The New CompTIA A+: ALL Your Questions Answered

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The New CompTIA A+: ALL Your Questions Answered

comptia a+CompTIA A+ first launched in 1993, and since 2001 has been refreshed every three years to ensure the topics covered keep pace with what’s happening in IT. Employers, subject-matter experts and IT pros working in the field guide us in what they look for in help desk technicians, technical support specialists and other jobs related to CompTIA A+ to make sure we’re covering the skills that are needed in today’s world. With the launch of the new CompTIA A+ came many questions, so we’ve set out to answer them here. Keep reading to learn more about the CompTIA A+ Core Series (220-1001 and 220-1002), and post any additional questions in the comments to keep the conversation going.

What’s on the new CompTIA A+ exams?

The CompTIA A+ Core Series (220-1001 and 220-1002) provides a foundation for a number of different IT jobs and helps entry-level IT pros prepare for the jobs of the future.

In addition to topics you might traditionally associate with tech support, the new CompTIA A+ has an increased emphasis on cybersecurity, including malware, as well as cloud technologies, virtualization, the internet of things (IoT), network protocols and troubleshooting.

It also covers the basics of scripting so that help desk technicians and technical support specialists understand what they’re looking at when they encounter code.

CompTIA A+ continues to emphasize problem solving within a technology context. Employers want IT pros who can think critically and approach problems systematically to find a solution. Having CompTIA A+ shows employers that you have the hands-on skills and proof of your ability to solve technology problems.

How can I train for CompTIA A+?

Start by downloading the exam objectives and practice tests to understand what topics are covered and get examples of questions that you might see.

TechSherpas 365 offers a full suite of training solutions for both self-study and instructor-led learning:

  • eLearning: CompTIA CertMaster Learn offers 40+ hours of engaging content with 10 lessons, including interactive performance-based questions. The platform includes narrative instruction, visual aids, videos, games, flashcards and more. A personalized dashboard and countdown calendar help you track your progress and keep you on pace for your scheduled exam.
  • Hands-On Skills Practice: CompTIA Labs are browser-based virtual labs based on scenarios found in the workplace, including configuring operating systems, troubleshooting networks and managing users, workstations and shared resources. The labs within each course are independent of each other and can be used in any order.
  • Exam Prep and Practice Tests: CompTIA CertMaster Practice is an adaptive knowledge assessment tool that determines what you have already mastered and what you still need to learn to improve your confidence before taking the exam. The system tailors feedback to help you build knowledge in your weaker areas, keeping you engaged and focused throughout your study session.
  • Books: The Official Study Guides for CompTIA A+, offered in both print and digital form, help you learn and master the material covered by CompTIA A+. It’s flexible so you can learn at your own pace and focus on exam success.
  • Courses: If you prefer to learn with guidance from an instructor, TechSherpas 365 offers a variety of online training and in-person courses.

Help Desk Technician

If you like to solve technical issues and work with people, then help desk technician may be a good next step for you.

What Is a Help Desk Technician?

A help desk technician’s responsibilities include:

  • Diagnosing and solving computer issues.
  • Installing and training end users in new technologies.
  • Providing remote technical support over the phone or internet.
  • Backing up and restoring data files.
  • Repairing hardware and configuring software to maintain operating systems.

A help desk technician must have both hard and soft skills because the position requires a strong technical understanding as well as the ability to communicate clearly with others. For example, when a user has a question, the help desk technician must be able to diagnose the IT issue as well as explain the solution to the user.

Get Ready to Get CompTIA A+

You have many training options to help you prepare for your CompTIA A+ exam, including self-study materials, virtual labs, videos, online classes and in-person career prep classes. In 2020, TechSherpas 365 is bringing its IT-Ready Technical Support program to classrooms, so that students get the training they need to earn CompTIA A+ and launch their IT careers on the help desk.

IT careers are made here - click to subscribe and get a 10% discount on CompTIA products

How to Become a Help Desk Technician

While a formal education may help you get the job, a college degree is not necessary to become a help desk technician. IT certifications will prove that you have the skills to handle the job. CompTIA A+ is a widely recognized certification held by help desk technicians.

