Top 5 Certifications for Network Engineers in 2014

Based on CNN Money’s research on IT network engineers, individuals on this career path, at the highest level, are banking $100,000 or more. Network engineers are responsible for implementing and maintaining the server network. It’s a hands-on type of job that sometimes has odd working hours; but overall, they’re the ones ensuring network communications remain constant and consistent. To become a network engineer, you need to gain the knowledge and experience  through education and application on how to successfully administer and troubleshoot a network. Once you’ve gained that knowledge and experience, certifications are the way to prove you have what it takes to be a successful network engineer. Below are the top five certifications you can earn in network engineering in 2014.

MCSE: Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert
The MCSE certification exam is Microsoft’s server exam based on Windows Server 2012. This certification is for new and experienced IT professionals who are looking to increase their skills and knowledge on cloud technology. It encompasses a number of exams depending on the certification type that is pursued. But first, there are three foundational exams that all administrators must take to begin: 70-410, 70-411, and 70-412. LearnSmart covers each of these exams as a series of six courses closely detailing the concepts assessed within that certification exam. Here’s a breakdown of what you’ll find in the Windows Server 2012 Installation and Configuration (70-412) Series:

1: Configuring File and Storage Solutions in Windows Server 2012
2: Configuring Network Services in Windows Server 2012
3: Configuring the Active Directory Infrastructure in Windows Server 2012
4: Configuring Identify and Access Solutions in Windows Server 2012
5: Configuring and Managing High Availability in Windows Server 2012
6: Planning and Deploying a Server Infrastructure in Windows Server 2012

CCNP: Cisco Certified Network Professional
With a CCNP certification, you’re proving that you have a thorough understanding of switches and routers, and how to properly implement and manage them over a network. To earn this certification, you must successfully complete these three CCNP exams: SWITCH (642-813), ROUTE (642-902), and TSHOOT (642-832). These three exams are the focal point. But before you can sit for them, you must have your Cisco Certified Network Associate certification in Routing and Switching. We covered the exam objectives for CCNA Routing and Switching certification through a series of courses. So if you’re looking to get started with your CCNP make sure you have study the fundamentals of CCNA Routing and Switching with these courses:

1: Operation of IP Data Networks
2: LAN Switching and WAN Technologies
3: IPv4 and IPv6
4: System and Network Management
5: IP Routing Technologies
6: IP Services and Security
7: Troubleshooting Routers and Switches

RHCE: Red Hat Certified Engineer
This certification enables you to confidently say that you have the skills of a veteran system administrator. This is not an entry-level certification; therefore, the prerequisite for taking the EX300 RHCE certification exam is obtaining your RHSCA certification. You can earn your RHCE certification on different Red Hat Enterprise Linux versions, as long as you have your RHSCA certification on that version. As a network administrator, the RHCE certification is valuable because it ensures that you have the skills needed to operate a Linux-supported network on a daily basis.

CompTIA Network+
To become a certified Network+ technician, you must successfully pass the N10-005 exam, which covers a range of networking topics. To successfully pass this exam, applicants must have a firm understanding of how to manage, maintain, troubleshoot, install, operate and configure a basic network infrastructure; describe networking technologies; and have a grasp on basic design principles. To solidify these skills, we designed a series of courses for you that covers all these crucial skills. The courses included in this series are:

1: Introduction to Network+ Certification Exam
2: OSI & IP Addressing, VLANs & DNS
3: Virtual Desktops, Media & Connectors, WAN & 802 Standards
4: Installing & Configuring Routers, Switches & Wireless Networks
5: Troubleshooting Routers, Switches, Media, Wireless & Software Problems
6: Security Threats & Authentication, Network Level Security & Firewall Installation

CWNA: Certified Wireless Network Administrator
The CWNA Certified Wireless Network Administrator certification exam, PW0-105, assesses administrators’ understanding of the wireless LAN infrastructure. Previously, network administrators would find themselves working with mostly wired networks. But times are changing, and if you’re an IT professional looking to advance into network administration, this certification is an important one, as today’s networks are primarily built using wireless technologies. With this certification, you’re ensuring that you have the necessary skills to install, maintain, and troubleshoot enterprise Wi-Fi networks.

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LearnSmart New Releases Update for March 2014

Our new releases include courses to help you begin mastering Windows Server 2012, and properly handle hazardous materials. All of these courses are available in our Knowledge Libraries.

Microsoft 70-412 Series
Going through these six courses will provide you with a practical and theoretical basis from which you can effectively administer Windows Server 2012. With the knowledge gained through each course discussions, you will be ready to sit for the Configuring Advanced Windows Server 2012 Services (70-412) exam. This certification is for new and experienced IT professionals who are looking to increase their skills and knowledge on cloud technology. Learn everything you need to know to become a certified Windows Server 2012 administrator.

Configuring File and Storage Solutions in Windows Server 2012
There are many advanced file services and features available in Windows Server 2012.  This course provides you with a closer look at the File Server Resource Manager role service to classify files for special handling, data de-duplication, features on demand, the use of BranchCache to minimize WAN link utilization, and the implementation of Dynamic Access Control, which is new to the Windows Server 2012 operating system. All of these components provide enhanced capabilities in Windows Server 2012 to manage file servers and are extremely important to network administrators. Focusing on these topics will aid in preparing you for the Microsoft 70-412 exam.

