What Employers Expect from HR Professionals

The field of Human Resources (HR) is constantly evolving and adapting to keep up with industry standards. Last year, we saw a massive shift in what was expected of HR professionals. As expectations shift, so do the skills that employers expect their HR employees to possess. Staying on top of industry demands is one of the best ways to get ahead in any industry, and that rings especially true for HR. We are going to take a look at what some of the most in-demand HR skills are, and how Ashton College can help you learn them through HR continuing education courses.

Diversity Training

Diversity and inclusion have become increasingly important in recent years. Diverse workplaces have been found to be more productive than homogenous ones, but they need a trained HR professional to ensure operations run smoothly. HR professionals with diversity and inclusion training can effectively build and support a healthy, diverse corporate culture where members of the workforce feel safe and included.

Ashton College’s Diversity and Inclusion Training course can teach you how to foster a diverse work culture, and how to anticipate and prevent diversity-related workplace conflicts from arising.

Change Management Certification

The demand for change management has increased dramatically in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Change management is an area of HR that is focused on helping organizations enact changes at all levels of an organization. Change management professionals focus on helping people adapt to those changes. As organizations continue to enact sweeping changes to their operations at a rapid rate, the need for HR professionals to guide employees through these changes is at an all-time high.

Ashton College’s Change Management Certification course is accredited by the Association of Change Management Professionals (ACMP) and the course fulfills the 21-hour training requirement for the ACMP’s Certified Change Management Professional (CCMP) certification. Ashton College is listed on the ACMP’s Qualified Education Provider (QEP) registry as well. The CCMP is an HR certification Canada and most other countries in the world recognize and respect. Earning your CCMP will open you up to many new opportunities in your career.

Conflict Resolution Training

Conflict resolution is a valuable skill for any HR professional to have. Being able to maintain productivity and morale in the workplace is a key responsibility of the HR department and being skilled at conflict resolution will help you fulfill your duties.

Along with conflict resolution, HR professionals benefit from having negotiation training and mediation training. Being skilled in these three areas provides you with a comprehensive set of interpersonal skills that will greatly benefit you both professionally and personally.

Ashton College offers courses for each of these three skills. You can register for all three to get a comprehensive education in HR communication skills or you can register for the areas you are most interested in improving.

Employment Law and Standards

The HR department is responsible for ensuring an organization and its employees are working in accordance with a variety of policies and laws, which includes provincial employment laws and standards. By building up your knowledge of this area of HR, you can reach some of the more senior positions within an organization.

Ashton College currently offers a course on BC employment standards and employment law, as well as a course on Alberta employment law and employment standards.

Learn the Skills You Need

Now is the absolute best time to start working on your HR skills. Whether you are looking to specialize in a new area of HR, earn a promotion in your department, or do more in your current role, Ashton College can help you get there. Register now for one of the best HR courses Canada has to offer and take your career to the next level.

Now is the Time to Become a Unit Clerk

Exploring a career in healthcare during a pandemic may seem like bad timing, but in truth, there couldn’t be a better time to research, take courses and become a unit clerk. Unit clerk courses expose you to the true inner-workings of a health care unit and whether you choose to work in a hospital, clinic, ambulatory or other settings, you will be ready to contribute the minute you start in your first unit clerk job.

That is what makes a unit clerk course (also known as a nursing unit clerk program) ideal right now. In the healthcare environment, there is little time for those who are working in a unit to “hand-hold” and show someone the ropes when they first join the team. An intensive unit clerk course, like the one through Ashton College, will give you the information you need to navigate your new job far more successfully without constantly needing help, even during a pandemic.

There are several other reasons you’ll want to get your career as a unit clerk going now – in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis:

Pressure will never be this high again

If you take a nursing unit clerk program, get a job in the field and love it during this pandemic, you will be poised to make healthcare a lifelong career. With healthcare professionals experiencing demands on their time and skills not seen in their working lifetime, you will be jumping into the highest pressure time you will ever experience. Anything that comes after COVID will feel like a piece of cake. Best of all, you’ll be helping (and becoming part of) a team of professionals that the world really, really needs right now.

Demand for unit clerks has skyrocketed

As the population grows and ages, the natural demand for unit clerks and those who have taken a nursing unit clerk program will continue to climb. However, where COVID-19 caused many people to be laid off, unit clerks are in an area where demand grew exponentially, like many other roles in healthcare.

