11 Best IT Certs to Study for From Home in 4 Weeks
The coronavirus (covid-19) pandemic has introduced numerous problems for IT professionals, the most obvious of which is millions of Americans being required to stay home instead of continuing their Monday through Friday, 9-to-5 routine. However, as John Adams said, "Every problem is an opportunity in disguise." One of the best ways you can spend newfound downtime is to study for IT certifications.
We've compiled a list of the top 11 IT certifications to study from home the next four weeks. All of our training for these certifications can be accomplished in this time frame, preparing you to take the exam in a month or less.
If you decide to pursue one of the following certifications, join our Cert Class of 2020. In addition to building your skill set and increasing your marketability, you could win some free CBT Nuggets swag. Commit to earning a cert today.
1. AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner
This certification forms the foundation for the Amazon Web Services certification series and should be the first step if your career involves AWS. The knowledge base you'll need includes the basics of cloud computing as well as foundational aspects of how AWS is designed. Recommended (not required) prerequisites include six months of experience with AWS in some capacity (from business to technical) as well as a basic understanding of information technology.
Our training provides you everything you need to advance from a virtual blank slate to complete preparedness to start working with the AWS platform. You won't need to invest in other resources, even if you're a non-technical professional. This training covers the basics of the AWS cloud, including EC2, S3, and Virtual Private Cloud, while covering overall AWS design and infrastructure.
CBT Nuggets cloud practitioner training is for non-technical professionals who are seeking awareness about cloud technologies, as well as for users who interact with AWS frequently in a non-IT role.
How long does it take to complete the training: 2 hours. You should be able to complete this course in two days, meaning devoting an hour of studying a day. That's it.
How long does it take to complete practice exams: The AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner certification is arguably one of the easier exams you'll encounter. Plan for an hour per practice test, although you likely won't have to take more than two.
How long does it take to master the terminology and platform basics: Because this is an introductory course, learning the terminology and platform basics shouldn't require more than an hour of additional study beyond the course material.
How long do people study for the exam: The majority of test-takers spend between one and three hours studying for the exam. Pass rates noticeably increased the closer to three hours candidates took, but there is a rapidly diminishing rate of return beyond the three-hour mark.
How to know you're ready to take the exam. Amazon outlines eight abilities validated by the certification. Read through the list, pausing after each objective, and mentally review your comfort level with the material. If you can explain each ability using specific examples, you're ready to take the test.
AWS currently holds approximately one-third of the market share in cloud computing, nearly double its nearest competitor. Because the cloud practitioner exam covers material basic enough to be applied by a common user or business practitioner, this certification is a must for anyone who deals with cloud computing — even if your specialty is with another cloud provider.
2. Microsoft Azure Administrator (AZ-103, soon to be AZ-104)
Microsoft's AZ-103 exam is required to earn the Microsoft Azure Administrator badge. It was created from combined material that was formerly covered by AZ-100 and AZ-101, which was retired May 2019. Although entry-level, Microsoft's new Azure pathways emphasize depth of learning, meaning you should have not only experience, but proficiency in the areas covered by the exam — including multiple services across the full IT lifecycle.
Passing AZ-103, which will transition to AZ-104 on March 31, 2020, is one of two pathways to becoming a Microsoft DevOps Engineer. Although you don't need to be an expert to start preparing, you should have a solid foundation in systems administration.
How long does it take to complete the training: 20 hours. You should be able to complete the training in 20 days. Depending on whether you take the weekends off, it will take about 3 to 4 weeks.
How long does it take to complete practice exams: We recommend taking no more than one test per day and reevaluating your progress based on the results. If you have a solid sysadmin foundation and learn the material well, you can complete 3 to 4 practice tests a week. If you discover knowledge gaps and need to study certain domains further, it will take you a bit longer.
How long does it take to master the terminology and platform basics: The total time to work through the material should be no more than four weeks. If you're starting at a lower experience level, plan for six weeks before your exam so you have time to work through additional study materials on any knowledge gaps.
How long do people study for the exam: Students who utilize other learning mediums average approximately 50 hours of prep, with much of this being derived from using the Microsoft Learning Path Modules (34 hours) and supplementing that with another 6 to 8 hours of material. Students who use CBT Nuggets average 30 hours of prep, with 20 being spent on the material, six hours spent on practice exams, and four reviewing knowledge gaps.