Configuring Network Services in Windows Server 2012
Core network services are imperative to any network administrator planning to implement Windows Server 2012, and can be applied to organizations of all sizes.  This course provides a look at the deployment of DHCP servers throughout the enterprise, as well as some of the more advanced configurations for DHCP. This includes some of the new high availability options in this version of the operating system. Various DNS implementation techniques are identified, in addition to ways in which you can increase security for your DNS infrastructure.  IPAM, or IP Address Management, is a new Windows Server 2012 and is defined and discussed in detail in order for network administrators to understand its organizational benefits. This is course 2 of the Configuring Advanced Windows Server 2012 Services (70-412) series.

Configuring Network Services in Windows Server 2012
It’s critical for a network administrator to understand how to implement Active Directory in an environment of any size. This course begins with a discussion of distributed environments that use Active Directory as a directory service in order to better understand some of the reasons behind setting up a distributed environment. Network administrators must also be familiar with the various components in both the logical and physical infrastructure of Active Directory. The implementation of replication for the Active Directory database involves a discussion around the physical components of the Active Directory infrastructure, primarily sites and site links. The methods which can be used to optimize the process of replicating changes to the Active Directory database are identified and demonstrated. This is course 3 in this series dedicated to preparing you for the Configuring Advanced Windows Server 2012 Services (70-412) exam.

Hazardous Materials
The storage and disposal of hazardous materials can be a serious threat to the environment. The improper storage and disposal of hazardous material is also a critical safety and health problem that continues to endanger both human and animal life. As part of the OSHA series of workplace safety courses, Hazardous Materials focuses on OSHA’s requirements for hazardous materials and hazardous waste operations; the requirements for emergency response at uncontrolled hazardous worksites and treatment, storage and disposal facilities; and the steps an employer must take to protect the health and safety of employees in these environments.

To learn more about these offerings and LearnSmart Knowledge Libraries, contact your LearnSmart Sales Representative today at 1-800-418-6789.

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LearnSmart New Releases Update for February 2014

Our Knowledge Libraries have expanded to include titles focusing on preparing you for the CCNA Wireless exam, and on explaining OSHA standards. To learn more about these video trainings and LearnSmart Knowledge Libraries, contact a LearnSmart Sales Representative today at 1-800-418-6789.

CCNA Wireless Series
Going through these six courses will provide you with a practical and theoretical basis from which you can effectively administer a wireless network. With the knowledge gained through each course’s discussions, you will be ready to sit for the CCNA Wireless exam. So take your time going through these topics to learn the ins and outs of Cisco WCS, as well the techniques and concepts involved in installing, securing, and troubleshooting WLANs. Learn everything you need to know to become a certified associate-level wireless administrator.

WLAN Fundamentals
It’s imperative for all network engineers to be familiar with the fundamental topics of a wireless network, including basic spread spectrum technology, the wireless regulatory bodies, and the impact of different wireless technologies. WLAN Fundamentals covers these topics in depth, and takes a look at some wireless topologies that are common in today’s world. It also introduces and explains some key networking technologies used in wireless implementation. With the knowledge gained through these discussions, you will be ready for the WLAN questions in the CCNA Wireless exam.

Installation of a Basic Cisco Wireless LAN
Installation of a Basic Cisco Wireless LAN discusses various best practices for Cisco Unified Wireless Network Architectures and provides demonstrations of installing and configuring autonomous access points. Controller based access point deployment, how lightweight access points are discovered and associated, basic device and configuration aspects of a wireless controller, and design considerations when deploying a wireless network are other topics important for network engineers to be familiar with, and are discussed in detail within this course. Prepare for the CCNA Wireless exam.

Installation of Wireless Clients
When installing wireless clients, a network engineer must be familiar with the client side of a wireless connection and how the client should be configured for wireless LAN access. Installation of Wireless Clients demonstrates how to properly configure various wireless clients, as well as providing you with a look at Cisco Compatibility Extensions, or CCX, versions 1 through 5. Going through this course will give you a practical and theoretical basis from which you can effectively administer a wireless network, and thoroughly prepare for the CCNA Wireless certification exam.

Basic WLAN Security
Basic WLAN Security provides a close up look at the implementation of security on the wireless network and some of the different aspects of wireless security. How to properly configure authentication and encryption methods is demonstrated and the significance of guest wireless networks is explained. Designed to help prepare you for the CCNA Wireless exam topics covered in this course include WEP, MAC authentication, 802.1x, and WPA and WPA2.

Basic WCS Operations
It is essential that network engineers be familiar with the features of wireless control systems and how to install, upgrade and configure basic administrative parameters. Basic WCS Operation discusses these topics in detail, and demonstrates the configuration of access points and controllers in a WCS environment, how to audit them, and how to properly use heat maps for an environment in a wireless environment. To prepare for the CCNA Wireless exam, it is also important that you have an understanding of WCS. So take your time going through these topics to learn the ins and outs of Cisco WCS.