This demand is not just in a hospital unit clerk setting. There is also a high demand for unit clerks in cancer clinics, psychiatric clinics, ambulance services and nearly all other aspects of healthcare. Unit clerks have moved from one segment of healthcare to another and people have had an increased need for certain areas of healthcare like psychiatric, research, addiction support, etc. which has led to this unprecedented demand.

Learn and/or experience more about other roles in the unit

While a unit clerk has a primarily administrative role in the unit, working with patients and families, as well as with other healthcare providers involved with those patients and families, will expose you to a wider range of knowledge at a time like this. During the pandemic, as people are working differently than they may have in the past, unit clerks may also find themselves learning about things outside of their normal job scope in order to help team members and patients. Obviously, you won’t be practicing medicine, but you are likely to experience new elements within the unit that may open you to other opportunities in the future.

Build strong relationships

Nothing brings a team together like challenging times. As the hub between unit team members and patients and their families, a unit clerk can be part of the glue that holds everyone together working for the same cause. Being new to your unit clerk job will give you the ideal opportunity to see the team with fresh eyes so that you can get to know the various personalities, adapt to the individual styles and be a point person that others come to for help.

There has literally never been a better time to work in healthcare than now. If you have always wanted to be part of the amazing teams who take care of the rest of us, becoming a unit clerk could be the ideal opportunity.

The Best Ways to Advance Your IT Career

The IT industry is one of the most exciting industries to be a part of as there are always new tech developments In the works and new skills to learn.

The best ways to advance your IT career are by learning fundamental skills that the industry consistently relies on, and to stay on top of emerging tech trends. We are going to show you some of the best paths for getting ahead in your IT career and how Ashton College can help you get there.

AWS Certification

Amazon Web Services (AWS) is Amazon’s cloud computing service and one of the most widely-used services across industries. AWS is used to help businesses operate by offering compute power, database storage, content delivery and other functionalities.

Cloud computing is one of the most popular emerging tech trends. The cloud has been increasing in popularity over the past few years and it is now commonly used among businesses of all sizes. Cloud computing specialists are now in high demand as organizations need teams of cloud computing experts to properly maintain and operate these cloud computing services. In order to help IT professionals verify their skills, Amazon has developed a series of AWS certifications.

Ashton College offers both a basic AWS certification course and an advanced course. The basic course focuses on fundamental AWS skills and helps you work towards your AWS cloud practitioner certification, the entry-level certification for AWS professionals. An introduction to AWS security functions is also included in the basic course.

The AWS Advanced Certification course builds on the skills taught in the basic course and helps you work towards your AWS certification. Cybersecurity is one of the fastest-growing areas in IT and cloud computing services need skilled security specialists to ensure that there are no vulnerabilities in an organization’s IT infrastructure.

Azure Certification

Microsoft Azure is a robust cloud computing service that rivals AWS. If an organization is not using AWS then they are most likely using Azure, and vice versa. Similar to Amazon, Microsoft also offers a suite of certifications for Azure. While there is overlap in how these two cloud computing services function, taking an Azure certification course will prove to employers that you are highly skilled in using their preferred cloud computing service.

Ashton College’s Microsoft Azure certification courses are also divided into a basic course and an advanced course. The courses are built to provide you with a formidable knowledge of Azure administrative and security skills. The skills taught through these courses will help you to become a Microsoft Certified Azure Administrator Associate or Azure Security Engineer Associate.

Python Certification

Python Learning has been one of the best ways for IT professionals to advance their careers since the programming language launched in 1991 and that remains true today. Python is one of the most popular programming languages thanks to its versatility and emphasis on simplicity. The language is constantly updated to keep up with the latest tech developments and it is used for everything from web development to data science and more.

Ashton College offers both a Python Fundamentals course and a Python Advanced course. The fundamentals course is styled as a “Python for Beginners” course. Through this course, you will discover the core principles and concepts of Python, and you will learn how to run and write basic Python scripts. The Python Advanced course builds on your foundational knowledge and provides you with the skills to run more complex scripts and work with the Jupyter Notebook System.

Machine Learning and Robotics

Machine learning is the method by which artificial intelligence (AI) can automatically learn and adapt to new information without being manually programmed. As organizations look to automate more processes, machine learning experts are becoming highly sought after.

The other side of automation is robotics, another area that is becoming increasingly important in the tech sector. Ashton College offers machine learning course and robotics training to help you build your skills in these exciting fields.

