How Much Do Certified IT Professionals Earn in a Year?

IT guy diagnosing serversCertification from the Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) will be necessary if you want to earn a higher paycheck, aside from meeting the required skills for a certain role. One of these certifications include the CompTIA Network+. CertBlaster explains that a practice test allows you to prepare for a 90-minute exam that contains 90 questions.

In 2017 alone, those who received Network+ certifications earned an average annual salary of more than $81,000.

Why Certification Matters

If you plan to pursue Network+ certification, CompTIA advises you to have some work experience in the IT industry. However, entry-level IT professionals can still plan to have this type of basic credential, since it mostly serves as the stepping stone for more prominent vendor-specific specializations.

In some cases, an employer would require Network+ certification before they would hire someone. Take note that the certificate has a three-year validity from the test date. Other types of CompTIA certification include the Security+ and A+ credentials, which paid annual salaries of almost $89,150 and $80,000 in the previous year.

More Jobs

Increasing employment in the IT sector serves as another reason why professionals should pursue certification. If in case you want to find a new job, it would be easier for you to land one if you already have the required skills.

The workforce comprising network and computer system administrators in the IT industry is expected to increase by 31% between 2014 and 2024, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. In March, CompTIA said that the industry added around 9,000 new jobs. IT services and custom software led four of the five employment categories that added new workers for the month.

Certification is important for professionals in the IT sector, which is mostly similar to how doctors and engineers prove their skills and capabilities through an industry license. How do you plan to prepare for an IT certification test?

5 SEO Recommendations for Law Firms

Law Firm SEOEven with modern web tech, and various social media and blogging platforms, there are still a number of law firms with poor or even non-existent brand awareness. In contrast, others are doing well and gaining business due to well-structured web presences.

With the different methods of online marketing, it can be understandably difficult to decide which strategy or technique to implement. To make the decision easier, read these recommendations for search engine optimization or SEO for law firms:

Choose Targeted Keywords

Choose targeted keywords that your law firm’s clients and prospective clients usually search for. To help you with this, use Google Keyword Planner, which can help you search for keywords and ad group ideas, determine keyword ratings, and even create new keyword lists.

Use Targeted Keywords

Use targeted keywords by including them in your meta data, heading tags, body text, image alt text of web pages, especially the home and key landing pages.

Take care not to stuff your website with the targeted keywords, however. Remember to avoid spamming your web pages with keywords at all costs, as it can result in a penalty from Google.

Create Blog Pages

Create a blog or blog pages using an open source content management system (CMS). Publish the contents regularly with your naturally integrated targeted keywords.

Write Expert Content

Write expert content for your web and blog pages. Create articles for your blog pages and submit them to authoritative sites. As an alternative, guest blog on other legal blogs.

When writing content, remember not to do it only for the links, but do it to enhance and promote your brand.

Use Social Media Platforms

Use several social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn to send social signals back to your website. To make it easier, use an auto-posting system that posts your blog’s content to social channels.

Use your social media pages to interact with your law firm’s clients or prospective clients. For instance, answer their questions directly via your Facebook or Twitter account.

Applying SEO strategies to law firms is almost the same, but not quite. Still, for the subtle nuances of using this strategy, consult an online marketing expert for the technique that will work for you.

LG Reveals Laser-Focus Smartphone, Aims To Stand Out Against Rivals

LG logoSouth Korean tech giant LG revealed its newest smartphone, which is packed with unusual features to help it stand out against rivals and gain market share.

LG flagship phone

The new LG smartphone has features any tech lover would fancy: a laser-guided camera, 5.5-inch quad HD display, and 13-megapixel rear camera.

LG announced the new device, which is the first to feature laser-assisted autofocus, at a global launch event in London.

Industry experts admired the device, but argued that its effect on the company’s ranking would be limited.

A worthy goal

“A device needs to have some standout features so that when a consumer goes into a store the retailer can explain what makes it different from other smartphones,” said Jasdeep Badyal, of CCS Insight, in a statement. “But it will still be a difficult battle for LG, particularly because of the bigger marketing budgets that Samsung, Apple and Sony have.”

LG hopes to raise its profile with the technology designed to quickly lock onto moving objects and let the Android-powered device’s camera focus in dim light conditions.

