription (U.S. Average = 13%)
New Hampshire9.9%

Five States with Fewest Computers per Household, 2017–20213

StatePercentage of Households without a Computer
(U.S. Average = 6.9%)
West Virginia12.4%
Alabama/New Mexico (tie)10.3%

Five States with Most Computers per Household, 2017–20214

StatePercentage of Households without a Computer
(U.S. Average = 6.9%)

Discrepancies in Connectivity by Selected Cities and States, 2017–2021

 Percentage of Households without an Internet Subscription (city)5Percentage of Households without an Internet Subscription (state)6
Brownsville, Texas33.313.1
Flint, Michigan29.013.6
Newark, New Jersey25.610.6
Cleveland, Ohio24.813.7
Baltimore, Maryland20.410.3
Hartford, Connecticut20.311.1

Racial Disparities

Income level is a significant factor with regard to who is affected by the digital divide. Race is also an issue.

The good news is that the gaps have been narrowing in recent years. Following is the percentage of households who did not have high-speed Internet by race in 2017 and 2021:

Asian alone, non-Hispanic10%77%8
White alone, non-Hispanic16%914%10
Black alone, non-Hispanic22%1117%12
Hispanic (of any race)22%1318%14

Are Virtual Schools Widening the Digital Divide?

The rapid shift to virtual education in response to the COVID-19 pandemic has raised questions about the potential impact of virtual schools on the digital divide. While virtual schools provide a flexible and accessible form of education for many students, they may also be exacerbating existing disparities in access to technology and the Internet. Students from low-income households or rural communities may not have access to the devices, reliable Internet, or digital literacy skills needed to participate fully in virtual classrooms, leading to unequal learning opportunities.

Virtual education may also be a factor in what is called a “homework gap.” This is the gap between school-age children who have access to high-speed Internet at home and those who don’t.

Students who face digital hurdles when they try to do their homework may not be able to complete their homework at all, which could contribute to poorer grades. Teachers say this problem may also lead to delinquency.

How Are Students and Schools Overcoming the Problem?

Overcoming this problem is a huge challenge. Some schools are lending or giving out laptops and tablets. Some students use their smart phones. And some principals are trying to find hotspots that people who don’t have Internet could use.

Students might drive to a parking lot near a library to use their public WIFI. Yet not all students could even do this. So, some schools send packets of materials to students or DVDs. Then the parents take a picture of a completed assignment and email it to the teachers.

How to Combat Digital Divide?

One way to bridge the Digital Divide is through Digital Inclusion which sets up Smart Cities. In spite of how complex the issues are, some Smart Cities are trying to ensure access through infrastructure. Some are making an effort to set up public Wi-Fi networks. And other cities are finding innovative ways to get Internet coverage to those who lack access.

One example launched by G3ict and World Enabled is the Smart Cities for All initiative. It was set up to define the state of ICT accessibility in Smart Cities worldwide. The goal of their plan is to eliminate the digital divide for the elderly and persons with disabilities in Smart Cities around the world. To do this, they are partnering with leading organizations and companies and then working to create and deploy the tools and tactics needed to build more inclusive Smart Cities.

Google’s sister company, Sidewalk Labs, is also trying to come up with a solution, albeit for those who could afford it. Their plan is to build a tech-loaded community called Quayside on the waterfront in Toronto, Canada. In Quayside, they plan to embed all sorts of sensors everywhere possible. As a result, there should be a constant stream of data about things such as traffic flow, noise levels, air quality, energy usage, travel patterns, and waste output. 

This type of community shows that smart tech sensors could be useful. Cityblock, a spinoff of Sidewalk Labs, is focusing on low-income communities with serious health problems. Their vision includes an option for members to join a “neighborhood health hub.”

There are also individual organizations providing grants to communities that typically have issues with the digital divide. The National Fund for Workforce Solutions, for example, donated $130,000 in grants to five communities to equip workers with the digital access, literacy, and skills they need to secure and grow in economy-boosting jobs in a rapidly changing labor market.

Has There Been Any Government Support to Bridge the Divide?

Advocates and government workers in the broadband and digital equity space report a renewed interest in bridging the divide. One of the reasons is that COVID-19 highlighted the unequal access to technology and the Internet that has long existed. It also shows us just how reliant on the Internet we are. Telehealth visits, for instance, are only available to those with access. So, many older adults and underserved communities are among the hardest hit.

There have been a number of initiatives at the federal level to combat digital disparities in the United States.

  • In 2021, the U.S. government passed an infrastructure bill that, among other things, aims to narrow the digital divide. The initiative strives to assist households in reducing the cost of Internet service by mandating that recipients of federal funding offer an affordable plan accessible to all. This may be achieved through measures such as enhancing price transparency and fostering competition in areas where current service providers are not meeting the demand adequately. 
  • The FCC’s Affordable Connectivity Program offers monthly discounts on broadband service to eligible households. As of September 2022, more than 14 million households had enrolled—about a third of the estimated eligible households. 
  • The Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) Program provides $42.45 billion to expand high-speed Internet access in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and U.S. territories.
  • The Digital Equity Act provides $2.75 billion to establish three grant programs to help ensure that all people and communities have the skills, technology, and capacity needed to succeed in our digital economy.

Changes are also being made at the state level. For example, Maine lawmakers approved a bond package with $15 million to expand broadband in the state. California’s Digital Divide Program provides four grants of up to $250,000 each to help beneficiary schools located in an urban or rural low-income small school district. 


The digital divide remains a significant challenge in our increasingly connected world. As technology continues to shape various aspects of our lives, the disparities in access to technology and the Internet may have profound implications for education, employment, and overall quality of life.

While progress has been made in narrowing the digital divide through various initiatives, more work needs to be done. Governments, non-profit organizations, and private sector companies must collaborate to ensure equitable access to technology, Internet connectivity, and digital literacy training for all individuals, especially those from marginalized communities.

Bridging the digital divide is not only a matter of fairness and justice but also crucial for fostering inclusive economic growth and societal well-being. By addressing the digital divide, we could create a more equitable and digitally connected future for all.

Internet Safety Tips For Students

15 Must Know Internet Safety Tips For Students

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Internet Safety Tips for Students

The surge in cybercrime underscores the growing significance of internet safety guidelines, especially tailored for students. In case you weren’t aware, according to Security Magazine, there’s a staggering rate of over 2,200 daily cyberattacks, which averages out to nearly one cyber assault striking every 39 seconds. To put this into perspective, it’s less time than the average duration it takes to share a selfie. Given the likelihood that you’re dedicating even more of your time to online activities, it’s imperative to know how to safeguard your device. Here, we present several recommendations to ensure your safety as you navigate the digital realm. For more in-depth insights, feel free to explore our compilation, ” 12 Must Know Facts About Cyber Security“.

15 Must Know Internet Safety Tips for Students

These are some of the ways students can stay safe on the internet. 

#1. Be careful what you share  

Imagine the internet as a vast room teeming with countless strangers, each potentially holding a role in your future as a friend, employer, or even the culprit who snags your phone from your denim pockets. Always bear in mind, the internet lacks a delete function. Once you divulge your address and personal situation, this information becomes accessible to anyone who cares to look. The same principle applies to an awkward selfie, a profanity, or an impolite remark. As a guiding principle, it’s wise to refrain from sharing anything online that you wouldn’t want your mother or a prospective boss to stumble upon.

#2. Check your privacy settings

Privacy preferences work in a manner akin to doors. You shut a door to exclude unwelcome visitors, or swing it open to admit them. Neglecting to ‘shut the door’ may grant marketers and malicious actors access to substantial insights regarding you – from your internet search patterns to your interactions on social media. While each online platform retains its unique characteristics, locating these options is typically possible beneath your profile emblem. As you undertake this task, be certain to ‘activate’ these protective measures. Many also propose the deactivation of geotagging. Geotagging, in essence, divulges your whereabouts (or lack thereof) at any given point in time.

