Author Archives: Diane Turner

About Diane Turner

Career as a CNA By Diane Turner Nursing aids are responsible for providing basic medical care and assisting those in long-term health care facilities with their daily activities. This might include helping patients bathe or use the bathroom, turn or reposition patients that are bedridden. They may also help transfer those […]

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What Is The Purpose Of A Cover Letter? When You Need One And How To Write It

Job searching is exhausting, both mentally and physically. Plus, you often need to write a cover letter for each application, which can make it more time consuming to apply to even entry-level job positions.

What is the purpose of a cover letter? With a cover letter, you can introduce yourself to the company, outside of a resume which is a list of your previous work experience. In the cover letter, you can explain yourself and why you would be a great fit for the organization and why you want to work with the team.

While not every company will require that you submit a cover letter with your application, most experts agree that it’s a beneficial step. By adding extra information about yourself, you increase the chance that a recruiter will invite you for an interview where you can show off your skills. Without the cover letter, you might not get through the initial stage.

What Is A Cover Letter?

A cover letter is a short document which is in traditional postal letter format. The cover letter is your opportunity to explain deficiencies in your resume by highlighting the benefits that you would bring to the business. By doing so, you can give more color to your resume and improve your chances of success, particularly if you’re underqualified for the role.

Organizing a Cover Letter


Draw Attention to Your Benefits

Maximizing the Value of the Letter

Business Analyst Salary Review: Assessing And Implementing Necessary Changes In Organizations

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In today’s ever-changing business world, the work of a business analyst is essential. Serving as more than just an unbiased investigator to the problems with a company, a business analyst does so much more. A mediator, a connector, and an ambassador, the business analyst build bridges within businesses to solve problems and catalyze successful change.

A business analyst brings the company’s needs together with the needs of the IT department. They can bring change through IT resources and various kinds of software that can help the company grow and expand. Though it is a very IT heavy career, business analysts spread across fields of finance, engineering, technology, even agriculture. There is the possibility to work across all different sectors depending on the business analysts interests and skill set.

Depending on the business analyst path you choose and the education level you have, you can greatly benefit from this lucrative career. Today, we’re going to discuss business analyst salary and some of the factors to take into account when discovering what is average for different types of business analysts.

A Career As A Business Analyst

As you begin exploring a career as a business analyst, you’ll find there are several different hats that business analysts need to wear on a daily basis. There are also certain soft and hard skills required to be good in this career.

Business analysts serve as the bridge to the gaps between departments in various stages of development within a company. The analyst will work with the company to identify problem areas and areas for improvements in different business operations. Because the business analyst works across departments, they are able to work with various teams unbiasedly to solve issues all throughout the company.

Business analysts also are commonly involved with IT and business systems. A business analyst is directly involved with modifying or sometimes even designing the systems that companies use for internal and external functions. For example, if a company is suffering with customer support, the business analyst may help develop or change the customer relation management, or CRM, software.

A business analyst will also work with key stakeholders and experts to understand and address the problems they are having. By being in charge of gathering documents from various departments, the business analyst is the one who knows about every area of the company and is able to fully inform stakeholders about what is going on. If there are any issues, the business analyst will be able to solve problems and give technical solutions.

Typical Career Path

A career as a business analyst isn’t always a clear path. The career path of business analysts tends to vary, and that’s what makes the job so exciting. While it’s definitely an IT-focused career, a business analyst can jump back and forth between working in IT and working in the business. Business analysts often also pick up project management positions or go on the IT management route.

Few business analysts work for one particular company. Many work for a variety of companies as consultants to provide financial and efficiency advice to management. Many business analysts work on a contract basis ranging from a couple of weeks to years. This gives the business analyst freedom to travel and work remotely. Unfortunately, it can also mean long hours and cramped timelines to meet the contract deadline.

If you’re looking to be in innovation, business, and technology, a career as a business analyst offers a dynamic career path that allows individuals to evolve and find their own niche as they become more involved in the field.

Business Analyst Level Of Education

Starting a career as a business analyst isn’t a walk in the park. It requires extensive knowledge of technology. While almost all business analysts have a Bachelor degree in accounting, finance, or business administration, having a background in computer science is also a bonus. Successful business analysts will have knowledge in areas such as computer programming, and IT.

While at least a Bachelor degree is required, many business analysts also have a Masters degree. The degree is usually in the form of a Masters of Business Administration, or MBA. If an MBA or a Masters degree is not in the cards for you, there are also different ways to increase your credibility.

One way to increase your education in the form of business analytics without getting another degree is to get certified by the Institute of Business Analytics (IIBA). The IIBA is a globally recognized organization which serves as the governing body for the business analyst industry.

If neither of these options works for you, there are other ways to get ahead in a business analyst career. If you’re still in college, getting a headstart on summer internships as a business analyst will greatly help your chances at getting a higher paying business analyst position when you’ve finished school. If you’re already out of school and have started working, ask your supervisors to consider you for a role that requires from analysis or to put you on a team with other business analysts.

Business Analyst Average Salary

The current average salary for a business analyst is $65,973 according to Glassdoor. Salaries of business analysts typically fall between $49,000 a year to $96,000 a year: a wide range that fluctuates with experience and education.

In addition to a base salary, business analysts also enjoy quite a few supplemental bonuses to their salaries. Business analysts receive an annual commission average of $10,000. They also have bonuses up to another $10,000 each year. Total pay can be over $100,000 for business analysts with high commission rates and annual bonuses.

While the field holds more female business analysts than males, holding everything else equal, women still earn 7% less than their male counterparts. While there is no logical explanation for this pay difference, one can hope this is a trend that changes quickly.

Business Analyst Salary Factors And Influences

There are many factors that influence the salary of business analysts. When deciding on a career as a business analyst, you should consider a couple of influencers of salary. Among the various factors that should be considered are location, level of education, and industry.

Geographic Location

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Where you’re living is a major influence on your salary, no matter what job you’re doing. When deciding where to take a job, location and respective cost of living is a major factor to consider. Working outside of the U.S. on a contract can also influence your salary greatly. Here are a couple of the best states to work for a larger business analyst salary.

  • Virginia: Average annual salary of $103,000 a year and 46,000 business analyst positions available.
  • Georgia: Average annual salary of $93,000 and 25,000 business analyst positions available.
  • Washington: Average annual salary of $102,000 and 16,000 business analyst positions available.
  • Texas: Average annual salary of $96,000 and 36,000 business analyst positions available.
  • Illinois: Average annual salary of $91,000 and 29,000 business analyst positions available.
  • Michigan: Average annual salary of $87,000 and 14,000 business analyst positions available.
  • North Carolina: Average annual salary of $89,000 and 14,000 business analyst positions available.
  • Alabama: Average annual salary of $91,000 and 5,000 business analyst positions available.
  • Colorado: Average annual salary of $92,000 and 8,400 business analyst positions available.
  • Kansas: Average annual salary of $83,000 and 3,500 business analyst positions available.

Level Of Education And Experience

It’s a given that the more education and experience you have, the higher of a salary you’ll be able to expect. For entry level business analysts, salaries averaged around $58,000. A senior level business analyst can expect a salary of $120,000 a year or more.

Similarly, business analysts with Masters degrees earn more than those who don’t. But on top of your degree, it also makes a difference of where you earned said degree. Graduates from the MIT Sloan School of Management can expect a salary of $110,000 right out of school.

Graduates from the USC Marshall School of Business in Los Angeles can expect $85,000 a year their first year out of school. Unfortunately, the prestige of a school does play a significant role when getting a Masters in business analytics.


The amount of salary you are paid also depends on the industry you’re working in. There are definitely some industries that pay better than others. Some of the best industries to go into for higher salaries are banking, finance, technology and consulting. A business analyst job in one of these fields can earn you $90,000 a year or more.

By far the highest earning business analysts worked in the natural resource mining industry. Business analysts in this field could expect to make an annual salary of at least $115,000.

When comparing other industries, agriculture, entertainment, retail, and construction fell on the lower end of the spectrum, all ranging around or below $60,000 a year. The companies that fell in the middle of the spectrum consisted of government, transportation, and manufacturing industry jobs which earn around $70,000-$80,000 annually.

While working in the industries that have the highest salaries might be more appealing, it’s also smart to check out which industries have the highest number of jobs for business analysts. While natural resource management paid their business analysts the highest, they were also tied for the lowest number of jobs available for new business analysts with only around 100 jobs in the United States.

On the other hand, tech services and IT have the highest number of jobs available in the United States at about 670,000 jobs. If you’re looking for a career that is high paying but also secure, the IT industry is an ideal place to look. The financial industry comes in second with 380,000 jobs available and also a high paying salary.

How Business Analyst Salaries Compare To Related Fields

Types Of Business Analysts And Corresponding Salaries

While you might have a decent level of understanding on what general business analysts do, you might still not know about all the different job titles a business analyst can have. There are several different positions and responsibilities for business analysts to take on. We will examine a few of them and also note their corresponding salaries.

  • Data Scientist: A data scientist spends the bulk of their day focusing on the statistics that make a company run. They will analyze numbers to see what’s working and what can be improved by looking for trends and analyzing complicated data. Data scientists can expect an annual salary of $120,000.
  • Data Analyst: A data analyst is the scaled-back version of the higher paid data scientist. A data analyst is a person who creates the data representations to report to management or stakeholders. This person will work with different types of data analyzing software to understand the effects of a company’s techniques. They can expect a salary of $65,000 a year.
  • Operations Research Analyst: An operations research analyst acts as a means to help a company solve operational problems at the root. This person will conduct research on the company’s current procedures to see what can be fixed operationally and how better decisions can be made. An operations research analyst will make around $69,000 annually.
  • Business Intelligence Analyst: Both big and small businesses depend on the work of business intelligence analysts. Companies will hire business intelligence analysts long term or for consultations on how to maximize their data collection and make sustainable changes. These individuals help big executives make data-driven choices. Business intelligence analysts make $79,000 a year on average.
  • Management Consulting Analyst: Management consulting analysts work to help companies be better in all areas of what they do. They start with management and transcend this into lower level professionals and how management can better support them. These positions earn around $75,000 per year.

