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Advice on Training Providers

Discussion in 'Training & Development' started by londonguy, Aug 17, 2009.

  1. londonguy

    londonguy Bit Poster

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    Hello All,

    Firstly, thanks for the advice and information on this forum.
    It really helped me in making a decision on which path I should choose.
    ie. Information Technology.

    I am a complete novice to I.T and looking to change my field(currently work in Finance).
    I am really looking to join one of the Training Providers.
    Before you tell me to self-study and it is the best way forward, let me explain my dire situation...

    I am due to be out of work in a month or 2 and would really like to be ''helped'' by a TP in some way.
    Its just I really don't have alot of time to teach myself and also look for jobs in a short space of time.
    I have searched the web and found a few TP's that might be of interest to me.
    Some guarantee a job(which does look a bit shady) and others a cert after a few months(obviously I would have to 'burn the midnight oil')

    Skillstrain, Computeach, Joskos, Advent, Cerco, Joskos
    National IT Learning Centre, Just IT,
    to name a few....

    Could someone please tell me or guide on which, if any, are the best TP's with regards to fast track learning as well as job assistance.
    Also, if you have used any of these or other TP's, please please let me know your good and bad experiences.

    I am willing to invest money towards my I.T future.
    Its just, I would have at most 3 months(full time studying) to get into some sort of job that would allow me to pay my rent and other bills.

    Thanks in advance.

    Londonguy
     
    Certifications: Nothing as yet
    WIP: Training Provider?Should I use em?
  2. wagnerk
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    wagnerk aka kitkatninja Moderator

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    However have you decided which field of IT you want to get into? EG Support, programming, web design, etc...

    I can say that I've dealt with a couple of private training providers, and while I can't/won't generlise about all of them, I can tell you the put off's that I've had: Hard sales techiques (pressure sales), dodgy guarantees (eg you'll get a job within X or your salary will be this), not knowing the product that they are trying to sell you (eg you'll gain the MCDST if you do this, and if you do this later you'll be a MCP).

    I would really contact your local college to see if they do those courses.

    It's good that you're willing to invest in your future. However just research carefully, read every bit of the contract before signing it. Also take note of some of the certs that these TP's will try to put you thru, entry level certs would include the A+, Network+, the MCDST and the MCTS 70-620 (Vista). Alot of TP's will try to put you thru the MCSA, MCSE, when these are for experienced IT pro's (with a minimum of 6 months to a year actually doing the job). Some TP will then charge you extra or use it as a loop hole if/when you don't pass.

    -Ken
     
    Certifications: CITP, PGCert, BSc, HNC, LCGI, PTLLS, MCT, MCITP, MCTS, MCSE, MCSA:M, MCSA, MCDST, MCP, MTA, MCAS, MOS (Master), A+, N+, S+, ACA, VCA, etc... & 2nd Degree Black Belt
    WIP: PGDip
  3. greenbrucelee
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

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    I agree with Ken, look at your local college.

    As Ken said most TPs will come out with you will get a job at the end when infact they'll come out with the you don't live in our recommended geograhical area so we can't help crap. If I remember correctly since I joined CF we have only ever had two people on here who have joined training providers that actually got a job out of it and one of them was actually working for a TP so they were lying.

    They will most likley put you on a course that will overcertify you for your experience level making it harder for you to get a job or if its one of those TPs that will give you free training if you pass it within a certain amount of time, it will be so hard for you that you can't pass it so you will have to pay.

    Most Training providers expect you to self study all they do is provide you with some books and online advice. This is why people say self study because you can get the books cheap and get advice on here for free and you will save yourself a few grand.
     
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, Security+, 70-270
    WIP: 70-620 or 70-680?
  4. Boycie
    Honorary Member

    Boycie Senior Beer Tester

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    If you wanted to learn plumbing or carpentry, then you could literally pay someone to show you what to do and practice with them until you have a basic grasp and improve when carrying out these tasks by yourself or working alongside them.
    I.T isn't really like that. I am not saying you cannot pay someone to show you, (and there are no shortage of people claiming all different things. Some genuine, some not!) although there is much more to the field than that. I.T is learning. Constantly. Newbie, advanced or expert level, I would say most I.T professionals would agree that the learning never stops. I have taken several classroom based courses; some good, some not so good. They all however, have the one thing in common: they are part of the learning process and not the entire picture which is what i guess you are hoping for. Some of the well known "training providers" know there are plenty of people unhappy in jobs and want to somehow "pay" their way out of it. I'm afraid to say: there is no way to pay your way to what you want to achieve here.