#3. Browse with caution

Browsing resembles strolling about. Certain pathways are secure, while others pose risks. Cyber malefactors frequently lurk behind explicit or enticing material. You might assume that clicking is harmless, even if the destination is unfamiliar. However, an incautious click could unveil your private information or implant malicious software into your device. Therefore, it’s crucial to suppress the inclination to pursue unfamiliar links or engage with unknown senders.

#4. Use secure networks

The allure of tapping into public WiFi often stems from its cost-free nature, yet it’s not always a bastion of security. Protected networks usually come with a price, requiring a reciprocal transaction. This might entail agreeing to legal stipulations, creating an account, or entering a password. On the flip side, using unsecured networks opens you up to potential hacker threats. These individuals are bona fide agents who surveil network traffic in their bid to intercept your personal data. Should they succeed, they gain the ability to abscond with passwords, your bank card’s PIN, and even intricate credit card particulars.

#5. Ponder the Potential of a VPN

If you’re someone who relies on public WiFi while using a laptop, considering a VPN is paramount. A VPN, or virtual private network, has the capability to shroud your identity, information, and internet protocol (IP) address. By linking your device with an internet server, a VPN establishes an environment where your data remains inscrutable. This is achieved through the encryption of outgoing data, enhancing your overall privacy.

#6. Exercise Caution with Downloads

For the gaming enthusiasts out there, this piece of advice is tailor-made. The primary objective of cyber criminals revolves around deceiving users into downloading malware. Malware comprises programs or applications that harbor insidious viruses designed to pilfer your information. A dependable guideline to uphold is to refrain from downloading suspicious software or apps, especially if they don’t originate from a reputable, familiar source. In situations where you’re compelled to use a public computer, ensure the removal of any files you may have downloaded or saved.

#7. Make strong passwords

Our inclination often leans towards passwords that are simple to recollect. Regrettably, these weak passwords are equally susceptible to being divined by hackers. Strong passwords, however, function akin to robust locks on doors. On occasion, your device might propose a sturdy password. Typically, these entail intricate combinations of numbers, letters, and special characters. You can choose to adopt such a suggestion or emulate its complexity, subsequently safeguarding your passwords through the utilization of password management software, if that proves helpful. Nonetheless, it’s imperative to never save your passwords on websites you access through public computers. Additionally, always ensure you log out before departing from these websites.

#8. Look for https: when you shop online

Whenever your online shopping ventures entail credit card usage, it becomes paramount to verify the site’s security. You can ascertain this in one of two ways. Firstly, examine the site’s URL – a secure site will commence with ‘https:’ rather than ‘http:’ (with the ‘s’ signifying secure). Secondly, take notice of a padlock symbol. As an added measure, it’s worthwhile to peruse reviews to ascertain the site’s credibility.

#9. Think twice about accepting invites

In the last quarter of 2022, Facebook made a move against 1.3 billion fraudulent accounts, a decrease from the 1.5 billion tackled in the prior quarter. The social media giant managed to expunge a staggering count of around 2.2 billion counterfeit profiles during the initial quarter of 2019. These fabricated profiles serve as tools for malicious individuals to disseminate falsehoods and gain entry to your data. To steer clear of this peril, exercise prudence when it comes to accepting unsolicited invitations. Maintaining a judicious approach to your online social existence is just as crucial as it is in the offline realm.

#10. Enable Automatic Updates

The individuals crafting viruses and malware possess the know-how to distribute them effectively. As a result, it’s imperative to ensure that all your interconnected devices are equipped with up-to-date antivirus software, operating systems, and applications. This practice contributes an additional stratum of security, particularly due to the fact that newer iterations are often equipped to identify and eliminate emerging varieties of malware, viruses, and potential threats.

#11. Check all your statements

According to research from SpyCloud, a provider of Cybercrime Analytics (C2A), their research unveiled a staggering 721.5 million exposed credentials on the internet in 2022. This poses a significant concern as user accounts often house sensitive information such as your name, bank or credit card details, social insurance number, and phone number.

To maintain vigilance in the face of this threat, it’s advisable to regularly scrutinize all your financial statements to verify the legitimacy of all charges. Suspicious activities may initially manifest as inconspicuous, small charges. However, if left undetected, they can escalate into more substantial and troublesome issues.

#12. Keep a backup

For a student, few things rival the dread of investing time into a project only to lose all progress just before the deadline. To avert this nightmarish scenario, consider safeguarding your work by storing it on the cloud or an external hard drive. The concept of a cloud system entails a virtual architecture designed to house data. The majority of these systems come fortified with firewalls, antivirus software, monitoring capabilities, and host intrusion protection, ensuring an added layer of security for your valuable work.

#13. Protect against ransomware

Ransomware constitutes a breed of malicious software that executes a rather sinister tactic. It ensnares a victim’s computer or device data by locking and encrypting it, subsequently extorting a ransom in exchange for restoring access. Employing the strategies we’ve previously delineated serves as an effective defense against the clutches of ransomware, preventing it from seizing your data hostage. Additionally, it’s crucial to exercise vigilance concerning any email attachment that urges you to enable macros for content viewing. The activation of macros could pave the way for macro malware to infiltrate multiple files. In the realm of preventative measures, it’s wise to opt for the ‘delete’ option instead.

#14. Be a guest user

Data breaches hit businesses and retailers alike. According to Shape Security, retailers reported (in 2018) that 80 to 90% of their login activity was malicious. To stay safe when you shop, remain a guest user. This way, you don’t have to store personal data in the first place.

#15. Protect your devices too

One of the most straightforward pieces of internet security advice for students revolves around safeguarding your devices. This encompasses not only your smartphone, tablet, or laptop but also extends to your overall digital arsenal. While a cable lock does contribute an extra stratum of protection, it remains insufficient to thwart the possibility of your hardware being pilfered by a determined individual. Abandoning any of these items unattended in public spaces or within an unlocked dorm room stands as a well-established ‘no-go’ practice. Moreover, in scenarios where you find yourself compelled to leave something behind, ensure it’s out of plain sight.

Student Loan Fraud – Don’t Get Scammed

Avoid Student Loan Fraud

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Student Loan Fraud – Don’t Get Scammed

Beware of fraudulent schemes that claim to offer relief from student loan debt – these scams are designed to deceive and drain your finances. These unscrupulous companies cunningly present themselves as associates of the U.S. Department of Education, all while swindling millions from unsuspecting victims. Their modus operandi involves making enticing but false assurances of erasing student loan debt burdens.

In a recent case, scammers were brought to a halt by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for their fraudulent practices. This operation preyed upon students seeking debt relief, taking advantage of their vulnerability. These nefarious activities involved fabricating affiliations with esteemed institutions, like the U.S. Department of Education, and employing deceptive tactics to convince students to cease communication with their legitimate federal loan servicers. These scammers cunningly manipulated the concept of debt relief and lured students in with the allure of the “Biden Loan Forgiveness” plan, which they falsely claimed to offer, all the while collecting exorbitant upfront fees.

The FTC asserts that this group, operating under various names like Express Enrollment LLC and Intercontinental Solutions LLC, managed to amass a staggering $8.8 million in ill-gotten upfront fees since at least 2019. These fraudulent entities, led by individuals such as Marco Manzi, Ivan Esquivel, and Robert Kissinger, exploited the uncertainty surrounding student loan borrowers and preyed on their desire for debt alleviation. Through persuasive misrepresentations and bogus promises, they managed to convince individuals to part with their hard-earned money for services that were non-existent.

Fortunately, the FTC, armed with its Bureau of Consumer Protection, is relentless in its pursuit of such scams. The agency promptly filed a complaint against the defendants, prompting a federal court to take immediate action by imposing a temporary restraining order and freezing the assets of the culprits’ operation, known as Apex Processing Center.

It is essential to remain vigilant and informed to avoid falling victim to these fraudulent schemes. The FTC provides valuable resources to help individuals recognize and steer clear of student loan debt relief scams. Remember, legitimate assistance for student loans can be accessed for free through trusted channels like With a unanimous vote of 3-0, the FTC continues its resolute efforts to shield the tens of millions of Americans grappling with student loan debt from such malicious scams.

