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Home Learning Direct

Discussion in 'Training & Development' started by PostalVote, Jun 5, 2005.

  1. PostalVote

    PostalVote New Member

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    Hi all.

    Has anyone here heard of Home Learning Direct? The day after my meeting with the Computeach guy I received a flyer through the door advertising various distance learning courses, VB.NET being one them.

    Confusing them with Learn Direct, I gave them a call and now have another sales person coming round :rolleyes: Just wondered if anyone could give me a heads up.

    I have had a quick look at their website, but its just a shop window with very little actual detail.

    I'm quite disappointed that these training providers never offer any estimate of costs until they send a bloke round. I only called on a whim as I'm curious, but if the price is anything more than a very cheap weekend break then I can't afford it anyway.

    Regards
    Mike
     
    Certifications: Nun
    WIP: Exploring Options
  2. Jakamoko
    Honorary Member

    Jakamoko On the move again ...

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    Don't think that one rings a bell, Mike - maybe someone can shed morelight on this. Other than that, just follow the usual guidance when the guy comes round - eg pinches of salt, etc.
     
    Certifications: MCP, A+, Network+
    WIP: Clarity
  3. PostalVote

    PostalVote New Member

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    Thanks Gav.

    Living on the coast I have plenty of salt, and I doubt I will take up the course regardless of how good it may be (unless its so cheap its free). I feel a tad guilty about wasting the sales persons time, but if they'd just answer questions on the help line they'd know whether or not to visit. Oh hum.

    I will report back on my findings, most of their courses seem business orientated and pitched at a relatively low level, but its good to know whats out there.

    Regards
    Mike
     
    Certifications: Nun
    WIP: Exploring Options
  4. JonnyMX

    JonnyMX Petabyte Poster

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    I had a flyer from them.
    They seem to offer courses from IT to ironing.
    'fraid that's all I know...
     
    Certifications: MCT, MCTS, i-Net+, CIW CI, Prince2, MSP, MCSD
  5. trev216

    trev216 New Member

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    Yes you're right its a clever/respectable con. The professional bodies that support HLD are part of HLD. The SQA does not recommend or ratify any of their courses. HLD is not QCA supported. Learn Direct do not recommend them. What HLD don't tell you is that the courses cost £1200 approx and that you pay as you learn - to a Express Finance (linked to HLD) and woe betide you if you can't cope with the course - you keep paying anyway, or risk court action.

    HLD was the Learning Library and one of its directors was jailed for fraud.

    Also the people who phone you are just a messaging service. It is nigh on impossible to get a phone number and speak to anyone at HLD.

    Oh yes and their Computer Maintenance Course material is out of date and irrelevant. (Who needs to know about 5 1/4 inch floppies these days.)

    Regards

    Trev
     
  6. Sarah

    Sarah Byte Poster

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    They seem a little too "do everything" with few actually IT Courses - apart from that I must say that I have never heard of them before!
     
  7. Trudy

    Trudy New Member

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    Home Learning Direct - Nightmare!!
    Don't touch them with a barge pole.

    They have no brochures/information on courses to send you. They'll offer to sign you up, to give you an opportunity to view the course material, and you if you decide not to continue you can send the material back and cancel.
    They are very persuasive!

    Well, yes I fell for it, I know, how naive!

    The finance company don't allow you to cancel and Home Learning Direct won't take the immaculate course material back because I've had it for more than 14 days.
    No mention of 14 days on the contract, in fact no mention of any "Your right to cancel this agreement".

    If anyone has any ideas to help, that would be wonderful.
     
  8. Boycie
    Honorary Member

    Boycie Senior Beer Tester

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    It sounds like Jonny has summed them up! Go to Amazon and get some books and save a fortune. :biggrin
     
    Certifications: MCSA 2003, MCDST, A+, N+, CTT+, MCT
  9. simongrahamuk
    Honorary Member

    simongrahamuk Hmmmmmmm?

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    What Boyce said! :biggrin
     
  10. Jac

    Jac New Member

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    I've just started a web design course with home learning direct! after reading what people have put in different forums i am now regreting it. does anyone know if or how i can cancel it?????

    Jac
     
  11. simongrahamuk
    Honorary Member

    simongrahamuk Hmmmmmmm?

