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I’m becoming a medical assistant. Should I join the AAMA?

by on October 13th, 2015 in News

For medical assistants, joining the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA) is one of the first things you should consider.

Throughout many professions, there are professional organizations of these types, and for many people it is an internal struggle as to whether to join them or not. Some people consider their profession a job, and aren’t interested in committing a great deal of their time and money into programs that will help them in their current field, particularly when they aren’t as committed to this job as to others.

Others, of course, feel drawn in to their occupation, and want to learn as much about it as possible, gain expertise and certifications, and improve their standing in their field. It is for those people in the field of medical assisting that a professional organization like the AAMA is the most beneficial.

If you choose to enter the medical assisting field with an eye on the present, building a few job skills before moving on in potentially another field altogether, you may or may not find much benefit in the AAMA. It is true that membership in that group is an investment; in order to maximize its usefulness, you will most likely be putting some money into the group.

Of course, if you have a dedicated office, you might ask your employer if they would be willing to fund your AAMA membership. It does provide benefit to the office, after all; AAMA members have access to a variety of benefits that help give you new insights and expertise.

Access to perks like continuing education (offered usually at a discount), as well as conferences and conventions, along with having access to colleagues with whom to network (the advantages to talking shop with others who work in the same industry around the country can be particularly valuable and should not be underestimated).

But none of this will matter all that much if you aren’t committed to the job. For many people, medical assisting isn’t their final stop, or even necessarily a stop they are planning to stay at for years to come, so they don’t feel the need to commit to this professional organization. Is this the right approach?

Maybe, maybe not. Even if you plan to transition into another career entirely, you may find some benefit in joining the AAMA. If you’re in your 20s or early 30s and are just starting out in the professional world, it can be a good experience to witness the commitment of others to their profession, even if you aren’t necessarily joining in on that commitment.

Plus, you may develop some additional job skills that you might find useful in the future. Communications skills, logic and reasoning, and the ability to look deeper into your work than the immediate task in front of you are all skills that will be useful in virtually any job you have in the future, in healthcare or elsewhere.

The point? If you can afford to join, the AAMA can provide benefits to your career. It may or may not be a completely useful tool for you as a professional, but whether you’re a medical assisting lifer or just looking for the next job, chances are good you will learn something.

DISCLAIMER: All information presented in this article is for informational purposes only. Specific class schedules (day/evening/weekend/online), or program names may not currently be offered at Ayers Career College. For current training programs available, please visit ayers.edu/programs or speak to an Admissions Officer by calling us at 1-800-317-0131

Want to find new IT employment? Stay current

by on October 7th, 2015 in News

Yes, it still seems like everyone wants to find a job in IT. That includes you, right? You’re ready to go, building your skills, interning, studying…but are you ready for the job? How up are you on the latest IT trends, processes, and tech involved in the industry?

It seems that for hot young IT talent, hiring managers are (surprise, surprise) looking for solid talent and people who have the ability to perform in today’s bustling IT environment. But they’re also looking for IT pros who aren’t letting their skills get stale and relying on their current position.

Diana Smith, Branch Manager for Robert Half Technology Group, says staying fresh and doing more than keeping your well-worn skills sharp, but staying up to date on the latest in evolving technologies will keep you imminently employable—and promotable.

“Technology professionals who keep their skills up to date are always in demand,” she said. “Employers want entry level talent who are current with the latest and continually evolving software, tools and trends. New employees who can hit the ground running with minimal training are highly appealing at any level to employers.”

To be certain, it’s easy to pay lip service to “staying current.” But how do you actually do it, particularly when you’re either trying to get a job, or keep the one you have? As with many job skills, it’s all about investment—and that doesn’t necessarily mean money (though it can).

So can you stay on the cutting edge of today’s tech without breaking the bank on the latest devices and software? Absolutely. Half the battle is simply knowing what is out there, and what is coming. When Windows drops a new version of its OS, you need to know what is different from the previous version, and how from an IT perspective that interface will change how you and your colleagues will likely one day perform installations and troubleshooting.

