Via Tony Scotti
“As a suggestion, when selecting a training provider, part of the decision making process should be looking at the training provider’s website.
Is their Social Media presence, knowledge based?
Does the provider share their knowledge BEFORE you pay for their services?
If the provider spends the effort and time to produce knowledge based information, and disseminate it in the various web and social media outlets, at no charge, you can be certain that the content of their program is well thought out and researched.
As an example – VDI’s Joe Autera, and LaSorsa Associates‘ Joe LaSorsa. Two training providers who get paid for their knowledge, yet they also share their knowledge, FREE. IMHO, it is not a coincidence that they are both ISDA members, they have a passion for their profession, and help others simply for the sake of helping. ”
Via Joe LaSorsa
Questions to Ask
1. Courses should be taken for knowledge or certification, and preferably both.
a. Given the name of the course and credential, does this suggest the course enables students to be feasibly tasked with accepted practices as defined in the name of the certification?
b. What practicality in the private security world does a certificate or credential such as this provide someone who provides protective services in your desired location? What task does this assist with or new skill does it enable for the private security practitioner?
c. What does the certification afford the graduate seeking work in executive protection or otherwise operating in protective services in your location?
2. A certificate is one thing, a certification is another and a credential stands alone. A certificate is a testament to your completion of a period of instruction while a certification means a standard was achieved in a demonstration of core competencies. A credential means a board examination of your qualifications AND experience against established requirements for the credential with standardized testing to ensure proficiency. You should research the following:
a. For prospective students, what is the typical timeline, pipeline and expenses for seeking this certificate/certification/credential?
b. Who developed the standards and/or who does the board consist of? What are the their application requirements and for qualifying? What are the testing standards? Who created the test? Who verified the efficacy of the test? Who maintains and updates the test? Who is the test administered by?
c. What demonstrable benefit does the certificate/certification/credential offer someone in your desired field and geographical location?
d. Who typically seeks this certificate/certification/credential, how many currently hold it and where are they?
The advice that I routinely offer to those looking to make the switch into EP or make their way into the industry from a fresh start is this:
Research job posts to find relevant jobs similar to what you would like to obtain. Note the job’s required and preferred qualifications so you can establish a benchmark in which to ‘check the boxes’ so to speak, and begin working towards satisfying those requirements as best you can.
Search through the vacancies we have shared and posted on our blog by clicking the ‘Careers’ button on our careers page or the ‘Jobs’ tab under ‘Blog’ in the nav bar. We post hundreds of jobs per year, and there is no obligation or cost to view the listings. The website and blog also has a search feature, so input your state or whichever keyword you’d like to search to save time.
Note: New posts are restricted for one week to our registered Alumni, but they are unrestricted after that.
Market yourself in every opportunity; actively seek out opportunities and jobs and do good work when you get it. Focus on the following:
1. Networking: Network with everyone and through every medium. Don’t pass on any opportunity and don’t burn bridges.
2. Licenses: Get the licenses you need to provide unarmed and armed protective services in your state.
3. Training & Certifications: Find relevant, valuable and quality training for the job you are looking for – if you need a specific certification, make sure it is of value in your state. I.E. A Virginia PPS is only good in Virginia.
4. Experience: Expect to start at the bottom and work your way up. Take what you can when you can get it for the experience and networking. Do a good job when given the opportunity – your referrals will be exponential.
For using GI Bill Benefits for Training:
personally do not think you should have to, considering how appropriate training is affordable enough to fund it on your own. Also you should consider the return on your investment, and especially how continuous training is much more beneficial than a ‘one and done’ methodology.
You need to consider how to maximize your benefits. I am eligible for 100% and I have not used it on training for those reasons above and I have already been down this road. Number one, you are not guaranteed work or a job, and a lot of employers don’t want a specific school, just check the boxes.
Some courses are terrible wastes of your benefit. For example, if an EMT school is only a $1000 course and 8 weeks long. However, if you used benefits it would take 8 weeks of benefit when an 8-week college semester can cost about 5-8k, but still only takes 8 weeks of benefit. The dollar value needs to add up for what you are getting. Talk to a VA benefit specialist and they can tell you exactly how much of your benefit it will take. Lastly, choose wisely – Don’t look back one day and see that your benefit is gone and find that you used it on stuff that didn’t even make you valuable to employers.