Student Loan Fraud and Facts

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How to Avoid Student Loan Debt Relief Scams

Equipping yourself with knowledge about your student loan debt is your best defense against falling victim to the next potential scam. Here are some key pointers to bear in mind in order to safeguard yourself from falling prey to such fraudulent schemes.

#1 Be Aware of “Payment up Front” Scammers

Legally, companies are prohibited from charging you prior to offering assistance. While some companies might promise to alleviate your student debt burden, there’s truly nothing they can accomplish for you that you can’t achieve independently, and at no cost.

#2 Check Out Options for Financing College

Before resorting to a loan, it’s prudent to explore alternative sources of financial aid, such as grants, scholarships, and federal work study programs. A pivotal initial step involves completing a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). When creating your FSA user account, exercise caution not to share your ID, as unscrupulous individuals could exploit it to gain unauthorized access and compromise your account’s security.

#3 Learn About Student Loans

Student loans can be categorized into two types: federal loans offered by the government and private loans extended by entities like banks and credit unions. Federal loans come with certain safeguards, but private loans lack comparable protections. Irrespective of the source, repayment remains your responsibility.

#4 Understand Loan Forgiveness and Repayment

You may qualify for alternative repayment plans or even loan forgiveness based on your specific loan type and circumstances. These possibilities hinge on factors unique to your situation. It’s vital to recognize that no company possesses the ability to secure these options for you that you cannot secure on your own. Equipping yourself with this understanding serves as a bulwark against the tactics employed by scammers.

If you have federal loans, the Department of Education has a few free programs.

  • Income driven repayment plans – monthly payments based on how much money you make
  • Deferment and forbearance – you postpone payments though may incur more interest
  • Loan forgiveness or discharge – these programs let you off the hook, but you have to qualify (E.g. you become disabled or find out your school committed fraud)

For private loans, deal with reputable loan servicers. Keep in mind it is also unlikely the servicer will offer a loan forgiveness program. So, any third party claiming they can do this for you is likely a scammer. Don’t listen and don’t give any third party your account details either.

#5 Be Cautious with Consolidation

Consolidating a loan involves amalgamating multiple loans into a singular entity. This results in a fresh loan arrangement and altered repayment terms, which could potentially impact your interest rate.

When choosing to consolidate your loans through the federal government, this process is devoid of charges. Hence, if any company proposes a fee for this service, it’s advisable to firmly decline. In some cases, consolidating loans with a private lender may entail costs. However, it’s prudent to steer clear of entities that demand upfront payments. Furthermore, exercise prudence when encountering debt relief agencies and lenders who propose the consolidation of federal and private loans into a solitary new loan, promising reduced monthly payments or lower interest rates. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) strongly advises against pursuing such arrangements.

Five Things to Remember About Scammers to Avoid Student Loan Fraud

  1. Only scammers promise fast loan forgiveness
  2. Never pay a fee upfront (Think: free not fee)
  3. Use trusted sites – scammers can make fake gov’t seals
  4. Don’t give or share your FSA ID with anyone
  5. You can’t roll federal and private loans together to lower payments
  6. Report scams so others don’t suffer: 1-877-FTC-HELP (382-4357)

Cyber Security in Today’s World

Interview with Ron Woerner: What Is Cyber Security in Today’s World

Ron Woerner stands as a seasoned IT veteran and a luminary in the field of cyber security, offering a wealth of knowledge from which one can glean valuable insights. His current role as the Director of Cyber Security Studies and an assistant professor at Bellevue University underscores his expertise in this domain.

His journey into the realm of IT and cyber security was ignited by an early fascination with computers and an innate curiosity about unraveling the inner workings of technology. This initial spark paved the way for his illustrious career as both a distinguished cyber security expert and an educator in the realm of IT.

Woerner commenced his academic journey by achieving a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science, a commendable feat he accomplished at Michigan State University’s esteemed College of Engineering. His thirst for knowledge then led him to pursue a Master of Science degree in Information Resources Management, an achievement he attained at Syracuse University’s renowned School of Information Studies & Technology. To further fortify his expertise, Woerner has also earned various certifications, including the esteemed Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) and the highly regarded Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH).

As his reservoir of experience and capabilities expanded, Woerner has earned recognition as an authoritative figure in the realm of cyber security. He has shared his profound insights by contributing articles to industry publications, delving into pressing topics such as “4 Challenges to Address Corporate Cyber War” and “Educating Employees to Build Better Cyber Security.” Moreover, Woerner frequently graces conferences on cyber security and risk management as a distinguished speaker. Notable presentations in his repertoire include a captivating “Human Hacking” discourse at the US Cyber Crime Conference and an illuminating “Security in the New World” presentation at the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association (AFCEA) conference.

So what is it like to work in cyber security in today’s ever changing technical world? We are pleased to share Ron’s thoughts on that topic.

Please give a general definition of cyber security for someone interested in Information Technology but may not be familiar with the field.

The practice of cyber security is preventing, detecting, and responding to threats to the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of information systems and data.

Tell us more about your background and education. What brought you to work in IT and cyber security? 

I’ve always been interested in computers. I started using them in middle school in the early 1980’s and bought my own computer in 1982. It stems from always being curious on how things work. I studied computer science in college with a full-ride AFROTC scholarship to Michigan State University

After college, I worked for a year at AT&T Bell Labs in New Jersey in their archives researching the history, patents, and technologies. Once active-duty, I was an Air Force Intelligence Officer. That taught me many of the fundamental concepts of cyber security. I gravitated toward that topic as a Master’s degree student in the mid-1990’s, since it merged my computer science and intelligence backgrounds. I started working cyber security full-time in 2000 when I created a security program for a major billing company.  

Your professional IT work experience has been in many varying industries, from TD Ameritrade Bank to Nebraska Department of Roads to a food packaging company. Can you tell us a little about how cyber security varies from industry to industry?

The basic cyber security concepts and philosophies don’t change from industry to industry. What’s different are the compliance requirements and the organization’s risk management approach. TD Ameritrade is both a publically-traded company as well as an online brokerage. They have many more regulatory requirements than organizations not in that industry. Regulatory and legal requirements often make a security professional’s job easier, since it sets the goals for a security program. For other organizations I worked for, I had to sell the reasons for security technologies, policies, and procedures to ensure they fit the organization’s business model.

The other difference is how the organization manages risk. Financial organizations and publically-traded companies are much more mature in their understanding and handing of risks. Government and private organizations have a different risk tolerance and therefore the security program must be able to work within their risk framework. 

Cyber security is really a component of risk management and a function of the organization’s business. Cyber security professionals need to use sound risk management processes to ensure IT and cyber security risks are identified, assessed, and appropriately managed based on the business model.  

Can you talk about your dual role as an educator at Bellevue University and as the university’s Cyber Security expert?

The Bellevue University Cyber Security programs are designed to meet the high demand for cyber security professionals in both the public and private sectors. Combining theory with active learning, the program provides a framework for protecting an organization’s information and technology assets. The program is designed for professionals who want to build and expand their knowledge of protection and risk management techniques in the realm of cyber technologies. The program focuses on network and software security, risk management, protection mechanisms, business continuity planning, disaster recovery, and governance of information systems.

As the program director, I need to convey to my student and colleagues the skills, abilities, knowledge, and behavior required of security professionals. I am often asked by people both internally and externally for my expert opinion on a particular security issue, breach, or vulnerability. This requires continual study and research to be able to answer questions accurately and intelligently along with keeping my technical skills up to date.

As an Cyber Security professor, what concepts are you teaching students that are new for even you, a veteran of the industry?

The more I learn, the more I realize just how much more I have to learn. This is true in almost any field, not just IT. A good security professional needs to be well-versed in a multitude of subjects including economics, business management, psychology/human factors, legal studies and project management along with technology. 

Within technology, the newest area is mobile and cloud computing. Many organizations are moving to cloud technologies and using mobile devices like smartphones and tablets. This requires a slightly different mindset than traditional technologies. So, I’m continually learning the technologies in use such as virtualization, mobile app development, and big data.

Bellevue University is partners with numerous large companies like IBM, EMC, and Cisco. I’m taking advantage of the great training that comes with those partnerships.