Turkey Blocks YouTube Over Security Leak

Image by Rego Korosi | Flickr
Image by Rego Korosi | Flickr

Turkey has banned video-sharing website YouTube, days after a federal court ordered the suspension of a ban on Twitter, after both were used to spread recordings damaging to the government.

Serious trouble

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is mad with the apparent wire taps, suggesting a major corruption scandal.

“After technical analysis and legal consideration…. an administrative measure has been taken for this website,” the telecoms authority (TIB) said in a statement.

The move came after the release of an audio file, relating to a security meeting in which top government, military, and spy officials talk about a possible scenario for military action inside Syria.

Purported security leak

Some news agency said it could not verify the audio’s authenticity.

But it was potentially the most damaging purported leak so far as it appeared to have originated from the bugging of a highly confidential conversation.

“They even leaked a national security meeting,” Erdogan said in a statement. “This is villainous, this is dishonesty… Who are you serving by doing audio surveillance of such an important meeting?”

Pope Francis Accepts Resignation Of Germany’s ‘Bling Bishop’

Image by Christliches Medienmagazin pro | Wikimedia
Image by Christliches Medienmagazin pro | Wikimedia

Pope Francis has formally accepted the resignation of the controversial bishop of Limburg in Germany, who came under fire after reports revealed he was living a lavish lifestyle.

Bling Bishop

Franz-Peter Terbartz-van Elst, whom the international media dubbed as the “Bling Bishop,” had been relieved indefinitely of his clerical duties by the pope last year after reports emerged detailing his high-roller lifestyle, the Vatican announced on Wednesday, March 26, according to a report from Agence France Presse.

The Roman Catholic bishop came under fire and faced outrage over an ostentatious construction project at his official residence in the ancient town of Limburg in central Hesse state. The building included a museum, several conference halls, a chapel and private apartments.

The whole project was originally priced at only 5.5 million euros ($7.4 million), but the cost ballooned to around 31 million euros. Additional features were added including a 783,000 euro garden and a 15,000 euro bathtub—all paid for using the revenue from a religious tax in Germany.

Other Allegations

The 53-year-old bishop also came under fire for lying under oath about his trips to visit slum dwellers in India.

Tebartz-van Elst had told a news outlet based in Hamburg that “we flew business class,” but then in sworn testimony denied having said those words.

The reporter, however, had videotaped him making the comment, and the embattled bishop agreed to settle the court case with a 20,000 euro payment in November.

What NOT to do When Starting an Online Store

woman typingStarting an online store nowadays is ridiculously easy. Any start-up or budding entrepreneur only needs to look for affordable web design sites to make their ecommerce website and they’re already halfway there.

Even with all the help, however, there are still people who make costly mistakes when creating and running their online store. Whether you’re currently managing a successful brick-and-mortar store and want to expand online, or planning to launch a purely online retail operation, it’s important to think your launch strategy through, focusing particularly on the lessons that can be learned from the mistakes of others.

Here are some of the top mistakes for new ecommerce sites and how you can avoid them.

Believing the “If You Build It, They Will Come” Hype

Even if you already have a website, there’s still a lot of work to do before your business really gets going. Much like physical stores, online stores need a well-designed and continuing marketing and brand-building campaign to succeed.

Even if you’re a well-established store in London only looking to expand online, you still need to have an effective marketing strategy for your small business website in the UK. Be sure to get professional SEO work done for your online shop.

Not Being Unique

Customers have numerous options when shopping online. If your business has competition, you have to give your consumers reason to choose you over the others. You can’t expect to become successful by being an inferior version of more popular sites.

Don’t simply try to be better, be different, too. You can do this by offering products or services your competitors don’t have, having a better shipping and delivery service, or offering more affordable and quality products.

Failing to Properly Integrate Inventory and Management Practices

Many online stores don’t have an up-to-date inventory posted on their website, which then leads to a number of problems with customers, orders, and payments. If you’re already running an established brick-and-mortar store and plan to fulfil online orders from the same stock, be sure to sync inventory records by compiling online and offline sales data. It’s also a great idea to use these data to gain insight into customer preferences so that you can refine your offers and make it more enticing for them.