How to know you're ready to take the exam: You'll want to complete two consecutive practice tests with a passing score. Review every question you miss and ask yourself whether you missed it because you didn't know or because you didn't understand the problem. If it's the former, study that area further. If it's the latter, review how the question was phrased until you feel comfortable with how the test is written — and are confident that you won't misunderstand it again.
Azure is the fastest-growing cloud provider. AWS dominated the market with fully half of the market share a year ago, but since Microsoft revamped its certification pathways and began investing in market growth, Azure has become a firm contender. The future is very bright in this area — and AZ-103/AZ-104 is an excellent way to start learning the Azure Platform
3. Microsoft Azure Fundamentals (AZ-900)
AZ-900 is an entry-level exam for Microsoft Azure. It's an excellent starting point for anyone who is interacting with cloud computing for the first time, familiar with cloud computing but new to Azure, or an on-prem sysadmin or architect who is transitioning into a cloud-based role.
The AZ-900 exam covers a wide area of material and can equally apply to any of the Microsoft Azure certification paths, from Architect to Data Scientist. If you feel any uncertainty about where you stand on Microsoft's cloud computing service, it's probably worth your time to review the foundational material upon which everything else is built.
How long does it take to complete the training: 8 hours. At a pace of an hour a day, You'll be able to complete training in eight days. The material is easy enough to work through that we recommend consecutive study days without taking a weekend off.
How long does it take to complete practice exams: It's highly unlikely that you'll need to take more than two practice exams. Take one after you've finished the course material, address any knowledge gaps, and if you feel you need the additional practice, take a second one.
How does it take to master the terminology and platform basics: Plan to spend eight hours reviewing the material and another two hours covering areas where you need more practice. Along with practice tests, you should set aside approximately two weeks to prepare for the exam.
How long do people study for the exam: The typical student spends 20 to 25 hours studying for the exam and utilizes two to three different training resources. Although the Microsoft learning path will cover everything you need to know, it's almost entirely text-based with a few short videos. This format lends itself to being a bit dry, which tends to extend the amount of time needed to work through it.
How to know you're ready to take the exam: If you pass your first practice exam and feel confident in the material, you're ready. If you find skill areas you feel weak on, review those. Take a second practice exam, and you hopefully should be good to go.
The AZ-900 exam is an excellent start point for anyone new to cloud computing or Microsoft Azure — or who is perhaps just needing a refresher course before moving to more advanced exams. You can work through the material quickly and then use the momentum to advance to your next certification training!
4. CompTIA Security+ (SY0-501)
This certification is widely recognized as the foundation for anyone interested in a career in cybersecurity. The exam itself is unique in its approach of using performance-based questions rather than exclusively relying on knowledge. When you have a CompTIA Security+ certification, employers know that you can do more than just identify security incidents: they can depend on you to address and resolve them.
How long does it take to complete the training: 23 hours. At an hour per day, the total training course takes 23 days. While you should maintain a steady pace, the material is sufficiently complicated that you should intersperse several breaks in your study regimen, meaning the total time to work through this material will be approximately 3.5 to 4 weeks.
How long does it take to complete practice exams: We recommend taking one practice test to evaluate your knowledge base. Review all missed questions: if you find gaps, take a day to study those areas, then take another practice exam.
How long does it take to master the terminology and platform basics: Three to four weeks of study will get you up to speed on the test foundations.
How long do people study for the exam: If you are established in IT, or have any kind of background in cybersecurity, CBTN training should be all you need. If you take your time studying the material, dedicating one hour per day, and take several days off, and do three to four practice exams, you can spend less than five weeks studying for the test.
How to know you're ready to take the exam: Once you've passed two consecutive practice tests, you can be confident in your preparedness level.
Cybersecurity has arguably the brightest future of any area in IT, and Security+ is the single most common element of CompTIA's stackable certifications — it's required for 7 of the 12 certs CompTIA issues. As our economy faces uncertainty in the days ahead, using this time to prepare yourself for a sector that does not have an unemployment rate would be a wise move and a direct investment in your professional future.
5. CompTIA Network+ (N10-007)
CompTIA Network+ certifies a tech professional's ability to work with IT infrastructure holistically, including everything from designing functional networks to troubleshooting existing ones. Unlike more specific certs (e.g., AWS & Azure that cover proprietary systems), this one is vendor-neutral and can be applied to virtually any product or system.