Business Analyst Salary Outlook - Conclusion

person holding 10 us dollar banknote in front of gray and black laptop

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In the United States, business analyst jobs are expected to grow 14% in the next ten years. This is much quicker than many other jobs today, making a career as a business analyst very secure. Of the many careers available in business and technology today, a promising business analyst salary and a secure career make this a great career path.

Business analyst positions are more available for those with higher education and more years of work experience. To make yourself competitive in the field, make sure you’re getting certified, learning under current business analysts, and becoming familiar with technology and computer systems.

Consider making the switch to a career as a business analyst to enjoy a high paying and fast growing career in almost any business industry you can imagine.

flight attendant instructs passengers on how to use a life jacket

Flight Attendant Salary Review: At Your Service in the Sky 

The position of flight attendant has evolved into one of the most sought-after and flexible professions in the United States. With good pay, loads of travel benefits, and variable work schedules,  men and women of all ages are deciding to dedicate themselves to this service-oriented lifestyle. 

Currently, over 118,00 flight attendants are working for various airlines throughout the United States. This number shows a small, but a still-significant increase from the 2016 figure of 116,000, indicating that this is a growing field that continues to attract new applicants. It is projected that the need for Flight Attendants will increase in the coming years. 

In general, most employers require a high school diploma or equivalent educational background to work as a Flight Attendant. Furthermore, given the nature of the work, less than five years of experience is often required as on-the-job training would be necessary in nearly every case of first-time employment. 

Determining a flight attendant salary can vary quite a bit depending on many factors, including which airline an individual works for and their number of years experience in the field. For simplicity's sake, it's fair to say that the median Flight Attendant salary in 2018 was $56,000 a year, with roughly 50 percent of people in the field earning around that amount annually. 

The History of Flight Attendants

Though the aircraft industry is still relatively new, the notion of in-flight attendants goes back to 1930, when Ellen Church, an experienced nurse, was hired by Boeing Air Transport to help ensure the safety of passengers aboard her flights. She was instrumental in defining the role of Flight Attendants for years, which focused mainly on calming the public's “fear of flying.” 

Leading up until World War II, all flight attendants were also required to be Registered Nurses and to be well-trained in life-saving techniques. This restriction disappeared as commercial flight became more frequent and fear of air travel more scarce, but other industry standards lasted for decades more. 

For instance, throughout the 50s and 60s, all flight attendants, or “stewardesses” as they were called at the time, were required to be young, unmarried women of a certain height and weight. If these women did get married, they were often fired from their position. Similarly, women who were single but had children were ruled ineligible to serve as a stewardess.

Today, thanks to significant overhauls in hiring standards and workers' rights, men and women from a broad range of backgrounds and situations are enjoying fulfilling careers and Flight Attendants. With the industry boasting a faster-than-average growth rate and air travel becoming less expensive than ever, this is a trend that is looking to continue.  

Working as a Flight Attendant

flight attendant serving drinks


In order to understand one's eligibility for a flight attendant position, it's best to know what requirements are associated with the job. After all, being a Flight Attendant requires some special considerations considering the nature of the work can often lead to being frequently away from home or even, at times, outside of the country. 

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What are the standard educational requirements of the job?

While it can vary from airline to airline, most employers will expect a high school diploma or equivalent before hiring someone to work as a flight attendant. 

This expectation comes from the fact that the primary role of a flight attendant–contrary to what many may think–is to keep passengers safe. Such a responsibility requires an understanding of safety procedures and the ability to follow directions to the letter. 

There seems to be little to no correlation between educational background and Flight Attendant salary. As most of the skills required for the job come from on-the-job training,  both college-educated and non-college educated workers in this field seem to have an equal opportunity for performance-based advancement. 

2. What sort of training can new flight attendants expect?

Though it is quite common for people outside the industry to assume that being a flight attendant requires only basic training, this is not always the case. Flight Attendants, after all, are tasked with keeping their passengers safe in all situations. In order to do this, they require fundamental knowledge of safety equipment and safety procedures in case of an emergency. 

Most airlines have a “flight school” or similar training program for all of their new hires, including those who already have experience in the field. As airlines are subject to rigorous government standards, many have put into place a range of different policies to meet those standards, and they'll expect their Flight Attendants to know them backwards and forwards. 

3. What types of experience are most relevant to the profession?

Contrary to many people's opinions, serving food and beverages to passengers account for only a small part of what Flight Attendants are expected to do. As previously mentioned, Flight Attendants are on board to assure the safety of their passengers, and will be expected to perform  many of the following functions:

  • Participate in pre-flight briefings with the Captain and cabin crew. 
  • Understand and react to changing flight and cabin conditions. 
  • Ensure passengers know and follow all safety requirement throughout the flight.
  • Assist passengers with special needs or conditions. 
  • Communicate safety procedures and requirements to passengers before, during, and after each flight. 
  • Administer emergency medical care if required. 
  • Direct passengers to safety in the case of an emergency.
  • Understand how to use emergency equipment on board and implement emergency procedures. 

Deal with any problems or issues that arise throughout the flight, including unruly passengers, turbulence, or breaking of laws and safety regulations. 

While many people may assume that being a Flight Attendant is little more than being a “waitress in the sky,” this list of job requirements makes it clear that there is much more to it. However, many airlines will consider hospitality experience to be a significant benefit when hiring staff, as many of the same customer-centric principles apply. 

airplane passenger seats


Other satisfactory backgrounds for those considering a career as a Flight Attendant include jobs focused on tourism, communication, and public relations. In a similar vein, employers often seek individual qualities in their recruits, such as reliability under stress, excellent communication skills, self-confidence, and self-motivation. 

4. How much time away from home is expected of flight attendants? 

Flight attendant positions do not lend themselves to standard nine-to-five shifts. More often than not, Flight Attendants will find themselves schedules in trip “blocks” or assigned to specific flights or routes. Some airlines allow their staff to “bid” for assignments, with those in senior positions getting the first pick. 

Trip blocks can range from two-day to four-day or more, with special considerations given to those who work internationally. The amount of variables in flight attendant shifts makes it quite hard to estimate exactly how much time you should expect to send away from home. What is known, however, is that flight attendants usually work between nine and 20 days a month. 

5. What are some important things to know about being a flight attendant?

There are still height and weight restrictions in place for many flight attendants, related mainly to weight limits on the aircraft. There is a small risk that being found in violation of these restrictions could result in loss of job security, though this is quite rare. Your general health, however, can be reviewed by your employer to ensure you are fit to fly. 

In some cases, flight attendants who sign on with a larger airline will not be able to choose their home base or base of operations. 

Having to move to a new city can cause additional stress on someone with a family, pets, or other close relations. It is also possible to be relocated to an area with a much higher cost of living than your current city, negating some of the positive financial benefits of the job. 

Flight Attendant Salary Factors 

As with any profession, there is no quick and easy answer to the “salary question.”  Though we've stated that the median income for a Flight Attendant is $56,000 a year, many factors can make this number either higher or lower.  These include factors under the control of the applicant or the airline, as well as those influenced by outside factors. 

Seniority and Experience 


Shifts Worked 

Other Factors to Keep in Mind

More Information on Flight Attendant Salary

Sometimes it's best to let the figures speak for themselves. These numbers are taken from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and include information about flight attendant employment in the United States for the year 2018. 

flight attendant with suitcase


Salary By The Numbers (2018)

Total Employed: 118,770

Annual Salary 10 percentile:  $28,950

Annual Salary 25 percentile: $42,320

Annual Salary 50 percentile: $56,000

Annual Salary 75 percentile: $68,850

Annual Salary 90 percentile: $80,870

Salary By State

Oregon remains the state providing the best pay for Flight Attendants, followed closely by Washington, Pennsylvania, Arizona, and Florida. It is also important to note that the cost of living in the leading two states is significantly higher than the remaining three. 

Oregon: $80,410

Washington: $77,450

Pennsylvania: $68,410

Arizona: $65,680

Florida: $62,610

Top Employment by State

With a larger-than-average number of airports and easy access to destinations outside of the country, California and Texas are the states that employ the most Flight Attendants. Though Illinois, New York, and Florida are next in line, they still have a lot of catching up to do. 

California: 15,920

Texas: 15,390

Illinois: 10,630

New York: 10,480

Florida: 8,650

Salary Compared to Related Fields

As Flight Attendants perform highly specialized tasks related to their industry, it can be challenging to identify comparable professions. Most comparisons draw from hospitality, retail, and food and beverage jobs, which tends to overlook the specialized training and responsibilities associated with being a Flight Attendant. 

Related Fields (Median Pay):

  • Bartenders: $22,550
  • Customer Service Rep: $33,750
  • EMT / Paramedic: $34,320
  • Retail Sales: $24,340

Regardless of the accuracy of the comparison, it is still fair to say that flight attendants have a significantly higher median pay rate than those in related fields. 

Conclusion: Flight Attendant Professional Outlook  

Though the airline industries are growing as of most recent reports, competition for Flight Attendant jobs remains high. Researchers predict the projected growth of Flight Attendant positions to be roughly 10 percent between the years 2016 and 2026. Flight Attendants are also a low-turnover profession, and a larger number of people are entering the field than are leaving it.  

All things considered, it's clear that being a flight attendant is a comparatively desirable profession, with the following factors accounting for the growth in popularity. 

