1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Hi people. Advice appreciated.

Discussion in 'New Members Introduction' started by Simonicus, Dec 8, 2009.

  1. Simonicus

    Simonicus New Member

    Hey well my story in brief is have (emphasis on past tense lol) been studying with Computeach. A+ / mcse. Probably says a lot already but was scouting round the web for advice as my "contract has expired" and found you guys. Been thinking should have studied off my own bat in the first place not these clowns but hey live and learn etc. (grrr) Seen many many similar posts about them in many many places and wont have too big a moan as this is supposed to be an intro and im new here. First impressions and all, but seriously this looks like a genuinely good place to be. And I need the sound advice and thoughts from your collective wisdom.:)

    Just been laid off too so out of work, and in the middle of a house move sorta in a no mans land of should I still try to get my foot into IT or accept other work.
    Beggars cant be choosers huh but I guess im asking what its really like in a junior/trainee level IT environment... anyone in that area now and any advice from people here that started down there? Its been a dream of mine to work with computers etc, but I held off for so long just because I thought if I worked with them all day and then came home to them (not that I dont amuse myself with other stuff heh) it would eventually destroy my passion. Is this a fools logic or do you find it doesnt really make too much difference in your life? Then there was con sorry computeach which not from lack of effort has sorta burst my IT shaped bubble and part of me is also thinking why bother... but then I do actually enjoy reading material - more so Meyers A+ for example than the rubbish computeach sent me so if its worth pursuing im going to learn on my own at my own pace and in my own time (sound familiar?) and to the exams and a college or something instead of go all the way from portsmouth to dudley for a "workshop"

    And then im in continuing discussion with computeach about the quality of... and my money... nevermind save that for later.

    Thanks for listening
    Certifications: Mcp
    WIP: A+
  2. ginger_george77

    ginger_george77 New Member

    Hi Simon, Thanks for your honest post. I was just thinking about signing up with Computeach to help start my IT career. Its seems as though you have had a bad experience with them. Do you mind sharing any further details regarding your experience. I think i have pretty much decided to study for the A+ on my own, but as i do not have an IT background (apart from using computers personally) i was considering using Computeach as a training provider to give me some support. It sounds as though i need to reconsider..!? Its becoming more and more difficult to find any positive feedback on Computeach...
  3. BosonMichael
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

    I similarly avoided working in IT because of that very reason. In fact, I got a degree in Chemistry. Then while looking (and looking and looking) for a chemist/research position, I found a good opportunity for a field service tech, so I gave it a shot. Never looked back, and I have no regrets. And I certainly didn't lose my passion for computers!

    Self study is the way to go, in my opinion. :)

    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!
  4. WinShaman

    WinShaman New Member

    I really wouldn't use Computeach for A+ training (I live near the offices, I'll say no more). Save your money and set up a lab machine to play around on... buy some high quality study guides, and exam preparation software.

    With regards to the job role.... My first IT role was on the HP desktop support (Brio/Vectra) and I must say that after two years of that I couldn't find the motivation to continue my studies. I think that type of role can set you back if you're a more 'active' person, and those types should really aspire to a 'hands on' type opportunity.
    Certifications: A+, MCTS, LPIC-1
    WIP: LPIC-2
  5. Simonicus

    Simonicus New Member

    Hey george, michael - good to meet you.
    Based on my personal experience, I wouldnt honestly recomend computeach to you george. That said however much I may despise certain elements or reckon on my negative experiences, it is just that - my experience. Others have had similar, yet others have come out positive and everyone has different circumstance, ways of learning etc.

    All I will say is that I do believe my money would have been better spent elsewhere and the structure of learning does require 200% dedication all the time. Its advertised as in your own time but it isnt - obviously you cant study forever but the thing is, even with a personal schedule if you fall behind once - and you will likely fall behind for many reasons like personal circumstance, holiday to dubai, with the keenest mind and willpower there are countless other varibles that can affect regular study. Letters will be sent and you can ask for extensions so that may not seem a problem initially, or perhaps it wont be.
    The material I did struggle with, as others had noted there were a number of questions in exams that were not covered in the material provided and often I had to use other sources for my revision, much to my annoyance prompting me to wonder what exactly had my money paid for apart from the books ( some information quite out of date ) tutor support a few meals at dudley and the fabled exam guarantee which turned out to be more along the lines of workshops so intense you should be ashamed if you failed lol. Its changed recently I believe but the online component of learning called netG was abysmal, like some piece of beta software. Hours would be spent cramming for an exam the idea being you may see where you went wrong and address the issue, but it often crashed losing all progress. When I begun my training and reached the early mock stages for it was done on paper which had to be sent off in the post. Yes snail mail. 40 or so questions and often had trouble with mail not being recieved, maybe due to the royal mail who knows but more time was lost waiting for mail to be recieved and sent / has it hasnt it been recieved / thankyou for calling or mailing computeach etc.
    Then there was an online mock, aiming to get a high score to get to dudley invitation for real exam. Any wrong questions you had to email them saying which you thought were wrong, with a limit of like 5 or 6 maybe in each email. When you sent them you got the standard we will reply within 5 days response and then comes the wisdom try reading this "chapter". Oh that narrows it down then. That was a painfully slow dialogue between me and computeach just for one mock exam that took weeks to resolve a few questions. More time wasted. And when you pass the mock? Ah yes mr student person sir, the next available invitation is in seven weeks time.
    You What? See where Im going with this? All these little time gobblers all mounted up. I wanted to learn. I really did, I struggled with material, used the forums, mailed the tutors and even after a few years managed to get signed on to the employment department which was supposed to be when we came to dudley for the first time which never happened. Or the second time. I or anyone else in my group recieved the "free toolkit" although that seems inconsequential these things annoyed me as I believed that I had paid for them anyway.