The Details

Salary Range

The median salary and wage for computer support specialists are $52,160 per year and $25.8 per hour (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics).

Job Outlook

From 2014 to 2024, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects an increase of 12 percent for computer support specialists, with 88,000 net new jobs expected during that 10-year period.

Job Titles Related to Help Desk Technician

  • Computer support technician/specialist
  • Help desk support engineer
  • Desktop support specialist

Will your next move be help desk technician? If so, check out CompTIA A+ Boot Camp to get you there.

Top 5 Advantages of Instructor-Led Virtual Live Training

training banner2

Let’s face it- We’re living in a virtual world, now, more than ever before. Social distancing is the new norm, and everything from gym classes to conferences to happy hour with friends is being taken online. Current climate aside, Instructor-Led Virtual Live Training (VLT) has been around for decades, and in recent years it has surpassed other delivery methods to become the leading learning option for IT professionals. Major technological advancements in the past 5 years, including widespread adoption of the Cloud, as well as changes to how people work and live, have contributed to the rising popularity of VLT.

There are a multitude of reasons an increasing number of IT pros are choosing VLT as their preferred learning method. Since 1995, TechSherpas 365 has provided virtual training to thousands of students. We’ve surveyed our students and instructors and compiled a list of the Top 5 Advantages of Virtual Live Training:

1) Best of All Worlds

  • VLT enables you to experience the benefits of both traditional classroom and on-demand training rolled into one:
    • Access to same courseware materials, hands-on labs, test prep as a traditional in-classroom course.
    • Training is still live, instructor-led and interactive, just like in-classroom training, you just can’t high 5 the instructor at the end of the day.
    • In addition to benefiting from live training, the sessions are recorded so you have the added bonus of being able to revisit specific modules, days, or even the whole class at a later time if needed.
    • Earning your certification? Even your official exam can be virtually proctored – No need to go to a physical test center.

2) Convenience & Ease of Attendance

  • Attend from the comfort and convenience of your home, office, or location of your choice. No need for costly travel or time-consuming commutes.
  • In addition to saving time on travel, you can opt to attend a class in a different time zone. This can add flexibility to your schedule, by allowing you to start training earlier or later in the day, giving you hours before or after training to attend to other work or personal tasks and priorities.
  • VLT enables students with physical handicaps and social anxiety to receive the training and certifications they need, while removing common obstacles to attending a live, instructor-led course.

3) Seamless Technology

  • Our Virtual Live Training technology platform is so easy and seamless. The only requirements on your end are a pc/laptop and a good internet connection.
  • All materials and labs are in the cloud; no need to install any special software or programs.

4) Enhanced Features

  • VLT offers many enhanced and added features that you don’t get from traditional in-classroom or on-demand courses, such as:
    1. Live chat – Chat one-on-one with the instructor and/or other students, as well as participate in group chat. Have a question, but don’t want to disrupt the lecture? You can ‘raise your hand’ in the chat, or simply type out your question in the chat so the instructor can address it at the next stopping point.
    2. Document sharing – Download and upload files and documents. Take advantage of collaborative documents to share class notes, etc.
    3. Class recording – the sessions are recorded so you have the added bonus of being able to revisit specific modules, days, or even the whole class at a later time if needed.
    4. Screen sharing – Share your screen with the rest of the class or with just the instructor, if you’d like. Need help with a lab? You can also give the instructor permission to take over control for assistance.
    5. Audio and Video – Just like a traditional in-classroom course, VLT offers video and audio options so you can see, hear, and interact with other students and the instructor. Bad hair day, attending training in your pajamas, like listening to rock n’ roll while you’re learning? You also have the ability to turn your video off/mute your audio- which can be a handy option you can’t get from an in-classroom course.

5) Social Engagement

  • VLT enables you to engage and interact with your peers both during and after class hours.
  • Learn through other student’s background and experiences by participating in class discussions and group activities.
  • Choose to participate in after-hours study sessions, meet ups and group chats.
  • Stay connected after training ends through our social channel.
  • VLT removes geographical and cultural barriers, empowering students to connect with peers with similar roles and interests they would have never had the opportunity to meet through traditional in-classroom training.

