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  • RAC IT Network Management: An Exciting Opportunity at Champlain College Saint-Lambert

    by Matt Refghi  |  August 24, 2016

    Today, we’re excited to announce the general availability of our new DEC in Information Technology Network Management (ITNM), obtainable through RAC services. Developed to address an increased demand for IT networking skills in the Quebec workforce, ITNM is also the second DEC offered through RAC at Champlain. It joins three other IT-related services: IT Client Support, Cisco CCNA, and Cisco CCNP (currently in development) – all of which award AECs. RAC for ITNM is for individuals (also known as “candidates”) who have a significant amount of work or life experience in the field of networking, and wish to have their skills officially recognized by a Quebec college. It doesn’t matter where or how they acquired the experience – as long as their skills can be demonstrated, they are perfectly valid for RAC; provided, of course, that they have enough experience to be eligible for the RAC process. Eligibility is established early in the process. As a first step, a candidate will provide their educational and employment documents for analysis, then they’ll meet an advisor, and if they seem like a good fit for ITNM, they’ll be invited to a validation interview. In this interview, each candidate will meet with an experienced professional from the industry and will be asked questions that challenge their expertise. Ultimately, this interview will establish what the candidate is ready to be evaluated for, what they need to review, or are missing altogether. Training sessions and evaluations are all scheduled based on the results of the validation interview – they attend only what they need to attend. Training sessions are rigorous, condensed labs hosted by experienced professionals from the industry. This is where candidates fill the gaps in their knowledge. Then there’s evaluations, which is where candidates demonstrate their existing skill set. These evaluations are very hands-on and scenario based, making them very similar to what candidates might encounter in the field. Champlain has modern networking labs which have real routers, switches, and patch panels to work with. Cisco Packet Tracer is also used, which allows them to practice from home, while also facilitating their ability to simulate larger-scale scenarios. Windows and Linux servers are used, in addition to virtualization, which further reflects the existing diversity in IT companies today. ITNM covers a number of topics:
    • network management and maintenance
    • operating systems deployment
    • network architecture and planning
    • network implementation
    • network and service installation.
    • network programming
    • project management
    Obtaining a DEC in IT Network Management can help candidates advance their careers. Most often, they use RAC to either improve their employment prospects, get promoted, or shift into a related field. Having an official, ministry-recognized diploma from a Quebec college can be highly beneficial in this regard. It’s less probable that a potential employer will doubt a person’s competencies when they’ve been recently validated by a local college, essentially proving that their skills are immediately applicable to the Quebec workforce. But what is the specific dollar value of such a DEC? While there are too many variables to accurately forecast the exact financial impact of possessing such a diploma, a study from Emploi Quebec does provide some valuable insight. Based on a salary study spanning 2013 through 2015, the average wage of an ITNM technician was found to be around $57,000 per year. According to our candidate profiles, with a diploma in hand, an ITNM technician earned roughly $80,000 per year, while managers made over $100,000 a year. Needless to say, these findings do seem to suggest that a DEC in IT network management could very well lead graduates to successful career prospects. We’ve even seen cases where our candidates got promotions while progressing through RAC ITNM. Along with the DEC, candidates will also have an opportunity to receive certain certifications at a discounted price. These include TestOut Security Pro, ITIL Foundation, and Cisco Networking Devices Part 1, also known as ICND1 (which is Part 1 of the CCNA Routing & Switching exam that leads to certification). As a whole, RAC ITNM costs $575 for all core competencies (plus additional costs for the general education competencies of the DEC, which are evaluated separately). This is significantly lower than other options, such as private institutions, some of which are priced closer to $3000 for 4 days of training. Another attractive aspect is how long the RAC process takes, compared to other options. Where local universities tend to be research-centric, and lengthy, RAC instead puts a lot of focus on recognizing what a person already knows, and filling in the gaps that remain. As such, the ITNM DEC can be acquired in 7 months to 1 year, depending on the experience the candidate has when coming into the program, and their availability (ITNM’s training session and evaluations are scheduled over weekends to allow candidates that are working full time to participate). Candidates also have flexibility when it comes to evaluations – they can prepare using the website’s online resources, and schedule evaluations whenever they feel ready. The RAC ITNM program is now open to all enthusiastic individuals with experience in network management. Becoming a RAC candidate can quickly reap new opportunities! Is RAC for you? Find out today!

    Filed under: Cisco (CCNA), Cisco (CCNP), Information Technology Client Support, IT Network Management, IT Support