  • Travel expenses often paid by employers and “per diem” payments are given for time away from home.
  • Large union participation to ensure benefits and fair treatment. 
  • Extremely high pay rate compared to hours worked in similar professions. 
  • Lots of schedule flexibility and the ability to earn extra income through shift swapping and trading.
  • Excellent opportunities for advancement and reliable increases in salary and benefits. 

In conclusion, the need for flight attendants will likely increase in the near future, but so will those willing to perform the job. As of now, the pay rate remains high, and the benefits remain quite tempting regardless of an individual’s background and experience. This makes becoming a flight attendant an excellent consideration for anyone looking to change their career in the future.

woman submitting her resume to hiring manager

How Far Back Should a Resume Go? Answering Whether Your First Job Really Needs to Be Included

The way you write it and what you put in your resume can mean the difference between getting an interview or never hearing from the company to which you sent an application.

While it is essential that the resume is thorough, how far back should a resume go? I wondered about the answer to that question and decided to do some research to find out, and below is what I discovered.

How far back should the job history go on your resume? Your resume only needs to go back 15 years if you’ve been in the job market for a while. It's more important to include experience in similar positions, or that’s relevant to the industry of the job for which you’re applying.

What to Include on a Resume?

If you have been in the job market for some time, then you need to update your resume to include information that’s useful to recruiters or hiring managers. 

Many people don’t keep their resumes up-to-date, so if you’re looking for a new position, look over your current resume to see how you can update it. There will be things you should eliminate and others that only require simple, quick changes.

Update Your Job History

People who have years of experience in the job market don't need to list their first job unless it has been the only place they’ve worked. Then, they should include any promotions they received with that company. 

For instance, if you went from burger flipper to a national district manager for a fast food chain, then include your promotions from the time you started with them.

However, if you were a burger flipper at 16 and are now a manager at a software firm, don’t include your first job. How far back should a resume go is a question of relevance. If your first job is relevant to the position for which you’re applying, keep it on your resume. 

Also, keep it on there if you’re young and searching for your first professional job because it shows that you have some work experience. Only keep those positions on your resume that are relevant to the one you’re seeking or if you have experience within the same industry. 

If you’re seeking a job as a bank manager and you have experience as a teller supervisor, then that is the type of information that should remain on a resume.

hiring managers reading applicant's resume


Add New Skills

Many professionals improve their chances for promotion or getting a better position by going to classes to improve their knowledge and job skills. They may earn certificates in certain aspects of their profession, which they should include on their resumes.

Showing that you have an interest in maintain or improving your knowledge of the industry you work in shows ambition and the desire to stay within the industry. Also, look over the skills section and remove any out-of-date skills. As an example, remove that you’re proficient in Microsoft Word but keep information about your proficiency in Excel.

Update the Language

Read your resume and take out any dated language and replace it with more modern terminology. It’s no longer the World Wide Web, but the internet. Also, note that the word “internet” no longer requires capitalization. Any words or phrases that are out-of-date will date you, but by changing them for the modern versions, you are not giving away your age.

Since most companies use Application Tracking Software to sort through resumes, it’s essential that job seekers use the terms that they are looking for, which are keywords. Keywords are what people type in a search engine to find information. 

So, if you want to know about grammar, you may use the words “English grammar,” “grammar rules,” or the phrase, “what is proper grammar” which are keywords. Look up the keywords, or keyword phrases that are most people use on search engines like Bing, Google, or Yahoo when they want information about your job industry. 

Then, as you update your resume, use the keywords or keyword phrases within it to trigger tracking software into recommending your resume for positions in which you have an interest.

hand holding a full-page resume


Don’t Trim Too Much

A few years ago, most people tried to fit all their job, contact, and educational information on one page. While that is still the protocol for young people with limited experience, a seasoned professional can include a second page for their resume.

By leaving the relevant information on it, along with skills, education, and contact information, most people who have years of job experience will have a two-page resume. Don't try to get it down to one page as there may be valuable information that you could leave off.

Eliminate Dates on Resume

The only items on your resume that should have dates listed are your job history when you received promotions or made job changes. Remove any dates on your educational information to prevent it from dating you. 

Also, never include your birthdate on your resume, cover letter, or anywhere else. A hiring manager should never ask for it in an interview unless you’re filling out paperwork after being hired.

Re-Format Your Resume

Along with updating the content of your resume, you should also update its format. While several kinds exist, the ones to concentrate on are the:

  • Chronological Resume
  • Functional Resume
  • Combination Resume

Chronological Resume

The chronological resume is the most common type of resume for job seekers. The name comes from the fact that the applicant lists their work history from their most recent position to the other jobs they've held in reverse order.

As with most resume formats, it first begins with the applicant’s name and contact information, which should include their mailing address, telephone numbers, and email address. For people that have a website related to their work, they should include the URL for it as well.

A qualifications summary is next that briefly lists their overall experience, skills, and any specialized training the applicant has that's relevant to their careers. If there is more information that needs to go on your resume, then create space by shortening the summary of qualifications or eliminating them. Listing your work history is more important than the summary list.

After the qualifications summary, then you’ll list your work history in reverse order. Remember, do not include your first job unless the experience is relevant for the type of job that you’re seeking today. Your education information is next, followed by your relevant skills.

Functional Resume

If you decide to reformat your resume into a functional resume, then you need to highlight your job skills instead of work history. Start with the qualifications summary and highlight unique skills and key strengths by creating sections for each one. An example would be listing all technical skills in one paragraph while listing language skills in another.

After the summary of qualifications, you should add your educational information, and then your relevant work history. Functional resumes are suitable for people who may have gaps in their work history or young professionals who haven't been in the job market for very long.

If you've been in the job market for several years, comb through the skills section to get rid of any outdated skills. For instance, you don't need to mention 10-key skills or MS Word proficiency because most hiring managers assume you have them because computer skills are now standard.

Combination Resume

A combination resume uses the work history of the chronological resume and the skills emphasis of the functional resume. It begins with a general qualifications summary and then presents the applicant's work experiences they've had over the years. Their expertise includes the skills they have, what they did during internships, or on their jobs.

After writing about their experiences, their work history comes next. Its format is one line that provides the name of the company, their address, and when the applicant worked there. Any of the relevant information about what experiences or skills acquired on the job goes in the work experience section.


Finally, keep the references section on a resume, but don't list them. Instead, just write "references available upon request," and have them ready on another sheet of paper. Then when the interviewer requests them, you can hand them over immediately.

Change the Font

Along with updating the format of your resume, you should also look at it from an aesthetic viewpoint and make changes to make it stand out from the hundreds of resumes that many companies receive when positions are open.

Instead of using the more common Times Roman or Arial fonts, try out other professional styles. Two examples are the Cambria or Calibri fonts. These fonts are clean, legible, and more companies are requiring them on written materials instead of the fonts as mentioned earlier. 

Do not use other fonts that could be hard to read, such as fonts that mimic handwriting or those that do not like professional. Follow these suggestions if your curious about how far back should a resume go. 

Then its content will not only capture the attention of the application tracking software, but it will also get the attention of hiring managers before you interview with them. A nice-looking resume with good content will help you land an interview for most jobs for which you apply.

graphic designer working using color swatches and tablet

Graphic Designer Salary Overview: Crafting Enticing Visuals for an Interactive User Experience

If you want to become a graphic designer, you may learn how to craft stunning visuals that tell a story. Unlike many professions today, you don’t necessarily need a college education to land a lucrative graphic designer salary. All you need is skill and experience. Read on to learn how you can earn a living from your creativity and artistic talent. 

What a Graphic Designer Does

Graphic designers have a unique eye for design, and they may work on a variety of project types depending on their industry. Some work for companies, while others freelance and find their own clients. Regardless of work setting, graphic designers work to create impressive digital visuals to promote a product or brand. Their day-to-day duties continuously change depending on the project but may include:

  • Teamwork with creative or marketing staff
  • Strong knowledge of color theory, typography, and production
  • Developing and designing graphic art, whether web or mobile
  • Working with programs like InDesign, Photoshop, and Adobe Creative Suite
  • Meeting deadlines, within a pre-set budget
  • Learning continuously to stay up to date on current practices and technology
  • Adapting quickly to new technology

Graphic designers may work on projects such as designing a webpage for a company, creating designs for a mobile app, or making visuals for an advertisement. Whatever industry to type of digital experience you have, designers are expected above all to poses in-depth knowledge in proper theory and know how to execute ideas. They may need to present their work at times too, so verbal and written communication skills are vital. In this role, it’s important to be flexible and solve problems. 

top view of a graphic designer's workstation


If you work for a marketing or advertising department or freelance, you may also need to understand how to handle client relationships. Working as a part of a team is essential as well, even if you work in a remote position. Lastly, because technology is continuously developing, graphic designers must remain calm and roll with the punches in an ever-changing environment. 

Likewise, designers focus on a variety of different areas. Front end designers, for example, will focus on what the user actually sees whereas the back-end designer may have other tasks to perfection. Management positions may also come with various titles, such as Art Director, and they oversee teams of designers. Roles may include positions like:

  • Production artist
  • Commercial artist
  • Conceptual artist
  • UX/UI developer
  • Illustrator
  • Layout manager
  • Creative director
  • Art director

No matter what job title a graphic designer holds, they may work on a part-time, full-time, or contract/freelance basis with a company. 

Education Requirements

According to O*net, most graphic designers hold a bachelor’s degree. Although, not all employers will require graphic designers to attend college. Many people in the field may receive some form of technical training in graphic design or earn an art degree, and related fields will often allow you to find a graphic design position as well. 

In this profession, more emphasis is placed on work-related skill, artistic talent, design knowledge, and experience. If you find a position without a bachelor’s degree and begin gaining industry experience, for example, you may be able to still advance your career with ease. On-the-job training is expected with any new hire in this role. 