Another way is simply to read. Blogs, magazines, even the news can offer insights on the latest in technology and how it continues to evolve, and you will be expected to be up to date on them. Keep up on the latest gadgets, the newest versions of the most popular devices, and even those devices, software programs, and hacks that your average, everyday user may be months behind the times on.

Your co-workers will be expecting you to be on the cutting edge, offering them advice on not only how to avoid the problems they seem to perpetually run into, but also to be in the know on what devices will be the next big thing.

Nothing on Earth changes faster than technology, and part of your job as an IT pro is having a professional level knowledge of how the industry runs and where it is going over the next six months to year. Not only mastering today’s tech, but having the inside scoop on tomorrow’s will keep your career feeling fresh.

DISCLAIMER: All information presented in this article is for informational purposes only. Specific class schedules (day/evening/weekend/online), or program names may not currently be offered at Ayers Career College. For current training programs available, please visit ayers.edu/programs or speak to an Admissions Officer by calling us at 1-800-317-0131

Four Reasons you should consider medical training programs

by on October 2nd, 2015 in News

Four Reasons you should consider medical training programsYou are, like many people your age, looking for a new start. You want a career, but you aren’t sure where to go. It’s a common problem, really, and one that leaves many people perplexed. Some people assume they should follow a certain path; for men, it tends to be industrial arts—HVAC, electrician, or construction worker. Women often look at administrative office work or nursing. For some reason, medical training programs don’t seem to cross their minds.

Of course, these are all noble professions that can provide a solid living to those who enter them. But are they the jobs you’re looking for? You want a job that will provide not only the money that can sustain you financially, but you want a career that will feed your soul.

Healthcare is a tremendous work environment to enter into for people looking for a new career, and it’s not just because doctors and nurses can make a lot of money. Healthcare is a unique environment that is full of promise and opportunity for you.

Of course, finding that good fit is paramount. Here are a few reasons why you might want to consider a career in healthcare:

You enjoy helping people. Of course, this reason is first and foremost. If you are someone who doesn’t enjoy helping people, healthcare may not be for you. Of course, “helping people” is a vague term, and it can mean many different things depending on your career path. If you get into medical assisting, you will be working directly with patients in many cases, tending to the sick and injured, helping perform wellness visits, and a variety of other patient services.

The healthcare industry needs you. We’re in the midst of a healthcare boom, which means there is a need for qualified medical professionals in a variety of positions. With a large demand to keep up with, those getting into healthcare can have a more lucrative opportunity facing them than they may have anticipated. Not to mention job security for those who really know their job well and can perform it at a high level.

You can build new skills. Becoming a Medical Office Support Professional or Health Information Management professional is something can build considerable job skills. They interact with the public directly, work in a professional setting with doctors and nurses, and perform a variety of healthcare-related tasks. Medical assistants perform a mix of clinical and administrative tasks. All of these skills can help you in any number of industries if you ever decide the medical field isn’t for you.

You can find a career you love. Many people entering healthcare say it’s the profession they have dreamed of entering. If you are that person, if you aren’t already trending in that direction, there is no better time than now to get into the field. Finding professional fulfillment is something a lot of people never experience. If you can find it in the medical industry, you should consider yourself lucky!

DISCLAIMER: All information presented in this article is for informational purposes only. Specific class schedules (day/evening/weekend/online), or program names may not currently be offered at Ayers Career College. For current training programs available, please visit ayers.edu/programs or speak to an Admissions Officer by calling us at 1-800-317-0131

Electronics Technicians: More Than Cable Installers

by on September 29th, 2015 in News

Electronics technician is one of those professions that people often misunderstand. Go ahead, try to explain it sometime. You’ll invariably get a confused look, followed by a shrug of the shoulders. Later, those people will, at least in their minds, likely equate it to installing cable TV equipment.

Electronics Techincians: more than just cable installersIf you’re a student looking to this field for employment, maybe you have the same first impressions as those people. Electronics technician is a complex job, to be sure, even if it is “just” a cable or satellite installer. However, it can be a much more involved and intricate job than that.

