Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year to everyone!

Here’s a little history about our chapter….. The Capella University ACM Student Chapter was chartered in November 2012. We are now entering our 7th year as a student chapter supporting the ACM! We thank each member for their contributions to the student chapter. YOU are the reason we continue to thrive!

This year, every 3rd Thursday of the month (with the exception of January) there will be a general meeting hosted by Mr. William Breckenridge, the current Student Chapter Chairperson for the Capella University ACM Student Chapter.

Special thanks to Dr. Bernard Sharum, the Faculty Advisor for the Capella University ACM Student Chapter. He continues to provide astounding mentorship to the officers of the chapter and has been advising this chapter since the very beginning.

We hope to see each of our chapter members in our upcoming meetings, which generally have key speakers. In the meantime, with the new year here, we want to know……..

What are some of your IT New Year resolutions? Share with us in the comment section.

Posted by: Cierra Ortiz
Blog Contributor

Top 20 IT Professions for 2018

Many people ask the question, what is information technology (IT)? The average person with no discernable idea about IT thinks that those in the field play with a computer or mobile telephones all day, but that is far from the case. The word IT has a broad meaning and a rich combination of offerings that are more than mere computers. The term information technology original appeared in a 1958 article published in the Harvard Business Review; authors Leavitt and Whisler commented, “the new technology does not yet have a single established name. We shall call it information technology (IT)” (para. 2). They used three categories to define the term: “techniques for processing, the application of statistical and mathematical methods to decision-making, and the simulation of higher-order thinking through computer programs” (para. 2).

Today, the term IT is used to talk about computer, computer networks, systems that have their information distributed, like televisions and telephones. It also includes products and services, like computer hardware, software, electronics, semiconductors, Internet, telecom equipment, cloud storage, security, and more (Chandler & Munday, 2011).

Now you may be asking yourself, what that means to you and your choices in life? IT is a thriving industry that is interwoven in every aspect of our lives today, from personal to professional. Careers in IT are growing across the nation and worldwide. It is an industry that will continue to expand and offer up opportunities to the vast knowledge and do more each year with your life. Moreover, you will never get bored!

piggy_bankTherefore, here is a countdown of the top 20 IT Professions for 2018 and their median annual salary as reported by Best Schools (The 20 Best IT Jobs for 2018 and Beyond, 2018) for those interesting in the world of IT:

  1. Hardware Engineer $85,441
  2. Network Administrator $57,142
  3. Data Architect $112,825
  4. Solutions Architect $115,231
  5. Computer Network Architect $116,332
  6. Computer Technical Support Specialist $48,309
  7. Site Reliability Engineer $119,024
  8. Computer Systems Analyst $66,910
  9. Software Engineer $81,940
  10. User Interface Designer $63,313
  11. Database Administrator $71,513
  12. Business Intelligence Developer $78,076
  13. Information Technology Manager $84,440
  14. Data Scientist $90,958
  15. Development Operations (DevOps) Engineer $91,465
  16. Applications Architect $107,831
  17. Cloud Solutions Architect $120,067
  18. Web Developer $58,005
  19. Information Security Analyst $70,521
  20. Mobile Application Developer $72,066


Chandler, D. & Munday, R. (2011). Definition of Information Technology. Media and Communications.  Retrieved from https://books.google.com/books?id=nLuJz-ZB828C&pg=PA211#v=onepage&q&f=false

Leavitt, H. J. & Whisler, T. L. (1958). Management in the 1980’s, from the November 1958 Issue of Harvard Business Review. HBR website. Retrieved from https://hbr.org/1958/11/management-in-the-1980s

20 Best IT Jobs for 2018 and Beyond, The. (2018). The Best Schools website. Retrieved from https://thebestschools.org/careers/best-information-technology-jobs/

Post written by:
Dr. Valerie Mills, Ph.D. Information Security & Cybersecurity
Capella University FlexPath Tutor – IT
Blog Contributor

We’re Back!

We were busy putting the pieces together!puzzle_people
The Capella University ACM Student Chapter was on quite a hiatus. Nevertheless, we are back with new officers in charge. The CUACM Student Chapter has appointed new officers.

Chairperson: William Breckenridge
Vice Chairperson: Stephanie Hammond
Treasurer: Michelle Traveler
Dr. Bernard Sharum, as Faculty Advisor, continues to oversee the student chapter as he always has since the very beginning.

William Breckenridge, CUACM Student Chapter Chairperson, Dr. Valerie Mills an IT FlexPath Tutor at Capella University, and Cierra Ortiz, former CUACM Student Chapter Chairperson are blog contributors.

