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Distant Learning VS Intensive Training

Discussion in 'Training & Development' started by shadowgeist, Jul 19, 2005.

  1. shadowgeist

    shadowgeist New Member

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    Here is another question that many people have on their minds, but never seem to ask or at least I can't find searching your forums!!

    I am currently leaning towards a distant learning course with NITLC that should give me an A+, Network+ certification to begin with, then it leads up to an MSCE, and finally finishes at CISCO CCNA level.

    The advised timescale for completing the entire d.l. course is 15 hours a week for roughly 2 years for an "average" level candidate.


    Vs.


    Comptia A+ and Network+ Intensive 7 day course/training camp that includes everything, like exam fees, accomodation and meals etc (roughly 12 hours a day).

    followed shortly by a ...

    Cisco CCNA 14 Intensive course with maybe the same/different training camp that includes everything again, like exam fees, accomodation and meals etc (roughly 12 hours a day too).


    Price wise they're about the same or maybe slightly higher going with the intensive route.

    However, my main concern is not the cost, although it is a factor, my main concern is which is most effective and ACTUALLY gets results?


    Everyone has their own success stories going with either route, however is there any majority concensus on which is better?


    Distant Learning or Intensive Training Camps?​


    How about making a poll and getting everyone to vote and see what they think?


    Thanks for reading everyone!



    Regards,


    Dave.
     
    Certifications: None at the moment
    WIP: possibly A+ Cert, then Network+
  2. tripwire45
    Honorary Member

    tripwire45 Zettabyte Poster

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    I know I've said this before but bootcamps are designed for those individuals who already have a decent commmand of the subject matter but need to bring it all together fast in order to pass a certification exam. In this case, usually the person going to the bootcamp is required by their employer to attain certification by a particular date in order for the company to qualify as an official Microsoft or Cisco partner.

    If you do not have the basic foundation in these areas, you will most likely drown within hours of starting the actual boot camp. I can't stress how difficult some of the concepts are to learn when trying to master Microsoft and Cisco products. Also, it's not just a matter of passing an exam. If by some miracle the bootcamp training worked and you passed the tests, would you actually retain enough information to really be able to administer a network on a day to day basis?

    Usually what results in a person learning and retaining information over the long haul is hands on experience, learning at the rate you are capable of learning, and repetition, repetition, repetition.

    Just my two cents.
     
    Certifications: A+ and Network+
  3. carolinaviking

    carolinaviking Bit Poster

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    I agree completely with Tripwire. Those intensive training courses are meant for experienced pros who need to organise their thoughts and remember stuff they have forgotten due to lack of use and prep for a cert test. A newbie will be tossing his money away on that type of course.
     
  4. shadowgeist

    shadowgeist New Member

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    Thanks tripwire and carolinaviking for replying!

    Well... that definitely cleared up a misconception I had with intensive training/boot camps ... so I guess they're out of the question for someone who want to know where to start in training for IT Certification.

    That doesn't really leave many other options/routes to go down does it though ie:

    (1) Buy some good books=> Self study => pay for exam => take exam => gain cert :D

    or

    (2) Enrol and study at local College for 1 year p/t (if they have that course) => take exam => gain cert :)

    or

    (3) Pay tons of money up front => Distant Learning for 2 years or more => take exams => gain cert :dry


    Well the first 2 options are probably my best bet so I guess its one or the other, but if there's an alternative to the one listed above then I'd like to hear about it?


    Thanks for your time people!


    Dave
     
    Certifications: None at the moment
    WIP: possibly A+ Cert, then Network+
  5. tripwire45
    Honorary Member

    tripwire45 Zettabyte Poster

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    How about this path:

    1. Choose a learning method
    2. Start learning
    3. Get entry level job of some type in IT
    4. Gain experience while learning
    5. Pay for exam
    6. Take exam, pass and earn cert
    7. Then look for higher paying job
    8. Repeat as necessary.

    :wink:
     
    Certifications: A+ and Network+
  6. Boycie
    Honorary Member

    Boycie Senior Beer Tester

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    What a good Path Trip :D
     
    Certifications: MCSA 2003, MCDST, A+, N+, CTT+, MCT
  7. zimbo
    Honorary Member

    zimbo Petabyte Poster

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    great one trip!!! :D
     
    Certifications: B.Sc, MCDST & MCSA
    WIP: M.Sc - Computer Forensics
  8. tripwire45
    Honorary Member

    tripwire45 Zettabyte Poster

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    Thanks. I hope no one thinks I'm being frivolous or disrespectful in my example. It does seem to be the most practical path one could desigh, albeit somewhat simplistic. Thinks are usually not linear in learning or in life, but I wanted to add the "experience" element to the equations.

    So often on certification forums, the focus is on "I'll get certified and get this really kewl, high paying job". Gee, if it were only that simple. Try sitting in a thousand job interviews and explaining that you have a certification but no practical experience and that even though you can configure Windows Server 2003 to hand out IP Addresses using DHCP in a lab scenario, that administering an enterprise-wide mixed Windows, Novell, Linux, etc network is as confusing as heck and see if you get the job.

    I'm not trying to be sarcastic but the real world is hardly as tidy as a lab scenario or a certification exam. You will learn a great deal sitting in a support office answering the help desk phones or acting as the low level desktop support tech, traveling to various offices fixing everything from PDAs that don't synch to printer errors and upgrading the occasional RAM stick.

    I want to be really, really clear that a certification is just part of the process. In order to be successful at a career in IT, you have to learn the stuff that you might not always need to pass a test.

    There is an "articles" section here at CertForums and periodically I and others will post various HOW TOs or other informational articles there. You might want to take a look at it. I recently posted some interesting stuff on both the MS and Cisco certs that might be of assistance.

    Always seek to learn, gang. Always seek that opportunity to get your hands dirty inside a PC or the chance to cable a classroom or install a server or upgrade an NOS. You'll learn something new everytime you do those things.

    Ok. I'm climbing off my soapbox now. :wink:
     
    Certifications: A+ and Network+
  9. carolinaviking

    carolinaviking Bit Poster

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    I don't know how British companies are, but usually when you land a job with an American company, the company will pay most of your tuition for college classes or training within your field. My Cisco Academy program was paid for entirely by the company I worked for. I just went to class two nights a week after work and in six months I was done! They also paid 90% of my tuition for some online business classes I took. So Shadowgeist, get your first cert or two (A+ and Net+), get a job, then find a good online program or local program and get your company to pay for it. I highly recommend you find programs through established universities rather than for-profit schools or training centers. Universities are usually less expensive and give you better quality training. For-profit training centers (boot camps, etc) generally are very expensive and more focused on getting your money than giving you solid IT knowledge. At least that is my experience.
     
  10. tripwire45
    Honorary Member

    tripwire45 Zettabyte Poster

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    Oh man are you dreaming. I think it used to be that way as a general rule but since the dotcom crash, a lot of companies have gone on the austerity program and IT training budgets were slashed to the bone.

    It's beginning to recover now, but it is still hit and miss as far as which companies will pay for employee advancement vs which will not. I don't know how this translates to companies in the UK but I imagine some of the other members who work there will be by to advise you.
     
    Certifications: A+ and Network+
  11. carolinaviking

    carolinaviking Bit Poster

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    Wow, I've never worked for a company that didn't offer to pay for college classes in my field as part of their benefits package. I got the idea that was pretty standard, and I've been working since the late 80's. I noticed no difference after the dotcom crash because only a handful of employees are usually employed in IT, relative to other fields critical to the business. If they offer to pay for an accountant's MBA, they can't refuse a net admin's Cisco course. Its all part of the benefits package.
     

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