Networking expert Chuck Keith recently joined CBT Nuggets as our newest trainer. He’ll initially focus on collaboration topics in the CCNP Collaboration paths and then progress to networking, administration, and other IT topics.
Chuck’s hiring signals a new generation of CBT Nuggets trainers who advanced their careers as CBT Nuggets learners. Chuck earned his Cisco and CompTIA certifications through guidance from long-time CBT Nuggets trainers like Cisco expert Jeremy Cioara and networking expert Keith Barker.
“I grew up professionally with CBT Nuggets,” Keith said.
In 2014, Chuck started a popular YouTube channel, Network Chuck, that rapidly grew to more than 16,000 followers. Initially making the YouTube channel a technical resource for Cisco collaboration, Chuck shifted the channel’s focus toward IT career and certification preparation advice.
We asked Chuck a few questions to get to know him:
You were working in the IT field before becoming a trainer, but you also had a pretty successful YouTube channel. Why did you start it?
I started it because I saw a need for it. I started doing tutorials on collaboration topics because that’s what I knew, but then I really started thinking about what I wanted out of a YouTube channel. I didn’t want to find training videos. For me, that’s what CBT Nuggets was for. Instead, I wanted to find out how people were studying and training. So I started producing those types of videos and trying to build a community. I answered every comment and question — and all of a sudden, I went from 500 subscribers to now almost 17,000 subscribers.
That’s about the time Jeremy Cioara found your channel, right?
Jeremy found my channel, messaged me, and we set up a call. I went through the interview process. Fast forward a few months and I’m a full-time CBT Nuggets trainer, and at Keith Barker’s house learning how to create training.
What’s your training philosophy?
I think I really want to tie together the technical material with a message of motivation and taking control of your career. IT is all about creating your own path, and certifications are like hacking the system. You don’t need to go to school for a bunch of years to prove you know something. Certifications prove you can study, learn, and then validate that you know something. When I create training, I want that to be the central message. It’s not just about learning the material and passing a test, it’s about learning continuously so you can motivate yourself to learn even more.
You have a pretty epic beard. How long have you been growing it?
People ask me that all the time. That’s a tough one because, you know, I trim it, but overall about three years. Honestly, I attribute all my success to the beard.
Final question: Would you rather have a dragon? Or be a dragon?
Have a dragon, definitely. If I am a dragon, I’d be a target. If I have a dragon, I’d have a weapon.
Chuck Keith brings recent industry networking and collaboration experience to his upcoming training and holds Cisco CCNA Routing & Switching, Voice, and CompTIA Security+ certifications.