TechSherpas 365 offers 100s of IT courses in today’s most popular software and technologies such as Amazon Web Services, Cisco, CompTIA, Google, Microsoft, VMware and more. All of our instructor-led dates offer the VLT attendance option. Don’t allow the current climate of ‘social distancing’ to prevent you from upgrading your tech skills, experience and certification… Join thousands of other IT professionals and register for your next training course via Instructor-Led Virtual Live Training (VLT)… Get Trained, Get Certified, Get Going!

Use Your Software Assurance Training Vouchers Before They Expire, Forever

Don’t Let Your Software Assurance Training Vouchers (SATVs) Go Unused

Has your organization purchased a Microsoft Software Volume Licensing agreement? If so, you may be eligible to redeem Microsoft Software Assurance Training Vouchers (SATVs) and get free training for select Microsoft courses. 

Remember: SATVs can only be redeemed for Microsoft Official Courseware (MOC) with an authorized Microsoft Partner like TechSherpas 365. If your organization doesn’t redeem its SATVs, you could be leaving free training dollars on the table!

Microsoft has announced plans to change, and eventually retire, Software Assurance Training Voucher (SATV) benefits. More information, including the expiration timetable, can be found in our blog article “Microsoft Software Assurance Training Voucher (SATV) – Update“.

 

How Do I Know if My Company Has Microsoft SATVs?

  • Locate your Microsoft Licensing Agreement (Your IT Director or Purchasing department usually has the Licensing Agreement.)
  • Identify the Benefits Administrator (BA) named in the Licensing Agreement (The BA is the individual in your company that has the right to access SATV information.)
  • Log into com/Licensing/ServiceCenterto access your company’s SATV information, such as # of available SATVs, Expiration Date, # of Used SATVs, # of remaining SATVs

How Does My Company Redeem SATVs?

  • Identify the employee that will utilize the SATVs and the number of training days included in the desired class
  • Activate the SATVs by assigning the appropriate number of SATVs (one for each day of training) to the student
  • Submit the student’s name and email address, along with the number of vouchers required, on the SATV website
  • The student will receive an automated email from Microsoft containing an 8-digit code

How Does My Company Use SATVs to Purchase Training?

  • Contact TechSherpas 365, an authorized Microsoft Learning Partner, and register for an SATV authorized Microsoft course
  • Forward the email with the 8-digit code to your Account Representative at TechSherpas 365
  • TechSherpas 365 will then redeem the SATV with Microsoft

What Kind of Training Can Be Redeemed with SATVs?

  • Courses can be delivered online, in the classroom, on-demand, and even on site
  • Choose from technical training in Azure, SQL Server, SharePoint, Windows 10, Windows Server, and more

Do SATVs Expire?

  • Yes, SATVs expire 180 days after they are created
  • Training Vouchers must be requested before your Software Assurance expires and used within 180 days of being requested

 

Redeem your SATVs today, and maximize the ROI on your Microsoft technologies investment.

The Phasing out of Microsoft SATV Benefits

Microsoft Software Assurance Training Voucher (SATV) – Update

Microsoft is updating Software Assurance benefits beginning in February 2020 to ensure Software Assurance stays relevant and useful to customers. With this change in direction, some Software Assurance benefits will be retired or changed to eliminate redundancies and better align Software Assurance benefits across Microsoft’s products and services portfolio. The changes made also simplify benefit redemptions and replace outdated implementation mechanisms. While each customer experience is unique, all customers can benefit from the ability to optimize their business performance through Software Assurance.

Microsoft is investing in new ways to help organizations deploy, train, and get support for the products and services they buy. Because those new ways overlap with some dated and underused Software Assurance benefits, and the redemption process for some benefits are cumbersome and outdated, Microsoft is retiring those overlapping and outdated benefits.

When are the SATV Changes Taking Place?

The changes will start in February 2020 and will gradually be implemented by January 1, 2022.

February 1, 2020:

  • Training vouchers can no longer be converted to planning services days.
  • Azure courses will be removed from training voucher redemption. Courses must be complete by this date in order to utilize SATVs.

