Speaker: Bryan Butler
Introduce yourself! What is your role and how long have you been with ACI Learning?
Bryan Butler: Hey, my name is Bryan and I'm one of the instructor mentors with ACI Learning. I've been here with ACI for about 14 months now and I'm excited to play a role in your journey.
What can I expect from meeting with Instructor/Mentors?
Bryan Butler: Well, you can expect to meet with subject matter experts that will help support you and really hone in and understand some of those tougher concepts that come up. The team has a lot of wisdom and knowledge to share from their own experiences and background in IT.
What is the difference between the 1:1 and open mentor sessions?
Bryan Butler: Here at ACI Learning, we offer open mentor sessions and one on one sessions. The open mentor sessions are a great place to drop in and ask questions and where you'll likely find other students already discussing IT concepts. And I personally think this is a great opportunity because one might hear questions asked in ways that they may not have or even thought of before. For the one on one sessions, they're better suited to get individual attention. So be sure to bring a list of 3 to 5 questions or topics that you wish to discuss.
This feels like a lot of information. How can I keep up and be successful?
Bryan Butler: First off, no, you're not alone in this. We're here to support you. And it's not uncommon to feel that way at some point in time. I view it like 1000 piece puzzle box. You dump it on the table, you start flipping over the pieces and you may not see how it all fits together right away. But I can give you some general pointers. First, let your friends and family know what you're doing and that it's important to you so that they can work with you. Then, set up study times that fit with your current schedule. Also, work with your peers. There's nothing, there's nothing else like working with your classmates and they can be a wonderful source of motivation and help. And of course, let us know what you're experiencing and meet with the mentor team.
I’m not sure what field of IT I want to go into. What should I focus on?
Bryan Butler: If you really don't know and you're just getting started in the IT field, then the best advice I can give you is talk with people that are working in the industry and that could be going to the cybersecurity conventions, talking to classmates, when you're in job interviews or career fairs. Ask them what their open positions are, whether it's network working systems, administration, security analysts, or if it's something in the cloud and find out what their daily tasks are and then make a decision based off of that and ultimately don't be afraid to jump around a little bit, especially early on in your career. I mean, what you want is you want to wake up, you want to be excited to go into work and if that's the case, then you're gonna make a lot of money doing it.
When should I be scheduling my certification tests?
Bryan Butler: When should you be scheduling your certification tests? Ultimately, that's gonna be a little different for every individual going through the program. But what I typically tell the students in my classroom is that you should be setting time bound goals that they should be realistic based off of your life circumstances. So, if you're capable of studying 20 or 30 hours a week outside of the classroom, then you're definitely gonna be ready a lot sooner. But as it goes, meeting with the mentors one on one, that's where you're getting that extra information where you can clean up your understanding of different concepts and topics within IT. And that's who you can talk to to know when you are well prepared and when you should start scheduling out each certification. The last thing I'll say is just, don't put things off, don't procrastinate. It's completely normal to feel like you're not ready. I personally have felt that way. I get nervous when I go in and take a test. I have retaken the A+ through three of the iterations that they have, the 900, the 1000, and the 1100 series. Same thing with the Net+ and the Security+. And I can tell you I still get nervous sometimes when I sit down, even though I already have the certification. So trust the process, trust your mentors and then go out there and schedule it.