Electrical and electronics installers perform a variety of duties, and yes to be sure many people with these types of skills work as installers for major service providers like cable and satellite, telephone, Internet, and similar professions. Their primary job duties often include the following, as defined by the Bureau of Labor Statistics:

  • Prepare cost estimates for clients
  • Refer to service guides, schematics, and manufacturer specifications
  • Repair or replace defective parts, such as motors, fuses, or gaskets
  • Reassemble and test equipment after repairs
  • Maintain records of parts used, labor time, and final charges

 

Sounds simple enough, right? The kicker is that there are a variety of other employers and enterprises that are in need of workers with those types of skills. They are may hire people to perform tasks such as

Electrical and electronics installers and repairers of transportation equipment: Workers perform maintenance, adjustments, and installation on mobile communications equipment in areas such as sound, sonar, security, surveillance systems, and navigation on trains, boats and other watercraft, and similar vehicles.

Powerhouse, substation, and relay electrical and electronics repairers: In occupations like powerhouse electrician, relay technician or power transformer repair, employees perform inspections and tests, and perform maintenance and repairs to electrical equipment in locales such as power stations, relay stations, substations, and in-service relays.

Commercial and industrial equipment electrical and electronics repairers: Industrial transmitters, antennas, and industrial controls receive adjustments, installation, and other services in jobs such as these.

Electric motor, power tool, and related repairers: Conduct installation, and maintenance on wiring, switches, and motors in a variety of devices.

Electronic equipment installers and repairers of motor vehicles: This may include working on digital audio and video players, navigation systems, and passive and active security systems.

Ultimately, this profession has options for people who have a talent for wiring, electronics installation and repair, and those processes related to those skills. To be certain, you may get your start working for the phone company or your local television programming provider (and you may find career success in that area as well), but it is of course important for you to understand you have more options than those types of jobs.

DISCLAIMER: All information presented in this article is for informational purposes only. Specific class schedules (day/evening/weekend/online), or program names may not currently be offered at Ayers Career College. For current training programs available, please visit ayers.edu/programs or speak to an Admissions Officer by calling us at 1-800-317-0131

Flexibility: IT’s Career Secret That Isn’t

by on September 25th, 2015 in News

It’s no secret that the life of an information technology professional can be somewhat nomadic. Jobs come and go, helpdesk technicians tire of their company’s lax attitude toward their technology, and people find frequent promotions as they continue to build experience.

Part of the reason for this is that many companies still haven’t fully grasped the importance of IT as a part of their company, and feel like they can meet their needs on the cheap both of hardware and manpower.

It could also be argued that many IT pros are impatient and unwilling to wait out their company’s realization that IT is a vital part of the company. To be certain, those in IT are passionate about their jobs and encounter a great deal of resistance when it comes to adopting the latest technology and improvements. They quickly hear of other, seemingly better opportunities elsewhere, and they leap into the arms of the next stranger they see.

Whether this is a bad thing for the employee or the company is up for debate, but one thing that isn’t in doubt is that one of the best traits for someone working in the technology sector to possess is flexibility. This is true in all aspects of the job: as a professional, you must be able to adapt to the frequent changes in the industry.

And there are plenty. Consider how different IT was just a decade ago. In 2005, most businesses operated with desktop PCs, with some beginning to adopt laptops as a primary focus. In today’s workplace, most everyone is armed with at least a laptop, if not working largely from their mobile devices including tablets and smartphones.

Hardwired internet connections still exist, but WiFi rules, and you’d be hard-pressed to find a major employer who does not have a wireless Internet connection. And let that connection go down for a day and see the employees revolt. Enduring changes and innovations that reinvent the industry every half-decade or so is a must in this industry.

As an employee you must be ready to endure frustrations and resistance from your bosses when it comes to adopting new technology. Don’t take it personally; unless you’re working for a high-powered tech firm or a business that relies on cutting-edge technology, chances are the latest gadgets and toys are not going to find their way into your clutches, and you will have to get by with rigging some less-than-optimal equipment from time to time.

So is job-hopping a bad thing in this industry? If you are measured enough in your changes, not necessarily. For the most part, the guidelines say to stay at a job a minimum of a year or so if you don’t want to have the reputation of being a job-hopper. Staying for multiple years is preferred, so try to stick around.