    There are many more. See my post a about "Training providers" versus what I call "sales providers"

    If you want to use a training provider, why not ask to speak with their current students, speak with their instructors, see the training material they use and write down all your concerns before contacting them? Just bare in mind: the only person who can offer you a job is an employer. Even if they offer exceptional training material and support, you will end up purchasing additional books and posting on forums like this for help. It's just how the whole industry works!

    Good luck!
     
    Certifications: MCSA 2003, MCDST, A+, N+, CTT+, MCT
  5. londonguy

    londonguy Bit Poster

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    Thanks so much for the feedback and insight guys.

    My question to other posters and yourselves now is:

    Have you or anyone you know, actually used any of these TP's mentioned?
    NITLC, Just IT, CompuTeach
    If anyone has any experience at all with TP's, any advice would be greatly appreciated


    (Boyce)I am aware of the need for studying and progressing by yourself, as a newbie and even as an expert.
    Its just, I would prefer if i was pushed a bit into studying. ie. Deadlines and assistance with workshops.

    (Wagnerk)I was thinking of the starting the Network Technician way in I.T.
    A+, N+ and so on.

    (GBL)I am based in London, so hopefully geographically I am okayish.
     
    Certifications: Nothing as yet
    WIP: Training Provider?Should I use em?
  6. soundian

    soundian Gigabyte Poster

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    I really can't see any advantage at all in going with a TP for entry level certs. There's nothing conceptually difficult in the certs so you don't need a tutor: to be blunt, they're more about memory than concepts. No amount of support is going to cram that knowledge into your brain any quicker.
    I've also seen a lot of people complain about the quality of the study materials from TPs and the fact that there can be a delay in receiving the next module. Obviously that would slow you down a bit.

    If I were to set up a TP to scam people I'd do it this way:
    Start up a company. All I'd need would be a web presence and some training material (doesn't have to be my own, or good).
    Send shills out to let the whole internet know how great my new company is, how our training helped them get a great new job making lots of cash etc.
    Make sure I get the entire fee up front, either from the mark directly or from a finance company.
    Pay my sales team min wage plus good commission. It doesn't matter if they lie to get people to sign, especially if they don't write it down. Offer the marks some incentive when they complete the training. Not before though, I want this to last as long as possible before people start complaining. With this in mind I'd offer to overcertify the s**t out of people.
    Sit back and watch the cash roll in.
    After about 12-15 months, I'll start to get complaints from people who either want the job I promised or their exam fees refunded. I could stall this by having clauses in the contract stating that they had to pass my exams as well as the official ones, any job offer would be valid regardless of distance or role, etc etc
    Start a new company doing the exact same thing, just to ensure there's a steady income.
    Wind up the first company when the heat gets too much.


    Any legitimate TP should look at your experience and advise you accordingly. With no experience the only certs you should consider at the moment are the ones listed by wagnerk. If a TP offers you anything else: walk away. They either don't know what they're talking about or they're scamming you.
     
    Certifications: A+, N+,MCDST,MCTS(680), MCP(270, 271, 272), ITILv3F, CCENT
    WIP: Knuckling down at my new job
  7. Boycie
    Honorary Member

    Boycie Senior Beer Tester

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    Not personally no. After working for a training provider, i do know that I would never use one thou!

    My advice is this: Spend money on training material and software in your chosen area. Participate in forums like this and gain as much experience in the field as you can get close (or better still in it). Once in a position, many employeers will see your enthusiasm and perhaps help you with the odd book, exam voucher or time to study. Depending on the size of your company and their interest, they may even send you on training courses (or hold inhouse training) which is relevant to your job role.
    If you want to spend money on a "training provider" then i would say they really are spilt in two categories:

    Company A
    Aimed at new entrants to the industry and people who are looking for a new career. There really is so much to this game that you really want someone to call to your home, tell you what you are best suited to, provides all the material, support, low monthly finance package - in fact everything you need to become an I.T professional with a high paid job once qualified. They have recruitment consultants who will help you gain your first job.

    Company B
    You wont see so much of these people. There are lots of them about, but they dont usually advertise on the radio, television etc because they rely on web presence - where most I.T bods will spends there time. They usually offer classroom based training (opposed to distance learning that Company A offers) aimed at people who want to improve their current skillset, brush up on weak area's or cover the objectives to sit an exam.


    You may wish to contact some of your chosen providers current customers to determine the frequency of workshops, support hours and deadlines.

    Good luck with it all!
     