It sometimes boggles my mind how much more there is to learn.  A philosophy I live by is to always be learning.  

How has cyber security changed since you entered it? Where do you see it going in upcoming years?

We will continue to see anytime/anywhere computing grow. Mobile and cloud computing enable this. The Internet of Things (IoT) is also a great change where more devices are made network-accessible. This means we’ll need to identify the threat, vulnerabilities, and risks associated with those technologies and apply security accordingly.

We are slowly migrating away from passwords. They are a very poor security control, yet they are very simple and cheap to operate. We will continue to see a growth in two-factor or multi-factor authentication, which requires users to use something they know (like a password) along with something they have (like a cell phone) or something they are (like a fingerprint). It’s much more common-place and user-friendly today, which is great because of the additional layer of security it provides.

Many companies from varying industries have been featured in the news recently for having their company and consumer information stolen by hackers. How does the field of cyber security contribute to preventing these kinds of hacker attacks and security breaches?

The recent breaches are causing many (if not most) organizations to re-prioritize cyber security. They don’t want to be the next headline, so they are hiring cyber security professionals to improve their technologies, policies, and procedures to reduce their risks. Cyber Security professionals understand threat vectors and the threat landscape to better anticipate potential security problems and hopefully stop them before they occur (aka prevention). They also understand how to detect issues to reduce the impact or probability of damage occurring. Lastly, they can help the organization respond appropriately when there is a breach.

There is no silver bullet to security. It takes dedicated security personnel along with universal participation of all employees to keep risks at a manageable level.

In your opinion, is it an ideal time to go into IT or to become an IT specialist? If so, why?

IT continues to be one of the hottest career fields. Computers are now ubiquitous and we need people to program, maintain, manage, and secure them. There are way more jobs than there are workers. 

What qualities or skills do you think are necessary for pursuing a career in IT and cyber security?

We need students who know more than just how to point and click, but understand the underlying technologies. They need to be consistently curious about the technology with a passion to learn the many different facets of the career field. To be successful cyber security also takes maturity. Things rarely go as planned. The professional needs to be able to handle adversity and implement contingency plans to meet organizational goals.

Other skills needed for not only IT / Cyber security, but all career fields are the ability to (1) communicate and (2) work with people. Being a successful IT or cyber security professional means more than just the technology, but the ability to interact with the people who use that technology.

What advice do you have for students pursuing a degree in IT or cyber security? How can students prepare themselves for the challenges?

A-B-C: Always Be Curious. There’s so much to learn (see my quote above) that you can’t get it all in the classroom. You need to do your homework even when you’re out of school to stay up to date. The real tests aren’t in the classroom, but in the workforce. 

Ask questions. If there’s something you don’t understand, it’s your job to ask intelligent questions to learn. 

CYA: Check Your Assumptions. Don’t assume that things are as they appear. Also, don’t assume that people understand what you’re talking about.

What do you find is the most exciting thing about the work you do?

The students. I love interacting and learning with them.

The experts interviewed for this article may be compensated to provide opinions on products, services, websites and various other topics. Even though the expert may receive compensation for this interview, the views, opinions, and positions expressed by the expert are his or hers alone, are not endorsed by, and do not necessarily reflect the views, opinions, and positions of EducationDynamics, LLC. EducationDynamics, LLC make no representations as to the accuracy, completeness, timeliness, suitability, or validity of any information in this article and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in or resulting from this information or any losses or damages arising from its display or use.

Cyber Security Issues

Interview with Michael Meikle: Challenges of Working in Cyber Security

Michael Meikle has witnessed the profound transformations within the Information Technology (IT) sector during his extensive two-decade tenure. The landscape that initially revolved around combating viruses and fortifying passwords in the 1990s has since undergone a substantial shift towards safeguarding data in our wireless, mobile-device-dominated world. Holding the pivotal roles of Chief Operating Officer and partner at the cybersecurity consultancy firm secure HIM, Meikle enjoys an unobstructed view of the ever-shifting terrain of data protection and risk evaluation within the IT domain.

Michael Meikle pursued coursework at Virginia Commonwealth University before embarking on a journey with a startup, where he gained invaluable hands-on experience. He furthered his education by earning a Master’s certificate in International Business Management and subsequently pursued multiple certifications, including the coveted Project Management Professional (PMP) and the esteemed Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP).

Thanks to his profound expertise in the field, Meikle has been called upon to share his insights in articles addressing topics ranging from security breaches to effective business strategies. His contributions have graced esteemed publications such as the Los Angeles Times, the Chicago Tribune, and PC World Magazine. Additionally, Meikle is a sought-after national speaker on technology and cybersecurity, regularly delivering talks at diverse industry events, including those hosted by the Medical Society of Northern Virginia (MSNVA), the Intel/McAfee FOCUS Conference, and Secure360.

Meikle emphasizes that many of his early positions played an instrumental role in shaping his current career trajectory. He points to pivotal roles such as a system and network administrator at an engineering startup, a project manager within the US Department of Health, and a security architect at Capitol One as vital stepping stones in his professional journey.

A significant milestone in his career was achieved when he received the prestigious Governor’s Technology Award from the Virginia Department of Social Services. This recognition was bestowed upon him for his exceptional contribution to the implementation of the Division of Licensing Programs Help and Information Network (DOLPHIN) System. Notably, this marked his inaugural software product implementation intended for statewide use, marking a momentous achievement in his professional portfolio.

Our interview with Michael Meikle explores the challenges currently facing the field of cyber security and the importance of continuing education in order to stay current and informed in the IT industry.

Tell us more about your background and education. What led you to work in IT and cyber security?

I have always had an affinity for computers and technology, so when I joined an engineering startup in college, I naturally fell into a system/network admin role. From there, I leveraged my experience and gradually shifted my career toward software development project management. After completing some large enterprise projects, I saw that information security was becoming more crucial and so I sought out more opportunities that would take my career toward the cyber security discipline.

Please describe cyber security and what your company does for someone who may not be familiar with the field.

To boil it down to its most basic essence, cyber security is the protection of data. All the processes, technologies, and people involved are all concerned with confidentiality, integrity and availability of that data.

Our company, secureHIM, is a security consulting and education company. We provide cyber security training for clients on topics such as data privacy and how to minimize the risk of data breaches. To facilitate these services, secureHIM has partnered with the Information Institute and its founder Dr. Gurpreet Dhillion. This partnership provides an accredited information and security framework for these programs.

Our consulting programs include security program evaluation, HIPAA & HITECH security assessments, strategic social media programs, and IT security planning services.

What is the most exciting thing about the work you do? Or the most rewarding?

Developing and delivering security training programs for companies are two areas that are the most exciting for me. I really enjoy interacting with folks and providing some great material that can be interesting, helpful, and contribute a great deal to the security of their company.

The other area that is most exciting for me is incident response. While stressful, there is a thrill of tracking down the origins of a phishing attempt or successful malware infection and then crafting the appropriate solution to protect against such an incursion in the future.

Can you tell us about your different roles in the IT industry (security consultant, risk consultant, author, trainer, voice in social media)?

I’ve held quite a few different roles in the IT & Security Industry. I’ll list a few of these below:

Security Consultant – I have provided security consulting services for around 15 years across multiple industries (Financial, Healthcare, Government, etc.). Projects I have led include Data Loss Prevention (DLP), endpoint encryption, intrusion detection/prevention, risk assessments, and data breach response.

Risk Consultant – As part of my security consulting practice, I have provided a wide assortment of risk consulting services, primarily in risk assessments. These assessments include HIPAA, HITECH, application security, and enterprise security environment.

Author – I have a significant body of published work across various publications, including a recent article about the Affordable Care Act in Social Work Today.

Trainer – I am an eLearning expert with dozens of online courses/webinars in my portfolio. I have provided these services for ExecSense/Financial Times, AtTask, Medical Practice Trends, and in person at various enterprises.

Social Media – I am an active participant in social media and I also provide security services for enterprise social media programs. I have spoken at national conferences on the topic of social media and I have designed several social media campaigns for regional companies.