Basic WLAN Maintenance and Troubleshooting
Basic WLAN maintenance through the WCS and the WLC interface is critical knowledge that all network engineers must have. Basic WLAN Maintenance and Troubleshooting looks at the WCS client troubleshooting tool, along with some other maintenance tools and commands available in WCS. You will concentrate on Cisco WCS logging, administration, and how to troubleshoot a wireless infrastructure. Study these concepts and techniques in preparation for your CCNA Wireless certification exam.

OSHA Series
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration, known as OSHA, has developed standards that ensure all workers are protected in the workplace. Established in 1970 through the OSH Act, many of the health and safety programs and procedures implemented nationwide today are based on OSHA’s standards, with the guidance of industrial hygienists. Over the next couple of months, you’ll find additional titles dedicated to this important category of workplace safety.

Introduction to Industrial Hygiene
Industrial hygiene covers a vast number of subjects in the working environment. Early in its history, OSHA understood that industrial hygiene played an integral part of ensuring a healthful work setting. It is paramount to use the application of industrial hygiene concepts in its health standards and as a tool to effectively enforce job safety and health regulations. By recognizing and applying the basic values of industrial hygiene to the work environment, the workplace will become healthier and safer. Learn how to identify sources of potential problems, about the different types of hazards, and how to control and respond to those hazards in the workplace.

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If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?

Learning Transfer: A Key Component of Successful Training.
A common brain-teaser posits: If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound? No matter what answer you give, the riddler is likely to respond with “How do you know?”

A similar conundrum often occurs with business training. If a bunch of your employees take a training course and there’s no one around to observe the consequences, does the company gain any benefit from the training? Again, the simple retort is, how do you know? Without the requisite follow-up, training becomes a waste of time, money and effort.

In order to overcome this quandary, it is essential to help employees make the jump from point A (where they go through the training and, ostensibly, learn something) to point B (where they apply the information that they’ve learned to their everyday work duties). This operation is known as learning transfer, and it is a critical step in the training process. Only by monitoring learning transfer can the people, who arranged and paid for the training, get a glimpse into how well their investment paid off. This approach is adapted from the well-known Kirkpatrick Model – a system developed in 1954 as a means of measuring the business value of training programs.

Level 3 Evaluation
Known as a level 3 evaluation, this process involves measuring whether employees are using their newly acquired skills and knowledge on the job – has the learning transfer taken place? – and, if not, why? When done properly, this sort of evaluation can be used to improve training and identify roadblocks. What is standing in the way? What is keeping employees from putting their newfound smarts into practice?

It doesn’t take an extraordinary effort to perform a level 3 evaluation, or to incorporate it into a supervisory routine. In simple terms:

1. Start by observing performance. For example, if the training outlined a new data-input method, are people following those protocols?
2. Next, gather information. Talk to people – not only those who went through the training, but also the people those employees work with and for. Ask questions. Has the training helped? Are they still finding the given information useful? Is the training helping make the employee or the department more productive?
3. Finally, review your records. In all likelihood, your company already keeps track of performance data, error data, customer satisfaction information, etc. All you need to do is go back and track the results. Go back to before the training happened, and track forward to the present. Did performance improve? Decline? Stay the same?

No matter what method of evaluation you use, the goal is pretty straightforward: You want to ensure that learning is transferring to practical application on the job. There are a number of ways to go about this, some of which should be considered even before training begins.

Trainees: A trainee, for instance, should perform a self-assessment before undertaking any new training. This employee must take an honest look at his/her skills and needs, and be assured that the training will be of some benefit. Moving forward, the employees needs to complete all required precourse work that is called for.

Trainers: The trainer bears a major responsibility – notably, to ensure that the training is worthwhile. After all, there’s no sense in teaching something that isn’t going to provide any observable benefit. So the trainer should look at what the employees need, and should deliver content accordingly. Likewise, the trainer should keep others’ schedules in mind, and make effective use of employees’ time. This can be accomplished through adequate preparation; training should be informative and engaging, without dragging or feeling rushed. There should be time for students to ask questions, with enough breaks slotted in that everyone can stay on top of their game. In addition, the trainer should develop precourse work and plan to follow up once training is completed.

Supervisors: In a sense, supervisors should do what they normally do, just with a focus on training. This means selecting which employees will receive the training, based on certain criteria. It requires developing performance measurements to ascertain the gains from training. It means conducting a pre-training meeting with trainees, and having employees who’ve already completed the training serve as mentors to the newest trainees. Supervisors must allot adequate time for employees to prepare, and – like trainers – should plan to follow up.

Managers: While not directly involved in the training process, managers must take the process into account when overseeing their departments. If a manager sees a need amongst his/her people, it is that manager’s responsibility to figure out a way to meet that need; an advisory committee can be an excellent way to brainstorm and find an appropriate solution. To rally the troops, managers should communicate the importance of training – and spell out what the new training course will accomplish, including the benefits to both the company and the individual employees. And on a general note, managers should allot enough time for training and follow-up, and should set standards for suitable follow-up.

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LearnSmart New Releases Update for January 2014

Explore our continually-expanding Knowledge Libraries to see what’s new. The newest additions will help prepare you for CCNA Security certification, and help you successfully implement a safer work environment.

