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Computeach

Discussion in 'Training & Development' started by ginger_george77, Dec 6, 2009.

  1. ginger_george77

    ginger_george77 New Member

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    Hi All,

    I am new to the forum, Hello!!

    I have been reading through the forum over the past few days and there is a general sense of negativity towards training providers. I am looking to start a new career in IT and was researching training providers as a place to start. I arranged a meeting with Advent as, on paper, they sounded great. However when i met with the 'Careers Advisor', who told me that it would take about 2 years and i could be looking at earning around £35k, i became a little skeptical. All i needed to do was work hard and pay them £6000 for the privilege! Now, having worked in HR for a number of years i know that £35k jobs don't tend to be handed out to people with only 2 years experience, no matter how qualified they may be. I don't know much about IT qualifications but that sounded way too expensive to me.

    I spoke to Computeach next, who for £1500 would put me through the CompTIA A+ and the MCDST (and ITE & HDI) in 12 months. This sounds much more reasonable. While still a lot of money it does not sound too much to be able to start a new career and you don't have to sign up to a massive finance deal as you do with Advent. I have read the thread relating to Self Study, but feel as though i could do with the support to begin with. It also seems that these qualifications are the basics to help you land your first IT job (i realise this is not guaranteed but i am happy to start at the bottom of the ladder and am not expecting to earn massive amounts of money, im not used to massive amounts of money in HR anyway!!) My change in career is based around job satisfaction rather than money.

    Has anyone had any positive experiences with Training Providers? Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

    Its a very exciting time and i cant wait to start my qualifications to help my search for an entry level job in IT, so any advice would be spot on.

    I look forward to using this forum throughout my change in Career!

    Cheers

    Matt
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 6, 2009
  2. BosonMichael
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    Well, yes and no. There have been several people on this forum who have used training providers and were quite happy with them. However, there have also been others who have been dissatisfied the training provider they chose.

    I've never used a training provider, so I don't have anything to add either positively or negatively. On the other hand, I have used self-study methods, and it absolutely works.

    Considering the potential for dissatisfaction with using a training provider, particularly when added to the cost, self-study is a much safer and cheaper option. You can study on YOUR schedule (not at 7:25 on Mondays and Wednesdays), you can move at YOUR pace (not the pace of the slowest or fastest student), and you can use the training materials YOU want to use (not the ones the training provider purchased or developed, sometimes based on price instead of quality).

    When you can start a new IT career for much less than £1500, it sounds like a whole lot of lost money to me. :) But if the money is burning a hole in your pocket, by all means, sign up! :)

    That's what forums like these are for: support. ;) And best of all, they're free!

    Sounds like you're going about this the right way... doing your research ahead of time. Continue doing that and you'll be much less likely to be burned. :)

    Welcome to the forums!
     
    Certifications: CISSP, MCSE+I, MCSE: Security, MCSE: Messaging, MCDST, MCDBA, MCTS, OCP, CCNP, CCDP, CCNA Security, CCNA Voice, CNE, SCSA, Security+, Linux+, Server+, Network+, A+
    WIP: Just about everything!
  3. ginger_george77

    ginger_george77 New Member

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    Thanks for the advice. After doing some research i think i have decided to take the self study route for the CompTIA A+. I figure that its a good place to start, and there seems to be a wealth of material out there. If i can successfully complete that, then i can potentially think about a training provider to help with further qualifications.

    Is it feasible to complete the A+ while not in an IT position? I am hoping that by completing the qualification it will help me find that important first IT position. If anything it shows commitment to the profession. It appears that it is particularly hard to find that first role without having some experience behind you, i guess its a question of patience and a little luck!

    Are there any tips out there for what to expect from the A+? I have read the thread for the materials to get, but is there any advice on any practicalities that come from doing a cert?