How has your entrepreneurial spirit been a benefit to you in the cyber security field?

The drive to take a concept and create a viable business around it is very beneficial in several ways. It forces you to keep on top of your industry. You have to continuously educate yourself to ensure you have not missed a crucial opportunity or made potentially damaging missteps. 

It also provides a healthy reality check regarding business realities and forces a person who is oriented toward technology to manage the day to day operations of a business. This is invaluable experience and a definite step outside of the comfort zone of a typical technologist.

What are some of the key points you emphasize when training a company on risk, compliance, and security? What are some of the challenges of the profession?

Key points on Risk:

  1. Effective enterprise risk management requires a certain level of corporate maturity. This entails a managed and supported governance program.
  2. The concept of risk management itself must be driven from the executive suite with full support of those executives.
  3. With a new risk program, start small. Track no more than 10 critical business processes (KPI). Attach a Key Risk Indicator (KRI) to each.
  4. Risks must have executive oversight and business ownership.
  5. There is no technological silver bullet for managing risk.

Key points on Compliance:

  1. An effective compliance program is a component of a robust Governance, Risk, and Compliance initiative. This relies on a level of corporate maturity and support from the executive suite.
  2. The regulatory burden on multiple industries is continuously increasing. An enterprise needs to be educated on its local, state, and federal regulatory burden to ensure its program is covering its exposure.
  3. Beware of compliance by “checklist.” A checkbox compliance program may be tempting but many industry regulatory frameworks are incomplete or vague, which could lead to missing key risks. PCI compliance can be a good example of compliance by “checklist.”

Key points on Security:

  1. Security must become more of a priority at the executive level. Even with the latest breaches, corporate leadership mostly considers cyber security as a necessary evil with appropriate funding and visibility to match.
  2. The most unsophisticated security solutions still provide the most bang for the buck. These include patching your servers and endpoints, training your users on security risks, standard, updated antivirus/antimalware protection on servers and endpoints.
  3. Consider that nearly all of the recent major breaches have begun with a phishing campaign that lead to accounts becoming compromised and eventually stolen data.
  4. Monitor the tools you do have in place. All of the security solutions in the world will not protect you if they are not managed and monitored. Trained staff interpreting the data that is received by these solutions is very critical.

Challenges of the Security Profession:

  1. Staying current on the latest technologies, threats, and regulations is quite difficult. It requires continuous education.
  2. Communicating the need for training to leadership. Training in the enterprise today is not a priority for most companies. I have consulted for quite a few who do not invest at all in their employee’s ongoing education.
  3. Communicating the importance of security to leadership. It is an unfortunate reality that the security team of most companies becomes involved in a project near its completion when a security issue occurs. Proactive information security involvement in the enterprise is still in its infancy.

Companies from varying industries are desperately trying to safeguard their information from being hacked. What are some principle practices that you emphasize to companies trying to maintain security?

When considering your security program, remember it is about protecting the enterprise data. Data is the new currency and is increasingly important to the enterprise. In some industries, the protection of data has added federal mandates, such as healthcare Protected Health Information (PHI).

When protecting your data, review the Data CIA model. This stands for Confidentiality, Integrity and Availability.  Is you data confidential to unauthorized users? Do you know who has accessed, changed, or copied your data (integrity)? Can your data be accessed by authorized users when appropriate (availability)?

How has the cyber security field changed since you entered it?

The security field has changed tremendously since I first entered it in the 1990s. At that time, decent virus scanning tools, patching endpoints/servers when necessary, and a firewall were considered a viable security program. Security was usually an activity underneath the IT department that was managed by system administrator on an “as needed” basis.

Fast forward to today and the pace of security has become frenetic. New threats arise constantly and staying ahead of the curve is nearly impossible. In many cases, cyber security is still a subcomponent of information technology, but that is changing quickly. The basics of security still apply. Patching, monitoring, endpoint and server protection, employee training etc. are very critical.

The biggest change has been the arrival of consumer technologies into the enterprise (Consumerization). Gone are the days of corporate Blackberries, laptops, and desktops being the only devices an employee uses to access corporate information. Now a plethora of iDevices, Androids, and other mobile devices have knocked down the enterprise technology barriers. Managing how data is accessed, stored, and transmitted on these devices is one of the largest security challenges for security departments today.

Security has gone from the moat, drawbridge, and castle model to building a multiple secure perimeters around crucial pieces of corporate data. 

Do you think it’s an ideal time to go into IT or to become an IT specialist, and if so, why?

I believe it is a viable career choice with some caveats. You must realize that IT has been the target of downsizing, right-sizing, outsourcing, whatever euphemism you want to call it for over twenty years. You must be very flexible in your IT career and constantly aware of what trends are impacting the profession. Information security is relatively hot at the moment, but that could change quickly. Be prepared to shift your direction in your career and always have a few other IT skills you can fall back on.

Which skills do you think are necessary for pursuing a career in IT and cyber security?

General skills that may serve you well in IT and security:

  1. The ability to learn quickly
  2. Ability to troubleshoot problems while drawing on multiple sources of information
  3. Ability to embrace change
  4. The ability to communicate technical concepts to business users so they can make the appropriate decisions
  5. A love of technology

Valuable technical skills would be:

  1. Operating Systems
  2. Networking
  3. Servers
  4. Storage
  5. Virtual Machines
  6. Software Architecture

What advice do you have for students pursuing a degree in IT or cyber security? How can students prepare themselves for the challenges?

To prepare for the pursuit of an IT or cyber security degree, I would earn an industry certification or two. Take a look at the various CompTIA certifications and see what fits your interest. They may be valuable for your resume but there is no replacement for experience. Experience in the industry will give you the best feel for what to expect in a degree program. Internships may be abundant for IT and security, so seek them out at your university. 

The experts interviewed for this article may be compensated to provide opinions on products, services, websites and various other topics. Even though the expert may receive compensation for this interview, the views, opinions, and positions expressed by the expert are his or hers alone, are not endorsed by, and do not necessarily reflect the views, opinions, and positions of EducationDynamics, LLC. EducationDynamics, LLC make no representations as to the accuracy, completeness, timeliness, suitability, or validity of any information in this article and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in or resulting from this information or any losses or damages arising from its display or use.

Cyber Security Career

Interview with Doug Landoll: Navigating A Cyber Security Career

Amidst the era of digitization, where reports of cyber security breaches make frequent headlines, Doug Landoll has consistently maintained a proactive stance. Functioning as an authority in security risk evaluation and serving as the Chief Executive Officer of a firm specializing in information security, Landoll boasts a wealth of years spent acclimatizing to the dynamic shifts within the realm of IT. This encompasses the diverse array of perils that loom over digital data, spanning the domains of public and private information alike.

Cyber Security Career Doug Landoll

Fueled by a passion for engaging with computers, Landoll achieved his Bachelor of Science degree in computer science from James Madison University. Subsequently, he pursued his executive Masters of Business Administration (MBA) from the esteemed Red McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas in Austin. Alongside his academic accomplishments, Landoll obtained certification as a CISSP (Certified Information Security Professional), a premier credential within the information security arena.

Over the passage of time, Doug Landoll’s professional journey encompassed diverse roles within multiple companies. These ranged from serving as a Trusted Product Evaluator at the National Security Agency, to assuming the mantle of Practice Director of Risk & Compliance Management at an enterprise specializing in information security, and culminated in the establishment of Lantego—a firm comprising adept professionals in information security compliance—with Landoll at its helm as CEO. He crafted a comprehensive handbook for security risk assessment, a vital resource embraced by IT practitioners and learners alike. Owing to his extensive expertise, he has earned prominence in numerous publications addressing information security subjects, and he frequently delivers talks at prominent IT conferences such as the recent Information Systems Audit and Control Association conference.

Read our full interview with Doug Landoll to find out how he got into IT and the field of cyber security and how the navigates the ever-developing challenges of the digital age.

Tell us more about your background and education. What led you to work in IT and cyber security? 