CCNA Security Series
After earning your entry level certification as a networking technician, you can then begin pursuing Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) Security certification that confirms your ability to maintain data and network integrity during daily operations. Specifically, the certification exam assesses your ability to implement a security infrastructure on a network, troubleshoot security issues, and mitigate threats. To prepare for the exam, you must gain an understanding of all the concepts, techniques, and technologies used in security. Train in this series to help prepare yourself.

Security and Cisco Routers

Security and Cisco Routers
You will concentrate on two of the CCNA Security exam objectives: Common Security Threats and Security and Cisco Routers. You’ll go through discussions on the common security threats within a network and take a look at network and information security basics. You will review some fundamental security principles. Find descriptions of common security threats to Cisco devices, as well as to all network devices and networks. You will also spend time studying how to secure the control, data and management planes on Cisco devices, which includes implementing security on Cisco routers. You will take a look at the Cisco Security Manager and learn more about its function. There’s also a section dedicated to IP version 6, along with the different types and formats of associated addresses. Deepen your understanding of these security concepts to prepare for the CCNA Security exam.

AAA on Cisco Devices
Gain an understanding of TACACS and RADIUS. You’ll take a look at the differences between them regarding what they offer as an authentication type, and how to configure each one. You will also take some time to discuss AAA – looking at its definition, and then at some design considerations for implementing it. You’ll go over examples of ways in which you can configure AAA, via the Command Line Interface and Cisco Configuration Professional, along with some verification commands. All in all, the topics stem from the exam objective AAA on Cisco Devices, and will aid in preparing you for the CCNA Security exam.

With this training you are provided an overview of Access Control Lists, or ACLs. ACLs help to mitigate threats against a network in a variety of ways.  ACLs should be tested in a test environment prior to actually applying them. You will take a look at exactly what they are, what they do, and discuss the different types of ACLs and the role they play in security. The training progresses from teaching you the basics to showing you how to effectively work with ACLs in terms of security. Topics covered include types of attacks to ACLS, and details on standard access, extended access, and named access lists. Altogether, these topics will help prepare you to sit for the CCNA Security exam as you focus on the IOS ACLs exam topic.

Secure Network Management
You will focus on securing the management plane. Start off by learning to define the management plane, and learning some best practices that can be used to make it more secure, such as strong passwords, AAA, Role Based Access Control, Syslog, and NTP. Then, you will learn to identify and study demonstrations of the different configurations that can be implemented on the management plane. You will also concentrate on SNMP and the Cisco Resilient Configuration. The topics covered in this course are encompassed in the Secure Network Management exam objective, and will aid in preparing you to pass the CCNA Security certification exam.

Common Layer 2 Attacks
Common Layer 2 Attacks begins with a look at VLANs and VTP.  InterVLAN routing and port security on switches is explained in detail.  The security implementations that should be considered when designing a network, such as enable password access, authentication servers like RADIUS and TACACS+, and disabling IOS services that come standard on Cisco devices, are covered. Spanning tree is defined and ways in which it can be implemented and optimized are demonstrated. Gain an in-depth understanding of these topics to determine how to best respond to layer 2 attacks.

Cisco Firewall Technologies
Cisco Firewall Technologies explains the different firewall technologies and the strengths and weaknesses that surround them. The concept of a stateful firewall is introduced, as well as what it means when it comes to protecting your network.  Zone based firewalls and the Cisco ASA series of firewall appliances and the ways in which these devices can be implemented within your network is discussed.  Network Address Translation (NAT), and Port Address Translation (PAT) are introduced and the reasons for which they are both needed are explained in detail.

Cisco IPS
Cisco IPS discusses the differences between a Cisco IPS device and Cisco IDS device, and some options that you have when deploying them in your network. The type of traffic analysis and the actions that can be performed by each of these devices on malicious traffic that is detected in your network is described.  The steps to configure Cisco IPS are demonstrated as well as some best practices to consider when deploying an IPS or IDS device.

VPN Technologies
VPN provides a secure connection that allows a user to feel as if they were back in the office, or a remote location to feel as if they were a part of the entire network as a whole.  As a network engineer, it’s important to be familiar with the basics of VPN technologies, as well as how IPSec works in a VPN tunnel setup. VPN Technologies will provide you with this information, as well as a look at the basics of cryptography in order to gain a better understanding of exactly what goes on behind the scenes of a VPN tunnel establishment, the different ways in which a site-to-site VPN can be implemented within your network, and how to configure SSL VPN using the graphical device manager from an ASA.

OSHA Series
Are you looking to dig deeper into OSHA mandates and increase workplace safety? Then this OSHA series will help you as it covers a range of safety topics from ergonomics to respiratory protection to hazardous materials. You will also study how to create an emergency action plan, machine guarding, electrical safety, lockout/tagout, and more. The content in these courses details all you need to know to ensure the safety and welfare of your employees.

Bloodborne Pathogens
Proper training on bloodborne pathogens (BBP) is important for the safety of employees in all work categories. The need for BBP training is essential for employees who are constantly at risk of exposure to blood, fluids, or other contaminated materials that are known to cause illnesses, or even death. This training identifies the types of BBPs, BBP exposure, and the proper protection from exposure. It also explains how to dispose of contaminated or used materials, and what to do in the event of exposure to a BBP. It’s important to know the ways in which infections can lead to exposure and transmission, and ways to prevent exposure through personal protective equipment and vaccinations. Deepen your understanding of bloodborne pathogens.