Every quarter the chapter hosts a general meeting with a key speaker. In the past, we’ve had Dr. Joel Fulton, CISO of Splunk, Dr. Sue Way, a member of the Minnesota Career Development Association and the National Association of Colleges and Employers who provides counseling career services to alumni and students in the IT and Psychology fields of study, and Dr. Kondo Litchmore, a Capella Alumni who also has a vast knowledge and experience in the many facet s of  IT.

Check frequently to be in-the-know of our scheduled meetings with key speakers. You never know who we’ll have show up!

Cierra Ortiz
Blog Contributor

Join Us in Our Next Virtual Meeting!

Capella University ACM Student Chapter Speaker Presentation

On Tuesday, December 6th at 7:00 P.M. Central Time (in the United States), our chapter will be attending a presentation provided by Dr. Kondo Litchmore. Dr. Litchmore will be presenting his dissertation titled:

My Dissertation Journey and Dissertation – A Comparative Study of Agile Methods, People Factors, and Process Factors in relation to Project Success.

Capella learners stay tuned for more information on how to connect with us on Tuesday. The information will be posted in the IT Community of Interest group forum.

Cierra Ortiz,
Capella ACM Student Chapter Chairperson
Blog Contributor
Web Development Team Lead

Happy Veterans Day


The officers of the Capella University ACM Student Chapter hope that all U.S. veterans had a wonderful Veterans Day yesterday. I would like to express my gratitude to all those who served and continue to serve today. As a veteran myself and a military spouse, Veterans Day means a lot to me. It’s OUR day! Those who served and still serve sacrifice a lot. We all join for different reasons and under different circumstances. Whatever the reason you joined, we thank you for your service to our nation.

Cierra Ortiz,
Capella ACM Student Chapter Chairperson
Blog Contributor
Web Development Team Lead


childandleavesHello my fellow veterans,

The National Initiative for Cybersecurity Careers and Studies, a part of the Department of Homeland Security, offers veterans free online cybersecurity training. The Federal Virtual Training Environment (FedVTE) provides over 800 hours of free training and prepares you for various IT certifications! Some of the coursework includes training on ethical hacking, cloud computing security, CCNA, CompTIA A+, and risk management. You can check it all out here: https://niccs.us-cert.gov/training/federal-virtual-training-environment-fedvte. If you do not currently have a military email address, follow the instructions on the website on how to verify your identity using ID.me. Although, I am close to finishing my Masters, what interests me the most about signing up is the certification training. Additionally, there is a lot of information to be read on the website. I encourage you to read and research your educational opportunities. I stumbled upon this new discovery myself and I will be signing up for it to see what it’s about.

Source: https://niccs.us-cert.gov/training/veterans

Cierra Ortiz,
Capella ACM Student Chapter Chairperson
Blog Contributor
Web Development Team Lead



In my last blog, I discussed the top 10 IT professions.  I felt that I should continue this series and discuss the top 15 IT certifications.  It only makes sense right? As you know, I am one year in as an IT business analyst. Since graduating from Capella a little over a year ago, I have been researching the top certifications within the IT profession.  Before proceeding with these top certifications, I say we back up a little.  Let’s talk about certifications and how they impact your career in IT.

IT certifications are helpful if you want to pursue career advancement.  In other words, it looks REALLY good on your resume!  Organizations invest tons of money in new employees so they want to make sure they are investing in someone that enables them to build a skilled and competent staff.   Not to mention it helps you stand out in today’s competitive tech world.

Global Knowledge created a list of the top 15 IT certifications.  If you are not familiar with Global Knowledge, you can find them here.  Last year when I started my new job as an IT Business Analyst, I had to study one of their training manuals. Their materials are very informative and gave me profound insight into the role of a BA.   They are the best at what they do so their information is reliable.

This list is very impressive!  Click on the link to learn more about each certification.