February 1, 2021:

  • Retire accrual of new training vouchers.
  • New contracts after this date won’t have any training vouchers assigned and existing contracts won’t receive any additional training vouchers.

January 1, 2022:

  • Last day to redeem training vouchers for existing contracts.

Will the Changes Apply to All Active Software Assurance Contracts as of February 2020?

Beginning February 1, 2020, the changes apply to all contracts regardless of status—midterm, new, and renewal. There is still time to use the benefits already accrued, customers will still accrue deployment planning days, training days, and support incidents until February 2021. Deployment planning days and training vouchers can be used until January 2022.

How Long Do Customers Have to Use Their Existing Vouchers?

Customers can continue to redeem any accrued training days as vouchers until January 1, 2022. Azure content will be removed from the voucher course list beginning February 1, 2020.

Where Do Customers Go for Help with Their Training Benefit?

Azure Customers: Contact us today to assist with redeeming your existing Azure training vouchers before they are no longer available for redemption in February 2020. If your business or organization has identified an Azure project that is soon to kick off, please contact us today to talk about our Azure training solutions.

Non-Azure Microsoft Customers: Training vouchers will expire in January 2022, but don’t wait to schedule training. Contact us today to discuss a plan to redeem your vouchers before they expire.

Terrifying Cyber Crime Statistics

#1 | 780,000 records were lost per day in 2017

According to McAfee’s Economic Impact of Cyber Crime (February 2018) cyber criminals adapt at a fast pace. The scale of malicious activity across the internet is quite astounding. The figures are frightening on a monthly or yearly scale, let alone daily! Cyber criminals are constantly finding new technologies to target victims. With the introduction of Bitcoin, payment and transfers to/from cyber criminals is untraceable.

McAfee reports that one of the major internet service providers (ISP) sees 80 billion malicious scans a day

#2 | Over 24,000 malicious mobile apps are blocked daily

Symantec’s Internet Security Threat Report details that lifestyle apps are the main targets. The majority of these apps leak phone numbers. Further sensitive information like device location is also being made accessible. It would be completely impossible to monitor or check each of these apps for vulnerability issues. It’s essentially an open ticket for cyber criminals to do their worst.

In the first quarter of 2018, Google Play had over 3.8 million apps on their store.

#3 | Microsoft Office file formats are the most used file extensions

In the top 10 most malicious file extensions, Microsoft Office took the number 1 spot. Emails are a common way for cyber criminals to attack their victims. Emails are used on a daily basis around the world. If you see an email containing a .doc or .xls file extension, most users would relate it to Microsoft. Microsoft being a reputable company means people are more likely to open an attachment.

According to Cisco’s 2018 Annual Cybersecurity Report, 38% were Office formats

#4 | The U.S., U.K., & China are more vulnerable to Smart Home attacks

The majority of smart home devices are connected via an external network. If the router you’re using doesn’t have decent security protection, you could be opening up your home to a cyber attack. With smart home devices becoming more prevalent, criminals are finding new ways to exploit vulnerabilities.

According to Trend Micro, The U.S., accounted for 28% of smart home device incidents. The U.K. and China followed with 7% each

#5 | 21% of files aren’t protected

Varonis’s 2018 Global Data Risk Report is quite terrifying. 6.2 billion files were analysed. These files contained credit card information, health records, etc. 21% of these files were open for global access. Furthermore, 41% of companies have more than 1000 sensitive files open to everyone.

#6 | Healthcare industry ransomware attacks will quadruple

By 2020, CSO Online predicts ransomware attacks will be quadruple. The healthcare industry gets attacked more than most industries. Thankfully not all attacks will be successful. Healthcare industries should not give into demands and ensure their data is safe and backed up. Phishing emails are particularly common and often where cyber attacks originate from.

#7 | Cyber Crime to cost $6 trillion by 2021

In the 2017 Official Annual Cybercrime Report, it’s estimated that cyber crime will cost $6 trillion annually by 2021. In 2015, that figure was $3 trillion.

Cyber crime is now becoming more profitable than the global trade of illegal drugs!