What is User Experience?

Well-designed content helps people want to interact and stick around longer. The brand stays on their mind, and they may buy your products and services or come back for more. The user experience, or UX, of design is all about how the user (i.e. your customer or reader) interacts with your plans. Bad content will turn them away, whereas a strong presentation with colorful visuals can keep them entertained for hours or more.

Whether a graphic designer works on a digital product or a service, they find the best solution to keep the customer’s attention while meeting business goals at the same time. It’s about much more than the images and colors used, it’s the entire construction of the product that makes a user experience better or worse. 

UX Best Practices the Best Graphic Designers Know

The best graphic designers got there by creating content people love. They know how to engage users by creating a story behind an interesting visual or honing in on what your audience enjoys, and they can move people into action through effectively relaying a great and simple story. Good UX doesn’t just happen, it’s built on over time and follows some standard best practices, including: 

  • Design strategy – How you organize the visuals and content in a way that effectively tells a story and makes people want to act.
  • Interaction design patterns – Form a brand icon, and you may save time on design tasks later, while users have a symbol to understand and interact with faster than words. 
  • Visual style guides – Keeps your brand colors and fonts consistent throughout all platforms and allows teams to stay on the same page when it comes to the design choices of a company.
  •  The rule of thirds – An understanding of how user’s eyes travel over a layout or image. 
  • Typography – Which fonts are right to convey the message you want, and how the weight of the font changes how it’s read. 

As a graphic designer, you will need to stay up to date on current visual design trends. Understanding the trend as well as why the trend works among customers today is important. You need to think about what a user wants and needs and establish a consistent style in all applications to produce stunning and reliable content. Don’t forget to communicate with teammates as well, especially if you’re only working UX while a colleague handles the UI design.


How Much is the Average Graphic Designer Salary?

Salaries tend to vary based on the industry you work in, your experience level, and your location. However, most graphic design salaries may also come down to skill. Talent is typically rewarded with higher salaries, and if you have extensive experience in a certain area, you may also be able to charge more for those particular projects. 

According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), graphic designers overall make a mean annual wage of $54,680. The highest paid designers average around $85,760 and tend to hold the most experience, while the lower 10% of entry-level workers in this professional earn around $29,610 per year. 

In addition to these wages, designers who work for a corporation may earn other bonuses as incentives for reaching company goals or doing particularly well on a project. Some companies may also reward their employees with stocks and bonds in the company or possibly match the money you save in a 401k while employed. 

Who Hires Graphic Designers?

The average graphic designer salary you earn, however, can also vary based on the industry you work in. Each place of business may alter the type of work you do on a daily basis. Those who work in publishing could design book covers, for example, while designers in advertising may create visuals for ads. Graphic designers tend to find jobs in the following common industries:

  • Scientific and technical consulting services - $60,110
  • Specialized design services - $56,600
  • Advertising or public relations - $55,750
  • Newspaper, book, or periodical publishers - $48,530
  • Printing - $44,430

Jobs may also vary within the industry as well. Printing job involving print design, for example, have decreased while the move toward digital publishing techniques is still evolving. 

Nearly one in five graphic designers is also self-employed, meaning they opt to work for themselves and seek their own projects rather than work for a large company or print shop. Freelance or independent work is becoming more common than ever, especially because the job can be performed remotely as long as you have the right software and technology for your needs. Many remote workers travel to meet up with clients or use video chat software like Skype, and some will work as a part of a team this way. 

Group of Multiethnic Designers Brainstorming


If you work as a freelance graphic designer, you will set your own salary. However, you may ask for higher wages than a company would pay you simply because you complete all the administration tasks that an employer would normally take care of, like marketing, bookkeeping, and hiring new clients. Self-employed people also tend to have more irregular working hours, as they take on projects when they can and can choose when they work. 

Which Industry Pays the Highest Salaries?

Although most graphic designer jobs are found in advertising or publishing in recent years, these are not the highest paying companies to work for. Industries with the top wages tend to require at least a bachelor’s degree and extensive experience, often in government work or computer systems design. 

The industries who pay graphic designers the top graphic designer salaries include:

  • Federal executive branch - $83,090
  • Aerospace products and parts manufacturing - $79,250
  • Semiconductor or electronic manufacturing - $79,250
  • Legal services - $72,160
  • Natural gas distribution - $70,850

Which States Pay Higher Salaries?

Wages also vary based on your location. Graphic designers commonly find great pay in areas with the highest employment rates, such as large cities like New York City or Los Angeles, or places with the greatest need for people in these positions. The top 10 areas that pay the highest annual wages, according to the BLS, include:

  • District of Columbia - $71,180
  • New York - $64,840
  • Massachusetts - $64,010
  • California - $61,100
  • Connecticut - $60,700
  • Virginia - $60,540
  • Washington - $60,530
  • Alaska - $59,640
  • New Jersey - $59,140
  • Maryland - $58,610

You may also be able to charge higher wages as a graphic designer if you have a high skill set. When it comes to digital art, there is still a level of talent and skill that comes into play. Many designers learn over time as they gain experience, some take advanced education courses to stay on top of trends, and others simply have a better design eye or industry connections that can land them big paychecks. 

Job Growth Trends

Graphic designer positions have been increasing in recent years due to an increase in online publishing options, and tech-savvy artists are needed to work with publishers to create a range of work. However, those who find roles in computer systems design may see the most growth and job prospects according to the BLS whereas jobs involving print design will drastically decrease.

Overall, O*net shows the job growth for graphic designers at 2-4%, which is slower than the national average for all professions until 2026. There will be projects 26,000 jobs open nationwide. This means finding a position may become more competitive, especially if you live in a top metropolitan area known for hiring graphic designers like Los Angeles or New York City. Expect to polish your artistic skills and learn to follow clear instructions. 

Freelance Salaries vs 9 to 5 Salaries

Freelancers set their own salaries and do all the hard work it takes to run a business, so they tend to charge slightly higher rates for their services. The average freelance graphic designer, according to a survey by How Design, makes the highest rate in the Northeast, at $74 per hour. Most freelancers will also charge added fees for anything beyond the scope of the project terms or rush orders. These rates are much higher, on average than in-house graphic designers in any state. 

Self-employed people also have the availability to make extra income on the side, and side projects can encompass just a few added hours each week. Many designers will choose to split their time working in a particular niche with a side-gig in another industry. Being self-employed means you don’t need to do only one type of project, although people may stick with one thing they know how to do well. 

Man editing photos on a computer


Money isn’t typically the reason most graphic designers decide to live a freelance lifestyle though. It’s all about freedom. You pick the projects, rates, and when you work. You choose who you work with and have more flexibility in where you work. On the other hand, working for a corporation offers a steady paycheck with perks like insurance benefits and bonuses. For many, the free lifestyle is worth the risk of an inconsistent paycheck. 

Although freelancers tend to make higher salaries than people employed by a company, they also pay more in taxes. When you’re self-employed, you don’t have taxes taken out of each paycheck that is matched by an employer. Freelancers must pay more in taxes than traditional employees, and they often need to set aside money for quarterly tax payments to the IRS throughout the year. Otherwise, they may face steep penalties. 

A Final Thought

Appearance matters. Graphic designers use their eye for design to work on a variety of projects, from developing tv graphics and magazine to electronic media. The job prospects aren’t necessarily in high demand in the near future, making this creative role potentially highly competitive. 

With less than a bachelor’s degree and some artistic experience, you may be able to earn a lucrative graphic designer salary in no time. If you love art or graphics, it’s never too late to begin working toward a career as a graphic designer. 


technology network security digital cloud

The 16 Best Cyber Security Certifications to Have on Your Resume

Last year saw a rise in cybersecurity breaches with most of them suffered by major entities like Facebook, which had over 80 million records breached. These breaches not only lead to massive losses, but they also create opportunities for IT security professionals. 

A report by Cyber Seek shows that there are over 700,000 cybersecurity professionals in today's workforce. Moreover, the cybersecurity job opening is over 300,000 in the U.S. The number is expected to hit 500,000 by 2021.

Employers often go through certification when evaluating potential InfoSec candidates. Getting the right certification acts as a commitment to quality and measure of excellence. Certifications help you learn and understand the field while considering your career options. 

In this article, we look at what cybersecurity is, and what are the best cybersecurity certifications you need to have on your resume.

What is Cyber Security?

Cyber Security is an IT security that helps to protect the data and secure the system. The technology handles the safety of the system. Cybersecurity experts spearhead the effort to protect networks and devices. 

Business person logging in to his laptop


Why Should You Pursue a Cyber Security Certification?

Human error is a threat to cybersecurity. Getting cybersecurity training comes with various benefits like: 

An Excellent Way to Expand Your Knowledge

Being a subject matter expert makes you a valuable asset in the job market. Specializing in cybersecurity makes you stand out from other IT professionals.

Show Interest and Commitment 

An employer is looking for a potential employee who has an interest in and commitment to the job. Getting certified demonstrates your commitment to pursue further education and grow in the cybersecurity industry. 

Save Time

Cybersecurity certifications help you to save time by giving you skills on how to implement valuable, comprehensive, and repeatable processes particular to your role and to the company you’ll work. After the certification, you’ll have the confidence to implement an information security program that can handle any cyber threats.

The 16 Best Cyber Security Certifications 

You can now have access to different cybersecurity certifications if you’re looking to advance your skills and gain knowledge in specific areas. Depending on your experience and career goals, you may find one or more courses ideal for career growth. Some of the best cybersecurity certifications to pursue include:

Security +

Security+ is a beginner level certification ideal for those interested in joining the cybersecurity industry. The course by CompTIA covers the basics in cybersecurity with a focus on trends in threat management, risk management, and mitigation.

