Posts Tagged ‘skills’

postheadericon The Cybersecurity Skills Gap: Educating the next generation

A long-term strategy focused on training and educating the next generation will help to ensure enough people have the right skills for the future.

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postheadericon Desperately seeking cybersecurity skills

Cybercrime is victimizing US companies and consumers, but a gap in cybersecurity skills presents a problem for the federal government. ESET’s Stephen Cobb investigates.

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postheadericon Cybersecurity skills shortage ‘still a global problem’

There are signs of improvement in the global cybersecurity skills gap, but serious problems still remain, a new report finds.

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postheadericon Cybersecurity skills gap: it’s big and it’s bad for security

The cybersecurity skills gap is a big problem for organizations struggling to protect rapidly expanding systems from a growing range of threats. We look at how big and what to do about it.

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postheadericon Building the Complete Package: Skills for the Modern Armed Citizen

Those of us that carry a gun every day willingly as citizens tend to be gun people. There are over fourteen million concealed carry permits at the time of this writing in the United States, but sadly very few carry the gun every day. Even those in professions that require the carry of a gun such as law enforcement and military contain a majority of personnel that are not at all dedicated shooters even though they carry the tool as part of their career. So, those of us that do take shooting and training seriously tend to like to shoot for the sake of shooting and we like all things related to firearms. We favor this particular tool and we understand the capabilities. As such the gun community tends to focus on, you guessed it, the gun.

I find among concealed carriers a trend that disturbs me and that is the over-reliance on the singular tool. This is NOT a suggestion that gun carriers are out looking for trouble and hoping to get into gun fights. The statistics clearly demonstrate that legal concealed carriers are the most law abiding citizens in the nation. Also, this is NOT a rant suggesting that most concealed carriers are totally unprepared. Those of us that choose to carry a firearm are well ahead of the pack in defensive ability, and usually in the associated mindset. Rather, I just want to point out a complacency that many carriers develop regarding their reliance on only the handgun as their form of self-protection. This tends to contribute to a neglect of other skills that are very important for any individual that wants to remain ready for the dangers of this world. Following is an outline of the skills that I find often neglected among many of us and these are worth consideration as we should all strive to ever enhance our capabilities.

Physical Fitness

I see a lot of gun guys and gals that are quite portly. I am not pointing fingers here, I have been rather round at certain points in my life as well, and I still work at staying in shape as it does not come natural to an individual that is rather undisciplined in eating habits. The truth is, staying fit underpins every pursuit in life, not just your ability to defend yourself, but here we are speaking to it from that angle since that is our current topic of consideration. When I see shooters diligently practice with their weapons but are so out of shape that they can’t possibly run 100 yards without keeling over, I have to question their priorities. It should go without saying that people who are truly de-conditioned face a far greater danger from heart disease and other health issues then they face from criminal attack, so that should be incentive alone.

Going beyond the obvious life dangers of being completely out of shape and staying “tactical” in this discussion I would like to point out that there is a lot more involved in being able to protect yourself and your loved ones then just having the skills to shoot people in the face. Can you run at a dead sprint for 200 yards without dying? Could you do that while carrying your small children? Can you pick up the table in a restaurant and throw it through the window so that you and your loved ones can escape a bad situation? Can you last beyond a few seconds in a contact distance fight with an opponent? Can you drag someone through a car window to get them clear of ensuing flames following a wreck? Can you pull your own body weight up and over a wall? Fighting is a very physical event whether fighting men or fighting other adversity or crisis. If you are a heart attack waiting to happen yet you hit the range every weekend then you need to get your priorities straight. Keep hitting the range, but you need to be hitting the gym several days a week as well or you are fooling yourself.

Hand-to-Hand Skills

Can you fight with your hands? If not you need to learn how. You don’t need to join a formal martial arts program (most are a waste of time anyway when it comes to realistic skills) but you should take some basic combatives training. You should test these skills out with live training partners and you should work your striking skills on heavy bags. Even as a dedicated shooter there may be times and places that you can’t be armed. Your hands and feet will always be your first or final line of defense. Even when armed, some fights start as fist fights or at contact distance and combatives can play a huge role in your ability to even deploy the gun should you need to. Hand-to-hand skills are important for the armed citizen.

Alternative Weapons

I bet you carry a knife, but do you train with it to use as a weapon should you need to? I admit that I am hardly a knife guy and it is not a tool that factors prominently into my defensive tool set. However, I do carry a knife every day since it is essential to carry a cutting tool and thus I consider it a backup to my firearm should things go really bad. Some basic knife skills are warranted, probably most critical of all is the ability to deploy the knife quickly. How about less-lethal tools such as OC spray for use in confrontations that do not call for a lethal response, or for times when only such weaponry is available? A command of tools such as tactical pens and other impact weapons can provide a great advantage over just empty hands should you need to spend time in places in which you can’t go armed with a gun or even a blade. Having some skill with weaponry beyond the gun is a sound tactic as you never know what will be available to you in a critical situation where you have no firearm or simply can’t deploy it.

