Jack Kyzer | Cyber Student Testimonial
We catch up with Learning People student Jack Kyzer who changed his career by studying and passing the CompTIA A+ Core, Network+, Security+, and PenTest+ …
I applied with Learning People because after 5 years of teaching, I realised it wasn’t my calling and I had other passions in life I wanted to pursue. After some careers advice and weighing up what I wanted out of my life long term, I settled on Cyber Security. I’ve always been tech savvy and fascinated by networks and computers. A career in cyber would allow me to travel, work remotely, easily pivot to other careers within IT like development or cloud architecture. Plus, I liked the idea of working for government agencies and feeling proud of my work.
Were there any specific skills you were looking to gain or develop by enrolling with Learning People?
To be honest, not particularly. I obviously had some idea what to expect from Cyber Security but I went in with a very open mind and not a great deal of knowledge. I’m a firm believer that you don’t always develop a passion for something without trying it first. As soon as I started down the path, I just wanted to lean more and more. That’s where I’m at now!
Was there a particular reason you chose to enrol with Learning People, and did you speak to any other educators or training providers?
There were two online learning vendors that I weighed up. I started off with a call with Ed Rayner at Learning People and found him extremely personable and patient. Plus, there was no hard sell or promises of a career at the end of it. He told me straight that I would need to work hard and that they could merely provide all the tools necessary to succeed.
I really liked the straight forward approach and when I contacted the other e-learning platform, they were really pushy and it made me positively contrast that with the phone call I had with the learning people. Plus, I think that a lot of other vendors focus a lot on preparing you for a job. Whilst I understand why they go down that avenue, I have no issues with preparing a CV and getting interviews on my own. Learning People does have a careers department (thanks to Robyn for all her help) but I always felt that the course content and certifications were the primary focus which was what I preferred.
Tell us what the career consultation phone call was like for you
It was great. I had a number of calls with Robyn and appreciated her no nonsense approach. She gave me key insights into what to put into my CV and how to construct a good LinkedIn profile. These have been invaluable to me due to how many people I’ve connected with within the cyber world. It’s such a positive and welcoming community.
Were you able to gain support from our StudentCare™ team when you needed it?
This was hands down the best part of studying with Learning People. The support system really is second to none. They are so nice and friendly and regularly check up on you to see how you’re getting on and set goals with you. I rarely waited on the phone more than five minutes and whoever I spoke to was not only really helpful but they sent the follow up email quickly as well with all the info I’d requested. They let me extend my tenure as a student by two months at no extra cost and they always empathised with me. They would also reply to emails really fast as well, within the day and often within hours. Really can’t speak highly of it enough.
Did you utilise any of the course mentoring – if so, how did it help you?
I asked mentors for help two or three times and they gave me detailed answers on each occasion which did help me.
How did you get on with the practice exams and test preparation?
The practice exams were good. Lots of variety and depth of questions and I like the way that you have to pass the practice exam before booking the actual exam because it means that you can put that needed pressure on yourself to ensure you’re as well prepped as possible going into the exam.
Did you attend any of our Live Online Classrooms for your courses?
Yes! This was another big check the box for Learning People. Being able to ask questions live and in the moment is invaluable to your progress. I had so many questions and so will you first start out. It’s not easy understanding concepts which are largely theoretical if you have no hands on experience. The live sessions allowed me to fill in those gaps really effectively. My only suggestion for improvement would be to run them more frequently.
Tell us about your experience of working with our Career Services team, and what did you find most useful?
Robyn was helpful as I alluded to before but I didn’t use them as much as I could have. I was in a Cyber role within 12 months of studying with Learning People so I can’t comment too much on it.
How did enrolling with Learning People affect your career?
Most interviewers I’ve spoken to within the industry have heard of Learning People and speak highly of them. Their good reputation enhances the chance of landing a job in my opinion.
Tell us about your new job
I’m a SOC Analyst working for a medium sized MSSP in Hampshire. I happened to get a job in the same town as the one I grew up in which is a crazy coincidence so it’s been nice getting back down South to reconnect with some old mates. I’m learning all the time in my new job and constant exposure to cyber security concepts mean you’re always consolidating your knowledge and ready to take a related exam with less prep time than you would need if you weren’t working in the industry. I always write stuff down in my diary to research again at a later date.
I work with SIEM’s, vulnerability scanners, triage incident response and log analysis and work with clients on how to improve their security posture and conclude whether or not a certain alert is a threat to their environment.
What has been the best part of your Learning People experience?
The people, the support, and the value in the exam package. With the unlimited retakes, mentoring sessions, amazing support they provide – it’s a really cost effective option compared to others on the market.
How has your life changed from enrolling to right now?
Allowed me to realise my goal of working in Cyber and changing industry. It’s a big step and scary investing that much time and money into something and there were times when finance was a big issue for me. But it’s a bigger risk to stay stagnant in an industry or role you’re not enjoying.
What advice would you give to somebody who is thinking about enrolling with Learning People?
Decide whether or not Cyber really is something you want to do or not. If it is, I would strongly Learning People. Get into the habit of studying every day, especially in the morning and before bed. Consistency is absolutely crucial. Look into cyber attacks, create a reliable LinkedIn network and reach out to others studying as well. Create a portfolio of your work, show off your certifications. With enough guile, you will land a job in cyber security with no issues. Yes, the exams are hard. But you’re never alone.