However, you need to have at least two years of experience in network security and pass an exam to get the certification. 

NIST Cybersecurity Framework (NCSF)

NCSF comes as a founder and practitioner certification. The course offers you an overview and skills necessary for management cybersecurity threats at every level in the organization. You can expect to learn the challenges organizations face, and how to mitigate risks with the foundation course.

The practitioner certification is ideal for operations professionals or cybersecurity engineers who need a detailed knowledge of the NCSF. 

Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)

The Certified Information Systems Security Professional certification is an advanced course for information security professionals. Security professionals with this certification are in high demand in any industry. 

With this certification, you learn how to design, implement, and manage a cybersecurity program. CISSP also showcases your expertise and allows you to become an ISC member. The membership helps you unlock exclusive resources, peer2peer networking opportunities, and access educational tools. 

However, you need to have a minimum of five years’ experience before pursuing this course. Two of those need to be in the CISSP standard body of knowledge domains and the rest a four-year degree.

Also, it takes three years to be certified. You must earn 120 CPE credits during the three years. Nonetheless, after the three years, you’ll now have the skills to direct an IS framework. 

CISSP covers asset security, security operations, software development security, and security & risk management. It also focuses on security assessment &testing, security architecture &engineering, and communication & risk management. 

Certified Information Security Manager (CISM)

You need to pursue a CISM if you plan to work as a government or an enterprise-level security management professional. 

To sit for this exam, you need to have at least five years in the Information Security sector, with three of those in management, position in ISACA approved practice areas. The course recognizes the person who manages, design, and oversees an enterprise’s information security. Professionals with this course can align their initiatives with broad business goals. 

It’s also an ideal certification if you plan to move into a CISO role. The course covers information risk management, information security governance, and information security incident management. Moreover, you’ll get to learn about information security program development and management. 

Systems Security Certified Practitioner

The Systems Security Certified Practitioner certification is an entry-level course for those interested in joining the cybersecurity industry. The ISC2 recognized certification is a requirement for CISSP certification.

You can expect to cover security operations, networks, access controls, cryptography, coding, and analysis. The only requirement is to pass the SSCP exam to earn this certification. What’s more, you can apply for jobs in security engineering, monitoring, and implementation positions. 

Certified Information Security Auditor (CISA)

The Certified Information Security course is another ISACA certification that focuses on information system controls and monitoring skills. Pursuing this certification shows that you’re competent enough to secure vital business assets.

Cybersecurity experts need to demonstrate their skills to identify risk and apply the best practices to mitigate any threats. Getting the CISA certification tells employers that you have the experience, but also a professional who can handle security issues.

CISA focuses on information systems acquisition, development and implementation, management of IT, IS operations, maintenance, management, and Auditing Information Systems.

Certified in Risk and Information Systems Control (CRISC)

A certificate in Risk and Information Systems Control shows potential employers that you can identify and assess IT risks, to help organizations meet their objectives. You’ll get the right skills to plan and implement the proper measures to mitigate risk. 

According to ISACA reports, most CRISC holders can work as CIOs, CEOs. CFOs, CISOs, or as security executives in enterprises. 

CRISC covers risk identification, risk response, and risk monitoring. You’ll also learn about risk assessment and evaluation. Other notable topic areas include Information Systems control monitoring & maintenance and Information Systems Control Design and Implementation. 

Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA)

CCNA or Cisco Certified Network Associate certification gives you the skills to recognize threats and vulnerabilities, come up with security infrastructure, and implement the best practices to handle security threats.

CISCO asserts that the course provides the right foundation for roles like network security support, network security technicians, and administrators. Certified professionals can secure devices and data with the latest CISCO security hardware and software solutions.

Some of the areas you can expect to cover are Cisco advance malware protection, SIEM technology, Identity Services Engine, and 802.1x authentication. The course also covers cloud &virtual network topologies and Cisco FirePOWER next-generation IPS. 

Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP)

The CCNP course is ideal for Cisco network security engineers who have the task of securing routers, networking devices, appliances, and switches. Also, you should pursue this course if you support and troubleshoot IPS/IDS solutions and VPNs. 

A report by Cisco shows that the need for network security professionals will double by 2020. The course is broad and covers Cisco security devices, management services on Cisco devices, threat defense, and threat defense architectures. 

Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH)

The Certified Ethical Hacker course is perfect for people interested in ethical hacking. The certification helps to identify weakness and vulnerabilities in security systems. Most cybersecurity practices, governments, and fortune 500 companies seek professionals with the CEH certification. 

Some of the areas you’ll cover in this course include ethics, security in regards to threat modeling, cryptography, firewalls, and the regulations. Also, you can expect to learn data analysis, programming languages, and a background in malware operations, protocols, networking technologies, etc. 

Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE)

Taking a CCIE certification helps you attain the necessary skills to implement, support, and maintain Cisco network security solutions using modern technologies and industry’s best practices. Candidates need to take a written exam and complete an eight-hour lab exam that tests their ability to secure the network in a timed manner.

You need to attempt the lab exam within a year and a half of passing the written exam. CCIE topic areas include evolving technologies, secure connectivity, advanced threat protection, virtualization, and intrusion prevention. 

GIAC Certified Incident Handler (GCIH)

The certification gives an IT professional the skills to detect and resolve computer security cases. Certified Incident Handlers can demonstrate various handling skills. It’s also an ideal course for security architects and system administrators looking to understand how cybercriminals crack passwords and infiltrate networks. 

The course covers incident handling, password attacks, network attacks, client attacks, and web application attacks. You can also expect to learn about cache poisoning, denial of service attacks, and covering tracks in systems and networks. 

CompTIA Security +

CompTIA Security + is an entry-level certification that provides you with technical skills and expertise in different security-related disciplines. Although it’s a beginner course, you need to have two years of experience working in network security.

The certification covers topics like security risk identification, identity management, threat management, network access control, security infrastructure, and cryptography. Another added advantage is that the U.S. Department of Defense approves the certification. 

You’ll need to take a single exam to get certified. However, you should note that those who took the Security + certification before January 2011 get the certificate for life, but if you take it after that date, you need to renew the license every three years.

The renewal involves taking 50 CEUs or take a CertMaster CE online course. 

Certified Cloud Security Professional (CCSP)

The CCSP course is ideal for anyone who would like to show his or her skills in data security and cloud computing. Also, the certification demonstrates your proficiency in cloud architecture and application in security considerations. 

The ISC2 approved course if ideal for system architects, security administrations, systems engineers, security consultants, and security managers. 

Nonetheless, for you to be eligible for this course, you need to have at least five years of work experience, three of which need to be in information security and a year in CSSP standard body of knowledge.

Alternatively, you can substitute the CISSP credential for CCSP experience. Moreover, you need to pass the exam and subscribe to the code of ethics for you to get an endorsement.

Licensed Penetration Tester (LPT)

The Licensed Penetration Tester is a course by the EC-council. With this expert-level certification, you can demonstrate to potential employers your cybersecurity techniques. For you to be eligible for the exam, you need to have at least two years of experience and hold the EC-council security analyst certification.

Furthermore, you need to have an industry-equivalent certification like the offensive security certified professional or the GIAC penetration tester.

You can expect to cover SSH tunneling, OS exploits, multi-level pivoting, and privilege escalation. 

Certified Protection Professional (CPP)

The Certified Protection Professional course is not an ordinary certification, as it’s advanced enough and one of the requirements most organizations look for when they want to hire a CISO.

You need to have at least nine years of security experience, three of which needs to be in a security function. 


Choosing the best cybersecurity certification depends on where you are in your career and what you're looking to achieve. As a beginner in cybersecurity, you can opt to start with Security + or Network+ to gain skills necessary to land a job and increase your experience.

After some years of experience, you can get hacker or CISSP certification to enhance your chances for a new role or promotion. 


hand holding a full-page resume

How Long Should A Resume Be? Settling The Debate Once And For All

Writing an effective resume is something both the experienced and those fresh from college struggle with, something that can be frustrating. Some HR experts argue that a resume should have a maximum of two pages; others suggest a single page. I was curious about the confusion; that’s why I delved and went through multiple sites to find the truth. Here’s what I found.

So, how long should a resume be? While it’s difficult to recommend a specific length, the best resume should be concise and convey your worth. A resume should have a length that entices hiring managers to call you for interviews.

Although it’s impossible to determine a specific length, that doesn’t mean you should write a long resume that hiring managers will find useless. Certain factors like years of experience, industry and the type of job determine how long your resume should be. In this article, we evaluate factors that should dictate your resume length.

When Should Your Resume Be One Page?

How long should a resume be if you don’t have a wealth of experience to show? A one-page resume is ideal if you have just graduated, whether in high school or college. At this point, your resume should focus on relevant experience which includes volunteer work and school projects, skills, and coursework.

Also, if you have less than two years of experience, your resume should be one page in length. For example, if you’re applying for a similar position, it’s essential to have relevant experience. Do away with any experience that doesn’t match the job you’re applying for to maintain the length.

You need to keep your resume to one-page if you plan to make a career change and the new career path doesn’t require experience. For example, if you’ve been working as an engineer for ten years, but you now need to transition and start a career in business development, your experience as an engineer is irrelevant.

You need to create a one-page resume with details of your business development experience whether it’s in training or work.

When Should Your Resume Be Two Pages?

Majority of people fall under this category. The length is perfect if you have two to over twenty years of experience. Although those with more than ten years of experience may find it difficult to include all the details in two pages, it’s possible to cover everything in two pages.

Hiring managers spend at least six seconds looking at your resume. A long resume may be distracting if the hiring manager has multiple resumes to review.

A two-page resume also works well if you are an award-winning student. You may have honors, tons of class projects, publications, awards, work experience, and extracurricular activities that may not fit in a single page. You may need a two-page resume if you must include specific sections on your resume.