Network+ sets you up for future growth, comprising a core element of 5 out of the 12 CompTIA stackable certifications.
How long does it take to complete the training: 20 hours. You'll need to dedicate a full 20 hours to complete the CBT Nuggets training course. The information covered here is foundational to all networks, so the more in-depth your background in IT is, the easier the material will be, and the more consistently you can work through it.
How long does it take to complete practice exams: Expect to take at least two practice exams even if you're an experienced IT pro. You want to ensure that you feel comfortable with the material and have identified any informational gaps. If you're new to IT and are pursuing this as one of your first certifications, taking three to four tests would be wise. These can be accomplished within a week, including allocating some time for additional material review.
How long does it take to master the terminology and platform basics: IT professionals with a network background will likely already know the majority of the terminology and platform basics. However, even in this case, it's useful to go through the entire training course to ensure that your experience is well-rounded enough to address all of the exam material.
How long do people study for the exam: Because this certification covers such a broad spectrum of material, study times vary widely and are primarily dependent on the amount of experience someone has going into their prep phase. Approximately one-third of professionals take one month to prepare, with another third taking two months and the final third taking three months or longer.
How to know you're ready to take the exam: We recommend working through several practice exams and inversely correlating the number with your IT background. The deeper your experience, the fewer practice tests you'll need, while newcomers might need up to four practice runs. After you've completed two assessments with a passing score and no longer feel like you're encountering new material, you're ready to sign up for the actual certification exam.
CompTIA Network+ is one of the most widely recognized certifications in IT and forms a solid foundation for new or aspiring tech professionals. Rather than setting you apart, Network+ should be viewed as a milestone that gets you in the door. In other words, if you don't have one, you should probably have a solid IT background that's affirmed in other ways to ensure you're on the same footing with your peers.
6. CompTIA A+ (220-1001 & 220-1002)
While many of the certifications we're recommending aim to boost your career upward, CompTIA A+ is a bit different. Often described as an "entry-level rite of passage for IT technicians," approximately half of the more than two million certifications issued by CompTIA are A+. This cert is required to be employed as an IT tech by Dell, Intel, and HP, and is one of the primary requirements for Department of Defense IT personnel.
Unlike most certifications, two exams are required here: Core 1 (Exam 220-1001) and Core 2 (Exam 220-1002). The former can be roughly characterized as more hardware-centric with a higher emphasis on infrastructure, while the latter focuses more on software and operating systems.
How long does it take to complete the training: 34 hours (max). The training program for the first exam will take 21 hours, but additional study time should be factored in to account for any knowledge deficiencies. We've found that the first exam tends to be the more difficult of the two, and test-takers averaged 11 weeks of prep time. The second exam has a 14-hour training curriculum and takes less time for corresponding study but is still comprehensive. The average training time tends to be about 10 weeks for Round 2.
How long does it take to complete practice exams: Because of the breadth of knowledge required, it's best to take one practice exam and then spend a week brushing up on any questions that you missed. Dig deep into the material surrounding that item, and be sure that you feel confident about those domains before taking your next practice test. Repeat this process until you're consistently achieving passing scores. Set aside a month for practice tests and subsequent review.
How long does it take to master the terminology and platform basics: Plan for a total of five to six months to prepare for both exams. This timeline can be substantially shortened with greater levels of experience, but take at least one to two practice tests before you even schedule the actual exam.
How long do people study for the exam: This varies based on experience level, but expect to spend a minimum of 100 hours between working through the study material, taking practice tests, and reattacking low-scoring areas. How long this takes from a calendar perspective varies, but remember that slow and steady wins the race — cramming for six hours a day will result in rapid burnout and low information retention rates.
How to know you're ready to take the exam: You're going to cover so much material that the best way to know you're fully prepped is when you start getting bored with the information. To be clear, you're not ready when you're bored with the process; plan to put in the hours over multiple weeks. However, when you start to get bored with material review, you're likely ready.
The three CompTIA certs on our list form the CompTIA Secure Infrastructure Specialist (CSIS) stackable certification. Having all three on your resume affirms that you have a rock-solid foundation in IT infrastructure, drastically increasing your hiring potential.