    Now recently I got the standard letter they send when your current study limit expires. Oh no problem I thought just a polite email will sort this out. Right? Wrong.
    There is this little thing whereby if your study period comes to an end after a certain time you have to pay more money per quarter to continue. Yes they happily grant extensions if you keep them in the loop, a certain number of times. I told them of my desire in previous email that should this study period come to an end, i would request my remaining material as some others had apparently done on the computeach forum. The reply was to mention it again closer to the course end date. Fastforward a few months and I get the afformentioned letter, asking for a direct debit to continue study. I had paid the full sum for my courses upfront at the start. I used a career development loan from barclays and paid it off and lived frugally for a while. I viewed the remaining material as mine as in Ive paid for (tutor support, books, exam guarentee etc) upfront.
    They point out bluntly that their "legal obligation" to me has expired and refer to the contract. I continue to argue my case stating previous note to receive material in this event (adeqete for the 7 day period of telling them my desire months ago) amongst other things but now as I am in the process of moving house, this place is chaos right now and I did not tell them a second time ( ie the recently recieved letter response) within seven days, I get nothing.
    I understand 7 days is reasonable but firstly there was no indication there would be no more extensions after this letter, secondly I told them what I wanted to do before hand in preparation for the event that my study expires, and followed their advice but even though they say all is taken on a case by case basis, its a no go.
    I continue to argue my case.
    I also changed my course track mid study from mcse/ ccna ccnp to mcse A+ as I saw this coming and reckoned on being given A+ material would be more beneficial in the short term. I would not exagerate if i said that I was missold on this product, both in its quality ( out of date material) fit for purpose (sloppy netG online components) and yes the salesman gave me the aptitude test too. Strangely enough I passed that.

    Oh and one last thing, those microsoft exams? Theres always several ways to acheive a goal on a computer, or to fix a problem - thats one of the great things but then theres the bill gates way. That could be something as simple as using control panel as opposed to my computer > properties. They both may do the same thing but watch out! If it doesnt go down as you read in the book ( which may not even tell you anyway ) you have lost a mark, for something that wasnt covered in the course material. Im not critisising the microsoft exams, but be careful, they can be sneaky blighters.
    Certifications: Mcp
    WIP: A+
  6. Simonicus

    Simonicus New Member

    Thanks for your input too there mike and shaman. Good advice.
    I promise my future posts willl not be so long lol:oops:
    Certifications: Mcp
    WIP: A+
  7. dalsoth

    dalsoth Kilobyte Poster

    Welcome. :biggrin I have a habit of writing essays sometimes too :oops:

    Good luck with the house move and job hunting. Sounds like you had a rough time with a training provider. I don't use them myself but you never know, there are a few out there that people probably quite like. Self study can be tough too although i prefer it myself. There are other options such as a local college course if you find things need a little more structure but not another wasted 6k or so. If i do not kick myself up the backside with this latest exam and get my motivation going, i will end up booking in to tresham college for it myself.

    Once you start in IT you will love it i am sure. IT staff can moan and groan but i do think most would not swap it for anything else.... well maybe for a lottery win and early retirement:D
    Certifications: MCSE, MCP, MCDST, MCSA, ITIL v3
  8. Simonicus

    Simonicus New Member

    Im def going for self study now. Its been decided :)
    My training provider want nothing more to do with me and I say its a waste of my energy and focus to continue fighting my case with them. I was burned and owe a little money but others have come off far worse. I do still have a strong and documented opinion of the whole shebang if needed to report certain practices to watchdog maybe in the future but equally thats only my experience. For now im moving on and I will leave it there...

