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New Course: IT Expertise: Building and Configuring a Business Switch Network

CBT Nuggets trainer Jeremy Cioara recently released his new IT Expertise: Building and Configuring a Business Switch Network course, a follow up to his IT Expertise: Installing Network Cabling and Devices course. The IT Expertise series is designed to help close the knowledge gap between certification knowledge and real-world experience, equipping IT pros with the hands-on application and know-how to advance their organizations, their services, and their own careers.

In this 20-video course, Jeremy takes learners on a complete journey (including design, features, multi-vendor) through an actual switch environment. Jeremy tackles topics such as connections, project design, management configuration (setting up console connections, network naming conventions, setting up core link aggregation, etc.), network discovery, and more.

We asked Jeremy about his new course and how learners can use it to improve their skills and services.

Q: Why should companies train their teams on Building and Configuring a Business Switch Network? Why are these IT expertise skills valuable to IT pros?
There is a tremendous gulf between what a team learns from “traditional” training and what actually exists in their environment. A learner may know how to configure a feature such as VLANs but doesn’t know if they should configure VLANs or how VLANs benefit their specific environment. The Building and Configuring a Business Switch Network course takes a learner through a complete journey (design, features, multi-vendor) through an actual switch environment.

Q: Who should complete your IT Expertise: Building and Configuring a Business Switch Network course? What kind of IT pro (or aspiring IT pro) would benefit most from taking your course?
My primary target learner: Someone who is either working at a job in the IT profession or wants to get in the network world, but doesn’t have time for (or just doesn’t care about) certification.

My secondary target learner: Someone new to IT who wants the fast track to understanding exactly what they need in order to build a business network.

Q: From a learner perspective, what did you keep in mind when creating this course?
I designed this course in such a way that it works for someone new to the field, but those who have been doing it for years will be thrilled to “fill in the gaps.” I think we achieved that and it was the biggest challenge for me and the biggest success of this course.

Q: Any out-of-the-box tips for learners to help them get the most out of your course?
You can take this course and immediately walk out to your network environment (home or business) and begin making changes. Every video in the course has practical steps that I require learners to perform before they move on (as much as a remote instructor can require anyway…). There are no “concept only” videos in this course. Every video has a learning moment and then a “DO IT!” moment. 

So… out of the box tip: do exactly what I say 😉

Q: What was your favorite Nugget to create in this course?
Probably Project Design – Connecting Building Switches. If you fast forward to the 18-minute mark, I got to take an actual student from the cabling course through the knowledge and film him actually doing what he knows. It was so fun!

Also, Management Configuration – Setting Up Console Connections from Windows because it was my first time experimenting with multi-angle video shots.

Q: What’s the most important thing you hope learners take away from this course?
The same thing I always do: I hope learners get a passion for technology and enough knowledge to dispel the fear of diving in.

Q: What course(s) or certification(s) should learners complete before diving into your IT Expertise: Building and Configuring a Business Switch Network course?
Completing the IT Expertise: Installing Network Cabling and Devices would be very beneficial, but not absolutely required.

Q: What course(s) or certification(s) should learners look to jump into after they complete your IT Expertise: Building and Configuring a Business Switch Network course?
None at this time.

Q: As learners proceed through your IT Expertise courses, they learn real-world skills. What certifications should they consider pursuing that align with the training they get from your IT Expertise courses?
I’ve heavily considered calling this course “Beyond CCNA,” because it will most prepare learners for the CCNA Routing and Switching certification. However, this course answers all the questions Cisco doesn’t ask (the ones that nail you between the eyes at your first job) that inspired the IT Expertise series.

Q: Most learners who watch your courses realize pretty quickly that you love to teach and learn. What are you learning right now? What is surprising you as you learn this cool new stuff?
I’m 100 percent diving into wireless technology — the “black art” of the modern network professional. It’s really challenging to teach this right since there are so many variables that can change it. It’s surprising how much of an “art” it really is — and that’s my challenge: turn wireless tech into a science.

Q: Some of our learners may know that you are much more than just a CBT Nuggets trainer. You’re a pretty busy guy because you also own a business. How does owning a business influence how and what you teach?
Starting a business some eight years ago is where I realized that certification training is really good, but you’re sending sheep into a world of wolves. My teaching has transformed over the last eight years from, “this is what you probably need for the exam and what I think you need for the real world” to “I know EXACTLY what you need to be successful at doing this.” It’s very different from traditional training, to the point that I feel like I’m cheating students if I just teach them what they need for certification (shhh…don’t tell anyone I said that).

Q: You point out in one of your videos in this course that you think of yourself as a mentor, rather than a teacher. Why is mentoring important to learners as they work to build their IT careers?
I’ve retyped this answer five times! It’s not possible for me to encapsulate my thoughts in a quick sentence here.

The most concise way I can say it is that I’m coming along side you to help, and I’m going to encourage you and tell you exactly what you need to do to be successful. You may choose not to do it, and that’s totally fine! It’s your decision. But I’m NOT going to just give you information that makes you feel good. (that sounds harsh… not my intention… I just can’t write it concisely any other way!) 😉

Start developing the real-world skills you need for success with Jeremy’s IT Expertise: Building and Configuring a Business Switch Network course.

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