Medical Skills

I have become a true believer in carrying medical gear on one’s person and, more importantly, acquiring the skills to use it. It is worth getting some training in emergency trauma care so that you know how to stop major bleeding. Carrying a tourniquet and hemostatic agent and knowing how to use them is a sound investment of time and resources. This skill set and gear is more likely to be used to address emergencies that are not at all related to self-defense and I think carrying the ability to plug holes is important. Traumatic blood loss is the biggest killer in the wake of accidents, as well as shootings or other criminal attacks. Knowing how to keep somebody alive long enough to make it to medical care is a very important skill that may save lives more often than your firearms skill ever will.

Concealed Nation

postheadericon After Concealed Carry Training: 10 Skills To Master

By Luke McCoy via USA CARRY

In most states, there’s a mandatory training course that all concealed carry applicants have to take before applying or receiving their concealed carry licenses. These courses are meant to be informative and educational. They are not meant to be a capstone course in your own personal handgun training.

After the course is through and the ink on the certificate is dry, there’s some skills we all continually have to practice. In this article, we’ll go over ten essentials.

1. Trigger discipline

This cannot be urged enough. A lack of trigger discipline will result in a negligent discharge with a loaded weapon. It’s not a question of “if”, it’s a matter of when. Always practice drawing and holstering your concealed carry handgun with finger off of the trigger. If you have issues with your finger sliding onto trigger before you’re ready to fire — iron that habit out now before it bites you. Chgheck out the common mistakes and considerations in trigger control.

2. Basic marksmanship

It can’t be said enough… In an actual emergency defensive gun use scenario, the vast majority of people will have an elevated heart rate. This will cause their hands to shake and accuracy will take a hit. The more practiced your shot is, the better expectation you have of where that round will go in a life or death scenario.

3. Scanning after firing

At the range, we know the target is right ahead of us (12 o’clock). In reality, we can’t depend that our bad guy is going to sit still at precisely 5-10 yards away. We also can’t count on him acting alone. Always practice scanning after you engage your target.

4. Communication after a shooting

If you just stopped a bad guy in the middle of a crowded area, people may or may not know that you aren’t the bad guy. It sounds silly but in the panic and hysteria of gunshots, people’s perception will go haywire. Practice communicating after a shoot. It’s simple. Reiterate what happened. There was a bad guy, you neutralized him, everybody stay calm and stay hidden until police arrive. Boom, done.

5. Reloading

At the range, we calmly depress the magazine release and just take a new magazine off the bench. In a defensive gun use scenario, that won’t help. Practicing reloading at the range is more than just dropping a magazine and slapping in a new one. It’s about keeping your pistol aligned in a safe direction and staying in the fight. Practicing combat reloads is more about reinforcing your own personal habits than it is about showing off for buddies. For tips on reloading, check out Ben Findley’s article: Pistol RELOADS: Methods, Considerations, and Magazine Tips

6. Fight de-escalation

One of the core essentials of concealed carry defensive gun use is if you feel your life is imminently threatened by hostile actions of another individual. However, how many times in our own life have we encountered situations that we know could have been averted by simply walking away or a little diplomacy. There will be people out in this world who aren’t interested in diplomacy or letting you walk away. For those people, you will need to defend yourself. For the rest, practice identifying and de-escalating a conflict.

7. Scenario drills

If you have a significant other or close friends, draft them into your own private acting troupe. Have them roleplay out different scenarios and push yourself to find how you would honestly react given those situations. Roleplay is probably one of the easiest and cost-effective ways to really find out how different reality can be from how you think it will be.

8. Safely storing unused firearms

If a gun isn’t in your personal possession, that doesn’t mean stash it somewhere hidden. Practice locking up guns that are not in your possession.

9. Carry everyday

Your training and your equipment are useless without you and your gun. If one is absent, the other is useless. Carry every single day — even at home.

10. Self-awareness

This is the hardest skill to develop and arguably the most essential for concealed carry. Self-awareness is knowing how your actions affect other people and situations. If you understand how your behavior affects others, you can quickly identify the difference between that and something else.

Concealed Nation

postheadericon New study reveals most important skills for students

REDMOND, Wash. — Oct. 15, 2013 — Top candidates for current and future jobs will be measured by capabilities and competencies, with 20 distinct skills bubbling up to the top in millions of high-growth, high-paying job postings, according to a white paper commissioned by Microsoft Corp. and released by IDC. The study provides insight into the skills students need for the top 60 high-growth, high-wage occupations that will account for 11.5 million new hires and 28 percent of job growth by 2020. Out of those skills, oral and written communication, detail orientation, and Microsoft Office proficiency top the list.

IDC Study: Top Skills Comparison
IDC Study: Top Skills Comparison
October 14, 2013
IDC Study: Top Skills Comparison – High-Growth/High-Wage Positions Versus All Occupations (* Indicates Communication, Integration, or Presentation skill; Source: IDC, based on Wanted Analytics and U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Data, October 2013)

With technology and innovation booming, the global economy is changing and business needs are evolving. IDC research found that although a number of positions require technical skills, even more require knowledge and cognitive skills.