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    Jac, if you have just started the course then you should still be in the cooling off period. Get in touch with them and cancel ASAP, or you could find that you are stuck with them.

    8)
     
  12. ffreeloader

    ffreeloader Terabyte Poster

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    I was in a home learning program for 3 1/2 years.
     
    Certifications: MCSE, MCDBA, CCNA, A+
    WIP: LPIC 1
  13. simongrahamuk
    Honorary Member

    simongrahamuk Hmmmmmmm?

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    Ahh, but now you're doing what is known as 'work based learning'!

    :biggrin
     
  14. ffreeloader

    ffreeloader Terabyte Poster

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    You hit that nail on the head. In 3 1/2 years of learning at home I learned enough to so that now I get paid to learn on the job. Funny how that works isn't it?

    Actually, I was hoping to hijack this thread a little, but in a different direction. That direction was: Anyone who studies remotely(at home) is teaching themselves. Why pay some company for the privelege of teaching yourself? I've never really understood the concept. Spend the money on several thousand dollars worth of used computer equipment, a decent used workstation, and books, books, and more books instead of having someone tell you to teach yourself. Anyone who does that will be far ahead of the game.

    There were times in the last year or so that I doubted my own wisdom, but I'm now proof-of-concept. What I'm about to say isn't to brag, but to give hope. However, I do not offer any hope to those braindump their certs or do not aquire the needed hardware to get the hands-on practice they need to cement the theoretical into practical knowledge. To those people I say, if you're planning on getting certifications that way you will be up a creek without a paddle. Your certs will not help you become employed.

    After 3 1/2 years of the same kind of effort a person would give in working their butt off an average of at least 8 hours a day, 6 days a week, I got a job that started me off at $30/hr. I pay my own taxes, but it's still a very good wage for newbie. I would never have gotten the job without Linux skills, or if I hadn't put forth the effort it takes to really learn. I got the job because I could demonstrate considerable skills. I'm actually doing a combination of level 2 and level 3 system engineering.

    Will everyone get a first job like this one? I doubt it, but I guess I'm proof it can happen.
     
    Certifications: MCSE, MCDBA, CCNA, A+
    WIP: LPIC 1
  15. Bluerinse
    Honorary Member

    Bluerinse Exabyte Poster

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    I totally agree with Freddy's point of view, and I think most other experienced self studier's would say the same. The problem seems to be the Hype that surrounds IT. TV adverts, newspaper ads all targeted at young people that think they know about computers. They are being mislead by people with no idea what they are talking about.

    I can tell you that even after the 11 years that I have been involved in IT and attain the MCSE, that it scares me sometimes when I walk into a new company and start clicking around on their domain controllers. You don't always know how they have been set up and the DNS configurations etc can be mind blowing. This is not a job for the faint hearted and it is not a job for a kid that is good on computers. It is a job for someone that is dedicated to learning, someone who is prepared to continue to teach themselves because the learning never ends. It is a job that needs excellent customer handling skills, an understanding of business practises and a solid understanding of security. And more...

    People cannot braindump there way into this industry, it is a waste of time trying. If you want to be successful, well then you need to get some real hands on experience (not easy to find) and you need to be in the frame of mind that you have to learn complicated stuff, forever more.

    Funny how the TV and other ads or career advisor's or the teachers or the recruitment agencies or the training providers salesman, never seem to mention this :blink
     
    Certifications: C&G Electronics - MCSA (W2K) MCSE (W2K)
  16. ffreeloader

    ffreeloader Terabyte Poster

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    The best alternative to getting volunteer or paid experience is to do what I did. I built a lab and made my home network as much as possible like a business environment as I could. I set up AD, DNS, DHCP, OU's, worked with NTFS and share permissions, and gpo's until I could set up any user or group and either allow or deny them access to anything I wanted to.

    You may very limited as to the number of workstations and servers you can set up, but your imagination is your only limit in setting up AD scenarios.

    Learn Linux and learn how to integrate it into a MS-centric, AD domain network. Set up Samba file servers and print servers. Integrate them into an AD domain. Set up Apache web servers. And from my experience in my new job, learn how to integrate Tomcat with Apache so that the servers can run web applications using Java, AJAX, and PHP. It's a hot trend that is highly technical and takes a lot work to set it up, but it's now a valuable skill and only going to get more valuable in the future.