I always loved working with computers and enjoyed the mathematics background and analytical aspect of it all, but I never really enjoyed programming. Back when I went to school, programming seemed to be the only option in the field. Somehow I just knew I would find something in this field so I kept on with my education. A BS in Computer Science allowed me to pursue work in this field and discover that there were a wide variety of positions. I was introduced to the field of computer security (which I really did not know existed) when the intelligence community recruited me in my senior year of college. Once I caught that bug, I have never looked back. I love this field of study.

Did you hold any past positions that have played a significant role in where you are today?

I held several positions that influenced where I am today. I led several technical teams while serving in the intelligence community, analyzing security vulnerabilities of commercial systems. I led consulting practices within large organizations and grew them with additional services and members. But the most rewarding and influential positions I have held is founding and running my own company. I have done this four times now: founding, growing, and eventually selling information security consulting practices. I now enjoy working for myself and concentrating on information security risk assessments, policy development, and the education of others pursuing a career in information security.

Please describe cyber security and what your company, Lantego, does for someone who’s unfamiliar with the field.

Cyber security can be thought in two distinct missions: Builders and Busters. Builders design, assemble, configure, and operate secure networks and applications. Their job is to ensure that they create the most resilient and secure systems to protect an organization’s assets with the resources they have. Busters review, assess, and test these systems looking for any design, implementation, or operational flaws or vulnerabilities in the system. Their job is to find these vulnerabilities, prioritize them, and suggest how to fix them in the most efficient and effective way possible.

Lantego specializes in assessments. Gap assessments are a review of the current security controls with respect to an industry standard such as HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) security and privacy or the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS). Security risk assessments go one step farther and assess the likelihood that vulnerability could be exploited and the impact it would have on the organization. This allows us to prioritize our findings. Lantego also develops information security policies and processes for state agencies and commercial organizations when they are lacking appropriate administrative controls. Many organizations seek independent consultants for assessments and policy development because of the need for an independent review and the lack of specialized resources to create policy.

What keeps you excited and interested in the work you do?

I keep excited about my work because there is always something new to work on. Last year, I rewrote the information security policy set for the State of Arizona and worked directly with the State CIO (chief information officer) and State CISO (Chief Information Security Officer) in a project that affected all 145+ agencies in the state. At the same time, I performed HIPAA security risk assessments for hospitals in Virginia, resourcePageQuoteTennessee, Texas, and Arizona. The variety of environments, business models, system implementation, and security requirements keeps me on my toes and the work always interesting.

Expand on your different roles in the IT industry (risk assessment expert, author, voice in social media).

One of the most influential efforts I ever pursued in the writing of my first book: The Security Risk Assessment Handbook. I knew a lot about risk assessments at the time but the research I did to create a textbook expanded my knowledge beyond what I would have ever received from simply performing the risk assessments.

As a recognized expert on security risk assessments, I am able to provide some insight on the process, the state of security in the industry, and how we can continue to improve our security postures as the threat environment continues to mature. Just as regulations and threats continue to evolve so too does my own risk assessment process every time I perform another risk assessment.

I share my thoughts, findings, and experiences through social media and conferences. As a profession, it is important that we share our experiences and continue to mature our tools and processes to secure the infrastructure that protects data assets.

Is your book, The Security Risk Assessment Handbook: A Complete Guide for Performing Security Risk Assessments, used for students pursuing an IT degree? If so, what information do they find most helpful?

My book was written specifically for the practitioner. Anyone who intends to understand how to perform an information security risk assessment (or even use the results of one) will gain a practical understanding of how to conduct a complete assessment. The book is used in many colleges and universities as either required or supplemental reading. What the student will gain is practical advice on how to actually perform an information security risk assessment. Most students are surprised by the detail of instruction in the book. I wrote the book because there was no such instruction available elsewhere.

How has your entrepreneurial spirit helped you become an expert in the cyber security field?

My entrepreneurial spirit has allowed me to pursue business plans and offer information security services that my previous employers or “the big guys” did not see coming or did not see enough profit in. I am able to create new services quickly and effectively when I see a potential need. For example, last year I created a new class on the NIST Cyber Security Framework to coincide with NIST’s release of this new framework. I was able to gain several new clients who quickly adopted the standard and were unable to find training anywhere else.

I am also able to specialize in areas that I feel are most needed and underserved. For example, this year I launched my “Black Diamond Initiative”. This is what I call expert-only services. Most organizations have the expertise in-house to develop and deliver most of their information security program elements… with two notable exceptions. The first exception is an objective and independent review of the controls they put in place (i.e., an information security risk assessment). The second exception is education and training. When organizations reach out to consultancies for either an assessment or certification training the most important element is the expertise of the actual consultant that gets assigned. Assessing risk or educating your people is no place to cut corners, so organizations should demand an expert – that’s what Lantego delivers. We only provide experts in the field (i.e., someone who has performed scores of risk assessments or trained thousands of CISSP candidates).

What do you find are the most challenging aspects of cyber security as a field?

Keeping up with changes. No one can be an expert in the entire field of information security. You need to pick your areas of expertise and then be diligent about keeping up. There is always a new tool, regulation, technique, breach, conference, or threat that your customers expect you not only to know about but to have an opinion and a solution.

Has the field of cyber security field changed since you entered it? If so, how?

The field has expanded greatly and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. It used to be that we all considered ourselves information security engineers. Now we are clearly divided as builders or busters, and then again in many different specialties such as forensics, web application code review, regulation compliance, and many more. The good news is that there is a lot of discovery yet to happen and this is a very exciting field.

In your opinion, is it an ideal time to go into IT or to become an IT specialist, and if so, why?

There are many types of jobs in both IT and IT specialties. If you have a desire to learn and push yourself, and if the thought of your field constantly expanding excites you, then I would advise you to pursue a specialty. It is not for everyone but for those that truly enjoy the challenge, you will find a career you truly enjoy.

Which skills do you think a person should build if they want to pursue a career in IT and cyber security?

Inherent skills include a thirst for knowledge, a desire to solve puzzles, and an analytical mind. If you have those, then throw yourself into the study of the basics: computer science, data analysis, programming, system design, privacy and security law. Once you understand the basics, pursue a position in a large company that allows you the freedom of lateral movement and encourages you to try new things. Pay attention to your interests and seek out experts. Let them know that you want to learn more about what they do. Continue this until you find your own special interest and then dig in.

What advice would you give to students pursuing a degree in IT or cyber security? How can students prepare themselves for the challenges?

Get involved in the cyber security community early. Many organizations such as ISSA (Information Systems Security Association), ISACA (Information Systems Audit and Control Association), and ISC2 (International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium) have student chapters; most security conferences have student rates and potentially even scholarships for qualified students. Attend meetings, go to conferences, even submit a paper. The earlier you get involved, the sooner you will be exposed to those areas that excite you and network with those that can help your career.

The experts interviewed for this article may be compensated to provide opinions on products, services, websites and various other topics. Even though the expert may receive compensation for this interview, the views, opinions, and positions expressed by the expert are his or hers alone, are not endorsed by, and do not necessarily reflect the views, opinions, and positions of EducationDynamics, LLC. EducationDynamics, LLC make no representations as to the accuracy, completeness, timeliness, suitability, or validity of any information in this article and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in or resulting from this information or any losses or damages arising from its display or use.

IT Certifications

IT Certifications

The realm of skills extends beyond the boundaries of traditional colleges or degree-centric environments. Certain proficiencies find their form through IT certifications, akin to esteemed badges within the professional sphere. Intrigued by the concept of IT certifications? Discover a compilation of such certifications in the list below.

Within the tech community, there exists a division of thought: some champion specialized programs linked to vendors like Google, Microsoft, or Cisco, while others vouch for vendor-neutral assessments, exemplified by the offerings of the Project Management Institute. To delve deeper into this subject, check out our Top Online Project Management Programs for more information. However, the best IT certification for you can only be determined by you and your personal circumstances and your potential career path.

There are far to many Information Technology certifications for us to comprehensively cover, so we have selected a few of the more popular certifications and have listed some of the requirements necessary to complete them.