Storytelling

Although this may not initially seem like an IT skill, storytelling is an important part of new and emerging platforms such as video games, virtual reality, and internet and mobile apps. Ashton College’s Storytelling course will teach you how to make high-quality, engaging digital content.

Taking the Next Step

Now is the best time to take your tech career further. Register now for one of Ashton College’s upcoming continuing education courses and take your career to the next level.

The Best Path to Becoming a Certified Coach

Coaching is some of the most fulfilling work one can undertake. Watching your clients grow as you help them reach their goals and overcome obstacles is immensely rewarding and one of the main reasons people commit themselves to this profession. There are many opportunities in coaching and becoming a certified coach can help you access more of those opportunities.

There are many ways to become a certified coach and we want to show you the best path possible. Read on to learn more about becoming a certified coach,  the International Coach Federation (ICF), and how Ashton College’s Certified Coach Diploma program can help you get there.

The ICF

The ICF is the leading global organization dedicated to advancing the coaching profession. They advance the profession by setting high standards, providing independent certification and building a worldwide network of trained coaching professionals.

Earning your certification with the ICF ensures that your skills will be recognized on a global level and that you will be connected with like-minded, certified coaches through the ICF network. Being an ICF member makes it easier to advance in your career.

Ashton College’s certified coach program is designed with ICF standards in mind. Through the program, students learn the 11 Core Competencies of the ICF and how they apply to professional coaching.

The Certifications

ICF offers several levels of certification, including the Associate Certified Coach (ACC), and Professional Certified Coach (PCC) certifications. Ashton College’s program will help students work towards both of these certificates.

ACC

The ACC is considered an entry-level coach certification and it requires both theoretical and practical experience. ACC candidates must complete 60 hours of training and acquire 100 hours of coaching experience (70 hours must be paid experience). Candidates must also successfully pass the Coach Knowledge Assessment (CKA) to earn their ACC credential.

PCC

The PCC is considered the gold standard for coaches. Earning your PCC certification requires 125 hours of training and 500 hours of work experience (440 paid). Candidates must also successfully pass the CKA.

Training

Getting Coach Certification is critical to your success as a coach. Learning practical coaching skills and how to conduct your coaching business in a professional, ethical manner will help you set your career on the right track. Whether you are looking to earn your ACC or PCC, Ashton College’s certified coach training is sure to give you quality education that fulfills your training requirements.

The practical knowledge components of the program will ensure that you are fully ready to start working, and earning money, as a coach, regardless of whether you become a business coach, life coach, relationship coach, team coach, employment coach, or otherwise.

Practical Experience

Practical experience plays a large role in earning your certification. If you are completely new to coaching then gaining this practical experience might be slow to start. The ICF allows for a small section of your coaching experience to be unpaid for both the ACC and PCC certifications, which means you can consider taking on pro-bono work as a means to get the word out about your business and get some experience under your belt.

You may be eager to get your practical experience started right away, but it would be wiser to start with your training requirement, so you can ensure that you are following best practices throughout your working experience.

Taking the Next Step

Coaching is an exciting career, and it is full of opportunities for those willing to seek it out. Setting your coaching career off in the right direction is a matter of getting the right education and the right certification. Luckily, Ashton College can help you with both of those aspects. Visit ashtoncollege.ca to learn more about the program and its upcoming dates.

The Difference Between Payroll Tax and Income Tax

On the surface level, payroll tax and income tax might seem like the same thing. After all, most people’s income comes from being on a payroll. If you’ve taken a Canadian tax course, or a payroll administration course, then you know it’s not all that simple. We’re going to breakdown the differences in payroll tax and income tax and the role they play in different financial careers.

Income Tax

Put simply, income tax is a tax you pay based on the amount of money you earn from various sources. You pay income tax on money you earn from a job or self-employment, along with other means of income such as bank interest, stock dividends and money earned from the sale of stocks, property, and other goods. Income taxes in Canada are levied by both the federal and provincial or territorial governments.

Typically, your employer will automatically deduct your income tax from your pay before you receive it. This could be why some people incorrectly assume that income tax and payroll tax are the exact same thing. If you’re self-employed, then you generally won’t deal with income tax deductions until you file your yearly tax return to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).