7. Cisco CCT Data Center (010-151)
With the rapid advancement of cloud computing, it's easy to forget that on-prem data centers aren't going anywhere and are still preferred for many applications. The CCT Data Center 010-151 certification validates a technician's ability to install and replace hardware components as well as install, configure, backup, and restore software on various Cisco products.
The certification is a broad-based accreditation that should be considered for onboarding new network administrators and new or aspiring IT professionals. It's also useful as a finishing touch for network administrators with years of experience working on Cisco equipment.
How long does it take to complete the training: 7 hours. The training program is very straightforward and can be accomplished in seven hours.
How long does it take to complete practice exams: You should take a practice exam the day after you finish the seven-hour prep course. This allows you to identify any shortcomings and focus on those areas for subsequent prep. Admins with Cisco experience will likely only need minor touch-ups, while those who are new to Cisco equipment (even if they're otherwise very experienced) might need a bit more time.
How long does it take to master the terminology and platform basics: The material covered by this exam is relatively straightforward but very detailed, giving it a reputation for being one of the more difficult certification tests on the market. That said, you should be able to thoroughly familiarize yourself with the terminology and platform basics within two weeks.
How long do people study for the exam: Because this cert evaluates depth of information rather than breadth, your ability to remember details is going to make a substantial difference in how much time you dedicate to studying for it. The average time is two weeks, although this can be as short as a week and up to a month for individuals who are new to the material.
How to know you're ready to take the exam. When you pass two practice exams in a row, consider yourself prepared.
Cisco equipment is prevalent in data centers. If your career does or will touch on this area, it's worth it to go ahead and knock out the certification. Even though the exam requires high attention to detail and has a reputation for being challenging, a few weeks of dedicated study should give you a chance to pass.
8. Microsoft MTA: Database Fundamentals (98-364)
This Microsoft Technology Associate (MTA) certification is a baseline accreditation that evaluates introductory skills and knowledge of databases. The specific focus tends to be on relational databases, such as Microsoft SQL Server. Although hands-on experience certainly helps, it isn't required to obtain the certification.
One of the primary benefits of this cert is that it gets your foot in the door with the Microsoft Certified Professional community, which can be an important step if you're just getting started in the career field.
How long does it take to complete the training: 7 hours. The training itself is seven hours, and the information is basic enough that even someone without prior IT experience should be able to work through it on consecutive days.
How long does it take to complete practice exams: It's doubtful you'll need more than a single practice test here. If, however, you still feel like there are substantial knowledge gaps after your first prep assessment, take a day or two to study those areas, run through another practice test, and then go into your official exam with positive momentum.
How long does it take to master the terminology and platform basics: A week's worth of study for an hour per day is typically all that is necessary to absorb this material.
How long do people study for the exam: Learners who are brand new to IT can take up to two weeks to review the material. However, it's far more common to spend closer to seven to 10 hours total prepping for the exam.
How to know you're ready to take the exam. As soon as you achieve a passing score on a practice test, you're likely prepared to sit for the exam.
The Microsoft MTA cert is a perfect introduction to databases in general and SQL Server in particular. If you're considering a transition into information technology, this is an excellent place to begin.
9. Microsoft Windows 10 (MD-100)
MD-100 is one of two exams required to earn the Modern Desktop Administrator Associate certificate, the other being MD-101. If you already are or are planning to become a sysadmin in a Microsoft enterprise environment, consider this a mandatory baseline certification.
The exams split primary job knowledge into two parts, with MD-100 focusing on deploying and maintaining Windows specifically while MD-101 queues in on operating systems, apps, and policies and profiles.
How long does it take to complete the training: 7 hours. Our training requires seven hours, and the material is simple and straightforward. The majority of candidates will find this less of a learning experience, and more of a systematic, comprehensive review.
How long does it take to complete practice exams: You almost certainly won't need more than a single practice run before you're ready to head to the testing center. Take a test the day after you finish the refresher course, brush up on any areas where you missed questions, and feel free to sign up for the exam.
How long does it take to master the terminology and platform basics: You shouldn't need longer than one week at an hour of studying per day to fully grasp the material.
How long do people study for the exam: Experienced sysadmins might only need two to three hours to review the material before being able to pass, but it's a good idea to spend the full seven hours refreshing your knowledge. Because CBT Nuggets offers a free 7-day trial, you're operating in a no-risk, low-stress environment by working through the entire course.
How to know you're ready to take the exam: If you notice any lesson that's brand new to you, spend a bit more time reviewing the material. Beyond that, once you complete the training course, you'll be ready to sign up for the exam.
The MD-100 exam is the more specific of the two tests and requires a bit more time to study for. Because the two sets of materials are so closely related, however, feel free to dive straight into MD-101 before you take the official MD-101 test.
10. Microsoft Windows 10 (MD-101)
The Modern Desktop Administrator Associate cert was created to address the increasing discrepancy between learning Microsoft products and the skills needed to work with them. The precursor to this certification, the Windows 10 MCSA, was based almost exclusively on the Windows 10 OS. Although this operating system is still the preferred OS of businesses across the world, holding nearly 40 percent of the market share, Microsoft noticed an increasing gap between individuals they were certifying and their ability to fulfill the full scope needed of a systems administrator.
MD-100 and MD-101 are the two exams you'll need to pass to earn the MDAA badge. The former is more specifically focused on working with Windows, while the latter is a relatively generic evaluation of your ability to work with operating systems, applications, and policies & profiles.
How long it will take to complete the training: 6 hours. The training program is six hours long and is designed to be completed by individuals who are new to not only the specific knowledge but also to information technology itself. You can easily knock it out in consecutive sessions without having to take a day off.
How long it will take to complete practice exams. You won't need to take more than two practice exams here, and likely won't need more than one. We recommend using the first six days you train to work through the material and taking a practice exam on the seventh. Use any missed questions to guide subsequent review, then either sign up for the official exam or take another practice test to confirm you're ready.
How long it will take you to master the terminology and platform basics. The material is foundational for sysadmins and relatively elementary, so the average individual won't need more than a week to grasp the information thoroughly.
How long people averaged studying for the exam. The majority of candidates spend a week or less investing in this material before they're ready to earn their certification.
How you know you can be ready to take the exam. Your first practice exam should indicate whether you're ready or not. If you do come across areas you feel deficient in, spend another day studying those, then sign up for the official exam.
Of the two tests required to earn the Modern Desktop Administrator Associate certification, MD-101 is the more generic. This is one you can jump into with little preliminary experience and quickly learn. If you plan on becoming a systems administrator, we highly recommend jumping into this without hesitation.
11. Microsoft 365 Identity and Services (MS-100)
The Microsoft 365 Certified Enterprise Administrator Expert certificate requires passing two exams: MS-100 and MS-101. Before taking both exams and earning the certification, however, you need to complete at least one of the following prerequisites:
Of these six certifications, we recommend all but the MCSE Productivity Solutions Expert, which will be retired June 30, 2020, and will expire as a prerequisite one year afterward.
An enterprise administrator expert has a working knowledge of various Microsoft 365 workloads, including Exchange, SharePoint, Skype for Business, or Windows as a Service. Each of the prerequisite accreditations focuses on a foundational element of the Microsoft 365 world, so select the one that is most applicable to your current or desired position.
It's important to remember that this particular training is designed to review and refresh your knowledge rather than teach it from scratch.
How long does it take to complete the training: 5 hours. The CBT Nuggets training for this test is five hours long and can easily be completed in a week. While this provides a refresher, the cert itself is an expert-level accreditation and depends on a relatively extensive background in Microsoft 365.
How long does it take to complete practice exams: After you've finished the five-hour review, take your first practice test, and then review to find out where you need to focus subsequent study. Dedicate a day to each domain that needs polishing. When you've knocked those out, take your second practice exam. Continue this cycle until the questions you're missing are one-offs and not indicative of a lack of knowledge for an entire domain.
How long does it take to master the terminology and platform basics: Becoming an expert in this area typically requires 12-18 months of experience beforehand, which you'll leverage heavily during exam preparation.
How long do people study for the exam: MS-100 is one of the newest Microsoft examinations, having been in beta in 2019. Candidates with the targeted experience levels typically need two to three weeks of refresher review to be fully prepared to take the exam, but this can vary significantly based on 365 admin experience.
How to know you're ready to take the exam: Once you've passed two practice exams without finding substantial areas that need additional preparation, consider yourself prepared to tackle the official test itself.
This certification is the peak of accreditation in the Microsoft 365 administrator world. Because the prerequisite Associate-level certs are relatively easy to earn, this one should be considered a priority to set you apart from your peers as you advance in this arena.