To learn more about these video trainings and LearnSmart Knowledge Libraries, contact a LearnSmart Sales Representative today at 1-800-418-6789.

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LearnSmart Provides High School Students with Real-world IT and Computer Science Training

LearnSmart recently began an endeavor to provide certification preparatory courses to a group of High School students in Machias, Maine. This training program exists to give high school students a jump start into Information Technology (IT) and Computer Science studies. Taking high school students’ understanding and finding training that would prepare them for the business world seemed to be an insurmountable roadblock. However, that challenging roadblock became a stepping stone to equipping students with the skills, knowledge, and experience required for working with computers.

The program arranging for this kind of study focuses on providing high school students with transferable skills that will enable them to succeed in today’s competitive job market. Students are given a taste of college courseware in computer science, while gaining real world experience as they get their hands on the computer in a work environment. These skills are enforced through a combination of theoretical and practical training, which readies these high schoolers for college and their profession. They are prepared for their vocation as they pursue certifications from vendors such as CompTIA, and prepared for college as they earn college credits and learn the fundamentals of computing. Moreover, these students need quality training to excel in earning college credit and certification.

Read the full article:

This is where LearnSmart stepped up to meet this program’s need. We supplied training – valued at over $15,000 – for a little over $1,500. That’s around a 90 percent discount. Negotiation wasn’t the key factor in this bargain. “At the core, LearnSmart wants everyone to have access to training that meets his or her needs,” states Brian Bashara, LearnSmart Vice President of Sales. Continuing he explains that “this principle holds especially true when it comes to young people. They’re our future.” This driving principle is what motivated us to offer the necessary course curriculum at such a low price. This move emphasizes our value of the customer and the product. The goal is to teach students and prepare them for an IT career. Some of the skills emphasized in the courses offered are networking, troubleshooting hardware and OS issues, ways to implement system security, and the process of installing and configuring servers on a network.

LearnSmart training is the best way for students in the Machias program to learn those concepts. Our training functions in a convenient and engaging manner. It assesses their knowledge using a full skills assessment quiz and keeps them sharp with chapter quizzes. Interactive labs aid in cementing students’ knowledge of how to practically apply the concepts they learned in the course. Overall, the training itself is designed to help students train in a knowledge area by instructing them in the principles and techniques of computing in a digestible size. While preparing for the newest certifications in our Classroom, students can take Notes and create topic To-Do lists that can be easily transferred to other devices. Appealing to this mobility-hooked generation, our training system is compatible with mobile devices and phones. Additionally, our system offers study guides and custom-training guides that can be printed or exported to mobile devices. Our training system provides the total training experience to help Machias program participants prepare quickly and efficiently.

In the same way that we helped Machias Memorial High School’s program, we can assist your organization with your IT, business skills and compliance training needs. Or maybe you’re looking for courses geared towards management and office productivity as-well-as certification training courses. We can help with all your diverse training challenges.

We offer a full suite of comprehensive training solutions and a wide range of platform options to address the unique challenges facing your business. Whether you need on-site instructor-led courses, off-site training, online training, or a blended option, LearnSmart has the solutions and experience. We provide easy-to-navigate and ADA-compliant course content, streamlined administration, and convenient delivery.

LearnSmart improves your company’s productivity, performance and output, while reducing your operating costs. So what training needs does your company have? Call 1-800-418-6789 to speak with one of our Training Solutions Specialist.

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LearnSmart New Releases Update for December 2013

Our Knowledge Libraries are constantly expanding as new courses are added. Our new releases include training series that will prepare you for the Project Management Professional® certification exam, instruct you in successfully negotiating a competitor, and assist you in effectively navigating through challenges associated with the termination and hiring processes.

Project Stakeholder Management Series
The Project Stakeholder Management knowledge area is new in its organization and presentation within the PMBOK® Guide 5th edition. The purpose of this knowledge area describes how to provide the most balanced and optimal interaction with all project stakeholders to the levels of engagement determined. Because stakeholder management is now its own knowledge area, it contains its own set of best practices and inputs, tools, techniques, and outputs to effectively identify stakeholders, plan stakeholder management, and manage and control stakeholder engagement.

Project Stakeholder Identification and Planning
Though projects are temporary endeavors undertaken to create a unique product, service, or result, the undertaking and completion of a project affects many things. The results of the project are to make a change; that’s the objective of the project. Many people, groups, and entities hold some sort of stake in that change. Those that hold stake in a project and the project’s outcome are deemed “Project Stakeholders” and must be managed within the project management of a project. As a result, there is a knowledge area dedicated to stakeholder management. The first two processes contained within this knowledge area are Identify Stakeholders and Plan Stakeholder Management. Learn the key tools, techniques, and inputs included in these processes to successfully manage a project’s stakeholders.

Project Stakeholder Engagement and Communications
Focus on the processes of Managing Stakeholder Engagement and Controlling Stakeholder Engagement. You will find discussions on the purpose of those processes, their inputs, outputs, and tools and techniques. You will sort through how to maintain the most effectual engagement concerning the needs and expectations of stakeholders, manage instances when needs and expectations are not being met, and handle change or changes requests when improvements or adjustments are recommended. Whoever the stakeholders are in your project, they must be managed and managed properly. Upon course completion, you will know what project stakeholder management is, how to manage stakeholder engagement, and control engagement with stakeholders throughout a project’s lifecycle.