If you take a tax course, like the one offered at Ashton College, then you can become a tax accountant and handle income tax filings for both individuals and businesses. Tax accountants understand both provincial/territorial and federal regulations for income taxes as well as the rights and obligations of taxpayers to the CRA as it relates to the Income Tax Act. Being an effective tax accountant requires a thorough understanding of Canadian tax laws and that’s why a Canadian tax course is effective for newcomers to the tax industry, as well as international accountants looking to work in Canada.

Payroll Tax

Payroll tax is a tax that is deducted from an employee’s paycheque, and it includes income tax as well as several other deductions. In Canada, payroll tax is deducted and contributed to two major government services: Employment Insurance (EI) and Canada Pension Plan (CPP).

Paying into EI allows workers to apply for EI benefits when they are unemployed. If an employee loses their job through no fault of their own or they are unable to work due to injury or sickness then they apply for EI benefits.

CPP is a retirement fund meant to replace a person’s income when they retire. By having people pay into the system throughout their career, Canada ensures that every worker has money tucked away for retirement.

Payroll administrators deal directly with all payroll taxes. If you take a payroll course, such as the one offered at Ashton College, you’ll become familiar with all statutory and non-statutory payroll deductions as well as the process for creating and maintaining earnings records. Payroll administrators play a crucial role in businesses across every industry.

Accounting

The continuing education courses offered at Ashton College are an excellent way to expand your accounting knowledge and learn the finer points of income tax and payroll tax. The Canadian tax course and payroll administration course serve as great entry points for accounting as well. Ashton College offers other online accounting courses as well. These courses will allow you to earn a certificate in accounting and build the foundational skills required to be start a successful accounting career.

Whether you want to advance your current accounting career or take the first step, there’s no better time to get started than right now. Register for one of Ashton College’s upcoming online accounting courses and get the knowledge you need to succeed in your career.

The Pros and Cons of QuickBooks Commerce

As a bookkeeper, or someone taking a bookkeeping course online, your ability to stay on top of the latest developments in bookkeeping standards and tools is important to staying relevant in your career. QuickBooks is a staple in the bookkeeping sector, which makes QuickBooks training a necessity, and their services are constantly expanding. Just recently they launched “QuickBooks Commerce” which integrates data with QuickBooks Online and all your vendors to let you manage your inventory, sales, customer information and expenses all from the same place.

With a new feature out, bookkeepers, people taking a bookkeeping course online, and anyone with QuickBooks training, are bound to be asked by employers, both current and future, if they know about QuickBooks Commerce, and more importantly, if they recommend using it. While some of it may come down to personal preference, we’ll go over some of the pros and cons of this new software to help you determine whether the program is a fit for you or your business.

Pros

Any bookkeeping course will tell you how important it is to stay organized. QuickBooks Online rose in popularity precisely due to its ability to help bookkeepers stay organized and that’s why bookkeepers often take a QuickBooks online course. QuickBooks Commerce’s key feature is its ability to maintain organization across multiple channels. Many businesses, particularly those exclusively in the digital space, operate through several partners, and keeping track of all those different outlets can be difficulty. Commerce allows you to synchronize all your major channels, including Shopify, Amazon, eBay, Etsy, WooCommerce, Magento, Zapier, ShipStation, and more, to one platform. This allows bookkeepers to easily access and manage pertinent information without having to jump back and forth between multiple platforms.

Multiple channel synchronization also means having sales data available on demand. Getting a holistic look at your sales data would usually involve manually inputting the information from all of your different channels, but QuickBooks Commerce puts all of this information in one place, which helps to save time and have more accurate data.

Intuit is currently offering QuickBooks Commerce at a discounted rate of $20 a month for the first 12 months. This makes the investment relatively small for users who might be uncertain about jumping to a new software.

Cons

Currently, QuickBooks Commerce is only available for new QuickBooks accounts, which means if you’ve already taken a QuickBooks online course, and are using QuickBooks Online, you can’t upgrade to Commerce. This also means you can’ take advantage of the discount mentioned in our pros section. There is a wait list for existing customers who wish to be informed when the product will be available to them, but there is currently no known timeframe.

QuickBooks Commerce is not perfect for all business types. The software was developed for product-driven businesses, particularly small businesses. If your business does more than 30,000 orders a month, or if you have an SKU list with over 20,000 entries, then this won’t work for you. The current release does not support multi-language UI needs, multi-stage manufacturing product sourcing, backorder stock reservations of inventory, or systems where every inventory item requires a unique serial number. If you’re looking to enhance the capabilities of your large-scale business, then you’ll have to look somewhere else for now.