At the same time, don’t be afraid of finding the next opportunity. If you can build new experiences and develop new skills at another job, and feel as if you aren’t going to learn any more where you are, you can move along.

Flexibility. It is the key to success in almost all careers, be it IT or law or

DISCLAIMER: All information presented in this article is for informational purposes only. Specific class schedules (day/evening/weekend/online), or program names may not currently be offered at Ayers Career College. For current training programs available, please visit ayers.edu/programs or speak to an Admissions Officer by calling us at 1-800-317-0131

Finding time for Information Technology School

by on September 21st, 2015 in News

We all know the well-worn story about the professional who, after 5 or 10 years in their job, come to the realization that this job just isn’t for them any more. Careers in information technology are where they want to look, but they have little training in IT.

And the excuse for dismissing that feeling is invariably “I just don’t have the time to go to school.” The fear of “not enough time” is something that gives many professionals the excuse to continue on their present dead-end road to nowhere, and not take the leap into the career they so desperately wish they could have.

Well, here’s the kicker: you DO have time for school, and no, it doesn’t matter if you have a job, or kids, or a home. If you want to make your career in information technology go, there are ways of making it happen. The hard fact is that for most people “I don’t have time” means “I don’t want to give up any free time.” This is a shame, because a little bit of sacrifice early can lead to a boatload of success and happiness later. Organization is key.

For example, you can study for many careers at your own pace, taking continuing education courses over time and studying at your pace. Schools ranging from major universities to tiny career colleges often let their students take courses in small chunks rather than full boats, and while you may not be able to navigate a full-time job with 5 courses and a discussion section, you probably can take on one or two classes that each meet one night a week.

A bonus for information technology: many firms are hiring entry-level IT pros who don’t have a degree. IT technicians who have a degree command a larger salary, and many smaller companies don’t want to commit that much budget to their IT departments. As a result, they will hire one or two seasoned professionals with degrees and experience, and a staff of more inexperienced problem solvers who have intermediate-level technical skills.

As a burgeoning IT student, that is a great opportunity for you to get your foot in the door and gain some real-world experience while you’re in school. For some companies, being a student is a plus, since you are in the degree program, but they don’t have to pay you for the degree.

Also, online coursework eliminates travel time as a concern for you. If you’re a student living 20 minutes from campus, you need to add about an hour of time for the round trip from home to school and back. Online courses operate from your computer or mobile device at home or wherever you are, meaning you can study when you have free time.

Oh yes, and about that free time: full-time employees can even find study time by studying on lunch breaks, or rearranging days off to give them time for school projects, papers, and presentations.

Have kids? Study for an hour after they go to bed. Carve out some time on the weekend, or take your books, laptop, or tablet at ball games, at the park, or other functions. You social life will take something of a hit, but you’ll work in time for learning.

You have plenty of options when you’re looking for a career in IT. Jobs are out there, and companies want people like you. The key is whether you want it enough to take the plunge.

DISCLAIMER: All information presented in this article is for informational purposes only. Specific class schedules (day/evening/weekend/online), or program names may not currently be offered at Ayers Career College. For current training programs available, please visit ayers.edu/programs or speak to an Admissions Officer by calling us at 1-800-317-0131

Do you know all of the Pharmacy Technician regulations?

by on September 16th, 2015 in News

Do you know all of the Pharmacy Technician regulations?Did you know that states define and regulate pharmacy technicians differenty? Depending on which state you live in, you may be considered a pharmacy technician either with or without a license, which makes for a wide variety of possibilities across states.

This is changing, however, as increased consistency creeps into state legislatures regarding employees of this type, although many differences still exist. The National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP) in a 2009 survey noted that 33 states now have technician training requirements, although this means in some cases that state boards of pharmacy can approve virtually any training program it desires.