Additional Skills You Should Consider Mastering
Although certifications are both useful and valuable in the IT world, they're not the only way to advance your career. Adding various skills to your repertoire can accelerate your advancement and set you apart from your peers. We've identified five knowledge areas that can provide a boost to your career.
While most systems today heavily leverage graphical user interfaces (GUI), some command line interfaces (CLI) are used by systems administrators in certain areas to configure networks, install software, and access features that aren't available through the GUI itself. Linux has been used for more platforms than any other operating system and forms the foundation for two broad arenas: the Android smartphone OS and as the leading operating system on servers, mainframes, and supercomputers. If your career is going to involve any of these areas, mastering Linux CLI is certainly advantageous.
As you can imagine, the list of CLI commands is rather extensive, with more than 650 specific commands forming the knowledge core. You don't have to master all of them at once. Instead, make this an ongoing pursuit. We recommend saving the commands in a text file and referencing them whenever you have the opportunity to use one.
Another approach is to open the list every day and focus on learning one new command and look for a chance to apply it. Even at the rate of command one per day, this approach guarantees at least two full years of continuing education, with each step leading to more mastery.
Although systems administrators can eschew learning programming languages as a critical skill set, Python is a notable exception. You've likely encountered a situation where a shell script approached its maximum possible complexity, requiring more flexible tools to automate repetitive and manual tasks. One of the most applicable features of Python is its use of dictionaries, a data type that allows you to write unit tests.
Python is cross-platform, uniquely fitted to simplify complex tasks, and is available to install on any modern Linux distribution or UNIX OS, making it both flexible and widely available. Mastering the language is relatively straightforward, with numerous online tools (including free options) around that can shorten your learning curve considerably. If you're starting from scratch, begin with Python 3.6. Python 2.x has generally reached the end of its life, and while the two are similar, there are subtle syntax changes that can trip you up over time. So, it's best to start with a blank slate.
The Bash (short for Bourne Again Shell) command language is a replacement for the Bourne Shell and a valuable addition to any sysadmin's toolbox. One of the more common scenarios system administrators encounter is having to mate processes or existing tools that aren't specifically designed to match. While you can often install a compiler or interpreter, this isn't always the case. This means you need some kind of "glue" to hold them together and Bash is often a perfect solution.
The Bash shell is typically available on Linux distributions and most UNIX OS. It's also been included in Windows Subsystem for Linux, meaning it's going to be around for quite a while. Learning this valuable tool can not only increase your effectiveness at being able to match dissimilar processes, but it can also drastically increase your efficiency by providing a tool that's always at your fingertips.
Docker is a powerful tool that allows systems administrators to build, manage, and run applications in virtual containers. While this is specifically targeted for Linux servers, other organizations such as Red Hat, Microsoft, and Rackspace leverage Docker to provide interoperability with their systems. The nature of using an isolated container permits centrally managed applications that are both fast-performing and securely distributed. Because it's open-source, Docker is incredibly versatile.
One of the most common applications of Docker is as a replacement for complex applications packaging. With this platform, you can build a Linux container that's managed by Docker and combine various apps within it, resolving conflicts and significantly improving speed. It's also easy to use, even for sysadmins who don't code. If you can start and stop a Unix or Windows service from the command line, then you have enough of a foundation to begin working with Docker.
Microsoft Flow / Power Automate
Previously called Microsoft Flow, Power Automate is a cloud-based software that's used to create and automate tasks and workflows across a variety of services and applications — without having to be reworked by developers. As an automation tool, it can streamline anything from content management and simple push notifications to incredibly complex processes that involve numerous stages. You can also leverage it to automatically copy files and post them to shared locations, as well as systematically collecting information to collect in a SQL database.
One of the most powerful things you can do as a systems administrator is to automate your job away. Arguably the most efficient use of your time can be found by creating flows to govern any recurring tasks, and Power Automate is a simple yet powerful tool to allow you to do this. You can even use this platform to manage itself.
Bottom Line: Use Your Time Wisely
No one knows what will happen with covid-19 or how long social isolation is going to be encouraged. But minimum estimates at this point seem to be in the four- to six-week range. There's no better time to invest in your career, using the time away from work to increase your retainability, employability, and marketability.