Exceptions to the Resume Length Rules

You’ll realize that specific changes in your career may make it difficult to settle for one-page or a two-page resume. Depending on your career change, you may either transition to a one-pager from a two-page resume.

hiring manager holding the candidate's resume while doing an interview


Also, the result can be vice versa if you have multiple published works, several consulting gigs that state your experience, list of technical skills, or other proficiencies. If this is the case, you may have a three-page resume.

Your resume may also exceed two pages if you’re using an academic resume format to seek work in sciences or academia. Using an international resume to apply for vacancies outside the United States may also make your CV longer.

Essential Tips to Write a Concise and Relevant Resume

Always remember that your resume is a marketing tool and not your autobiography. Your resume should address who you are as a person, what experiences you bring, and your motivation for the position. It should also discuss what impact you’ll bring to the role. Below are some tips to help you trim your resume to the proper length.

Only Include Relevant Experiences

While it’s crucial to check the length of your resume, you need to understand what sets you apart from other candidates. Your content will make the difference between getting your resume read and it being discarded.

Only include experiences and positions that are relevant to the job. Sometimes you don’t need to add high school details. Also, you need to do away with any college extracurricular if you an experienced professional with over ten years of experience.

Cut Down Your Personal Statement or Career Objective

Don’t overdo your career objective or opening summary. Be descriptive in regards to your collective knowledge and experience. Avoid me-focused career objectives or mission statements that state your intention to find a fulfilling career with growth opportunity.

The top third of your resume should only include your impressive accomplishments and recent experience.

Avoid listing your street address at the top or including references at the bottom of the document.

However, if you graduated from college or if you’re looking for a job in a different industry, this rule exempts you. For example, if you went for an internship years ago, and this information is relevant to the position you’re applying for, then include it on your resume.

Use Different Format Technique to Get to the Right Resume Length

Sometimes all you need is to experiment with different fonts, check for spacing between the paragraphs, and adjust your style to get to the appropriate resume length.

You can use various font styles like Calibri, Arial Narrow, Trebuchet MS, and more. Fonts like Arial, Verdana, and Times New Roman take up more space. Margins and spacing can also dictate the resume length. Try decreasing the margins to 0.5 and the spacing between 0.5 to 1 points.

Ensure that the resume is easy to read as you experiment with various spacing and font options.

Also, avoid using bullet points carelessly. Although bullet points make your text scannable. Overusing them take up a lot of space. Look for points that you can combine to form a single sentence.

Some resume experts advise you to move the left edge of the bulleted content with the text of other lines; this extends past the margin. With this, you still create an easy to read resume and save space.

Do away with unnecessary section headers as they waste space, instead of having separate sections for volunteer and professional experience. Consolidate them under one experience section.

Although you may be tempted to shorten line spacing or trim margins, overdoing it could get your resume thrown in the trash. Always preserve readability even when editing your resume.

job interview


Consolidate Contact Information

Some people make the mistake of including all details of their address, the street they live in, and more. Avoid separating your email address, phone number, and social media accounts by line. You can use vertical bars to divide this information on one line.

Customize Your Resume Based on the Job Description

An effective resume should address how you’ve been working towards the job you are applying. Before drafting your CV, take time to study the job description to identify keywords qualifications, and experiences you need to include.

Go through each line of your resume to determine if it’s relevant to the job description. If it’s distracting, eliminate it.

Use a Master Resume to Write a CV for Each New Job

Drafting a CV from scratch is tiresome and time-consuming. What’s more, you may end up with a longer resume. You can reduce your stress by creating a master resume. In this resume, list all the skills you have, experiences, proficiencies, and qualifications you have.

With the master resume, you can create a tailored resume that will help you get to the proper length.

Always Include Keywords

Most hiring managers scan resumes for keywords. Keywords are priority phrases that act as a requirement for this position. Keywords can be anything from accomplishments, years of experience, specialties, language, and anything the employer is interested in finding in a potential candidate.

The job description has all the keywords relevant to the position. You can edit your resume to include these keywords and eliminate those that don’t add value.

Avoid Using Unnecessary Words

Most people make the mistake of using vague words and passive sentences, something that lengthens your resume. Avoid using weak words like in charge of, responsible for, and similar words on the resume.

Always use active voice when drafting your resume. Use action verbs like serve as, coordinate, analyze, assess, monitor, reduce, and more. Stay away from overused adjectives like driven, seasoned, exceptional energetic, and the likes.

Write Your Resume with the Employer in Mind

You should create your resume with your potential employer in mind. Remember that your resume needs to address what you can do for the employer, what you’ve done before, and what impact you’re looking to bring to the company.

female applicant talking during a job interview


Ask for Help

Sometimes all you need is a career coach to help you draft a professional resume. Also, you could consider asking your friend to help you trim the resume to ensure that it only contains relevant details.

There are a few best practices when writing a resume, including answering the question, “how long should a resume be.” Hopefully, these tips were able to give you someplace to start in your resume writing and formatting.

men shaking hands

The 6 Best Trades to Learn for Guaranteed Job Security

Even if you don’t intend to pursue them full time, some trades can give you extra job security and more employment opportunities. Many of the best trades to learn can improve your income at your current position, or allow you to take a more specialized role at work. 

An example of one of the best trades to learn can be expertise as an electrician. From manual labor jobs like coal mining to server staff at an IT position, the ability to act as a company's on-site electrician is highly valued. This is one of the best trades to learn because it improves the safety of the workplace, acts as a specialized role, and often leads to a pay increase.

Product FAQs

Why Are These Trades Unique?

How Do I Leverage These Trades For Increased Job Security?

Does Increased Job Security Mean Higher Wages or Salaries?

How We Reviewed

Choosing the best trades to learn can be difficult, even when you narrow down the criteria with factors like job security. In this review trades that provided exceptional job security when they were pursued full time were mentioned. The list also includes trades that increase your worth in a business even if they aren’t the main criteria for your employment.

All of the jobs below have a very small unemployment percentage. This means that those who received training in that trade spend minimal time unemployed. The length of time they spend employed at a single position without quitting, being fired, or also transferring effects this rating. 

Trending statistics were also taken into consideration. If it is believed that the wage for a particular trade will remain stable or increase soon, that was weighed in. The trades mentioned below are also expected to continue to grow, with their job demand exceeding the number of qualified trade professionals currently available.

The Top 6 Trades For Guaranteed Job Security

These are the best trades to learn for guaranteed job security. Some of these trades offer guaranteed security on their own, while others can increase your security in other trades entirely. The reason for each trade’s inclusion will likely be mentioned in their entry below.

Medical Trades

The first trade on this list is a bit of a cheat, but all of these trades have a common thread. Dentists, veterinarians, and physicians have the highest job security of any trade. The number of specialists in health and wellness falls far below what modern civilization demands, so the demand for people with these skills always exists.

If you have the training to become a physician's assistant or doctor's aid, your value in nearly any position will increase immediately. The income of hundreds of human and animal doctor positions continues to remain among the highest yearly salaries. Agreeing to be an on-call emergency staff at many workplaces can lead to an immediate raise.

woman working on a medical laboratory


If you are in a full-time medical trade, there are some Cons. Work that puts the health and wellness of others in your hands can be extremely stressful. These trades have some of the highest rates of suicide, depression, and position transfers. The demands on doctors, nurses, veterinarians, and others have made the trades difficult to maintain full time.

If you can be approved as a physical fitness assistant or emergency staff, these serve as useful part-time trades. You still need to put in significant study time, but far less than a full-time nurse or doctor. You can leverage this as part-time work, and many open private practice businesses like the position of a life coach.

You may not receive offers in your exact field if you are a specialist. Any form of expertise in medical practice will grant you incredible job security. You are far more likely to quit due to personal trouble or emotional problems while pursuing one of these trades before you are fired unless you show serious ineptitude in your position.

Computer Network Architect

Computer Network Architects are one of the most important trades in modern society. They build online networks, connect the systems of a business into Local Area Networks (LANs), and perform complicated digital maintenance for companies. The average salary for a full-time CNA is over one hundred thousand dollars a year.

In the digital age, the security of a business largely falls on their IT staff. A Computer Network Architect is often tasked with putting security in place around a network once they’ve established it. They choose how to distribute the sensitive information of the company, and help created tiered informational databases.

man typing on a keyboard


If a business has to release its Computer Network Architect, the chance that they will have to renovate their entire network is high. The new CNA may redesign a business’ network using their own plans, and even then the former CNA may have some built-in access to the network.

It's a position that requires a lot of trusts, but it's vital for any digital business. If a company so much as has a computer in their office, a Computer Network Architect is necessary. If you can offer your service to a workplace, you are likely to have job security and probably a fair amount of say in your workplace.

Therapy and Personal Assistance Providers

Although these could easily fall under the blanket of medical professions above, therapists are separated for a reason. These positions offer mental and physical aid respectively, but they do so in a one on one setting.

The need for Personal Assistant providers is on the rise due to a growing population of elderly adults. Physical therapists are considered valuable helpers by athletes in training, actors preparing for a roll, and subjects of surgery looking to rebuild their strength and mobility. 

physical therapist assisting senior woman doing exercise with dumbbell


Marriage counselors, psychiatrists, and mental help therapists also have high job security. More and more citizens are seeking help with mental or social health issues, and these practices can easily pick up and move to where their practice is in demand.

The two contrast each other somewhat. Physical therapists have basic medical training that can be used for part-time work or to improve your job security in a full-time position. It is difficult to pursue this full work time. Training as a mental health therapist doesn't translate well to other trades, but you will have strong job security if you pursue one of these positions full time.