Recognizing the issue, the NABP also assembled a Task Force on Pharmacy Technician Education and Training Programs in 2008, which established a list of recommendations for states. Among these recommendations were:

  • Clarify the terms licensureregistration, and certification,
  • License or register pharmacy technicians,
  • Accept PTCB certification,
  • Report pharmacy technician disciplinary information to a central clearing-house,
  • Require pharmacy technician education that meets standardized guidelines, and
  • By 2015, require pharmacy technicians to have completed an accredited education and training program as a condition of certification.
  • The NABP assist in the development of national accreditation standards and a system by which pharmacy technician education and training programs by 2015.

The NABP understands that education is key to maintaining competency and developing the professional-level skills that pharmacy techs need to become solid members of the pharmacy team. However, although the NABP recommended every state have standards by 2015, currently only one-third of jurisdictions have continuing education requirements.

While some of these recommendations have been met in some states, others still have not adopted all of the standards.

With the responsibilities of pharmacy technicians continuing to increase, and the security of pharmacies continuing to be an issue with respect to factors like drug abuse, more and more states are recognizing the importance of having licensed and/or registered pharmacy technicians working in its pharmacies.

Though many businesses that feature pharmacies can require their employees to have a license, but states continue to slowly recognize the importance and benefits of regulations and requirements.

It is important as a pharmacy technician that you maintain a commitment to your profession and your craft regardless of the requirements of the state. If you are a true professional, your commitment will shine through and you will gain the expertise and experience you need to make your career a success.

But look into how your state regulates pharmacy technicians, although it is advisable to pursue certification whether it is a state requirement or not. In the eyes of employers and the general public, you will be legitimized and hold an employment advantage over those who are not. Also, you will have the peace of mind to know you have done your best to truly absorb and understand the business of dispensing medications and doing your job as completely as possible.

DISCLAIMER: All information presented in this article is for informational purposes only. Specific class schedules (day/evening/weekend/online), or program names may not currently be offered at Ayers Career College. For current training programs available, please visit ayers.edu/programs or speak to an Admissions Officer by calling us at 1-800-317-0131

Computing skills a must for today’s professionals

by on September 14th, 2015 in News

Most millennials have the innate ability to work on a computer. They are what technology experts call “digital natives”: they have been immersed in the tech culture essentially since birth. They don’t remember a time with the Internet did not exist, and they went through grade school and beyond working on and learning about computers and computer technology.

For older workers—those over 40, called “digital immigrants” by those same experts—do not have that particular advantage. They have had to muddle through life and work as PCs invaded their workspace and took over the jobs they used to perform in analog.

Many of them have found difficulty adapting, and to be certain the older, tech-challenged co-worker is a workplace stereotype. Digital immigrants may have even been passed over for many jobs because they lack those essential tech skills, and their employers, managers, and co-workers simply don’t have the patience to sit with them while they struggle to learn tasks that may be counter-intuitive to the way they think.

Many of these people have turned to formal training in an attempt to boost their technology acumen. Of course, this is often a difficult transition itself, as they struggle to learn outside of their work and family commitments. However, taking the time to get proper instruction as well as sufficient practice, those workers can improve their skills and be able to go through the trial-and-error without torpedoing their workplace along the way.

The academic community has noticed this training gap. Many schools have responded by creating specialized learning programs that pair computing skills with a specific career path. For example, someone in computing may enter into a PC specialist program with bookkeeping, adding in accounting principles and accounting software. This allows the worker to learn specific skills in their own field, without being bogged down by a requirement to learn additional programs.

The result is the worker can learn specific tech skills that will be helpful to them in their careers and give them direct and indirect exposure to the types of software programs that they will and often have encountered in their daily job.

The digital revolution has had a profound effect on the way we work and learn, and it is in our best interests to see our co-workers succeed at adapting to the tech revolution. Your less tech-savvy colleagues want help, and you should encourage them to seek the training they need, whether through formalized work training, or through academic programs such as these. You will not only make the office a better place to work at, you will be helping a co-worker meet their goals, which then may encourage that co-worker, or another like them, to help you out at a time you need it.

