What happened at the Ivy Tech IT Challenge

What happened at the Ivy Tech IT Challenge

I was privileged to attend the Ivy Tech Statewide IT Challenge in Indianapolis last month as a guest judge. This competition had the best and brightest from all of the Ivy Tech campuses in Indiana. Ivy Tech has campuses all over the state of Indiana including Fort Wayne, South Bend, Bloomington, and Terre Haute.

Ivy Tech IT Challenge
The competition consisted of graded lab exercises. Each team of two had two hours to complete the exercise. These lab exercises were very time consuming and required the two teammates to work together by dividing up the tasks to manage the time. Along with the challenge, there was an IT Networking and Career Expo to help students further explore career options and meet with prospective employers.

There were eight competitions:

  • Four of the competitions were in the morning:
    • Computer Science
    • Database Management System
    • IT Support
    • Network Infrastructure
  • The other four competitions were in the afternoon:
    • Server Administration
    • Cyber Security
    • Visual Communication
    • Software Development

 

One or more Ivy Tech faculty and staff from the school of Information Technology proctored each competition along with other judges such as myself. I was impressed by the eagerness and enthusiasm of the students. Several of the students competed in a morning competition and an afternoon competition. I judged was the Network Infrastructure competition. The students had to perform subnetting exercises, connect routers, and connect VLANS from an Intranet to the Internet. The exercise was conducted with the Packet Tracer software from Cisco. The students were familiar with the software. Nearly all of the students took 100% of the time available to perform the lab.

Ivy Tech IT Challenge
At the lunch break, several students talked about their competition experience. My favorite lunchtime conversation was with a young man from Ft. Wayne who competed in the Server Admin challenge. He and his partner were able to complete their lab with just seconds to go and won 1
st place.

Many asked me about how they could get a leg up on other applicants as they think about entering the job market. Certifications are the way to go to showcase both knowledge, mastery, and commitment.

As a guide, for each of the areas of the competition, the best certification to earn is:

  • Computer Science
    • Java Certified Associate
    • Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer (MCSD)
  • Database Management System
    • Oracle Database Administrator
    • Microsoft Certified Solutions Administrator – SQL Server
  • IT Support
    • A+
    • Server+
    • Linux+
    • Network+
    • Cloud+
  • Network Infrastructure
    • Cloud+
    • Network+
    • CCENT
    • CCNA
  • Server Administration
    • Server+
    • Microsoft Certified Solutions Administrator – Windows Server
    • Azure Administrator Associate
  • Cybersecurity
  • Visual Communication
    • Adobe Certified Associate
    • CIW Web Design Series Professional
  • Software Development
    • Java Certified Associate
    • Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer (MCSD)

 

And, the best way to prepare for these certifications is with CyberVista. We help IT and cyber professionals and aspiring professionals prepare for their cert exams with best in class exam preparation tools, practice tests, and materials.

I was glad I was part of this competition which showcased the best and the brightest. This competition showed how smart, diligent, and competitive students are these days. I am sure that these students will have a bright future in the world of technology.

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