Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Product Spotlight: uCertify MOS: Microsoft Word 2010 Expert Labs


MOS:Microsoft Word 2010 Expert Labs (77-877) from uCertify are a cost effective way to increase your understanding of Microsoft Word. The labs may be mapped to any textbook, self-directed course or training and simulate real-world environments and situations.

The uCertify MOS: Microsoft Word 2010 Expert Labs are self-paced, allowing you to go at your own pace—reviewing areas of weakness more carefully while stepping quickly through the sections where you have a solid foundation. This functionality also allows you to schedule study and training times that best fit your schedule. Your uCertify access key is valid for one year from the date of enrollment, so you can easily resume your studies if you are forced to take an extended break. 

uCertify content is developed by subject matter experts with a minimum of 15 years of real-world experience in their respective fields. This wide-lens approach facilitates the inclusion of interactive exercises that have current application to real-world situations. When combined with uCertify’s award-winning learning platform, LMS, the content comes to life. Instead of spending time learning the platform, you are able to immediately focus on the subject matter, interactive exercises and simulations—putting your knowledge to the test and deepening your understanding and ability to retain and recall the content points. 

uCertify Expert Labs are compatible with both iOS and Android devices in addition to access from any personal computer or laptop, making study highly convenient. The only technical requirements are access to the Internet and any modern browser—less than two years old.

I want to switch IT specialties. Great! Now what?


Jake Slater’s December 4th blog on CertMag.com discusses making the decision to make an IT career change—taking the plunge, if you will. Not only do I think he has it right, I think his criteria for making a change can be applied to almost every career: “If you’ve noticed a decrease in your own job satisfaction, or your career goals seem to be slipping farther and farther out of reach, then you are among the ranks of thousands of others who are recognizing the need for a career transition. 

However, he skirts an issue that applies specifically to the IT sector. Namely, “I’ve invested (a lot) in achieving and maintaining certifications to build a career path that I’m no longer excited about.” Because, let’s face it, IT plays with live ammo and developments happen quickly and constantly. So much has changed in the last 12-24 months that a career plan that is old enough to drive may no longer be what you want. So, what do you do?

1. Investigate your area of interest to see if you’re really interested or it’s “just a crush."
2. If you can, talk to some people who practice that discipline to find out what it’s really like.
3. If the discipline is used in your company, see if you can get some time with a manager for an informational interview.
4. As always, check the job boards, blogs and professional networking to find out what the market is saying. 

If it’s not a “crush”, you need to figure out how to get there. This may mean switching certification tracks, but it does not mean starting over from scratch. The first thing is to actually make the decision to change. Procrastination is the forbearer of inertia. Keep in mind that your job experience can work in your favor. Even if it isn’t direct experience, you’re not brand new to the industry and that matters. The second thing is to carefully review your experience and certification history and look for commonalities with the IT specialty you want to enter. Education is never a closed path and switching tracks may be easier than you think. CompTIA’s career roadmap is a great place to start. See what you have that will assist you in your transition; discover your starting line. Then take a class or two and see if you still want to switch. Certification may not be your goal, but if you decide the new path is for you, earning those certifications will show your current—or future—employer that you’re open to new experiences and committed to learn and achieve.