#8 | 30% of phishing emails in the U.S. are opened

That’s almost one-third of all emails, according to Verizon’s 2018 Data Breach Investigations Report. Phishing emails no longer take the same approach they used to. Do you remember seeing an email from your bank, Apple, PayPal etc. asking for sensitive information? With the figures that high, it’s no wonder cyber criminals are preying on email victims.

So many of us receive these emails each day and 12% are clicking on the links/attachments contained within them

#9 | 58% of U.K. businesses sought cyber security advice

The Cyber Security Breaches Survey 2017 shows U.K. businesses are more aware of cyber issues. However, it also shows that a large percentage of businesses aren’t seeking any advice or potentially protecting themselves from threats.

79% of medium firms sought advice whereas only 50% of micro firms did

#10 | 300 billion passwords worldwide by 2020

It may seem like passwords are dying, due to encryption etc. but according to Cyber Security Media, they’re not. It’s predicted that 300 billion passwords will be used by 2020. That takes into account humans and machines! That’s an awful lot of passwords, all of which require cybersecurity protection. If not, that’s 300 billion potential threats, worldwide.

#11 | French president Emmanuel Macron emails hacked

Yes, even a president can get hacked! In 2017 Emmanuel Macron’s emails were hacked. His emails were posted online just days before he was due to go head to head against his opponent. 9GB worth of data was posted to Pastebin. Macron’s campaign confirmed it had been hacked.

#12 | More than 60% of fraud originates from mobile devices

The world has gone mobile, and so have fraudsters. 60% of fraud comes from mobile devices; of that figure, 80% comes from mobile apps. Once a cyber criminal has access to your mobile, it can access your mobile banking app and initiate multiple levels of cyber crime. Fraudulent transactions are now over double the value of real transactions.

#13 | 2.53 million fall victim to cyber crime in UAE

In 2016, Norton by Symantec reported over 2.5 million people were victims of cyber crime in UAE. Despite reports stating that awareness of cyber crime was high, people are still engaging in online behaviour that is deemed as risky. People know they should be aware of links and protect their information. 70% of those people still click on information that they aren’t 100% sure of. Millennial’s seem to be the most affected group of people.

53% of millennial’s experienced cyber crime in the last year

#14 | Netherlands have the lowest cyber crime rate

In 2015, Symantec reported the Netherlands as having the lowest cyber crime rate. Only 14% of the population were affected. Although 14% is still high, compared to other countries, it wasn’t! Indonesia, for example, was subject to the highest cyber crime rate in the world.

59% of the population fell victim to cyber crime

#15 | Personal data sells for as little as $0.20

Have you ever thought how much your personal data is worth to you? Well, to some, it could sell for as little as $0.20, up to $15. Credit card information and account information can be accessed and purchased much more easily than you might think. The value of information is dependent on the type of details included. For example, credit card details are more valuable than other information. As well as this, it’s also dependent on how easy it would be to resell the information. If it’s too difficult, the value of personal data decreases.

#16 | Japanese exchange lost $530 million due to hacking

Coincheck is one of the biggest Bitcoin and cryptocurrency exchanges in Asia. In January 2018 it reported that it had lost $530 million due to hacking. Due to the incident, Coincheck seized and stopped all sales and withdrawals of it’s cryptocurrency at the time. The cryptocurrency used for the exchange was called NEM. Coincheck deal with other cryptocurrencies too.

#17 | In 2016, Adware affected 75% of organisations

Cisco investigated 130 organisations in it’s Cisco 2017 Annual Cybersecurity Report. It found that 75% of companies were affected by adware. Adware in itself is a nuisance, but it can also facilitate further malware or virus attacks. Adware presents itself in the form of advertisements. Whether you’re using your device on or off the internet, adverts can be displayed. Often if you’re trying to perform an internet search, the results direct you to other websites or marketing pop-ups to obtain your personal data.

#18 | Average ransomware demand is $1,077

Although not every ransomware demand is paid, the average demand value is $1,077. Since the last report, this shows an increase of around 266%! When victims are faced with a ransom amount, they often pay up. We rely on the internet for daily activities, for personal and work. We rely on the internet to connect our devices, and even our homes with the introduction of smart home products.