Statisticians see their job blended with other similar fields quite often these days. The position provides decent job security if you are a dedicated statistician. It is equally helpful if you want to have more trades in your resume to increase the value you present at your present workplace. 

professionals working on a statistic report


Statisticians are needed to analyze business trends, a company's income and expenditures, and other vital aspects of a business. They sometimes work with company advertisers or other in-house positions or may hold both roles.

Statisticians influence nearly every job there is. Unemployment rates for statisticians are just below .8%. The position can be combined with others to give you a hybrid role in a business, which often comes with higher salaries. It also means you will be in high demand if you want to seek new employment elsewhere.


To be specific, environmental engineers have the highest job security of any current engineering position. Environmental engineers have to know local codes before a business builds or stores materials in a certain area. Their positions can be environmentally friendly, but more often it involves knowing area codes and other intimate laws and bylines.

Mechanical engineering positions have higher average pay, but lower job security. Engineering as a whole requires an individual to be good in trades that use mathematics and physics. The longtime spent training and the precision required of their work means there is rarely enough manpower to fill all engineering positions.

hand working on construction plans


Engineering is a trade that translates well between different positions. Large corporate businesses like the fossil fuel industries offer a flat pay increase if you have training in an engineering position, even if that isn't your main role in the company. You can also choose to move into a full-time engineering position for greater job security this way.

Focusing on environmental engineers, they must regularly balance the demands of local governments, corporations, and complaints from local populations. If an incident does occur, they are often forced to shoulder the fault by one or more of these outside parties.

Engineering is a highly technical position. It is rewarding because you can construct long term projects in society, and build infrastructure for businesses or areas. It is challenging because you must regularly meet with others, give reports, and the risk of blame and personal admonishment is high. The pay is also considered low for what such vital positions should currently be making.

Database Administrator

This trade goes hand in hand somewhat with Computer Network Architects. The role of a Database Administrator is to create the databases where your company will store information. It creates different partitions and security levels, setting the rules for who can access what.

They create the roadmaps that tell computers in a business where to send information; the steps employees should take to log in, and so on. The databases are often connected by the network architect's work, so the positions often work together or are folded together. 

corporate man working inside a database room


This means that if you know one or both of these trades, your skills become that more essential to a business. Leaked information, digital attacks by hackers, and other disastrous events for businesses often have to do with a mistake made by one of these two positions. 

A database administrator touches the most sensitive information of many companies, so it is often guaranteed you can stay or leave on terms of your choosing. This is counterbalanced by the heavy responsibilities mentioned above, as you will almost singularly be held at fault if one of these terrible scenarios is to happen.

Like most IT positions, it isn't as easy to switch from another trade to Database Administrator, or visa versa, as many people think. IT positions are often lumped together if you prove you can fulfill both roles though, and you are often adequately compensated, receiving the work and pay off two or even three positions in a business combined.

The Verdict

The trade with the highest full-time job security at present is Dentistry. Unlike other medical fields, the specialized medical training of dentists doesn't easily translate to other medical positions. This means there is less job switching, and dental offices work hard to keep their dentists. This also accounts for the many dentists who are self-employed.

employee standing while working on her laptop


Medical Training Guarantees High Full Time And Part Time Job Security

The trade that offers the best personal job security is that of a physical therapist or physician. Medical training can easily be spun into private practice, such as a personal physical therapist, which allows you to remain self-employed.

These positions offer one of the highest rehiring rates. Private doctors and other direct medical assistance providers are positions that all continue to grow. If you don't want to pursue a full-time medical position, you are guaranteed to still find work if you have training in almost any of these trades.

Engineering Trades Are Useful For Upward Mobility In Companies, Or You Can Pursue Them Full Time

Engineering positions remain the best trades to learn to improve your job security in your current position. Electrical engineers, environmental engineers, and numerous positions in between offer you flexible skills that can be used in many workplaces.

Full-time engineering positions offer high guaranteed job security, but their salary can be slightly lower than other positions with high job security. The skills of the engineering trade can be leveraged if you offer to be an on-site engineer, but you can also choose to become a company's full-time engineer in businesses such as city planning and coal mining with ease.

Hand of a real state agent is holding a key and giving it to the couple

The Value of a Deal: What is a Normal Real Estate Agent Salary?

There is a lot of allure for people looking to enter into the real estate industry as a real estate agent. The prospect of helping people find the home of their dreams where they can raise a family and live a happy life is something many people are drawn to. Let's discuss about the real estate agent salary on this article.

Real estate agents also tend to make their own hours and manage their own schedules to suit the needs of their clients. But, most importantly, what does a real estate agent salary look like? Is the flexibility and rewarding parts of the job worth the money?

It’s also worth considering the additional factors that could affect a real estate agent salary. What kind of details separate the average earners from the top earners in the industry?

In this article we will shed some light on the real estate industry and help give you a better understanding of the details and factors that play a role in how much real estate agents can earn.

The Types of Real Estate Agents

There are two distinct types of real estate agents. While the basics of their job may be similar, the details make these two jobs very different.

The first and most common type of real estate agent you will encounter is a residential real estate agent. Perhaps you have even interacted with a real estate agent in the course of buying or selling your own home.

Residential real estate agents often work for large brokerages and help facilitate real estate transactions between buyers and sellers. There is a very rewarding aspect of being a residential real estate agent as these agents can help buyers find the home of their dreams and help sellers get the best offer for their home.

While selling a home may seem like a single job it is anything but. Successful real estate agents are also knowledgeable about marketing, customer service, and the legal process that goes into a real estate transaction.

The other type of real estate agent is a commercial real estate agent. These agents don’t work with individual clients but, instead, help businesses find properties to buy or lease. The value of these deals can be much higher than residential transactions but deals are often few and far between.

Commercial real estate agents also usually work for brokerages just like residential real estate agents. In many cases, commercial agents will partner with landlords or developers to help sell or lease business properties.

While commercial real estate agents do not help people find the home of their dreams where they can raise a family, they do help businesses find the perfect location that can help them grow well into the future. Both scenarios are incredibly rewarding, just in different ways.

Factors That Make Up A Real Estate Agent Salary

real estate agent holding toy house

Image via Freepik

In addition to the types of properties that real estate agents deal with, there are some other factors that play a major role in determining salary.

One of the main factors that determine how much a real estate agent can earn is licensing. Each state has their own unique licensing requirements and, within those requirements, there may be additional courses or certifications needed to take on certain roles.

For example, one can become a real estate agent in many states after completing a basic course. In other states, like Alaska for example, there are differing requirements for people who want to be real estate brokers, associates, and salespeople.

Licensing Requirements

The licensing requirements in your state may determine the types of deals you can complete and, in turn, the amount of money you can earn. If you have a specific type of real estate career in mind then you should pay careful attention to the licensing needed to carry out that role.

Where you live can also play a major role in how much money you earn as a real estate agent. Hot real estate markets with a high number of transactions will often lead to higher earnings when compared with cooler markets.

The amount of competition among other real estate agents and brokerages in the area could also determine your earning potential. A region with a lot of real estate agents competing for business may make it more difficult for new agents to break into the market and earn money.

As you can see, there are a lot of moving parts that go into a real estate agent’s earning potential. Where you live, the health of the real estate market, the amount of competition, and even which brokerage you work with could all play role in determining how much money you make.

What Actually Makes Up
A Real Estate Agent Salary?

realtor presenting house design to client

Image by yanalya via Freepik

Simply searching online for a real estate agent salary will bring up a wide range of results. The median real estate agent earnings in the United States comes out to around $40,000 per year. Of course, this does not tell the full story.

Real estate agents have a lot of control over how much they earn. This is because the typical real estate agent does not earn a salary in the traditional sense. Instead, most real estate agents are paid a commission by their brokerage for the deals they have helped work on.

When a property is sold there is usually a buying and selling real estate agent involved. The amount of commission is usually set by the selling real estate agent’s brokerage. A standard commission on the sale of a home is 5% which is usually split between the selling and buying real estate agent’s brokerages.


From that commission, the brokerages take their cut. This can vary from brokerage to brokerage but usually amounts to about 40%. That means the individual real estate agent takes home 60% of their split from the sale before taxes and other expenses.

The number of sales and the value of the homes in the area can play a very large role in determining a real estate agent’s income. What makes a top performing real estate agent can depend on the area, the value of the homes being sold, and the brokerage that sets the definition for top performers.

Using the numbers provided above, someone who sells a single house worth $1 million will earn as much as someone who sells 5 houses worth $200,000 each. Increase the volume of homes being sold by real estate agent number 1 and they will have earned much more than real estate agent number 2 despite having sold fewer homes.

There are also other ways for real estate agents to earn money. Some agents work for brokerages that offer discounted commission rates that promise to save sellers anywhere from 1% to 3% on their transaction. In these cases, real estate agents stand to make less per sale than their counterparts that work for a full commission.

In addition to real estate agents that earn a reduced commission, there are also agents that work for a fixed, flat rate fee. This is less common but the practice has been growing in the United States and Canada in recent years. The appeal of flat fee real estate agents is the certainty provided to sellers as the commission they have to pay does not fluctuate based on the sale price.

Ready to Sell Some Property?

realtor and client shaking hands

Image via Freepik

If you are interested in becoming a real estate agent then there is a lot of potential to earn a significant income. Top performing real estate agents can earn well into the six figures.

Of course, there are a number of factors that need to be considered when determining real estate agent income. The cost of houses in the market, the number of houses sold per year, and the brokerage rules can all have a major impact.

Real estate agents are often also responsible for a large number of the costs associated with their work. Transportation, marketing costs, and other expenses may have to be paid directly out of pocket and should also be factored in when looking at income. The good news is that many brokerages will provide some assistance with expenses and other expenses can often be written off on your final tax submission.

For some, the prospect of only earning a commission based on sales is daunting. For others, it means that their hard work will be rewarded handsomely. If you fall into that second category then the idea of selling real estate may be very exciting.