AWS has become a serious cloud solution option for both small and large businesses. This certification will test your ability to  effectively demonstrate knowledge of how to architect and deploy secure and robust applications on AWS technologies. 

  • Who offers it: Amazon
  • Pre-requisites: One year hands on experience designing available, cost-efficient, fault-tolerant, and scalable distributed systems on AWS
  • Does it expire?:  Recertification is required every two years for all AWS Certifications


Network+ certification – this data networking certification may be recommended as one of the first professional certifications for those pursuing the roles of help desk technician, network administrator, IT cable installer, and other career paths.

  • Who offers it: CompTIA (an independent industry vendor)
  • Pre-requisites: None, although the A+ recommended as well as 9 months of networking experience
  • Does it expire?: TBD – usually 3 years after the current exam has launched
  • Did you know? This certification is held by nearly half a million people worldwide


This may be another good starting point for IT professionals, this certification covers topics like mobile, tablets, desktop, PC repair, operating systems, and more.  It helps prepare an individual for troubleshooting networking and security systems and may be a good choice for field service technicians, IT support specialists, and others.

  • Who offers it: CompTIA (an independent industry vendor)
  • Pre-requisites: None, although it to have 6 to 12 months experience in the field
  • Does it expire?: Yes. Certifications issued after 2011 expire after 3 years, you can keep it current though, through continuing education offered by CompTIA
  • Did you know? This certification is held by over 1 million people


The CCNA (Cisco Certified Network Associate) certification is intended for entry-level network engineers, this certification program covers the installation, configuration, and troubleshooting of medium-size routed and switched networks.

  • Who offers it: Cisco
  • Pre-requisites: None
  • Does it expire?: Yes, after 3 years. You can keep the certification valid by passing one of Cisco’s continuing education exams BEFORE your certification expires 


The MCSA (Microsoft Certified Systems Administrator)  certification covers core IT skill areas such as Microsoft Windows 8, SQL Server 2012, and Office 365.  It may be a good fit for computer support specialists and other IT employees.

  • Who offers it:  Microsoft
  • Pre-requisites:   None
  • Does it expire?:   The MCSA does not require any sort of re-certification

Curious about Systems Administration? Check out program information here.


MCSE (Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer) – this certification covers a more advanced level than the MCSA on topics such as server and desktop infrastructure, private cloud and business intelligence. 

  • Who offers it:  Microsoft
  • Pre-requisites:  MCSA  
  • Does it expire?:  the MCSE requires recertification every 3 years. 
  • Important to know! This certification is being replaced by the new Microsoft Certified Solution Expert (MCSE)  – yes, it has the same acronym. The new cert is centered around the ability to design and build technology solutions vs a specific job role.


​CRISC (Certified in Risk and Information Systems Control ) – This certification is designed for IT professionals, project managers, and others whose job it is to identify and manage risks in Information Systems

  • Who offers it:  ISACA  (Information Systems Audit and Control Association an independent industry vendor)
  • Pre-requisites:  At least three years of experience in two of the four CRISC domains is required for certification
  • Does it expire?: To keep the certification in good standing individuals are required to maintain a minimum of 20 CPE hours annually and 120 CPE hours over their 3-year cycle. There is also annual maintenance fee of US $45 ISACA member and US $85 non-member is required.
  • Did you know?: This exam is only offered two times a year!


The CompTIA Linux+ certification may be a good choice for junior Linux administrators, systems administrators, web developers, and others who need to demonstrate familiarity with the Linux operating system. Why is Linux important? Well, not only does it power a vast majority of Web servers it is also the foundation of the LAMP development stack (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP)

  • Who offers it: CompTIA (an independent industry vendor)
  • Pre-requisites: None, although it is recommended to have 6 to 12 months Linux experience and the A+ and Network+ certifications
  • Does it expire?: It was unclear in our research if it does, however most CompTIA certifications do require continuing education renewal so it is likely as technology is always rapidly changing.


The Google Apps certification tests your skills in either the deployment, configuration, and migration to Google Apps for Work (Certified Deployment Specialist exam) or the administration of a Google Apps domain (Certified Administrator exam)

  • Who offers it:  Google
  • Pre-requisites:  Deployment specialist: Recommended minimum of three years of professional IT experience, and complete at least three Google Apps for Work deployments.  Administrator – recommended minimum of six months experience managing a Google Apps domain with a minimum of 50 users.
  • Does it expire?: You’re required to pass the certification exams every 18 months; the exam can be retaken 30 days prior to or up to 60 days after the 18-month renewal date.


Adobe offers a variety of certification programs related to their popular software products, such as Analytics, Target, Dreamweaver, Flash, ColdFusion, and many others. The Adobe Certified Expert certification may be useful to graphic designers, web designers, web developers, and others

  • Who offers it:  Adobe
  • Pre-requisites:  Typically none
  • Does it expire?: Certifications on Adobe Digital Marketing Suite products are valid for 12 months. All other product certifications do not expire


The CCNP (Cisco Certified Network Professional ) certification program covers more advanced routing and switching knowledge for network engineers, network technicians, and others

  • Who offers it: Cisco
  • Pre-requisites: Valid CCNA or any CCIE certification
  • Does it expire?: Yes, after 3 years. You can keep the certification valid by passing one of Cisco’s continuing education exams BEFORE your certification expires


The CISSP (Certified Information Systems Security Professional) certification is perhaps one of the more popular IT certification programs for information systems security professionals, CISSP tests ten key areas including risk management, network security, and cryptography. This certification may be valuable to IT directors, security analysts, security systems engineers, and other IT professionals who need comprehensive knowledge of information security

  • Who offers it:  (ISC)²
  • Pre-requisites:  At least 5 years of recent full-time professional work experience in 2 or more of the 8 domains of the CISSP exam
  • Does it expire?: To remain valid, the individual is required to submit continuing professional education (CPE) credits in alignment with the refreshed 8 domains of the CISSP


The Security+ certification is relevant for professionals in the data security field as the certification aims to demonstrate proficiency with security fundamentals such as assessing network vulnerabilities. These fundamentals are likely to be important to any employee responsible for managing sensitive information.

  • Who offers it: CompTIA (an independent industry vendor)
  • Pre-requisites:  Recommended minimum 2 years of experience with a focus on IT security and the Netowrk+ certification
  • Does it expire?: TBD – usually 3 years after the current exam has launched


Project Management Professional certification program tests key knowledge areas about directly managing projects including how to manage project scope, time, cost, quality, risk and more

  • Who offers it:  Project Management Institute  (an independent industry vendor)
  • Pre-requisites:  Depending on your circumstances – at least three to five years of project management experience, with 4,500 to 7,500 hours leading and directing projects and 35 hours of project management education
  • Does it expire?: In order to keep the certification valid, the holder must earn 60 professional development units (PDU) per every 3 year cycle


There are many books and other study aids out there to help you prepare for taking one of these exams, including courses offered by our partner Udemy. We have taken the time to compile a short list of their highly user rated courses that may help prepare you for taking some of the above IT Certification exams.

Udemy CourseStudents Enrolled
A+CompTIA A+ 220-802 – Prepare For The CompTIA A+ 220-802 Exam3,435
A+CompTIA A+ 220-801 – Prepare For The CompTIA A+ 220-801 Exam3,337
CCNAComplete Cisco CCNA 200-301 Course24,962
CCNACCNA 2015 200-120 Video Boot Camp With Chris Bryant105,131
MCSAMicrosoft Windows Server 2012 Certification – Exam 70-41016,249
MCSAMicrosoft Windows Server 2012 Certification – Exam 70-4119,388
SQLMS SQL Server With Real World Db Design Techniques10,628
SQLOracle SQL – A Complete Introduction98,480
SQLSQL for Newbs: Beginner Data Analysis72,190
LinuxLearn Linux in 5 Days and Level Up Your Career175,068
LinuxLinux for Beginners52,621
AppsAndroid Java Masterclass – Become an App Developer69,696
AppsThe Complete iOS 10 & Swift 3 Developer Course62,813
AdobeMastering Adobe Photoshop CC30,072
AdobeAdobe InDesign CS6 Tutorial – Beginners to Advanced Training14,044
CCNPCCNP All-in-1 Video Boot Camp With Chris Bryant46,149
CCNPCCNP SWITCH 300-115 Video Boot Camp With Chris Bryant3,967
CISSPHacking Techniques for IT Professionals 2.0 Complete Course8,627


The certification you might want to earn first (or at all) typically depends on your intended career path. For instance, web designers may pursue Adobe certification but likely won’t need Network+ certification. Take the time to explore your professional area and find out what the best IT certification track may be for your goals. Keep in mind that some certifications have prerequisites, and you may need to earn some certifications in a specific order. For example, the CCNP certification for network engineers requires candidates to have earned CCNA certification first


Some certifications could remain valid for the duration of your career, while others may need to be renewed on a regular basis as the IT field evolves. One example of a certification that does not expire is the MCSA. While the MCSA certifications may not technically expire, it may be retired as new operating systems replace old ones, but your certification remains valid.(Of course, once the operating system you are certified in is no longer in use, you may wish to be recertified in the latest OS.)