Successful Termination
Designed specifically for managers, this training teaches them how to handle those potentially awkward times when it becomes necessary to “pink slip” someone. More importantly, managers are provided with a number of helpful suggestions for meting out employee discipline. When the process is followed, it gives the employee multiple opportunities to stop or correct the improper behavior that would otherwise lead to termination – and that way, everybody wins. If termination is inevitable, managers need to understand the legal concepts and terminology connected with termination to apply actions that will lead to rightful termination. Study all the ins and outs involved in successfully terminating an employee.

Successful Hiring
Successful Hiring will show you the guidelines and procedures that will dramatically increase your percentage of successful hires. This course will provide you with an understanding of the key steps you should follow in the hiring process. It will also explain what factors you should take into account when hiring someone and how to pre-screen potential hires. You will also gain an understanding of what you legally can and cannot do when hiring an employee, how to advertise for the position, and how to conduct a meaningful interview. With this course, you’ll learn how to find the right person that fits the skill level and personality type that you’re seeking to add to your team.

Successful Negotiation
One of the more valuable skills to have in life and in business is the ability to negotiate effectively. After all, a successful negotiator can generate valuable returns and preserve relationships in the process. In Successful Negotiation, you’ll get a comprehensive overview of how to be an effective negotiator. You’ll learn that negotiation is not all about “defeating” your competitors, but rather that negotiation is about reaching a mutually beneficial solution that keeps everyone happy. This course contains all the essentials you need to become the best negotiator you can be – in both your professional and personal life.

To learn more about these offerings and LearnSmart Knowledge Libraries, contact a LearnSmart Sales Representative today at 1-800-418-6789.

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mLearning: The Future of Training for Your Business

mLearning (Mobile Learning) is the Future.
The inception of the Internet forever altered education and how it’s learned and taught. The boundless accessibility of mobile computing devices is evolving learning once again. This limitless contemporary way of learning enables companies to appropriate mLearning in the application of training employees in a quicker, more efficient and cost-effective manner. The mLearning revolution is here and touted as the next “big thing” in learning techniques.

mLearning stands for mobile learning. It has become an innovative standard in learning that combines eLearning with the flexibility of mobile electronic devices utilized in this fast-paced environment. mLearning allows eLearning to be further applied in mobile settings to keep up with this ever-evolving, technological world. mLearning enables learning to be faster and more effective. Like eLearning, mLearning is highly collaborative, encouraging active participation among users. This allows instant feedback and ideas to be shared. Users can learn essentially anywhere and at any time via a mobile device. Since most mLearning courses can be downloaded, Internet connectivity is not an issue.

From the advent of the Internet, industries have been searching for more innovative and faster ways to teach groups of people in a cost-effective way. eLearning was incepted to do just that. mLearning has become the new way to eLearn because of the large accessibility to the Internet through various mobile devices including smartphones, tablets, MP3 players, and laptops. According to the Gartner Group, in 2013 smartphones have surpassed the computer as the most common Web access device worldwide. The tablet, with sales over 154 million units this year, has furthered the case “for going mobile.” The International Data Corporation indicated that 75% of the US workforce is already mobile with an expected 1.3 billion workers by 2015.

75% of US workforce is already mobile.
Companies are following this trend and moving toward mLearning as the new precedence in learning. The US is the leader in mLearning followed by Japan. The worldwide market for mLearning products is anticipated to surpass $9.1 billion by 2015 (Ambient Insight Mobile Learning Market Forecast). This move to mLearning makes it so much easier to learn without the use of desktop computers.

The evolution of video will soon turn a simple webpage obsolete. The links that a webpage would have provided will be incorporated into the video itself and be entirely interactive to the user. Interactive video and clips have been around for years, but the recent need for the video to be instantaneous and to be able to be utilized on mobile devices is new. This form of learning paved the way for mLearning. The most popular Web search engine is YouTube. The reason for this is the information does not have to be read, but is presented in video format, short and to the point, and allows for a greater interest in subject matter. People enjoy watching videos and learning is effective in video use. This type of learning not only incorporates seeing, and hearing, but also an interaction that only moving video can provide. The popularity of YouTube is large. The site has a viewership of a quarter-million per second. Four billion hours of YouTube videos are viewed monthly.

Though mLearning has been around for awhile, many of its important uses have not seen their true potential. Going back to YouTube, mobile devices represent viewership of one billion videos a day. So it is evident that people enjoy watching and learning from videos and they do so more frequently on mobile devices. In 2012 an ASTD research report found mLearning videos were third in the chosen formats for learning. Interactive learning, in which the viewer does not passively watch the video, but interacts with it on their mobile device is becoming quickly popular and is proven as an effective way of retaining subject matter.