Demands are significantly increasing because we’re so reliant on the internet. As ransomware attacks increase, we can expect the demand values to increase as well

#19 | China have the most malware in the world

Over 55% of China’s computers are infected with malware. Since 2014, that figure increased by nearly 30% more! Even with people being more and more aware about cyber crime, it’s clear to see it doesn’t stop attackers. Taiwan follow closely with 49% of their computers being infected. Of all the malware across the world, Trojans were the cause of the most infection. Trojan’s are malicious programs that provide a back-door kind of entry to computers.

Once hacked, attackers can access personal information, passwords, and infect other devices connected to the same network

#20 | 90% of hackers use encryption

Encryption is a process which involves encoding a message, information, or program. Encryption allows only authorised people to access it. For example, a document that may be readable in normal circumstances would appear completely illegible when encrypted. In order to access encrypted information, it must be decoded first. Hackers are of course aware of how best to hide their tracks. 90% of them use encrypted traffic to disguise what they’re doing. If we, as users, used encryption to the same level, it would be much more difficult for cyber crime to take place.

#21 | Companies take over 6 months to notice a data breach

For me, this is one of the most terrifying statistics. Research suggests that most businesses take up to 197 days to notice breach of their data. ZDNet reports finance firms can take an average of 98 days! Due to the amount of time it takes for companies to realise a data breach, attackers are able to obtain even more information. Think about it, imagine what a cyber criminal can obtain over a 6 month period. Certain industries are of course more vulnerable to attacks, due to the data they hold.

83% of finance companies incur over 50 attacks per month. Once data has been stolen, it gets sold on the black market

 

Source: Original report can be found on VPN Geeks.

Build a Career Around Your Microsoft Skills – Microsoft 365 and Office 365 (Part 2)

In our recent post we have already discussed two areas of Microsoft skills that are sometimes confused with each other: Microsoft 365 and (Microsoft) Office 365. If you want to build your career as an IT professional around Microsoft products, you are probably already familiar with the differences and similarities in that respect. Today, let us have a closer look at career options and further educational possibilities depending on your current level of expertise.

 

IT professional/Microsoft Skills

The job market for Microsoft skills (Microsoft 365/Office 365)

When you research the job market for positions that involve Microsoft 365 skills, these are the type of job offers you might find (depending on your skill level and location):

  • Microsoft 365 Administrator
  • Microsoft 365 Developer
  • Microsoft 365 Architect
  • IT Support Specialist Level 2 – Microsoft Cloud (Office 365/Azure)
  • IT Support Technician
  • Windows Systems Admin – Microsoft Cloud
  • Cloud Technical Expert

Since Office 365 is used in all kinds of job descriptions, there is an even broader range of options, some of them naturally being in similar areas as the above.

  • IT End User Support Specialist
  • Office 365 – Exchange Online-Consultant
  • Office 365/ Exchange engineer
  • Technology Support Specialist
  • Junior Desktop Support
  • Office 365 Delivery Engineer
  • Associate UC Support Engineer
  • Office 365 SharePoint Onboarding Engineer
  • Technical Engineer / Help Desk
  • SharePoint Developer (Office 365)

 

The T-shaped Microsoft expert

We have already addressed the generalist and specialist approach with regards to Microsoft skills. While there can be advantages as well as disadvantages associated with either option, there is also a third: Professionals with this combination of skills are often referred to as “generalizing specialist” or “T-shaped“.

This means that this person is an expert/specialist in a single field (the vertical part of the “T”). The difference to a “regular” specialist is that this one also possesses the ability and sufficient knowledge to collaborate with other experts in other disciplines (the horizontal part of the “T”). In the context of recruiting, this is considered a very desirable trait in a potential future employee. Within the area of IT, the term “T-shaped” is also common for cross-skilled team members in the context of agile software development.

Back to the subject of Microsoft, this could mean that your expertise (vertical) falls under the Microsoft-related skills (Microsoft 365/Office 365), but that you are capable of collaborating with other IT professionals in different/related fields.

 

Develop your Microsoft expertise with TechSherpas 365 learning solutions

Whether you want to further your expertise in Microsoft 365 and/or Office 365 or just starting in the field, we at TechSherpas 365 are your competent partner with our Microsoft training courses and certification programs.