Another downside to this product is the fact that it’s brand new means a majority of users are not familiar with it. Naturally, if you get stuck with anything you can still reach out to Intuit’s customer support but finding colleagues and other users familiar with the program’s ins and outs won’t be easy in these early stages of release. Additionally, you won’t be able to find QuickBooks training for this program easily either.

Final Verdict

QuickBooks Commerce is not the ultimate bookkeeping software. That said, it provides some invaluable tools to a specific set of businesses, particular small/medium businesses that are product focused. The ability to seamlessly integrate data from multiple platforms into one place can save you time and headaches. However, limited access, and a lack of support for business outside of the specific target market means this software might not be able to help your business. Whether or not QuickBooks Commerce is for you, it’s good to stay informed on the latest developments in bookkeeping technology by taking a bookkeeping course.

New Trends in Technology

Technology is a dynamic field that is evolving faster than ever. While IT trends like cloud computing and SaaS dominated the 2019 trends due to their accuracy and efficiency, Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence and 5G are currently advancing exponentially. These technological trends have had an enormous impact on almost every sector, and technology is growing at a mind-boggling rate.

New technologies come with associated drawbacks, but the benefits are usually overwhelming. In the future, companies will find it hard to offer personalized customer service without utilizing technology to learn how customers engage with different channels. Emerging technologies also threaten to replace human labour at an alarming rate. 90% of individuals agree that if businesses do not adopt new trends, they will lose all their clients to more customer-centric companies.

Here is a snapshot of what to expect in this technological era.

Blockchain Technology

In the past, a lot of the discussions about blockchain technology revolved around cryptocurrency. However, the real power of blockchain lies in transparency, immutability and convenience. Blockchain technology holds a promise to supply chain management by allowing for transparency and security of product from the origin. The technology also provides a better platform for record management. Even though the financial business benefit of blockchain has not yet been realized, the trend has been accepted and is widely used by enterprises across the globe.

Another blockchain technology under cryptocurrency is Ethereum, a model which uses smart contracts to enable the delivery of all conditions. Essentially, once all participants have met all the requirements of an agreement, a smart contract releases the data in the network. The work of smart contracts is to enable transparency, which enhances the trustworthiness between consumers and brands.

Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence is one of the most significant technological revolutions. Many companies are looking for ways to incorporate AI to improve customer experience and improve daily operations. Primarily, businesses aim to make a profit, and AI plays an essential role by cutting the cost of operations. AI can also be used to streamline cash flow, improve customer relations and to provide better insight into market behavior. Additionally, AI is a crucial component in analyzing large datasets which are used to provide useful insights to large companies. A large proportion of AI applications can only be provided as a service. This means that you feed your data as you pay for the algorithms. AI is currently provided only by Google, Amazon, and Microsoft. Nonetheless, more providers will certainly tailor their applications with specific tasks before the end of 2020.

5G Data Network

The 5th generation network provides super-fast upload and download speeds and has revolutionized technology in 2020. With affordable data plans and improved coverage, the network is expected to be used widely across different platforms, particularly due to its unique ability to let you stream music and videos much faster. 5G technology also comes with an incredible bandwidth which penetrates thick buildings and gives a real-time internet experience even when you are moving around. From enhanced bandwidth to offering a viable substitute for robots, machines and autonomous automobiles, 5G technology can transfer data faster than ever.

Cybersecurity

Cybercriminals are always trying to hammer networks with bots by looking for the slightest of loopholes to access a system. In recent years, cybersecurity has been a hot topic for many organizations. Companies are continually reporting data breaches, and this trend points to an imminent data security risk across every industry. Perhaps in the future, cybercrime will be a thing of the past. But as long as hackers continue to threaten data security, Cybersecurity Courses will continue to grow in demand. A study conducted by Deloitte projected that Canadian companies hire close to 8,000 cybersecurity experts over the next two years. At the same time, the demand for CompTIA Security+ certification across the globe will hit 313,000, while the demand for experts with CompTIA CySA training is expected to grow by more than 27%. Without a doubt, these statistics prove that CompTIA Security+ training is an excellent way to cope up with the growing technological trends.

Robot Process Automation

RPA is another technological trend that many companies are adopting. Essentially, the process involves the use of software to automate various business operations such as processing transactions, replying to emails, interpreting applications, and dealing with massive data. While Robot Process Automation comes with overwhelming benefits, it poses a significant risk to existing jobs. Research done by Forrester revealed that the RPA system threatens the livelihoods of over 230 million people across the world, which translates to 9% of the global workforce.

