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HELP!!! CIW training / Computeach - Please educate me!

Discussion in 'Training & Development' started by MikeyTen4, Jul 18, 2005.

  1. MikeyTen4

    MikeyTen4 Bit Poster

    Hi, firstly, I hope this is posted in the right section - I'm not posting it elsewhere yet for fear of being reprimanded for double posting! But anyways...

    I'm takin a moment here to ask for some advice from any of you out there who might work in IT - particularly in web design.

    I'm looking at the possibility at the moment of starting a distance learning programme from home with Computeach..... they have a seemingly great record, loads of awards, and supposedly plenty of success stories if the careers advisor/salesman is to be believed.

    If I go ahead with it I'll be studying web design, working towards a qualification called 'CIW Webmaster' with accreditations to formal organisations too (i.e. letters after my name). Computeach seem VERY helpful, and I'm very tempted to go for it, but it's gonna cost shedloads, so I have a few reservations. My main questions are....

    1. Have you dealt with Computeach? Are they all they promise? How much blag do they give, and how much is honest?

    2. How relevant is a CIW qualification to the job market??? I've found reference to it online, and it seems to be a recognised accreditation, BUT I haven't found ANY employers who specifically mention it when I search web jobs. I have gathered experience is the major selling factor in getting jobs, such as a portfolio of work.

    3. Take a deep breath... is £4200 a stupid ammount for such a qualification? Are there more effective and less costly routes? e.g. shorter college courses, learning flash, HTML, etc, from books....

    I'm sure there are other questions I have, but they're the main ones I have floating around my head right now. Any advice on the matter would be GREATLY appreciated.... :blink
  2. carolinaviking

    carolinaviking Bit Poster

    I don't know if this will help you at all, but I'll offer it anyway. I'm an American and I know you can get certified as a "Webmaster" by completing online coursework through Gatlin Educational Services. I don't know anything about the quality of the Gatlin programs, but I am planning on completing some soon. The thing is, when you get the certificate, it isn't from Gatlin, but rather the University that sponsors it. The key for you is to decide whether a credential on your CV from an American university would help you in England. I would recommend the University of Georgia (http://www.gactr.uga.edu/is/gatlin/index.html) or the University of Tennessee (http://www.outreach.tennessee.edu/ppd/onlinecourses/default.htm). If the program you're looking at right now is known to be online, then I don't see why an online program from the U.S. would not be just as beneficial to you. In fact, having an American university listed on there might make your CV stand out from the others more than a CIW certificate. The kicker is that the "Webmaster" program costs only $1500, which is about £750! Quite a bit less than you're looking at now. And yes, the Gatlin programs will ship your textbooks overseas. I have only seen a few reviews on the Gatlin programs, but they have all been positive. The webmaster program would take you several months to complete, so it doesn't seem like a cheap, quick program to me.
  3. Boycie
    Honorary Member

    Boycie Senior Beer Tester

    Hi Mike,

    My brother did the Webmaster course (not with the trainer you have mentioned). His opinion is that although it teaches you about general internet commerce and technologies it doesn't teach you how to build websites and he feels it didn't really help when it came to looking for jobs.
    Most employers want a list of sites you have made for clients.
    Sorry, if this all sounds negative but it his opinion.
    Certifications: MCSA 2003, MCDST, A+, N+, CTT+, MCT
  4. MikeyTen4

    MikeyTen4 Bit Poster

    Hmmm, thanks guys, that's a good start.

    Carolinaviking - I'll take a look at what you've suggested. You're right about the cost - that's less than the 20% of the feethat I have to pay myself over the first year of studying! The other 80% is paid with a special loan whihc I then start to pay back in 2 years time - supposedly at a point where my earnings are much better as a result anyway. Not sure how the course you've suggested equates though, since you say it'll take a few months. The Computeach CIW course will take around 2 years to fully complete, based on studying at home around 8 hours a week.