    Certifications: MCSA 2003, MCDST, A+, N+, CTT+, MCT
  8. JonnyMX

    JonnyMX Petabyte Poster

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    If you do want to use a TP - and there are people that do - look for one that will provide bite sized courses.

    If you find a TP that will put you through an A+ in 3-6 months and if you like it will then go on to do N+ for example, then they have a need to deliver good service to encourage repeat business and positive word of mouth.

    If someone tries to sell you MCSA, MCSE, CCNA, CCNP etc all in one bundle with no chance of cancelling or changing your mind if you decide you don't like it, then think again.

    If you fancy the idea of more guided learning, have you looked at the OU?
     
    Certifications: MCT, MCTS, i-Net+, CIW CI, Prince2, MSP, MCSD
  9. londonguy

    londonguy Bit Poster

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    JonnyMX, I have been doing a few searches and found a TP that does exactly what you mentioned.
    ie. assistance thorugh the A+, N+ and so on...

    National IT learning centre, NITLC, do offer a 2 year option.

    They charge close to £4k but from what I have been reading on their website and their forums, the 'customer service', workshops and tutorials seem to be good.
    They have a variety of tracks one could chose from.

    I have attached a link http://www.nitlc.com/it-courses/ to their website.

    Is there not even one person on here who has used this TP?
    Any advise would help.
    Sorry for going on about this.
     
    Certifications: Nothing as yet
    WIP: Training Provider?Should I use em?
  10. wagnerk
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    wagnerk aka kitkatninja Moderator

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    I don't want to sound like a downer, but £4k over 2 years? But shopping around and researching you can do your HNC in Computing (or if you already have that you can top it up to your BSc/BA), your A+, BTEC/CISCO & MCDST within that time frame and still have money spare.

    -Ken
     
    Certifications: CITP, PGCert, BSc, HNC, LCGI, PTLLS, MCT, MCITP, MCTS, MCSE, MCSA:M, MCSA, MCDST, MCP, MTA, MCAS, MOS (Master), A+, N+, S+, ACA, VCA, etc... & 2nd Degree Black Belt
    WIP: PGDip
  11. JonnyMX

    JonnyMX Petabyte Poster

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    Heard of them, but not of someone who has used them.

    They are one of the few accredited by the IIT - not sure if that's all smoke and mirrors or not.
    As we said before though, a two year course is a long time.
    There are people around who have done A+ in 3-6 months.

    I had a quick look and they don't seem to quote prices on their site, which is always a bit worrying.
    Imagine going to a used car showroom where all the cars had stickers on saying 'for price, ask a salesman'.
     
    Certifications: MCT, MCTS, i-Net+, CIW CI, Prince2, MSP, MCSD
  12. Boycie
    Honorary Member

    Boycie Senior Beer Tester

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    So what course is it that interest's you?
     
    Certifications: MCSA 2003, MCDST, A+, N+, CTT+, MCT
  13. greenbrucelee
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

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    This, 4k is a lot of money. You could do what Ken said and have enough money not to get into debt like most students do.
     
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, Security+, 70-270
    WIP: 70-620 or 70-680?
  14. londonguy

    londonguy Bit Poster

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    To answer some of the questions,

    Wangerk, I am a complete newbie. Changing fields and have zilch experience with I.T
    Hence, the course with NITLC and hopefully getting into the market whilst studying N+ and other courses over the 2 year period. The TP will assist with the job search and have mentioned no job guarantee unlike some of the other TP's

    Boyce, I am looking to get into the I.T world and basicly start at the bottom, ie. A+ and hopefully get a helpdesk job or anything to start with. Obviously the TP will assist with the courses as I progress(so they say). I have been to their forums(thr a guest pass) and seen some of the responses from past and present students - and it seems okay.

    JohnnyMX - Would you get prices online for degrees on 'some' of the University websites? I dont think so.
    You do admit though that they are accredited by the IIT.

    GBL - I am aware of the £4k and have opted to pay them in instalments if I do go ahead.

    Well, hope that answers some of your questions.... Please advise further if anyone has anymore information and advise about this decision of mine.

    Thanks people.
     
    Certifications: Nothing as yet
    WIP: Training Provider?Should I use em?
  15. JonnyMX

    JonnyMX Petabyte Poster

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    Er, usually.
    The OU certainly quote all of their prices.

    But if your heart is set on NITLC then that's up to you.

    Mind you, I hear about a guy that signed up with them once and a week later he lost his job. And his girlfriend left him.
     
    Certifications: MCT, MCTS, i-Net+, CIW CI, Prince2, MSP, MCSD

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