Imagine bringing that type of interactive learning to your company in a cost-efficient, effective way. ROI can be higher, your employees can be more educated in their respective subject matter, learning can be quicker, and time and money does not need to be wasted on teaching the same courses over again. One course can be developed and the employees can be trained off-site anywhere an Internet connection is available or download the course and not need Internet access. mLearning will lead to your company having a decrease in training costs, more thorough learning process, and continuously situated learning support. mLearning is becoming the next big thing in the eLearning environment. Cost-effective and efficient learning needs these key components: have deliverable content, maintain attention of user, utilize realistic and consequential examples, model skills, incorporate review, provide essential feedback, and allow a check system for mastery of the subject matter or needed repetition.

The future of mLearning is endless.
The impact to your company’s profitability and bottom-line cost is substantial. LearnSmart provides employees the ability to work offline while commuting, on vacation, or waiting between meetings. LearnSmart’s 5-star rated iPad app enables users to download course content directly to their iPad instantaneously. Once a training course is downloaded, it can be accessed anywhere, so learning can occur anywhere and at any time. With this continual changing face of education, it’s imperative to keep pace with technology. Allow LearnSmart to create an mLearning solution for your organization and utilize this cutting-edge technology while staying ahead of the competition. Call us today at 1-800-418-6789 to create a mLearning solution for the future of your business.

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When Sexual Harassment is Tolerated – We All Suffer.

What is Harassment?
Harassment is defined as a “course of conduct directed at a specific person, that causes substantial emotional distress in such a person, and serves no legitimate purpose.” Sexual harassment is specifically harassment of a sexual nature, and this sort of behavior is often seen in the workplace. Disrespectful or offensive behavior by supervisors, employees, co-workers, students, or third parties is inappropriate; and in some cases, may be an abuse of authority. When abusive and demeaning behavior is tolerated in our workplace, or on campus, we all suffer.

Get our Free “Sexual Harassment Prevention” whitepaper today [pdf]:

Sexual harassment is a behavior, and adults are responsible for their own behavior… and its consequences. This whitepaper will help define the boundaries of appropriate behavior, to help prevent harassment in the workplace.

How Harassment Begins
We each have the responsibility to treat others with respect, and an obligation to maintain a workplace that’s respectful for all. If you stay aware of your responsibility, and conduct yourself in a professional manner, you will have taken an important step toward eliminating sexual harassment. But changing behavior requires more than just knowledge. You need to recognize the likely consequences of negative behavior, and base your actions accordingly.

The balance of risks and rewards is heavily stacked against offenders. Many people have lost their jobs, faced disciplinary action, and ruined their careers by engaging in sexual harassment. To prevent such incidents from occurring, it is important to recognize and avoid behaviors that are not acceptable in today’s workplace, to know what to do if you encounter unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature at work, and how to respond if you become aware of such behavior occurring within the organization.

How Common is Sexual Harassment?
On-the-job sexual harassment is not a recent problem, although legal liability for it is. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex and national origin. Yet the American court system did not decide the first sexual harassment case under Title VII until 1976. The problem’s scope came to national attention in 1991, when the Senate Judiciary Committee held hearings on Anita Hill’s charges against Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas. Sexual harassment is common throughout workplaces; in all occupations and professions; educational backgrounds; age, racial and ethnic groups; and income levels. While the majority of reported cases involve a male harassing a female, such cases can also involve a female harassing a male, or either men or women harassing members of their own sex.

In 1976, the United States District Court for the District of Columbia resolved the first Title VII sexual harassment case. That same year, a Redbook magazine poll found that 9 out of 10 women said they had been subjected to unwanted sexual advances at work. And according to a report issued by the Government Accountability Office, 42 percent of female government employees stated they had experienced some form of work-related sexual harassment. That same report stated that 15 percent of male federal employees reported being sexually harassed as well. Surveys done in the private sector revealed similar results.

As high as those numbers are, they may not even begin to tell the whole story. In 2010, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) reported that almost 12,000 cases of sexual harassment reached their office. Yet the EEOC believes that this total represents only 5 to 15 percent of actual incidents. The rest go unreported, or no formal complaint is filed. Based on those statistics, there may actually have been a staggering two million cases of sexual harassment in the United States in 2010. In the federal government’s first sexual harassment survey, it discovered that – between 1978 and 1980 – the government lost $189 million from the effects of sexual harassment. In its next survey, covering 1985 to 1987, those losses jumped to $267 million – even though the rate of sexual harassment had not changed. Today, a typical Fortune 500 corporation can expect to lose $6.7 million dollars annually due to sexual harassment. That figure includes losses that result from absenteeism, lower productivity, increased health-care costs, poor morale, and employee turnover. These losses do not include litigation costs or court-awarded damages. Nor do they include damage to a company’s image, which can cost a business not only its reputation, but also customers and revenue.

In recent years, the number of sexual harassment cases filed with the EEOC, as well as in federal and state courts, has climbed dramatically. In 1992, for example, the number of cases jumped 50 percent over the previous year. Complaints about sexual harassment have ranged from the fostering of a hostile work environment to demands for prostitution. So how common is sexual harassment in the workplace? It can be summed up in the remarks of Alex Kozinski, justice in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Kozinski said, “It is a sobering revelation that every woman — every woman — who has spent time in the workforce in the last two decades can tell at least one story about being the object of sexual harassment.”