    There is one thing though apsects of the contract have since been changed concerning certain issues it seems and I wonder if that carries any weight, if it does I will push for the material or a partial refund. It goes like this:

    The office of fair trading have investigated various unfair terms in the "Terms and conditions of enrolment" back in 2000 and a number of terms and clauses were revised. Google "Unfair Contract Terms Bulletin 14" and scan the document for a computeach entry. In my recent emails to them, they frequently cite the contract expiring as one of their main arguments. The contract I signed and thus I believe the legally binding one is "terms and conditions of enrolment", from when I begun my course.
    Now term 9 in my contract states:

    "Course fees are set with the presumption all students will take the course through to completion, therefore no allowance is made for students wishing to abandon studies. Full agreed fees must be paid in all cases and no refund of fees already paid will be made available in any circumstances, with the exception of term 21" (Nothing in the terms and conditions will reduce the students rights under current uk law including statutory rights relating to the supply of unsatisfactory goods or services)
    There were a number of unsatisfactory aspects in my experience.

    In the office of fair trading report,term 9 was later revised because it "excluded consumers rights under the sale of goods act 1982 by ruling out all possibility of refunds where studies were abandoned"

    With reference to not contacting them within 7 days as the prime reason regarding the sending of unused material, or at least a partial refund for what I had paid upfront I have since seen this announcement in the "new" contract on their homepage which I rarely visited ( more often the student forums when i did go to the site) it was news to me, besides even if I had seen it, it was not surely a legally binding contract as I had not signed it in anyway - I only had my original contract from when I signed up.

    Please correct me if ive got the wrong end of the stick here but the way I see it is Myself (the student) and the training provider (computeach) are both legally bound to the contract I signed. The event of the student recieving unused material or refund in any form should be covered legally by the terms and conditions of the signed contract. Except one of the crucial points in my contract regarding this exact issue has been deemed unfair by the office of fair trade and after an investigation had been changed. I had not recieved any new replacement contract, nor had I signed any new contract with these ammendments thus the condition the training provider states - the seven day cut off is nullified and the condition on my contract regarding a refund or the sending of uncompleted material has been challenged and since edited as it had been deemed unfair by an independant study - after i had signed it.
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2009
    Certifications: Mcp
    WIP: A+
  9. jamman32

    jamman32 Nibble Poster

    Hi Simonicus,
    Im not in IT as yes, but working on self study..I was with a training provider for a while but found early on it was not of any use.
    Then by chance i stumbled on to certforum, These guys and girls know there stuff and are a great bunch all ways ready to assist where they can...

    Recommend sticking with the idea of getting into IT . If its something you truely enjoy keep at it...

    good luck with it all...
    Certifications: city & guilds engineering
    WIP: comptia a+ n+/ linux+
  10. Simonicus

    Simonicus New Member

    hey jaman,
    Cheers for the encouragement. You ppl have pretty much confirmed my gut feeling :)

    What is it that you would like to do in IT, J ?
    Certifications: Mcp
    WIP: A+
  11. Alex399

    Alex399 Byte Poster

    Holy Moly :blink those are some long posts youve posted :biggrin
    I shall read them once I get back from work.

    Ive taken up a handful of courses with Advent and I only discovered this forum shortly after signing the dotted line...

    I suggest you self study as I failed to realise "How much" the courses actually cost in comparison to self study, the majority of the large sum of money you pay go towards the mentors and the freephone support line you have 9-5 mon-fri with slightly shorter hours on the sat.

    I was told my the preachy sales guy by Advent training that the mentor telephone was available 9am-8pm
    so I thought PERFECT I can speak to them after I finished work to help with my studying.
    This was too good to be true! I discovered shortly after that the salesman lied through his back teeth.
    From 5pm-8pm it is simply a messaging service by a completley different company that simply leave a message for the mentors to call you in the morning.

    I considered that to be very sneakey, I was told this, theres not evidence of this on the documents you sign, I confirmed with him there is a mentoring service from 9am-8pm (5pm-8pm being the part that matters for me as I work full time) and he simply replied yes. The sales man was obviously wanting commision so badly that he was prepared to tell me a big fat lie... I was well and truly made a fool of.

    But enough of me moaning, I'm with them now and need to make the most of there services.
    Personally my advice would be do self study route as you really can't beleive anything a salesman is going to say to you! a large percentage of there salary is made up of commision I Imagine so It figures.

    For a Comptia A+, Comptia N+, MCP, MCDST I beleive to get all of the study materials and exam prepration software would cut the price in half to what you pay Computeach? correct me If I'm wrong :oops:

    Most importantly of all! Welcome to Certforums and enjoy your stay! :D
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2009
    WIP: A+, N+, MCP, MCDST

Share This Page