    Cheers
     
  4. Simonicus

    Simonicus New Member

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    Hi, Ginger

    Im in exactly the same position as you, more or less and certainly asking the same questions regards to experience, self study and the A+ path. Ive already gained an mcp but unfortunately the way I chose with a tp was not right for me so I will be going self study too. I posted my experience of a tp in the newbie introductions thread. (was that what it was called ? lol)

    So yeah this thread, well the whole forum really is helping me out too. To be honest it is an absolute goldmine of information, advice and the views and experience of a wide age group of others and though I aint been here long, im really glad I found it. Plus I just finished reading a particular thread about the difference in tp and self study and sure some people had strong views but I didnt see any flaming or baiting, anything like that which right away raises the quality of the site up a notch in my books. :biggrin
     
    Certifications: Mcp
    WIP: A+
  5. Wildman

    Wildman New Member

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    Hi folks, I'm Richard and have been trying to get a balanced view on this topic for a a couple of days as I have recently had my 'Travelling Salesman' around to preach the benifits of Advent.

    Now I've not had any experience in IT (other than basic Office programmes and 'Kerridge' selling Cars) since GCSEs so am pretty much starting from scratch.

    The way I see it Advent are offering me a learning opportunity that not only offers the qualifications with support but also support in CV building and Job finding etc. I have so far been led to believe I can keep my current job until I have cleared the initial base qualification whereupon I will be elegable for my first ENTRY LEVEL job on a helpdesk or the like for circa £18k. After this I will then be able to, in the same way I obtained the base Qualification, I can work and learn but now I will (fingers crossed) be in an IT orientated job thus gaining experience and qualifications at the safe.

    This sounds like an ace plan to me but even the guy from Advent says "it's not cheap". The general consensus I can gather from this Forum is that Self-study vs TP is mainly up to the individuals preference on learning style and experience. Would this be a fair judgement?

    The guy that came round was very knowledgable and explained everything very well, being a Salesman myself at the minute probably helped as I think he had the sense of mind not to 'BS a BSer'!! and I am under no illusions that after the first module I am going to cruise into a £35k job...

    Thoughts?

    Cheers,

    Rich
     
    Certifications: None at present =(
  6. soundian

    soundian Gigabyte Poster

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    I based my decision on cost and flexibility.

    Cost- No contest here. Self-study wins hands down. No amount of support can justify the extra expense judging by the prices I've seen thrown about on here.

    Flexibility- Only self-study gives you complete freedom to study what you want, when you want. I can study at my own pace, illness and all the other nasties that life throws at me can be easily worked around because I'm not on someone else's schedule etc etc. Also, if I decide that working in IT was a bad move I only lose what I've already spent, not several thousand pounds more because I signed up for an MCSE before I'd even started my first cert.
     
    Certifications: A+, N+,MCDST,MCTS(680), MCP(270, 271, 272), ITILv3F, CCENT
    WIP: Knuckling down at my new job
  7. Wildman

    Wildman New Member

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    This does make sense although the guy did say that all the modules aren't at a set pace as different candidates have different time available to private study.

    He also led me to believe that within all the modules available to me I don't have to follow one linear path. For example if I take the first module in web-design and i either don't like it or my job requires a different path/qualification I can how over to say Database at the appropriate level (obviously not just go in at the top!!)

    Does that make sense to people or is it a hook?

    Rich
     
    Certifications: None at present =(
  8. JonnyMX

    JonnyMX Petabyte Poster

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    Take support with 'CV building' and 'Job finding' with a pinch of salt.
    After all, what does it actually mean?

    There are plenty of websites out there that give advice, templates and tips on writing CVs for free.
    We've been known to critique a few here too.
    So do you need to pay for that?

    Support with finding a job could just consist of sending you a couple of links to recruitment agency websites.
    After all, that's helpful - isn't it? So it must be supporting.

    As far as I'm aware, most 'adult learning' allows you to keep your job while you study. Evening classes, OU, part time college, NVQ, self study etc. I love the way they make it sound like a perk. We'll allow you to keep your job. Cheers guys.