DISCLAIMER: All information presented in this article is for informational purposes only. Specific class schedules (day/evening/weekend/online), or program names may not currently be offered at Ayers Career College. For current training programs available, please visit ayers.edu/programs or speak to an Admissions Officer by calling us at 1-800-317-0131

7 Ways to Prepare for your IT career

by on September 11th, 2015 in News

Rest assured that when you’re looking for a career in IT, you have a lot of competition ahead of you. It seems like just about everyone wants to get into information technology. If you want to keep up you probably need to do a little more than simply go to school and get a degree.

Perhaps more than most other professions, being in IT isn’t just something that most people do for a living. For many, technology and fixing it is a passion, something that permeates their lives. If you want to reach the pinnacle of your profession, it should be your passion as well.

That’s not to say you can’t get a job if you don’t eat, drink, and sleep computers, tablets, and smartphones, but if you have a true passion for it, you are more likely to gain the insider knowledge you need to become an IT innovator.

With that, here are seven ways you can, as an information technology student, prepare for your upcoming career.

7 tips and tricks to start a career in IT or ETRead: Blogs, books, magazines, tech sites, whatever you can get ahold of. Being a well-read techie will keep you exposed to not only the latest, hottest tech trends, but also give you a greater understanding of the inner workings of computers and networks, and on what people within the industry are talking about. If you aren’t reading blogs on ZDNet, TechCrunch, and How-To Geek, you are missing out.

Learn HTML: Not only does it offer you additional insights into technology, it’s the base language the Internet speaks, and as such you should at least have a working knowledge of it if not be an outright expert.

Attend a technology conference: Go to see the new gadgets you’ll be working with over the next few years, or at least what you could be working with over the next few years. Conferences offer so much, and for the investment, they are totally worth it. Go to one just to get familiar with them and how they work, which kinds of speakers and events there are, and what types of things you can learn. Then, once you get a full-time IT job, you can ask your employer to pony up to send you on their dime every year. It’s a vital piece of professional development that you can get a head start on.

Build a computer: Chances are if you are interested in IT you have done this at one point or another already, but if not get on it. If you have, maybe do it again. Build yourself a little supercomputer…then sell it, or keep it as a portfolio piece. Though industry is moving away from desktops, they are still in heavy use, and being able to assemble one is a good skill to have.

Take some free courses: Community colleges, night schools, libraries and other locations often offer free or cheap tech courses. Start off simple and get as technical as you want. Who knows—maybe after you take a few classes you begin teaching them yourself! How does that look on a resume?

Build a web site: Having a tangible thing to offer employers as an example of your work is a terrific thing. If you are an IT professional, you should certainly have your own website to show off your business. Or you can build websites for others and make a little money off of it.

Help your aunt with her computer problems: This will certainly help prepare you for the realities of life in IT: listening to someone with little or no knowledge of the machines they are working on try to describe the problems they are having. If you muddle through with Aunt Jenny now, the problems of Bob in Accounting won’t be quite so difficult to unravel.

While this article speaks about starting a career in IT, it relates to the ET world as well, and these are still some good tips and pointers to how you can get started toward your career as an Electronics Technician! If you’d like more information on how you can get started working on computers and other electronics, contact us today! Sit down with a Career Advisor and find out if the Electronics Technician training program is right for you, and see how quick and easy it is for you to get started! Call 1-800-317-0131 or visit our Shreveport campus!

DISCLAIMER: All information presented in this article is for informational purposes only. Specific class schedules (day/evening/weekend/online), or program names may not currently be offered at Ayers Career College. For current training programs available, please visit ayers.edu/programs or speak to an Admissions Officer by calling us at 1-800-317-0131

New Student Brunch!

by on September 9th, 2015 in News

A brunch was held at Ayers on Thursday, September 3, 2015 in the flex room to celebrate the completion of 4 weeks of school for the students who started their classes on August 10th. All of the Ayers staff and faculty attended and took turns introducing themselves to the new students. Campus President Amber Borrego and Dean of Student Affairs Darlene Robinson also addressed the new starts. Everyone enjoyed a brunch meal of breakfast casserole, fresh fruit, cinnamon rolls, orange juice and bottled water. Congratulations and keep up the hard work!

Some Of The Companies That Hire Our Graduates Include