On The Starting Block

Here I sit, impatiently waiting for Dec 1, when I can start making progress on my classes. I’m itching to start, impatiently waiting for the starting gun. Like an athlete, tense, poised, ready to start the race, but instead of seconds to wait for the gun, I’ve got days.

Luckily, I was able to get my first term courses all setup.  Those classes are:

  • Introduction to IT 
  • Critical Thinking and Logic
  • Integrated Physical Sciences
  • Business of IT – Applications

 When I went through the process with my mentor, I had to estimate start and completion dates for each class. Each class must be done in sequence, and not at the same time. Not having any experience with how WGU does classes, I went with what I remembered from Full Sail, and assigned each class a month, unless the class specified a different time frame.
Business of IT specified 8 weeks, so I assigned it two months.

  • December – Introduction to IT 
  • January – Critical Thinking and Logic
  • February – Integrated Physical Sciences
  • March & April – Business of IT – Applications

If I finish a class early, I can move on to the next one without having to wait out the time. So once, I’m done with one class I can move to the next immediately.

Now that my mentor and I have achieved that goal, I’m able to take a look at the course material for each class.

Introduction To IT

Introduction to IT examines information technology as a discipline and the various roles and functions of the IT department as business support. Students are presented with various IT disciplines including systems and services, network and security, scripting and programming, data management, and business of IT, with a survey of technologies in every area and how they relate to each other and to the business.

WGU – CyberSecurity Information Assurance Bachelors Program

I’ll be honest, I’m wondering why I’m enrolled in this class. I’ve got twenty plus years in IT. What exactly is an Intro to IT class going to do for me?

From what I can tell from my transcript evaluation paperwork, they want you to have an Associates in some kind of IT program in order to satisfy the requirement to take this class. 

I guess all of my professional industry certifications, or my experience isn’t good enough to satisfy this requirement. Well, OK, fine. You want me to take an Intro to IT class, I’ll take an Intro to IT class. No sense whining about it. I figure that passing it will be easier than fighting not taking it. I’ll just knock it out quick. As it should be an easy grade. Whatever.

One of the things I can do is the Pre-Assessment test for the class… so I did… 72 questions later… I passed.

The one area I need to brush up on is Scripting and Programming. That was the one area in the exam that I showed up as weak.

The one other area I might want to brush up on, is the Software Development Life-cycle. Easy enough.

Critical Thinking and Logic

Reasoning and Problem Solving helps students internalize a systematic process for exploring issues that takes them beyond an unexamined point of view and encourages them to become more self-aware thinkers by applying principles of problem identification and clarification, planning and information gathering, identifying assumptions and values, analysis and interpretation of information and data, reaching well-founded conclusions, and identifying the role of critical thinking in the disciplines and professions.

WGU – CyberSecurity Information Assurance Bachelors Program

OK, so this is a class I will likely enjoy. It’s always good to go through and re-evaluate how your approach problems and what assumptions you take with you going into a problem.

Just remember, correlation is not causation

Once again, I took the Pre-Assessment, and 30 questions later, I had passed the exam.

I have one area I should brush up on for this class as well. That area being Problem Identification and Clarification.

Now I have my doubt about this particular set of results, mostly because problem identification is a primary function of the jobs I’ve been doing for years.  It may have had more to do with the way the exam was phrased than it actually had to do with me. Which is fine, part of any exam is learning how to approach the exam and to choose the answers they want from you.

One thing I’ve learned in IT, is that there are very few truly correct answers. There are a great number of best practice answers, and there are a great number of answers that are correct under specific circumstances, but rarely is there ever an answer that is always correct, all the time. Learning what answers the exam expects from you is a big part of the game that is testing.

In my no-so-humble-opinion, the hardest questions on any exam always contain the phrase, “Pick the Best Answer”… as it is a red flag warning you that all the choices are going to be less than perfect, and you have the to pick the answer that is the least horrible. Might as well be, “pick the least of the following evils”, but keep in mind, you are still making a deal with the devil.

Integrated Physical Sciences

This course provides students with an overview of the basic principles and unifying ideas of the physical sciences: physics, chemistry, and Earth sciences. Course materials focus on scientific reasoning and practical and everyday applications of physical science concepts to help students integrate conceptual knowledge with practical skills.

WGU – CyberSecurity Information Assurance Bachelors Program

Ok, physical sciences… easy peasy. Speed of Light, Electromagnetic Spectrum, NaCl, H2O, H2So4, Plate Tectonics, Volcanoes, Metamorphic Rocks, Erosion, Global Warming… No problem, I got this.

I took the Pre-Assessment and 70 questions later, I destroyed the exam. No weak areas, I owned that test.

 Business of IT – Applications

Business of IT – Applications examines Information Technology Infrastructure Library ( ITIL®) terminology, structure, policies, and concepts. Focusing on the management of Information Technology (IT) infrastructure, development, and operations, students will explore the core principles of ITIL practices for service management to prepare them for careers as IT professionals, business managers, and business process owners. This course has no prerequisites.

WGU – CyberSecurity Information Assurance Bachelors Program

Now there isn’t a Pre-Assessment for this course. It’s just straight up take the ITIL Foundations Exam and pass it. I know a little about ITIL. I’ve worked around it and heard it mentioned a bunch, but I’ve never dug into it. So this should actually be somewhat interesting.

Being that this class is really just an ITIL certification course, I’ll likely just refer to it as ITIL from here on out. Business of IT – Applications sounds like a class and all, but lets cut the crap, it’s just the ITIL exam.

Besides, ITIL is a lot less to type.

Conclusions

So with some luck here, it appears I might be able to knock out the first three courses in a few weeks, or maybe a month at most. Of course, that is me very much adjusting my expectations. I am hoping to knock out all three classes in the first week, but since I’ve never done this before, I’m shooting for a more realistic time-frame of a month.

I know, that likely sounds egotistical as all hell, and you may be right. However, I am used to “Boot Camp” environments, where they throw you into a classroom with an instructor for a week or so, and then you go bust out an exam the following day.

I did that with the CISSP back in 2003. I spent a Monday through Friday at The Training Camp, in Bushkill, PA, and then passed the exam on Saturday.

Then, when I wanted to upgrade my MCSE from NT4 to MCSE+ Security 2003, I went back to the Training Camp, and spent 14 days doing the same thing. By the time the camp was over, I had passed all the exams required to upgrade my certification.

This most recent time of passing the CISSP, back about a month ago, I once again did a Boot Camp, this time with the InfoSec Institute. I sat in the comfort of my own home, and interacted with a live instructor teaching a live class in San Diego from my PC. It was a Sunday through Friday class, I  then passed the exam on Monday.

So maybe I’m just not intimidated by anything WGU can throw at me, maybe I’m not taking it seriously enough, or maybe I just am that good. I have a feeling we will all know in a few weeks. I’ll either be humbled, or I’ll have confirmation that I really can afford to be that arrogant. 



Categories: Business of IT - Applications, Critical Thinking and Logic, Integrated Physical Sciences, Introduction to IT, Term 1

Tags: ,

1 reply

Trackbacks

  1. Introduction to Information Technology – My WGU Experience

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: