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Support Your Career with Insights from New Horizons Tampa

Posted by Bob Wheeler
Debbie Haugland

Debbie Haugland, Director of Career Services at New Horizons Tampa, shares insights about skills development and certifications.

What’s New Horizons

New Horizons provides technical training, partnering with Microsoft, Cisco, CompTIA, VMware, and more. In fact they are the world’s largest Microsoft and Cisco training partners, educating over 30 million students in 35 years.  

New Horizons tailors its courses, materials, and instruction to the specific learning styles and needs of the people they work with. Their learning approach includes five stages: assess, learn, reinforce, support, and validate. They assess by identifying knowledge gaps and focusing on the most relevant courses to address them. They provide online and offline learning methods and reinforce course content with a variety of resources. They offer ongoing support, and also validate progress through certification exam testing, assessments, and more.

How New Horizons Can Help You

Our career solutions turn ambitions into marketable skills, with learning methods for virtually every schedule and style—plus powerful vendor-authorized learning tools and expert instruction. We’re ready to help the unemployed, under-employed, individuals looking to upgrade their skill set, and veterans in transition.

One of the services we provide to our students is our Career Services Department. Each client receives the necessary coaching and guidance from the start of their training program through completion.

Job placement assistance includes: resume construction assistance, interview coaching and mentoring, teaching students how to network and interview effectively, and providing invitations to private on-site job fairs exclusively for New Horizons’ students.

Students receive weekly job leads via email for employment opportunities with our business clients and placement partners. After completion of their training, we assist with making introductions and setting up interviews with recruiters and hiring managers.

Is Classroom Training Enough to Get a Job Without Experience

You have to start somewhere. Most of the veterans that attend our classes have some sort of a background or experience that we can work with. Others have a commitment, passion, and drive to study hard, get certified, and get an entry-level tech job and work their way up. The most successful students I see are self-motivated, believe in long-term learning, and complete the certifications.

What Kind of Training Is Best for Getting Placement in Tampa

Cyber Security related training is at the very top of the list. Also, Networking and Security related certifications such as CompTIA, Cisco, Microsoft, etc. are always in demand. We do see a lot of Project Management and Business Analyst opportunities in the area as well.

How Do You Help Transitioning Veterans

As a Military spouse of a 20-year retired Navy Chief, I personally want to help every veteran that comes through our door at New Horizons. My husband’s transition was hard. He discovered he was not fully prepared for the civilian job market and I want every veteran to be prepared.

The lifers, as I like to call the 20+ year veterans, are my favorites. Many expressed interest in fine-tuning their interview skills as they realized their last interview was many years ago. Translating their military specialty while teaching them how to articulate their skills into the interview process is one of the things I enjoy most. My team walks them through how to answer behavioral questions, interviewing, and how to network. We also show them how to convert their, sometimes lengthy, military service into a suitable, highly marketable, and tailorable resume.

What Do Veterans Need to Know About Certifications

IT certifications open many doors as you start your career, especially when searching for your next job. Recruiters and hiring managers look for candidates with up-to-date knowledge and IT certifications because they prove mastery of a particular technology. Hiring managers tend to look at the certifications area of a tech resume before anything else to find that demonstrated knowledge.

The DoD SkillBridge program is an opportunity for Service members to gain valuable civilian work experience through specific industry training, during the last 180 days of service.

Certifications and transferable skills really do open doors for veterans. If they have a clearance, they can move through the process of getting a DoD position even faster. We have had students with clearances that are offered positions with our business clients and placement partners the same day they pass CompTIA Security+, which is part of the 8570 compliance.

Which Certifications are Most Popular

CompTIA A+, CompTIA Network+, CompTIA Security+, CompTIA Cloud+, ITIL, CCNA (Cisco Certified Network Associate), CEH (Certified Ethical Hacker), PMP (Project Management Professional), AWS (Amazon Web Services), MCSE (Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert), and VMware are all very popular in today’s industry.

CompTIA Security+ is a valuable certification that might not be on veterans’ radar. This is approved by the US DoD to meet directive 8140/8570.01-M requirements. So if a veteran wants to work for the DoD in IT, they’ll be required to get this certification.  

How Did You Become a Director of Career Services

I started in Post-Secondary Education in 2001, as a Financial Aid Officer. Utilizing my communication skills, I then became a Senior Student Advisor where I walked students through how to be successful on an online education platform. In 2017, I started in the Career Employment arena, first as a Specialist contracted with New Horizons. I enjoyed building rapport with students and helping them figure out their career path. Once I knew where they wanted to go and what they wanted to accomplish, I would help steer them on a path on how to get there!

I was hired on by New Horizons in 2020 to be their dedicated Director of Career Services. That meant my team and I would be responsible for helping 900+ students with onsite placement services including helping with job applications, resume construction, LinkedIn set-up, interview coaching, and mentoring. We typically interact with 50+ students weekly from the initial school contact through the enrollment process, and throughout the students’ tenure with New Horizons and often beyond.

This entry was posted on Tuesday, August 18, 2020 10:38 am

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