Conclusion

Business models and individuals looking to transform their businesses should focus on current technological trends. While these technologies come with associated benefits, cybercriminals may utilize their powerful algorithms to breach security systems. The great news is that professionals with the CompTIA CySA+ certifications have the necessary expertise to seal probable loopholes. For most companies, staying afloat boils down to offering exemplary customer service and advancing at the same pace as technology. On average, over 67% of firms agree that the use of IoT, intelligent voice assistants and augmented customer service technology will increase the metrics of customer satisfaction. Across the globe, burgeoning technologies form an interlaced structure of interoperability.

 

 

 

How CompTIA Certifications Can Help You Change Your Career and Move to Cybersecurity

CompTIA certifications validate your cybersecurity expertise in the job responsibilities and technological advancements that encompass the modern IT workforce.

It offers a comprehensive platform for IT professionals with different skills and experience levels to secure a wide variety of IT jobs and is a pre-requisite for advanced level technology vendors like Cisco, IBM and Microsoft.

Organizations are becoming more concerned about the cybersecurity challenges that have dominated the online landscape, consequently creating various job roles that have Security+ training as a requirement.

Across the globe, the evolving tech labor market will continuously present challenges, with the demand for professionals with security+ certification outstripping supply. Based on different workforce studies, more organizations are continually thinking about their approaches, leading to questions around gaps in skill sets and the demand for more meaningful attention to cybersecurity professionals.

Without a doubt, the trends to watch for in the future would present overwhelming opportunities for experts with CompTIA security+ training if the iterations of previous studies are what to go by.

Nonetheless, having a CompTIA certification would equip you with cutting-edge knowledge in hardware, software, and network security.

Global recognition

When you earn your  Security+ training, you’ll join over one million other IT professionals who have built their careers and achieved huge milestones with this certification.

CompTIA accreditation is globally accepted and recognized to be one of the fundamental certifications in the field of cybersecurity.

Approved by ANSI and compliant with ISO 17024 standards as well as DoD 8570 standards, the CompTIA certification would demonstrate a thorough understanding of the security landscape.

Several companies like hp, Motorola, IBM, the U.S Navy and Marines attach immense weight to CompTIA training – which means you’ll have the edge over other applicants if you have this accreditation.

Increase your knowledge

Unsurprisingly, you may think you have what it takes to identify and seal cybersecurity vulnerabilities by simply knowing networks and computers, but it’s undoubtedly more than that.

Having the CompTIA certification will help you get much better at what you do by presenting an opportunity to learn and enhance your knowledge.

Before you achieve this certification, you’ll be expected to prepare for exams in a rigorous phase that would shape you to becoming a greater cybersecurity professional.

Besides helping you pass the exam, the skills and knowledge you’ll obtain will make it easy for you to renew your certifications and update your knowledge with different training options.

Flexibility to work anywhere in the world

One notable perk of CompTIA certifications is that they’re universally recognized, accepted, and respected across the globe.

Various corporate organizations and government agencies have the CompTIA certification as the preliminary hiring credential considering that it’s vendor-neutral and focuses on building your foundation of tech knowledge.

Additionally, if you desire to take up a government job, you can successfully work for any agency as long as you have the CompTIA Security+ certification. This is because this certification is compliant with ISO and DoD regulatory standards at various work levels: both technical and managerial positions.

A higher pay scale

According to CompTIA, over 95% of employers look for professionals with job-specific certifications before hiring. At the same time, CompTIA certifications rank top 20 in the highest paying certifications.

Without a doubt, CompTIA certifications make a huge difference in shaping your cybersecurity career path. While most organizations don’t use monetary value as a weighing scale for your performance, the amount you earn certainly motivates you to work more efficiently.

Additionally, besides motivating you to work well, you’ll have a better charge of your work-life balance.

No doubt, many careers involving CompTIA certifications come with manageable stress levels, a sense of accomplishment and opportunities to give your life new meaning.

Building your network

With a CompTIA certification, you’ll be part of a community where you’ll learn, interact with and ask for advice regarding various professional aspects.

Passing the CompTIA exam requires, in most cases, rigorous learning, training and effort. In other words, updating your knowledge and training options as you strive to stay on the path is enough evidence that you are committed and diligent enough to keep up with the latest developments in the industry.