“Educators need to focus on teaching a breadth of skills. IT skills are important, but soft skills, while not evaluated in school, are fundamental to every job students are pursuing today and in the future,” said Anthony Salcito, vice president of Worldwide Public Sector Education at Microsoft. “IDC’s research reveals that although a number of positions require technical skills, even more require knowledge and cognitive skills gained from use of personal productivity applications and services. For this reason, Microsoft is committed to investing in students around the world to ensure they have access to the tools that teach these skills.”

IDC ‘Skill Requirements for Tomorrow’s Best Jobs’ key findings

In looking at the job skills of the future, both hard and soft skills are important, according to IDC and Microsoft’s “Skill Requirements for Tomorrow’s Best Jobs: Helping Educators Provide Students with Skills and Tools They Need” white paper. By leveraging job and skill requirements from 14.6 million job postings from the second and third quarters of 2013, IDC identified the 20 most common skills required for those positions. To validate the importance of those skills, IDC examined 60 occupations that have above average growth potential and salary potential between 2013 and 2020.

“Of the more than 11,000 skills we examined, it is interesting to see the play between hard and soft skills,” said Cushing Anderson, program vice president of Project-Based Services at IDC. “Many of the top 20 skills reinforce the other; the skills we identified are not taken in isolation but rather are a golden set of skills that are consistently important. Seventy percent of the high-growth, high-wage occupations frequently require at least one of the top 20 skills.”

Key findings from this research include the following:

• The 60 high-growth occupations include jobs in medical support and nursing; sales and marketing professionals; education, teaching, and instruction; computer programming and specialists; and office managers/business operations.

• These high-growth, high-wage positions are in demand across multinational companies, with more than 53,000 companies looking for them on a recent weekday. Global companies posting for these positions include financial services firms like CITI and Santander; consulting and accounting firms like Deloitte and PwC; manufacturers like General Dynamics, Lockheed Martin and Raytheon Corp.; and retail giants like Home Depot and Advanced AutoParts.

• Communication, integration and presentation skills (CIPs) are required for about 40 percent of all positions and make up 11 of the top 20 skills that are required by 39 percent of the fastest growing, highest paying positions.

• The only software package called out within the top 20 skills across all occupations is Microsoft Office, explicitly required in 15 percent of high-growth, high-salary positions. Microsoft Office is No. 3 on the list of skills most required, and Microsoft PowerPoint and Word are No. 11 and No. 13 most required skills.

• Assessments should be used to demonstrate students’ mastery of material and help improve the teaching and learning process. IDC calls for programs to include formative adaptive assessments, performance-based tasks to demonstrate CIPs capabilities, and appropriate technologies to facilitate consistent administration and evaluation of assessments.

Student advantage

In an effort to help prepare students for the technology skills required in the workforce, Microsoft on Tuesday announced Student Advantage, a new benefit to qualifying institutions that brings Microsoft Office 365 Education to more students worldwide. Microsoft Office 365 Education, an always-up-to-date cloud productivity service, is currently used by 110 million students, faculty and staff around the world. Office 365 Education enables students to communicate and collaborate more efficiently, access assignments in shared workspaces, have notes synchronized in OneNote and have familiar Office applications such as Word, PowerPoint and Excel anywhere, across virtually any device.

Beginning Dec. 1, 2013, any institution worldwide that licenses Office 365 ProPlus or Office Professional Plus for staff and faculty can provide access to Office 365 ProPlus for students at no additional cost. Today, more than 35,000 institutions are automatically eligible to deliver the Student Advantage benefit to their students. Office 365 ProPlus includes all the familiar and full Office applications — locally installed on up to five devices and available offline. When a school combines Student Advantage with Microsoft’s other cloud services, Exchange Online, SharePoint Online and Lync Online, all available free through Office 365 Education, students have access to the same set of gold-standard productivity tools and services used by Fortune 500 companies all over the world.

“Students use Office every day for school work and activities that are most important to them. Office not only helps students stay organized and get their work done today but at the same time develops skills that will be required when they enter the work force. In fact, no other software or services show up in the top 20 most important skills identified in the research report,” Salcito said. “We are thrilled to offer Student Advantage to schools across the globe so students have access to the latest, most up-to-date version of the world’s leading set of productivity tools in order to give them a competitive advantage when entering the workforce.”

Nearly 98 percent of students using productivity software currently use Office. Student Advantage enables students to access the familiar experience of Office in an always-up-to-date cloud service across their compatible PCs, tablets and phones.

IDC methodology

The research was conducted by scanning 14.6 million job postings from April to September 2013 supplied by WANTEDAnalytics, a provider of real-time business intelligence for the talent marketplace. Of those jobs, IDC analyzed the posting and identified the 20 most common skills required for those positions. IDC also leveraged data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, including data on 2010 employment and forecasts for 2020. IDC analyzed employment data for 748 Standard Occupational Classifications and selected the most attractive classifications according to three criteria: size, growth and wages.

About Microsoft in Education

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