Protect your employees and your organization with LearnSmart’s 45 page guide to Sexual Harassment Prevention. This in-depth whitepaper defines Sexual Harassment, how to identify a “hostile” work environment and the legal implications of harassment. Protect yourself from individuals’ irresponsible actions. Get the free whitepaper today [pdf]:

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LearnSmart New Releases Update for November 2013

Find out the latest courses available in our Knowledge Libraries. Our newest releases include courses that instruct you on how to compose and edit professional-quality documents and videos using Microsoft and Adobe products, as well as teach you about excelling as a new manager.

Excel 2013Microsoft Office 2013 Series
Everyone is familiar with Microsoft’s Office suite of products. Microsoft introduces the 2013 suite to help professional, the family, and the student take their files with them anywhere, and learn how to access their Office programs remotely. In the 2013 suite, you’ll find the features you’re comfortable with in a clean, new interface. These products from Microsoft efficiently and seamlessly integrate work, Web, and world to create projects that meet your various projects. Explore the most popular programs like Word, PowerPoint, and Excel to compile documents that meet your needs and have a professional appearance.

Word 2013 Series
Learn the basics of this Office product covering how to navigate in a document, use the toolbars, and create a document. You’ll find instruction on how to create and manage documents; format text, paragraphs, and sections; and how to create tables and lists, as well as insert and format objects. You will also go over how to create special types of documents from templates. Altogether, the lessons will build on concepts and ideas so that students have a thorough understanding of the software. This series prepares students to sit for the Microsoft Word 2013 Exam 77-418.

PowerPoint 2013 Series
It’s more powerful, more stable, and has additional features. Explore all there is to know about PowerPoint 2013 through this series. Specifically, you will learn how to create and manage presentations, insert and format shapes and slides, and apply transitions and animations. Plus, see how to manage multiple presentations, and follow instruction on how to protect and share important data. You will also look at features like Slide Master, SmartArt, and Styles to craft presentations with enhanced visuals. Overall, the topics covered will prepare you to sit for the Microsoft PowerPoint Exam 77-422.

Excel 2013 Series
Excel is built for mass efficiency and speed. It’s more flexible, more dynamic, and easier to use. This version update offers you more functions in the math and trigonometry, statistical, engineering, date and time, lookup and reference, and text function categories. Explore how to use these functions and all many other features that Excel 2013 has to offer. You are also provided with instructions on applying VLOOKUP and conditional logic, working with what-if scenarios and financial formulas, and formatting data, text, and tables. This series will help you study and prepare to take Microsoft’s Excel 77-420 Certification exam.

Moving into ManageMoving into Managementment Series
Geared towards new managers, this series provides them with techniques, scenarios, and advice to succeed as a manager even with all the added responsibilities and authority. Take a look at managerial basics by studying what it means to be a manager, and how to communicate and lead effectively. Delve into the ways that you can make an impact in your company’s future by developing a corporate strategy and corporate plan. You will also go over how to fully embrace the new responsibilities and overcome your fears to experience success as a new manager.

Intro to Management
Introduction to Management is designed to help new managers learn what is expected of them. This course identifies the core functions of management, including what roles managers have to fulfill and the duties they must perform; explain the demands on a new manager and the seven steps to the management decision-making process; identify the challenges that come with company culture, and how to overcome them; create suggestions for making sure managers have time for personal development; prioritize tasks; and identify the different learning styles managers should keep in mind when communicating with employees.

Leading and Communicating as a Manager
Leading and Communicating as a Manager is designed to help new managers learn to be leaders and to communicate effectively with employees, fellow managers, and senior executives. This course identifies the five primary leadership roles that managers serve in business; discuss how to lead teams; how to know when your team is being effective; and the different stages of team development. You’ll be given a look at effective delegation and the four key benefits of effectively delegating tasks; how to use SMART objectives when delegating; and how to know what should and should not be delegated.

Making an Impact as a Manager
Making an Impact as a Manager is designed to help new managers lead their employees and companies on to bigger and better things. This course defines corporate strategy and identify exactly what it does; explain how to use a SWOT analysis to shape the company’s culture; the importance of doing a STEP analysis to provide a framework for addressing obstacles that face the business; talk about ways to improve operations; and the three E’s to examine when measuring and improving performance.

Taking Control as a Manager
Taking Control as a Manager is designed to help new managers understand how to relate to fellow managers and other employees and how to deal with the pressures that come with the position. This course looks at the seven aspects of management to invest in and different things you can do as a new manager to help win your team over; discusses performance management and using budget as a tool of control; identifies steps you can take to help employees overcome their insecurities and feel more comfortable on the job; and identifies the common causes of managerial stress and strategies to overcome them.

Premiere Pro CS6 SeriesPremiere Pro CS6
Gain an understanding of how to effectively use the new Premiere Pro CS6 software. Premiere Pro CS6 is an Adobe product that allows you to edit video and audio more effectively and efficiently. In this series, you will specifically study explanations on how to execute the production process covering conceptualization, preproduction, production, and postproduction procedures; getting started in Premiere Pro CS6; editing projects; and how to enhance and finalize projects for export. With all the capabilities and features offered in this Adobe software, it is impossible to make less-than quality videos that meet your needs.

To learn more about these offerings and LearnSmart Knowledge Libraries, contact a LearnSmart Sales Representative today at 1-800-418-6789.

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