Regardless of your expertise level, you’ll be able to grow your professional network to help you keep up with new developments that would build your career.

Conclusion

The benefits of having any CompTIA certification are overwhelming, but the most notable one is the ability to transition your skillset to a full cybersecurity career.

Various workforce studies like CyberSeek have shown that over half a million cybersecurity job roles are posted in North America. Unsurprisingly, transitioning to a cybersecurity career isn’t a huge stretch but requires a considerable investment and time.

With the increasing demand for cybersecurity professionals, pursuing a cybersecurity profession would undoubtedly work to your advantage.

Mental Wellness Tips for Working Students

Are you a working student? With our emphasis on Adult Education, many Ashton students are. It’s great if you can focus on your studies exclusively but that’s often not possible. If your responsibilities include caregiving for family or working full or part-time, than it can be a big struggle to find balance and succeed in all areas. This can leave you stressed or burnt-out. 

Here are three tips to help you maintain good mental health

      1.Be gentle with yourself

Sometimes we ask too much of ourselves. If you are a perfectionist or a high-achiever you might be pushing yourself too hard. It’s one thing to have a busy schedule and want excellence, but it’s another thing if you are unkind to yourself in the process. 

Give yourself a personal mantra – a reminder to ease up with the pressure. Praise yourself instead of blaming yourself. A mantra or affirmation can help you relax and focus on what’s important. Here’s some I use when I catch self-critical thoughts and feelings sneaking in. 

  • Progress not Perfection
  • Imperfect Action
  • Baby Steps

You don’t need to be perfect. You don’t need to get it all done all the time. Your best right now might not be what you would like it to be, but so what? You have a lot on your plate. Be gentle with yourself. 

     2. Set boundaries

If you’ve taken on too much – at work, at home, at school – it’s time to set some boundaries. Set them with yourself first. Get clear about what is draining your energy the most and how you can adjust your workload or schedule.

Sit down with a notepad and assess your situation to determine where you are most struggling. Ask yourself where can I pull back in order to get more time or space or peace-of-mind?  

Your next step is to communicate with your work or school or family and communicate your challenges and discuss solutions. 

If you are a people pleaser, setting boundaries is a real lifesaver for you. The cost of not saying no is that you may burn yourself out pleasing others and not having the energy to complete your own studies and meet your goals. Slow down, step back, and take a look at whether you are doing too much. Set some boundaries with yourself and others. It’s better to identify early when you are reaching a point of overwhelm with your schedule and responsibilities. The longer you try and push past a punishing schedule, the worse the impacts on your mental health. 

Ultimately it takes strength and resilience to complete a post-secondary program especially when you are also working and/or care-giving at home. Don’t let your mental health run-to-failure, instead set boundaries to make sure you will have the stamina to complete the goals you have set out for yourself.  It’s critical not to overschedule yourself.

When I counseled working students about Ashton Admissions I would steer them toward the part-time online programs because of the flexibility and the workload. It’s a lot to ask of yourself if your schedule is already busy with work or family to then add a fulltime course load. 

Often people just want to graduate with their credentials sooner, but the risk to your mental health and the danger that you won’t be able to juggle everything successfully isn’t worth graduating a year sooner. It’s better to be realistic about what you can do and take your time getting there. 

You are playing a long game so don’t think like a sprinter, think like a marathon runner. Go slow, nourish yourself, take regular breaks and get proper sleep. 

       3. Ask for support

Think about what kind of support you need to succeed. Make a list of what your ideal support system looks like. It might include: Adjusted work schedule, extra help with studies (tutor, test-prep course, homework group), transfer to a part-time program, support with meal-prep, child-care, or housekeeping. 

If you are the type of person who others rely on for support, the go-to person in your family or friends circle, than you might try a role-reversal for a change and ask others to support you. It’s important that you know you too deserve to have your needs met. What would make your life easier and who can help you with that?

Go ahead and ask for support. Maybe you don’t realize how much support is available for you. Oftentimes, we don’t ask for the help we need. Maybe we feel embarrassed that we can’t do it all ourselves. Maybe we don’t think someone wants to help us or is able to help us. The truth is sometimes we are just making this up in our minds. Ask for what you need. You might be surprised by how easy it is to get it. Even if it doesn’t go well, at least you stood up for yourself and did your best.  

Keep breathing. Keep smiling. You can do this. Just don’t expect to do it perfectly. 

Do it slowly and imperfectly and be kind to yourself along the way.