    What does 'eligable for my first entry level job' mean? You're eligable for it now. You don't need someone's permission to apply for jobs. You'll stand a better chance of getting one with some sound knowledge to back it up, something like A+ or MCDST. What is their 'base qualification'? If it's a home made foundation which gains you the 'Advent certificate in IT merit' then I wouldn't bother to be honest. No one will touch you with that.

    It all sounds a bit fluffy to me.

    But, each to his own.
    I would however suggest that you ask a few more hard questions so that you know exactly what it is that you're getting into, and good luck with whatever you decide.
     
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2009
    Certifications: MCT, MCTS, i-Net+, CIW CI, Prince2, MSP, MCSD
  9. JonnyMX

    JonnyMX Petabyte Poster

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    Oh, and by the way.

    As a car salesman, you'll know that nobody buys a car without having driven it.
    Most people will also have read reviews, or spoken to someone in the pub who owns one.

    The killer question to ask is if you can speak to a current or ex-student.
    Preferably one who has received the support they talk about.
    After all, they must have helped hundreds of students into entry level jobs, right?
    They're a big company. You only have to pass the base qualification after all.

    If they can't - ask yourself if you'd buy a car that nobody will admit to owning.

    And don't let them give you any data protection nonsense.
    That just means they can't give you another students phone number without their permission.
    That wasn't the question though, was it?

    :biggrin
     
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2009
    Certifications: MCT, MCTS, i-Net+, CIW CI, Prince2, MSP, MCSD
  10. Wildman

    Wildman New Member

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    Hi JonnyMX, sorry, this will probably appear as a dbl post as my last one is still being veted I think =(

    The first Qualification is CompTIA A+ and Advent are apparently CompTIA Platnium partners, Microsoft Gold Partners, Intitute of IT Training Gold level accredited as well as a couple of others so I'm confident it's not an "You have a achieved a gold satr in 'Advent Typing', the next module is Word Art....."!!!

    I was just hoping there are some guys or gals on here that haven't self-taught and have "test-driven" or are "test-Driving" this course!? I'm mainly looking at using a TP because i'm starting from scratch again and would apprieciate a guiding hand with support!

    Rich
     
    Certifications: None at present =(
  11. JonnyMX

    JonnyMX Petabyte Poster

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    Ah, well, that's really something you should be able to ask them and find out for sure. :biggrin
    There are a lot of people around here that have been 'confident' that a TP would deliver miracles and ended up disappointed.

    I've used a TP myself in the past and found that it worked out fine for me. However, most of that was due to my own persistance rather than the 'support' I was given. With hindsight I could have saved myself a few grand and done it alone equally well, but I didn't know that at the time so there you go.

    I'm very much on the fence with regard to TPs. I won't start screaming 'self study' at you if you've got other ideas. But I would say that studying with a TP is as much about the student as it is about the provider. There are a few people on the forum who have used TPs and stuck at it who are no worse off for the experience. Then there are those who post 'somebody help me, I've been ripped off' and then never post again. If that's their level of tenacity then I'm not surprised they got nowhere with the course.

    I know of Advent, and they are certainly not bottom of the heap - so I'm not going to warn you against them. Take all of the partnerships and bling with a pinch of salt. Usually all you need to do to get these is fill in a form and then pay a subscription. Salesmen love logos and accreditation, but it really means very little.

    So, by all means go for it if that's what you want.
    But from someone who has been down that road, I can assure you that you can do it much cheaper and just as easily on your own.

    When you strip out the things you can get through a TP and compare them to what you can get anyway, then you ask yourself 'is that worth the difference between £500 and £5,000?'

    The other piece of advice I can give you is to watch out for stupidly long courses.
    By your own admission, you're just starting out. So you don't really know what you want to do or where your skills lie. Or even if you have the aptitude to study from a technical manual.