Some certifications, like the PMP, require you to pursue ongoing professional development and education in order to renew your certification. Certifications offered by CompTIA such as the A+, Network+ or Security+ certifications would only need to renew at the highest certification level held. So in this example, you would only need to meet the continuing education requirements for Security+ to renew all three certifications.


In most cases, you’ll need to pass an exam that covers core areas of your professional field, proving that you have the knowledge and experience necessary to be certified. Some certifications also have specific educational and professional requirements. For example, the CISSP certification requires candidates to have five years of full-time work experience involving at least two of the ten core areas that are tested in the exam.

Now that you know a bit more about the certifications that IT professionals could pursue, hopefully you are in a better position to decide which is the best IT certification for you. 


12 Must Know Facts About Cybersecurity

12 Must Know Facts About Cybersecurity for 2023

Our infographic is full of facts about Cybersecurity! Did you know that Cyber-attacks are the fastest-growing crime in the U.S.?  This includes user data theft from cybersecurity breaches. As our society increases its use of technology, this figure will continue to increase in size, scope, and cost. 

The foremost fact about cybersecurity is that Cyber terrorists, identity thieves, and computer hackers steal highly sensitive and classified data off of the web daily – and make front-page headlines in the process.

Today’s InfoSec professionals are trying to stay ahead of cybercriminals, though remain worried about AI-powered cyber attacks, sandbox evading malware, ransomware and more.

The growing demand for more effective information security products and protocols means now could be a great time to research an education and/or career in this exciting field.  Our team has put together some interesting data points that show how real this threat is.


Hackers may work in the shadows, but they propose real threats to businesses and individuals alike. Here are some noteworthy statistics about InfoSec. You may be surprised at the extent to which data is under attack.

  1. Microsoft reports that approximately 80% of nation-state attackers have directed their focus towards government agencies, think tanks, and various non-governmental organizations.
  2. During the initial half of 2022, there were approximately 236.1 million ransomware incidents on a global scale.
  3. In the initial half of 2022, a staggering 53.35 million residents of the United States fell victim to cybercrime.
  4. In 2017, the FBI estimated that ransomware infected more than 100,000 computers a day around the world
  5. According to Microsoft, 20% of small to mid-sized businesses have been cybercrime targets.
  6. 53 percent of cyber-attacks resulted in damages of $500,000 or more 
  7. Research suggests that up to 40% of cyber threats are now occurring directly through the supply chain.
  8. 91 percent of security professionals are concerned that hackers will use AI to launch even more sophisticated cyber-attacks
  9. In fact, projections indicate that by the conclusion of 2025, there will be a notable shortage of cybersecurity professionals, with an estimated 3.5 million unfilled positions in the field
  10. Hundreds of thousands — and possibly millions — of people can now be hacked via cardioverter defibrillators (ICD), pacemakers, deep brain neurostimulators, insulin pumps, ear tubes, and more
  11. There are around 24,000 malicious mobile apps blocked every day
  12. Attacks involving crypto-jacking increased by 8,500 percent in 2017 so don’t click on unknown links


Innovation in computer and internet technology reshapes the ways we communicate and conduct business. However, this increasingly digitized world is hard to protect from computer hacking, cyber-espionage, malware, and other major security breaches. Here are some of the headline grabbers that have impacted millions of people across the world.

  1. Yahoo – Biggest data breach in history circa 2013-14 when 3 billion Yahoo users are hacked in a data theft
  2. LinkedIn – In June 2021, LinkedIn experienced a data breach, exposing data from 700 million users. The breach, perpetrated by a hacker called “God User,” raised concerns about potential social engineering attacks despite LinkedIn’s claims that no sensitive personal data was compromised.
  3. Facebook – In April 2019, data from Facebook apps, including phone numbers and account details of 530 million users, was exposed. By April 2021, the data became freely available, prompting security researcher Troy Hunt to add a feature to check if users’ phone numbers were affected on HaveIBeenPwned (HIBP).
  4. T-Mobile Data Breach – On May 1, T-Mobile experienced another data breach, impacting approximately 800 customers. The breach involved the unauthorized access of customer contact info, ID cards, social security numbers, and additional personal data from PIN-protected accounts. This marks the telecom provider’s second breach of the year, with the first affecting 37 million customers in January, and previous incidents occurring in December 2021 and November 2022.
  5. Under Armor – In 2018 Under Armor reported that its app,  “My Fitness Pal” was hacked, affecting 150 million users
  6. U.S. Power Companies – In 2017, security researchers detect that Russian hackers had infiltrated and probed U.S. power companies and that the perpetrators had direct access to an American utility’s control systems
  7. MSI Data Breach/Ransomware Attack – Computer vendor Micro-Star International has suffered a data breach, with new ransomware gang Money Message claiming responsibility for the attack. The group says they’ve stolen 1.5TB of information from the Taiwanese company’s systems and want $4 million in payment – or they’ll release the data if MSI fails to pay.
  8. Iranian Hackers – The U.S. Justice Department uncovers a major government-backed Iranian cyber-espionage ring. These hackers broke into the computer networks of 144 U.S. universities, stole 31 terabytes of intellectual property and caused f $3.4 billion worth of damages. They then attacked 36 private American companies and infiltrated five U.S. government agencies, stealing the emails associated with thousands of accounts
  9. Hudson’s Bay Company – HBC, which owns Saks Fifth Avenue and Lord & Taylor Inc were massively hacked in April 2018. They report Hackers stole the data of more than 5 million credit and debit cards
  10. Ticketfly – In June 2018 the subsidiary of Eventbrite concert ticketing agency announces a data breach that impacted more than 26 million customer accounts. The stolen information included customer names, addresses, email addresses, and telephone numbers
  11. U.S. Airforce – In 2018, an amateur hacker illegally accessed an Air Force captain’s computer by exploiting a known security flaw and stole classified information about MQ-9A Reaper drones and their operators. The hacker then tried to sell them on the dark web for just $150
  12. Vtech – Even children’s data is stolen when in 2018, a cyber-attack on electronic toymaker VTech Technologies exposed the personal data of 6.4 million children
Facts About Cybersecurity infographic

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Most information cyber security analyst careers require at least a bachelors degree in computer science, information assurance, programming, or a related field like cybersecurity. Experience is seen as an asset too.

For those aspiring to advance in their professional trajectory, acquiring a background in business can prove advantageous in developing strong managerial decision-making skills. Consider pursuing an MBA with a specialization in information systems. Alternatively, opt for a comprehensive and technically-focused path by enrolling in a Master of Science program in Cybersecurity or Information Security, where you may select a concentration to further enhance your expertise:

  • Cyber Intelligence
  • Computer Forensics
  • Cyber Operations
  • Electronic Crime & Fraud
  • Malware Analysis

In any case, to remain highly sought after and stay up-to-date with the latest trends and technologies, many cybersecurity professionals opt to pursue ongoing education throughout their careers. This can involve pursuing additional degrees or obtaining professional certifications in specialized areas such as penetration testing, systems auditing, or credentials like the Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP).

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