If you already do consider yourself a Microsoft 365/Office 365 expert but want to improve on the horizontal part of your T-shape, take a look at our course catalog to find the right learning solution for you.

 

 

Sources and further reading:

https://www.hrzone.com/hr-glossary/what-are-t-shaped-skills
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T-shaped_skills
https://www.indeed.com

How to Build a Career Around Your Microsoft 365 and Office 365 Skills (Part 1)

As an IT professional, practicing your Microsoft 365 and Office 365 skills can be an integral part of your daily work. You might specialize in Microsoft or simply consider it one part of your well-rounded IT expertise. In case you are not there yet, let us talk about how these Microsoft products can form the foundation for an IT career.

 

Microsoft 365 and Office 365 skills

Is there a difference between Microsoft 365 and Office 365 Skills?

If you keep informed with what is going on in the world of Microsoft, you are of course aware of this, but just for the record: No, your Office 365 skills are not quite the same as the ones for Microsoft 365. Office 365 with its applications and services is actually one part of the Microsoft 365 offer. We have already given you an overview of what Office 365 is all about in two earlier blog posts:

Microsoft 365 is a bundle that includes Office 365, plus the operation system (currently Windows 10) and additional mobility and security tools (Enterprise Mobility + Security).

 

Generalists and Specialists

As a professional (or aspiring professional) you might have already been confronted with the question of becoming a generalist (a basic to intermediary level of knowledge in a wide range of subjects) or specialist (particular expertise in one area/subject) in your chosen field.

Especially in the beginning of your career, this is not necessarily a conscious choice, and it also can change during the course of your career. In the context of IT this means that you might start out as a generalist by getting a working knowledge of various subjects/systems. At some point though you might find an area of special interest for you and decide you want to learn more about it and reach a higher level of knowledge/skills. At TechSherpas 365 we offer you a wide range of IT classes and certification training courses for all levels.

It is also possible that you develop additional expertise due to the work you do on a day-to-day basis.

Conversely, you might start out with extensive knowledge and skills in one special area and then decide later to broaden your knowledge by learning more about additional software or systems. In connection with Microsoft this might mean that you are an Office 365 expert and then decide to get a working knowledge about the other areas of the Microsoft 365 bundle.

Enhance and broaden your Microsoft 365/Office 365 skills with our various Microsoft training courses and certification programs. We will talk more about your career and learning options with Microsoft in our next post.

 

 

Sources and further reading:

What’s the difference between Microsoft 365 and Office 365?


https://www.cleverism.com/ultimate-career-choice-generalist-vs-specialist/

 

 

 

The New Microsoft Certifications for Azure – An Overview

The new Microsoft Certifications

The new Microsoft Certifications are now more role-based. We are sure that you have probably already heard of this since it is likely you keep up with world of Microsoft. Today we would like to give you an overview of what that means in connection with the Microsoft Azure cloud certifications, and which exams you are going to have to take in order to earn this certification.

 

New Microsoft Certifications: What’s new for Azure?

In general, there are three levels of Microsoft certifications:

  1. Fundamentals
  2. Associate
  3. Expert

There are now several role-based Azure certifications corresponding with these three levels:

Fundamentals-Level

  • Azure Fundamentals – Exam: AZ-900 (Microsoft Azure Fundamentals)

Associate-Level

  •  Azure Security Engineer Associate – Exam: AZ-500 (Microsoft Azure Security Technologies)
  •  Azure Administrator Associate – Exam: AZ-103 (Microsoft Azure Administrator), alternatively Transitions-Exam AZ-102 (Microsoft Azure Administrator Certification Transition)
  •  Azure AI Engineer Associate – Exam: AI-100 (Designing and Implementing an Azure AI Solution)
  •  Azure Data Engineer Associate – Exams: DP-200 (Implementing an Azure Data Solution) and DP-201 (Designing an Azure Data Solution)
  •  Azure Data Scientist Associate – Exam: DP-100 (Designing and Implementing a Data Science Solution on Azure)
  •  Azure Developer Associate – Exam: AZ-203 (Developing Solutions for Microsoft Azure)

