Career / Career Progression

Introducing CBT Nuggets Learning Paths

by Team Nuggets
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Published on May 23, 2016

We want to be there for you at all stages of your career, providing the highest-quality IT training possible while helping you navigate this rapidly changing industry. This week, we're introducing four CBT Nuggets Learning Paths for professionals who want to conquer cloud computing, server technologies, security, and virtualization.

CBT Nuggets curriculum experts designed the four Learning Paths as career curricula, so you'll know the next step regardless of stage or industry. Whether you're at your first IT job or a seasoned professional, Learning Paths can direct your career trajectory with the certifications and education you need to get there.

In this choose-your-own-adventure type career map, you should choose your Learning Path (based on your industry) and then your Learning Plan (based on your specialized goals).

Let's get started.

Step 1: Choose Your Learning Path

Where do you see yourself in five years? What about 10 years? The next time an interviewer asks you those questions, you'll have an answer ready with the new Learning Paths. You can tell them you're working toward an industry Learning Path with CBT Nuggets. They'll be impressed.

Each Learning Path outlines the most direct route to skills mastery by identifying the most relevant videos from our course library.

Learning Paths are built around the following areas of IT expertise:

Cloud Computing: The demand for IT pros who can understand and use cloud-based technologies and services is soaring. Learn cloud computing with this path, which includes our most essential courses. Learn the skills needed to help organizations migrate to the cloud, deploy various solutions using the cloud, and more.

Server Technologies: Learn to administer and manage servers. With this path, learn the ins and outs of several popular server technologies while getting familiar with the server essentials such as automation and monitoring tools every server administrator needs under their belt! 

Depth Security for Corporate Information: Keeping networks, servers, and data safe from threats is paramount for companies of any size. Develop into the IT security pro that organizations need to prevent, detect, and respond to threats or breaches. Learn the fundamentals of network security and how to use penetration tools, and think like a hacker on this path. Are you ready to work toward a career in cyber security? 

Virtualization Skills: If you want to leverage technologies such as the cloud or containers, conquering virtualization is a must! Use this path to learn about the features and concepts required to become a knowledgeable virtualization professional, including deploying in a virtual environment, using hypervisors, and much more. Use virtualization to not only make your job easier but also to save organizations time and money. 

Now that you know where you want to specialize, it's time to dive into your skills-based Learning Plan.

Step 2: Choose the Right Learning Plan

Learning Paths show you where you'll end up. Learning Plans also show you how to get there based on your current skill level and place in the IT field.

It would help if you looked at the Learning Plan like a training syllabus for your career. You don't go straight into Calculus without Algebra and Trigonometry. Similarly, you'll need to get the fundamental skills down before advancing to a position that requires greater technical responsibility. Your Learning Plan starts basic and then builds up the requisite skills.

For this reason, every Learning Plan begins at the Introductory level, and then progresses to Fundamental, Associate, and finally Expert.

Explore your interests: Because the Learning Paths are self-driven, you can follow the Plan step-by-step or skip around as much as you want. In the early stages, it's good to explore the different plans to gauge what you know or don't know and what you like or don't like to do.

Introductory Level. This level is an "exploratory" course recommended for everyone (see side note above). There are no prerequisites for the introductory level because it's intended to serve as a launch pad into a successful career in IT.

All rivalry between CompTIA's A+ and Net+ aside, we recommend that someone at this level watch both courses even if they don't take the exams. The rest of the course material at this level explores the potential paths you can follow, including system administration, network administration, DevOps, programming, and more. Download this Learning Plan.

Fundamental Level. At this point, you've selected a path and want to dive deeper into the skills that will make you successful at your job. Whether you've gone down the cloud, security, server, or virtualization paths, you'll get a high-level overview at this level.

Understanding the End User. The end user of technology is our customer. That customer is often (if not always) why IT pros exist. Understanding end-user technology needs enables you to move from a reactionary position to a proactive one. Download this Learning Plan.

Working with Developers & DevOps. IT professionals must understand how developers work, how their code works together, and how best to support the needs of the business. Download this Learning Plan

Understanding System Administration. A good grasp of system administration is the first step to taking IT systems to more advanced environments such as virtualization and the cloud.

Virtualization Concepts. Delve into the cutting edge of virtualization with containers, the virtualization of application workloads, and how the cloud can help scale virtualization beyond the enterprise data center. Download this Learning Plan

Cloud Computing Fundamentals. Learn about the differences between on-premises and cloud-hosted applications and systems. Dig into the concepts of IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS to see how they can revolutionize your approach to IT. Download this Learning Plan

Information Security Fundamentals. Develop a solid understanding of security issues, and learn to develop effective plans to protect your data and assess both physical and virtual threats. Download this Learning Plan

Associate Level. At this level, you're already familiar with your career trajectory. You're dedicated to a single field, and you want to get to a place where you can make a difference in your organization. You're ready to conquer the technology.

Information Security Concepts & Practices. Master the practical steps you can take to meet security threats to your corporate data head-on. Download this Learning Plan

Server Administration & Tools. Develop the skills to use proactive monitoring and script-driven management. Use your new knowledge and expertise to turn your IT department into a well-oiled machine for each server platform. Download this Learning Plan

Virtualization Platforms & Implementation. Develop an understanding of the tools and techniques necessary to get the most out of virtualization in your environment. Download this Learning Plan

Cloud Concepts & Platforms. Master the core skills necessary for running IT systems on the cloud, including implications for security, scale, bandwidth, reliability, and performance. And conquer the challenges of migrating to the cloud. Download this Learning Plan

Expert Level. It's taken many years of hard work, education, and dedication and you've almost made it to the big leagues. Once you complete this training level, you will be at the top of the food chain. You've already mastered the fundamentals. You've put out your fair share of fires (hopefully, not literally). You'll be able to build any network or database from the ground up, manage any project, and map out the technical direction of your organization.

Advanced Cloud Computing. Master the skills and knowledge to leverage the most commonly used platforms, including hybrid solutions and deployments that bridge on-premises and cloud platforms. Download this Learning Plan [pdf]

Advanced Server Technologies. Administering server technologies effectively can result in advanced monitoring, automation, proactive management, and complex troubleshooting. Learn to leverage advanced server technologies to improve service and meet ever-evolving organizational needs. Download this Learning Plan [pdf]

Depth Security for Corporate Information. Increasingly, IT professionals are expected to protect the organization from constantly evolving attacks. Advanced IT professionals must develop the skills and knowledge to conduct sound security engineering, ethical hacking, and penetration testing. Download this Learning Plan [pdf]

Advanced Virtualization Skills. Virtualization is made up of a multitude of options and tools. Master the skills and knowledge necessary to create and design complex virtual environments, automation for virtualization, hybrid environments, advanced approaches to managing a virtual stack, and more. Download this Learning Plan [pdf]

Step 4: Start (or Continue) Training!

Like a course curriculum, you should look at where you want to be and work backward. This will help you find the most effective path to your goals. By going to the end and working back, you can see what prerequisite you must fulfill to meet all your career goals.

Now that you've identified where you want to end and how to start, it's time to start your training with CBT Nuggets Learning Paths!

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