Featured Photo by from Pexels

the best it certifications to look for

The Best IT Certifications Every Tech Professional Should Have Under Their Belt

Image from Pixabay

A career in IT is rewarding and fulfilling. You can work for the government, an enterprise, businesses, and even in the healthcare industry. However, IT being a competitive field, you need to hone your skills by getting the best certifications.

Getting the best IT certifications can improve your chances of career advancement. Nonetheless, getting certified can be expensive considering the training, study materials, and classes. It’s best to do your homework and find certifications that will help advance your career.

In this article, we look at some of the benefits of getting an IT certification and some of the best IT certification you need to have.

What are the Benefits of IT Certifications?

Pursuing an IT certification has some benefits for both individuals and businesses. With an IT certification, you can:

  • Get current skills in an evolving field
  • Improve your career options
  • Help you get a promotion and earn a higher salary
  • Use the certification to win new businesses
  • Make you stand out among your peers

IT certifications can also benefit the company by:

  • Providing value to an organization
  • Ensuring IT reliability
  • Improving the level of support and service
  • Promoting qualified employees

The Best IT Certifications

certifications and documents

Image from Pixabay

If you’re looking to advance your career in IT, below are some of the best IT certifications you should pursue.

Project Management Professional

Project Management Professional also PMP is an industry-recognized certification by the Project Management Institute. The certification is meant to provide customers and employers with an assurance level that a project manager has the knowledge and experience to plan and deliver projects.

PMP relies on exam success and project management experience. For individuals to be certified, they need to undergo 35 hours of training and have at least 7500 hours of PM experience for those without a bachelor’s degree.

The process of becoming certified starts at the PMI website. After approval, you need to sign up for an exam through Prometric. Also, for you to maintain the PMP certification, you need to undergo 60 professional development units every three years.

ITIL Foundation

ITIL Foundation has over the last 30 years acted as a framework for IT management around the world. The course combines a set of best practices for aligning IT services with an organization’s needs.

The certification covers capacity management, incident, and change management. With the introduction of ITIL 4, you can expect advancements in the digital revolution like Lean IT, Agile, and DevOps.

The entry-level ITIL certification, which is ITIL Foundation offers a broad-based knowledge of the IT service lifecycle. The courses try to bridge the gap between the needs of the business, and the inclusion of IT.

All you need to be certified is to pass the exam. However, you need to pass the Foundation exam to pursuing other ITIL courses.

Google Certified Professional Cloud Architect

The Google Certified Professional Cloud Architect debuted in 2017, and it enables IT, professionals, to get certified as cloud architects on the GCP platform. With this certification, an IT professional can design, develop, and manage a scalable and secure cloud architecture using GCP technologies.

Every organization requires some cloud skills. You can find a vacancy in cloud jobs as most businesses are struggling to get qualified cloud experts. Also, it’s one of the highest-paying certifications.

The certification helps an architect understand what solutions to implement in a particular scenario. You need to take the exam in person at Kryterion Testing Center.

CompTIA Network+

As someone looking to start a career in networking, you should consider getting a CompTIA Network+ certification. The course is ideal for help desk and networking technicians, not to forget junior network technicians and infrastructure installers.

The exam covers network installation, maintenance, and troubleshooting of other networks like Wireless and Ethernet. What’s more, the certification also tests you on network security and the different protocols for WAN and LAN.

With the CompTIA network+ certification, you can present yourself as an expert in network protocols and network infrastructure. You can use this certification as a bridge to pursuing other certifications like Cisco CCNA.

AWS Certified Solutions Architect

The AWS Certified Solutions Architect Associate certification helps you learn how to design and deploy scalable systems on AWS. The market needs qualified AWS solution architects, the reason why it’s one of the best IT certifications in the market.

Although the course has been running for many years, its demand is still high because of the growth in the cloud. You need to get certified to receive the AWS Certified Solutions Architect Professional Certification.

However, for you to get this certification, you need to have at least six months of hands-on experience with AWS. The computer-based exam can be taken at the PSI testing centers.

The certification exam handles various topics like estimating AWS costs, designing on AWS, choosing the right AWS services, ingressing data, and estimating AWS costs. Also, the course helps to identify cost-control measures.

Linux Essentials Professional Development Certification

Linux Essentials PDC is a beginner Linux certification. Linux is an open-source, free, and community based operating system for server and desktop computing. Linux professionals are always in demand, and this certification gives you a view of how Linux OS works.

The course gives you an overview of open-source software and its origin. Also, it handles the basic usage of different Linux tools and components.

Cisco Certified Network Associate

The Cisco Certified Network Associate or CCNA is an associate level certification that gives you skills on how to install, operate, and configure enterprise-level networks.

Becoming CCNA certified allows you to find and solve typical network problems. It’s a must-have certification if you’re looking to build a networking career. Moreover, you can choose to specialize in wireless networking and security.

You need to complete two exams and have prior networking experience. Some of the job titles include systems administrators, network engineers, and network administrator.

Certified Information Systems Auditor

The Certified Information System Auditor certification gives you skills to report on institute controls, compliance and allows you to identify vulnerabilities within an ES. With this certification, you can enjoy an IT auditing career.

You’ll need five years of work-related experience in IT auditing, go through the course and pass the exam, and submit the CISA application. Also, you need to adhere to ISACA’s code of ethics and commit to pursuing continuous education. It’s a requirement to comply with Information System Auditing Standards to achieve the CISA certification.

Some of the job titles that come with this certification are systems auditor, information technology auditor, and security analyst.

Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert

The Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert certification is suitable for advanced IT professionals involved in the management of data centers. The accreditation covers desktop infrastructure, server infrastructure, enterprise devices, private cloud, and data platforms.

Also, the course gives you skills on business intelligence, SharePoint, and communications. However, for you to get the MCE certification, you need to have an existing MCSA windows server certificate and complete an extra MCSE entry-level course.

Certified MCSEs may be IT managers, system engineers, system administrator, or Field Systems Technicians.

Citrix Certified Associate

The Citrix Certified Associate covers troubleshooting, monitoring, maintaining, and management basics. It’s ideal for technical support staff and administrators. You only require hands-on experience and pass the exams for you to get this certification.

Although the number of certified CCA-V is low, the demand is high. It’s the reason why those certified earn a premium salary. You also need to get the associate certification before pursuing the Citrix Certified Professional Virtualization certification.

Apple Certified Associate

With Apple being the third largest computer system vendor in the US, it’s no wonder that Apple Certified Associate certification is in demand. The course focuses on getting Mac users integrated into an IT environment founded on Windows.

You can take the ACA exams online; you don’t need to appear physically at the exams venue. Also, you can access the training material online.

Certified Scrum Master

The Certified Scrum Master by Scrum Alliance gives you the skills to help scrum teams work. You acquire skills to work across departments and groups to ensure projects are on track. You need all the hard and soft skills to manage teams and projects.

You also get a logo once you become certified. Also, the CSM certification grants you a two-year Scrum Alliance membership; this allows you to access events, discounts, and online social networks.

Certification in Risk and Information Systems Control

Certification in Risk and Information Systems Control allows you to identify, assess, respond, and mitigate. Moreover, you acquire skills in control reporting and monitoring. However, you need to have three years of experience in this field. You also need to identify and manage risks.

Unlike other certifications, CRISC test runs for four hours and contains 150 questions.

Certified Information Security Manager

The Certified Information Security Manager certification is an internationally recognized course that showcases a person with skills to design, manage, oversee, and assess enterprise information security.

Getting a CISM comes with demanding responsibilities, but a good paycheck. CISM qualifies information risk managers and IT security managers as it needs a command of strategy and security policy.

You’re required to sit for an examination that covers information security incident management, information security governance, information risk management, and information security program development.

However, for you to sit for the exam, you need to have five years of experience in the field, with three of those in information security management. You cannot alternate education for an experience like the CISA.

Certified Information Systems Security Professional

The Certified Information Systems Security Professionals or CISSP is ideal for IT professionals interested in the design and maintenance of security infrastructure. The course by the International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium states that the certification allows you to detect new threats and implement practices and technologies to handle any risk.

When you take the exam, you’re expected to cover asset security, security & risk management, security operations, security engineering, software development security, security assessment and testing, and communications & network security.

However, you need to meet particular prerequisites like having a professional experience in any of those eight areas the exam covers. You also qualify for this course if you have a bachelor’s degree in an ISC-approved field.

CompTIA A+ Technician

The CompTIA A+ technician is an entry-level course for those who would like to handle operating systems, PC maintenance, printers, and other devices. It’s an excellent course to pursue if you don’t have any work-related experience.

You only need to complete two exams to acquire this certification. Some of the job titles include help desk technician, desktop support technician, and a help desk technician.

Microsoft Technology Associate

You should pursue the MTA certification if you’re looking to start a career developing and supporting Microsoft Products. The best part is that you don’t need any prerequisites to pursue the course.

What’s more, Microsoft gives you the chance to choose one exam out of many to complete, any of which will get you an MTA certification.

Cisco Certified Technician

The Cisco Certified Technician is an entry-level certification for those who would like to get to the networking side of IT infrastructure. With this certification, you can act as a Cisco hardware technician.

Some of the duties you could be responsible for include repairing network-related devices, installing network devices, and troubleshooting any network problems. The course has three specializations mainly telepresence, routing & switching, and Datacenter.


The courses above are the best IT certifications you need to have to have under your belt. IT professionals willing to acquire skills and get certified in networking, systems, cybersecurity, and cloud computing enjoy enviable salaries in the industry.

Do your research and find a course that fits your current needs and the career path you hope to follow. You can speak to a professional to understand what to look for in any certification to ensure you’re getting value for your money.x