Expert-Level

  •  Azure DevOps Engineer Expert – Exam: AZ-400 (Microsoft Azure DevOps Solutions)
  •  Azure Solutions Architect Expert – Exam: AZ-300 (Microsoft Azure Architect Technologies) and AZ-301 (Microsoft Azure Architect Design), alternatively Transitions-Exam AZ-302 (Microsoft Azure Solutions Architect Certification Transition)

 

Build your Microsoft Azure expertise with TechSherpas 365

There are many good reasons for choosing TechSherpas 365 as your competent partner to build your Microsoft Azure expertise. We are a “Microsoft Gold Partner” for offering learning solutions with the highest level of expertise and competence regarding Microsoft technologies.

We offer a wide range of Microsoft Azure related training courses across all three levels from Fundamentals to Expert. Whether you are just starting out or want to take your Azure skills and IT career to the next level: We have the right learning solutions for you!

One of the benefits of our learning methods is that many of our courses can be taken in the form of a boot camp, which allows you to achieve your certification goal within just a few days. You also usually have a choice between our In-Classroom Learning (ICL) and Virtual Live Training (VLT), depending on whether you prefer the classroom experience or learning from the comfort of your own home/office.

Simply contact us for more information!

 

See also:

https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/learning/certification-overview.aspx

https://query.prod.cms.rt.microsoft.com/cms/api/am/binary/RWtQJJ (Download)

https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/learning/browse-all-certifications.aspx

https://www.nigelfrank.com/blog/microsoft-certifications-a-comprehensive-guide/

Information Security Measures for Remote Employees

When it comes to the option for professionals to work from home via the internet, the current possibilities are better than ever before. These new possibilities also bring new challenges and one of them is the of information security. This is especially the case when comes to sensitive data and employees who are working remotely/off-site for corporations. Then even more important to maintain the company’s data and information security.

 

Information Security via Intelligent Password Use

 

One basic measure for information security is to protect the computer that stores and processes the business data. In one of our previous blog posts (Safety and Security 

information security

Measures You Should Follow) we have listed several useful password tips. They concern the choice and handling of computer and account passwords to ensure the security of the company computer/mobile device. They also refer to the respective internet accounts (for example email accounts).

 

Access and Identity Management by the Employer

 

The above mentioned blog post mainly describes security measures to be taken by the individual remote worker. Beyond that, access and identities for cloud-based applications, file storage and corporate networks/intranet can be managed on the corporate side by cloud-based services like the Microsoft Azure Active Directory.

 

Company Server Protection

 

Firewall

It might seem like a rather basic thing to mention here, but because of its importance for server and information security, it certainly does belong on this list. The Firewall software helps prevent access to the system from unauthorized parties.

VPN-Connections

In comparison to Virtual Private Networks (VPN), WiFi connections are more vulnerable to hacking attacks. It enhances the server security and therefore information security if remote employees/telecommuters sign up via VPN when they need to connect their devices remotely to the company network.

SSL/TLS Certificates

SSL or TLS certificates for the company servers (HTTPS) ensure encrypted communication and verifies the other participant’s identity

You can read more about security measures to protect a server here.

 

Separate Business and Private Computers and Mobile Devices

 

To be on an even safer side, it makes sense to keep the business and private computer devices strictly separate, and not to use the computer you use for business purposes for any private internet surfing or email use. The reason for this; internet surfing and email attachments are common ways through which viruses and other malware can infect a computer.

Of course, even if a company adapted such a policy for the computers use by their employees, this would be difficult to enforce. That is why it is very important to educate the respective computer users about how to use the internet and its services, as well as, also to make sure that anti-virus programs and system are always up-to-date.

If you are interested in IT certification related to information security, cyber, and computer security, have a look at our training courses!

 

Sources:

https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/224241

https://smallbiztrends.com/2018/11/security-measures-for-remote-workers.html

https://www.digitalocean.com/community/tutorials/7-security-measures-to-protect-your-servers

https://techsherpas.com/7-donts-for-your-computer-security/

https://techsherpas.com/cloud-computing-makes-telecommuting-a-real-possibility/

https://techsherpas.com/cloud-computing-microsoft-azure/