    Also, learn Bind and a couple of Linux DHCP daemons. All of this will come in handy. And, the best part of learning Linux is that it will make you a much more knowledgeable server admin. Your computing skills will greatly increase as you learn Linux.

    I'd also advise learning MySQL and Postgresql database servers. They are hot technology and worth the effort. More and more small businesses are moving to them because SQL server is just too expensive for a small business to aquire and license.

    Scripting skills are also needed. If you think you can administer a few serves, do the user support needed in a small company, and not automate a lot the daily, time consuming duties of an admin you're going to be in for a huge surprise. Scripting skills are a definite necessity, and the ability to read code in a few different languages is a huge plus.

    Spend time learning how to use security tools such as nmap, ethereal, nessus, and a variety of firewall technologies.

    All of this a person can do in a home lab. They are all valuable skills and are in demand in the IT world. Certification is something to start with, but it's not enough to really give a newbie the skills he/she needs to succeed.
     
    Certifications: MCSE, MCDBA, CCNA, A+
    WIP: LPIC 1
  17. 9box

    9box Bit Poster

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    Hi folks, Newbie here weeping into my keyboard. Having paid er um, more money than you'll care to know, up front, for a course that, promises me, ecdl, mcsa, A+, network+, mcse, security+. in 50 days of training.Yeah right. :dry . Even if what they said was true, I dont feel that i would be sufficiently "experienced" to be let loose on a real live it environment at the end.
    I am now beginning to realise just how much work is required in order to complete all of the above in 18 months. Even tho i came from an engineering background, i really havnt had that much to do with computing and i wasnt a natural gamer or anything. Shucks i'm finding basic access b*****y difficult as it is. Regrets are sprouting shoots, setting roots, growing well. I dont want them bearing bitter fruits.
    Oh how I wish i had come accross this site, and read even some, of the fine comments and good opinions from your good selves, above, and on other forums. I will give it my best shot, but am now realising that as good as an mcse is, its not really good enough on its own to "guarantee a position with a min salary of 20+k" As the advert infront of me boldly says!!!!http://www.UKITtraining.com Have a look and see for your selves. Its also all win 2k based as well dont know if that initself is worth commenting on....
     
  18. Jakamoko
    Honorary Member

    Jakamoko On the move again ...

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    Hey 9box - try not to get disheartened by what you read in this and other threads. Read around elsewhere on here, and you will find countless stories of success and inspiration. You're on the IT cert path now - let us, and yourself, help you to have a positive and upbeat approach to it and go for it for all you are worth - which I damn sure is a lot.

    Good luck, my friend. :thumbleft
     
    Certifications: MCP, A+, Network+
    WIP: Clarity
  19. ffreeloader

    ffreeloader Terabyte Poster

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    I would echo what Gav said. What I said probably looks pretty overwhelming to someone just starting out. However, go read my post on this thread and you will have a much better framework to understand the context of what I said on this thread. It's just hard to say it all in one post. Don't get discouraged with how much it looks like there is to learn. That is actually one of the best parts of working in IT.

    I tend to talk a lot about how much there is to learn because so many people think that they can get into IT and have a successful career in it just be reading a book or two designed to get you to pass a certification exam and not even practicing what they are studying. That's simply not true and won't give a person the needed skills.

    There is what seems to me to be a foundational principle to understand about advertising by IT training providers: There is no truth in advertising. If you understand that then you won't be sucked in by TV ads saying that it's possible to study for a month or two and then start a job that pays money you can only dream about.

    No one thinks they can be a CPA, a physicist, a CEO, or any other job in which it takes great skill to succeed by reading a couple of books. IT is no different. This is one of the fastest changing and highest level of knowledge professions you can choose. And make no mistake about it, this is a profession. It is possible to earn a "professionals" income in this field, but it takes the same amount of effort to enter this profession as it does to enter any of the other professions.
     
    Certifications: MCSE, MCDBA, CCNA, A+
    WIP: LPIC 1
  20. Bluerinse
    Honorary Member

    Bluerinse Exabyte Poster

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    And if it's any consolation, I find access difficult too :rolleyes:
     
    Certifications: C&G Electronics - MCSA (W2K) MCSE (W2K)

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