Microsoft Virtual Academy

Have you heard about the Microsoft Virtual Academy?

Visit the web page for the Microsoft Virtual Academy at the following URL:

Description: Successful technologists never stop learning and great technology never stops evolving. Microsoft Virtual Academy (MVA) offers online Microsoft training delivered by experts to help technologists continually learn, with hundreds of courses, in 11 different languages. Our mission is to help developers, knowledgeable IT professionals and advanced students learn the latest technology, build their skills, and advance their careers. MVA is free of charge, and the entire service is hosted on Windows Azure.

With the Microsoft Virtual Academy you have access to a great learning tool. Online courses are available in many languages to help you learn and hone your IT skills at no cost to you!

Available courses by topics:

  • App Development
  • Aspiring Technologists
  • C# XAML
  • HTML5
  • Virtualization
  • Managing Desktop & Devices
  • Server Infrastructure
  • Management & Security
  • Private Cloud
  • Business Intelligence
  • Collaboration
  • Licensing

Available courses by product:

  • Windows
  • Windows Store Apps
  • Windows Server
  • Windows Azure
  • System Center
  • Windows Phone
  • Office
  • SQL Server
  • Visual Studio

9 Awesome Study Tips For College Students

If you are attending College you need to be focused on your education. This includes doing the best you can to maintain a good G.P.A. When you get out of school and start looking for employment you will quickly determine that G.P.A. matters.

Some employers even require a minimum G.P.A. level just for you to be eligible to work there! Part of your hiring process may include having to submit your transcripts that will show what courses you took and what your grades were. Poor G.P.A. or low grades may indicate to a potential employer that you either did not adequately learn the course material or alternately that you lacked responsibility towards your studies. Either way it is not a good sign to the employer so beware!

I happened across this excellent article at the Huffington Post. If you are in college I recommend you take a minute to read and study this article as it offers some useful tips on best study practices.

The article is entitled: 9 Awesome Study Tips For College Students
Article URL:

Topics Covered:

  1. Alternate Study Spaces
  2. Study and Homework Groups
  3. Make Flash Cards
  4. Take Tests
  5. Sleep!
  6. Don’t Categorize Yourself
  7. Go To Class
  8. Don’t Immerse Yourself in Subject Material
  9. Manage Your Time

When you take and complete a college course it becomes a permanent “mark” on your forward moving life and career path. Almost always, each course is a one time shot. By that I mean that you cannot really go back and retake every class in which you had a low grade as the cost and time would be counter-productive and possibly not even an option. Because of this you need to tackle each of your courses head-on and with a mindset to do the very best you can!

IT Career Paths

The I.T. field is incredibly diverse with many available career paths.

Be sure to check out this article at CompTIA:

CompTIA offers many different I.T. certifications which can help your career along. Visit them on the web at:

This CompTIA article is about IT Career Paths and covers the following areas:

  • Service/Help Desk
  • Network Administration
  • Security/Networking
  • Emerging Technologies
  • Project Management
  • Office Productivity
  • Training

I would say this is not a complete list and I would not hesitate to add the following IT career paths into the mix:

  • Website development
  • Databases
  • Business Intelligence
  • Software Development
  • Applications Development
  • Programming
  • Robotics
  • Hardware or Software Sales
  • Hardware Technician
  • Beta Testing/Debugging
  • Research and Development
  • Search Engine Optimization
  • Social Media Specialist

I.T. Career Forecasts and Opportunities

   Maybe you are considering a higher education and career path in the I.T. field? Maybe you have already made this decision and are now in motion with your education?

   The I.T. field is extremely diverse and offers an array of options that you can pick from. This makes the I.T. field adaptable to your unique strengths and desires.

   I did a bit of research on current I.T. career forecasts and opportunities and I wanted to share a brief summary of what I found with you. I also wanted to share with you the URL’s for this information so you can do further research on your own.

   The first site is a great go-to website to research and is the U.S. Dept. of Labor – Bureau of Labor Statistics.

   More specifically, you can navigate to the “Occupational Outlook Handbook and Computer and information technology.”

According to their information here are stats for the following I.T. career fields:

I.T. Field Median Pay in 2010
Computer and information research scientists $100,660
Computer network architects $75,660
Computer programmers $71,380
Computer support specialists $46,260
Database administrators $73,490
Information security analysts $75,660
Network and computer systems administrators $69,160
Software developers $90,530
Web developers $75,660


   This next site is also a great source for I.T. and other technology information.
Their name is ComputerWorld and their home URL is located here.

If you would like to navigate directly to this particular article I am quoting it is located here.

Article Information:
Title: 10 hot IT skills for 2013
Author: Mary K. Pratt
Category: I.T. Career Opportunities
Publish Date: September 24, 2012 06:00 AM ET

According to Mary K. Pratt, these are 10 of the HOT I.T. skills being predicted for 2013

  1. Programming and application development
  2. Project management
  3. Help desk – Technical support
  4. Security
  5. Business intelligence – Analytics
  6. Cloud – SaaS
  7. Virtualization
  8. Networking
  9. Mobile applications and Device management
  10. Data center

   If you are already in college for an I.T. degree you should be thinking about your career path. This will help you to focus your class choices and the honing of your skills.

   Also, if you are nearing completion of your degree you should be reaching out for internship opportunities. Look up and use the resources given in these linked articles to help you make better choices!

Applying For College A Year-By-Year Guide For Teens

KC Parent Magazine has just released this helpful article in their October, 2013 issue.

The article discusses and gives tips on preparing in advance for a college enrollment. I recommend that any parent or student who anticipates a college enrollment should read this article as it has many useful tips from an expert.

Topics Covered Are:

Freshman Year:

  • Thoughtfully enroll in college preparatory classes
  • Study hard!
  • Get involved
  • Use discretion in your social media life

Sophomore Year:

  • Explore local colleges and universities
  • Take the PSAT
  • Get a job
  • Explore career options

Junior Year:

  • Prepare for and take the ACT and/or SAT
  • Move into leadership roles
  • Go on campus visits

Senior Year:

  • Narrow down your choices
  • Start applying
  • Be yourself
  • Select a school

Publication: KC Parent Magazine
Article Title: Applying for college year by year
Article URL:
Author: Sara Keenan
Category: College Preparation
Date Published: October, 2013

Choosing a University

Check out this YouTube video on how to choose a University. My son had to change Universities mid-stream and it was not a good thing. He had to rework his degree plan because not all the things he had completed would transfer! This is why you want to carefully select your university and then plan on staying there for the long haul.