Starting an online store is easy. Making it successful, however, will need a bit of work. These and other tips should help you steer towards the path to sales success.

4.4-Billion-Year-Old Gem Is Oldest Piece Of Earth’s Crust

A relatively unknown sheep ranch in Western Australia became an instant tourist spot after it yielded the oldest slice of Earth we know today. And to put it mildly, the discovery was one gem of a gem.

A True Gem

Rob Lavinsky,

According to a report from the BBC, a tiny piece of crystal has been found to be the oldest piece of the Earth’s crust to be discovered. The gem is twice the width of a human hair and is barely visible to the naked eye. Scientists estimate that the precious stone is at least 4.4 billion years old.

The gem was discovered on a sheep station in the Jack Hills region of Western Australia.

A Treasured Discovery

The findings—the first to describe the zircon gem were published Sunday, February 23, in the journal Nature Geoscience.

“This is the oldest and the best dated of all the crystals that have been reported,” said John Valley, lead study author and professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Department of Geoscience, according to a report from CNN.

The crystal is a translucent red but glows blue when bombarded with electrons, Valley was quoted as saying. The gem is a zircon crystal, which is already known to be the oldest material formed on Earth.

Fertility Treatment Babies In The US Set Record

The number of test-tube babies born in the United States has surged to 61,740 in 2012.

Increase in IVF procedures

Fertility Treatment
Image by Weird Beard

IVF technology was introduced in the country in the 1980s. According to the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology (SART), test-tube babies accounted for almost 1.5 percent of all babies born in the country.

SART has compiled data of 379 fertility clinics across the country and said they performed 165,172 in-vitro fertilization (IVF) in 2012. That led to a record 61,740 babies, which is 2,000 more IVF babies than in 2011.

Success of pregnancy

Health experts urge couples to start a family before age 35, as the percentage of success rate is 10 times higher in women under 35 compared to those who are 42 years old.

“It’s important for people to understand that women over 35 have the highest percentage of failures,” said Miriam Zoll, author of the 2013 book “Cracked Open: Liberty, Fertility and the Pursuit of High Tech Babies.”

Deadly Storm Slams US Southeast

A deadly winter storm gripped the southeastern United States, knocking out power and disrupting early commutes, forecasters said.

‘Unusual’ ice storm

ice stormAccording to local authorities, the weather was blamed for deaths in the region which included three people killed in northern Texas.

“It’s unusual to have an ice storm that far east in the Deep South,” National Weather Service meteorologist Roger Edwards said in a statement.

The storm brought heavy snow, freezing rain, and potentially historic accumulations of ice.

More than 2,700 U.S. flights were cancelled and hundreds more were delayed, according to flight-tracking website

State of emergencies

Government officials declared state of emergencies and were quick to create plans to deal with the impact of the storm, which left more than 11,000 students in Alabama to spend the night in schools.

About 59,000 Georgia Power customers were without power, with nearly 8 inches of snow expected.

In the path of the storm, some road accidents were reported, but there were no fatalities.

NJ Governor Chris Christie Says Staff Misled Him Over Bridge Scandal

Chris ChristieThe usually tough-talking politician was sincere on Wednesday, January 8, as New Jersey Governor Chris Christie said he was misled by his staff after fresh revelations that a top aide played a key role in closing some lanes, leading to one of the world’s busiest bridges in what critics say was a political vendetta.

Unacceptable Actions

A Republican seen to make a bid for the White House in 2016, Christie has become entangled in a scandal over the closing of part of the access to the George Washington Bridge, a move seen as a punishment for a New Jersey Democratic mayor.

“What I’ve seen today for the first time is unacceptable. I am outraged and deeply saddened to learn that not only was I misled by a member of my staff, but this completely inappropriate and unsanctioned conduct was made without my knowledge,” Christie said in a statement.

Act of Revenge

Christie insisted his office had nothing to do with the lane closings, which created havoc for hundreds of thousands of residents. Emails released Wednesday, however, showed that at least one of his top aides was involved in the closures weeks beforehand.

Critics say the lane shutdown was retribution against the Democratic mayor of Fort Lee, who did not endorse the governor’s re-election bid. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which oversees the bridge, said it was the result of a last-minute traffic study.