    With self study you could do the A+ and see how you got on. You may then consider that IT isn't for you and do something else. Assuming you had a crack at the exam, it will have cost you about £150.

    Now ask yourself, 'why is this TP trying to sell me A+, N+, MCDST, CCNA and MCSE in a package?' (or whatever). 'If they've got the A+, why can't I just do that and then do more if I Liked it?' or 'If I do the A+ and it doesn't agree with me, can I cancel and get the rest of my money back?'

    The fact is, you never can. Ask the salesman those questions.

    It would be a bit like going on holiday to Butlins and rather than them trying to tempt you back the following year just having them lock the door behind you and telling you that you won't be leaving. Hell.
     
    Certifications: MCT, MCTS, i-Net+, CIW CI, Prince2, MSP, MCSD
  12. Wildman

    Wildman New Member

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    Hmmm, yes, I think you've hit on a couple of things there that had crossed my mind, and the true measure of someones intelligence is how much they agree with you! ;)

    I was thinking about this last night, doing CompTIA A+ and seeing how it goes and then going from there. Is there a set 'learning pack' that you can send off for or is it a case of different learning materials from different places with a bit of pot-luck?

    Richard
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 18, 2009
    Certifications: None at present =(
  13. JonnyMX

    JonnyMX Petabyte Poster

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    There are loads of publications out there, some better than others - as well as resources on the Web.

    Rather than go into it all again here, I'd suggest that you have a dig around the forum and see what you can find. Another bit of advice is to ask for help on a new thread, or an A+ topic.

    A lot of members have become weary of the ongoing TP/self study debate and you'll lose out because many of them won't be reading this topic.

    Oh, and if you really feel that self study isn't for you, there ARE places that will just let you do the A+ in a classroom with a decent teacher for a reasonable amount of money. Unfortunately these places aren't the ones you see in all the banner ads and glossy leaflets. But if that's the way to go, Google is your friend.

    These trainers will have no objections to you visiting them in advance, talking to a tutor or an ex-student, or even sitting in on a class etc. They have nothing to hide! :biggrin
     
    Certifications: MCT, MCTS, i-Net+, CIW CI, Prince2, MSP, MCSD
  14. Wildman

    Wildman New Member

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    Many Thanks!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 18, 2009
    Certifications: None at present =(
  15. tomhayward

    tomhayward New Member

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    Hi,
    I worked for Computeach - avoid them.
    I worked for two other IT training companies, both of whom were rubbish.
    I was then introduced to NITLC - they were fantastic. They were the only company I came across in ten years who really did do what they promised. I am sure they still do. BUT, it's hard work and will certainly take you a couple of years at least to get the right sort of qualification.
    I am retired and have no axe to grind and receive no remuneration from any IT training company
     
  16. JonnyMX

    JonnyMX Petabyte Poster

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    Good-oh!

    Another retired salesman who has decided to come clean.
    Well done that man.
    Assuming that you're genuine then there's a voice to be listened to.

    The thing that bugs me a little bit is that I guess it didn't stop you selling Computeach courses and taking your commission while you worked for them? 8)

    :biggrin
     
    Certifications: MCT, MCTS, i-Net+, CIW CI, Prince2, MSP, MCSD
  17. rsmithone

    rsmithone Bit Poster

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    i no this is from 2009 but 2010 comment here we go avoid computeach full stop
     
    WIP: comptia a+
  18. j1mgg

    j1mgg Kilobyte Poster

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    I had the misfortune of going through a TP before I found this site and it didnt work out for me, but the fault wasnt all one sided.

    I just think people should maybe spend £40 on the first book and give self study a go and then if it doesnt work out try a TP, instead of the way i done it which was pay £4k to find out the support you get from the net is better than the support you get from the chosen TP.
     
    Certifications: Comptia A+, ITIL V3 Foundation, MCDST, 70-270, 70-290
    WIP: 70-291, security+ and SSCP

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