  1. AWS (Amazon Web Services’) Certified Solutions Architect – Associate Salary range: $125,871
  2. Certified in Risk and Information Systems Control (CRISC)Salary range: 122,954
  3. Certified Information Security Manager (CISM)Salary range: $122,291
  4. Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) Salary range: $121,923
  5. Project Management Professional (PMP) Salary range $116,094
  6. Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA) Salary range: $113,320
  7. Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE) Routing and Switching Salary range: $112,858
  8. Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) Data Center Salary range: $107,045
  9. Cisco Certified Design Professional (CCDP) Salary range: $105,008
  10. Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) Salary range: $103,297
  11. Six Sigma Green Belt Salary range: $102,594
  12. Citrix Certified Professional – Virtualization (CCP-V) Salary range: $102,138
  13. Cisco Certified Networking Professional (CCNP) Security Salary range: $101,414
  14. ITIL v3 Foundation Salary range: $99,869
  15. VMware Certified Professional 5 – Data Center Virtualization (VCP5-DCV) Salary range: $99,334

Original source of information: https://www.globalknowledge.com/us-en/content/articles/top-paying-certifications/

Written by: Shontelle Flowers,
Capella ACM Student Chapter Treasurer
Blog Contributor
Web Development Team Member

Packet Sniffers – Why Do We Use Them?

Attribution: www.pixabay.com

Packet sniffers are also called packet analyzers. Hackers use packet sniffers, but so do IT security professionals in various corporations.  Sniffing involves capturing, decoding, inspecting and interpreting information inside of a network packet, (I am sure we all can agree with that).  The hacker’s purpose here is to steal information. Usually it is the user IDs, passwords, network details, credit card information, etc.  Sniffing generally is a passive type of attack, where the attacker can be silent on the network.  It makes it difficult to detect, and hence it is very dangerous.  The sniffing process is used by hackers to either get information directly or map the technical details of that company’s network he or she is trying to create further attacks on.  What they are doing at this point is just gathering information. You can use a packet sniffer available from Wireshark (a widely-used, free open-source tool) to look at packets to see what information is trying to be captured, or you can use it for routing network issues.  As you can see, there is a good and bad side of packet sniffing.  I have used Wireshark a few times at home, just to mess with my wife and pick on her on what she is viewing when she is on her phone, and yes, it can grab wireless traffic as well.  I was sitting in the kitchen one day at the bar top and I would look over at her as she is on her phone. I ask, “What are you buying now on QVC?”  She would ask, “How do you know being over there in the kitchen that I am buying something on QVC?”  As you can see, it comes in handy sometimes.  Come back we will discuss ethical and unethical usage of a packet sniffer.

William Maree,
Capella ACM Student Chapter Vice Chair
Blog Contributor
Web Development Team Member

Top 10 IT Professions for 2016

Areas of IT

It has been a year since I have graduated with my Master’s degree in Information Systems Management from Capella.   Before I entered the program, I did my research on the top IT professions for a few reasons.  One, I wanted to know what jobs were out there and in demand in IT.  Second, I wanted to ensure that I received a good return on investment.  If I was going to invest money and time into a Master’s degree, I wanted to be certain that I entered a profession that would benefit me not just financially, but I wanted to enjoy it as well.  Informationweek.com compiled a list of the top ten IT professions. The list looks pretty impressive!

Websites like Glassdoor.com, Informationweek.com and Forbes.com  create  lists of top IT professions that are growing and in high demand and I often look at these sites to see what is out there.  Times are changing and so is the IT industry.  I was surprised to see that Web Development did not rank high on these lists.  I assume it may be due to the median salary.  Most of the professions on the top ten list have a median salary of $75,000-130,000.  I called out the web developer profession because I am currently working towards working as a web developer.  My current job role is an IT Business Analyst at a Healthcare organization.  Many of my skills as a BA (Business Analyst) are transferable to the role of a web developer.  But I digress!  I hope that you find this information helpful if you are currently or thinking about working in the Information Technology Profession.

Lady typing on the computer

  1. Data Scientist – Median salary $116,840
  2. Solutions Architect – Median Salary $119,500
  3. Mobile Developer – Median Salary $90,000
  4. Project Manager – Median Salary $106,680
  5. Software Engineer – Median Salary $95,000
  6. Analytics Manager – Median Salary $105,000
  7. Software Development Manager – Median Salary $135,000
  8. QA Manager – Median Salary $85,000
  9. UX Designer – Median Salary $91,800
  10. Software Architect – Median Salary $130,000

Written by: Shontelle Flowers,
Capella ACM Student Chapter Treasurer
Blog Contributor
Web Development Team Member

Memorial Day 2016


Memorial and FlagThe officers of the ACM and the Web Development team would like to take this time to wish everyone a safe and wonderful Memorial Day as we commemorate our nation’s fallen heroes. As a fellow veteran, I would like to thank the family members of our fallen heroes, those who have served our nation, and those who are still serving today. There aren’t enough words to explain the sacrifices we make. Thank you for your selfless service.

Cierra Ortiz,
Blog Contributor
ACM@Capella Vice Chair
Web Development Team Lead

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