    Boyce - Thanks for your input too, that's VERY interesting.... I've already managed to gather that having a portfolio of work, e.g. websites created / published, is beneficial in the market, perhaps more so than any single certification. BUT Computeach say they will actually help me to build a portfolio as I go through the course, supposedly including the creation of sites within my studies. If this is the case I would believe that 'how to build a site 101' would be in there. The breakdown of the Computeach course does show segments such as "CIW Site Designer" and "issue of Macromedia Studio MX" also, so this leads me to think the same.

    Basically it's an important question, because I was under the impression that signing up to a web design course would teach me exactly how to build sites, not just theory!

    More input on this would be great, so keep it coming please!!!!
  5. KeithNN

    KeithNN Byte Poster

    I did have my eye on the CIW Website Designer course when I was looking for the next step. ICS were doing a course (around the £600-ish mark) but I see it's not listed on the website anymore. Now, as I recall from the brochure they did claim you learned how to use FrontPage, Dreamweaver and HomeSite so I'd assume they'd show you how to put together a website?
    Certifications: MCSA/MCSE, MCDST, MOS Mstr, Sec+,Net+,A+
    WIP: 70-284
  6. Phoenix
    Honorary Member

    Phoenix 53656e696f7220 4d6f64

    except learning how to use frontpage has nothing to do with real websites, hehe ;)
    Certifications: MCSE, MCITP, VCP
    WIP: > 0
  7. carolinaviking

    carolinaviking Bit Poster

    Hey MikeyTen4,

    Wow, I didn't realise the CIW course was 2 years! Let me ask you, do you have a college degree? If so, I'd recommend spending your time and money on a two-year graduate degree instead of the webmaster certificate. There are tons of online, two-year degrees. Go to www.degreeinfo.com and explore their forums. If not a degree, perhaps a graduate certificate in an IT-related field...that would not take more than a year and would cost less, in most cases. If you don't have a college degree, you might consider getting a two-year college degree of some sort. And there are plenty of undergraduate level certificates in IT-related fields. I just think that would be far more valuable to you in the long run than a webmaster certificate. At least you'd get college credit for your work, and that is something. Plus, employers like to see accredited, university level work on your CV.
  8. MikeyTen4

    MikeyTen4 Bit Poster

    Yeah, i do have a degree, but it's in no way associated to IT or web design..... BA (Hons) Music from Uni of Westminster. Part of the reason I'm now looking at a career in IT - I discovered once I graduated that music (particularly technology & business as I studied), as with many other creative degrees, is one of those subjects where the opportunities are very narrow, and the places you can live to even have a hope of making a living out of it are limited again. It's something that I might decide to make more of once I have more money to do something like set up a label, but at the moment I have bills to pay.

    As a side product of that degree I have a £14k student loan to pay over the coming years and also a personal loan of £10k over 5 years whihc I used to pay off other debts and furnish my home.... so you can understand my reluctance to spend another £4k on a certification that might not be all it's cracked up to be.

    I'm really not feeling as confident as I need to about the Computeach course at the moment if I'm honest, but I'm not being negative..... other options are lookign increasingly brighter.

    Keep the info coming, I'd especially like to hear from anyone who has or is studying with computeach too!!!
  9. JonnyMX

    JonnyMX Petabyte Poster

    Boyce is quite right there.
    I did Master CIW Designer in about 4 months. As I've said in other threads, I really do think it teaches you stuff of value if you want to get into web design - but actually how to build a real life web site isn't one of them.
    The only thing is, there is no real alternative if Web design is the route you want to take as a cert.
    I really enjoyed the course and found it very interesting - I wouldn't want to put anyone of doing it.
    That's hell of a lot of money though!
    Have you shopped around? I know my training provider, IT Skills, does CIW for under £4,000 and it includes 2 MCP's. Don't know which ones though.
    Certifications: MCT, MCTS, i-Net+, CIW CI, Prince2, MSP, MCSD

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