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In Cooling Off Period With Advent IT Training

Discussion in 'New Members Introduction' started by ohmygawd, Apr 3, 2008.

  1. ohmygawd

    ohmygawd New Member

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    Hi to all,

    Please help another newbie! I am within a couple of days of my cooling off period after signing up for Microsoft Certified Database Specialist with Advent IT Training.

    Currently on a break from career as single mum with 1 sproggly. Was in IT sector for 4 years working on Oracle DB. Am currently studying OCA (one day I'll get qualified!) and have just signed up for Microsoft Certified Database Specialist with Advent Training. I'm a gal that needs a bit of study structure, so opted for an IT Provider. I've heard and read so many horror stories that I am now getting the jitters!

    Are Advent OK? Not just money grabbing wossits? Are the course materials good?

    If anyone can advise, it would be greatly appreciated...

    :rolleyes:
     
    Certifications: Diploma in IT
    WIP: OCA
  2. GiddyG

    GiddyG Terabyte Poster Gold Member

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    Questions I would ask, and apologies upfront for asking them, are:

    - how much are you paying?
    - can you really afford it?
    - why can't you do it using books and PC, and Internet?
    - how is Advent different to using books, PC and Internet?
    - Does Advent come to your house or do you go to them?

    John
     
  3. dmarsh

    dmarsh Terabyte Poster

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    I not sure if they are a good or bad provider but as an Oracle DBA you should not require a course to learn Microsoft SQL Server, you could have saved the money, self studied and its probably possible for some people to pass the exams in two-three months full on study.

    MCTS: SQL Server 2005 = 1 Exam

    MCITP: Database Administrator = Extra 2

    Thats three exams in total, probably three training guides at 800-1000 pages each.

    Personally if you know your stuff I find 100-150 pages a day possible with full time study (12 hours a day), plus M$ books have large fonts and a lot of pictures.

    Call it 3000 pages, full time study, 100 pages per day, thats 30 days, maybe add a few days for extra cramming, plus a few days to take the exams. So still easilly possible for someone motivated with prior experience and enough time to do it in under 50 days.

    Now at this point some people will tell me I'm nuts, but thats exactly how I did my MCPD. Every day you're out of work you're losing money, if you're doing certs to get your next job, you'd better be doing certs ! So thats what I did pretty much non stop for two months. I think it took me two and a half in the end but I had to answer the phone to talk to agents and go to interviews, sit company tests etc, so even with my approach I lost days.

    Now with kids I expect its different, my sisters lucky if shes gets 2 hours a day free, but they same approach still stands, plus a training provider will also expect you to put the hours in.
     
    Certifications: CITP, BSc, HND, SCJP, SCJD, SCWCD, SCBCD, SCEA, N+, Sec+, Proj+, Server+, Linux+, MCTS, MCPD, MCSA, MCITP, CCDH
  4. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    Yikes. :blink

    If you've worked as an Oracle DBA in the past, you don't need a training course... you need a couple of books and some time at night to study... and that's about it. Save your money.
     
    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!
  5. ohmygawd

    ohmygawd New Member

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    Wow, thank you for such a quick response, John!

    The cost is £4750 deferred for a year. A truck load of money, I agree, yet I am determined so will be able to fund it.

    I guess I need a structured approach, hence using an IT provider. To be honest, I never thought about self study. Wouldn't know where to begin!

    The study materials arrive at my house in the form of books and CD-ROM, as well as a couple of training days at their location per module.

    I have been waivering on this a bit and as someone mentioned just today they were ripped off by a learning provider (not by Advent), so just want to make sure I am doing the right thing by using them. Can't find any negative or positive comments about them so far. What I do know is that I need to get up to date with the industry, as I've had nearly 3 years out!

    Regards Cora
     
    Certifications: Diploma in IT
    WIP: OCA
  6. GiddyG

    GiddyG Terabyte Poster Gold Member

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    Cora,

    You really don't need to spend the cash you're planning to, just as Michael and DMarsh have said. Advent will be there for only part of the time; the rest of the time, you'll be working on your own anyway.

    Buy some good books, and spend a few hours a night studying.

    All the best.

    John
     
  7. dmarsh

    dmarsh Terabyte Poster

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    Amazon delivers to your house too ! :biggrin

    http://www.amazon.com/Self-Paced-Training-70-431-70-443-70-444/dp/0735623775/ref=pd_sim_b_title_2

    SQL Express is Free

    http://www.microsoft.com/sql/editions/express/default.mspx

    Plus the kit will normally come with a full eval good for 90 days, if it doesn't look at downloading an eval from M$, they are normally available, otherwise try a technet subscription. The you need to pay for three exams with prometric at £90 a pop.

    Either way you could do it yourself for £350-£600. Plus a PC and internet.
     
    Certifications: CITP, BSc, HND, SCJP, SCJD, SCWCD, SCBCD, SCEA, N+, Sec+, Proj+, Server+, Linux+, MCTS, MCPD, MCSA, MCITP, CCDH
  8. ohmygawd

    ohmygawd New Member

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    Thank you to all of you for your excellent advice.

    I shall now rummage around and compare costs of self cert against Advent.

    Have a nice evening :biggrin
     
    Certifications: Diploma in IT
    WIP: OCA
  9. ManicD

    ManicD Byte Poster

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    Personally, i'm with a reasonable training provider and i say, stay away from advent.

    they actually offer you NOTHING you cant get from your local waterstones.

    go to a bookstore or look online, you seem to have a good base knowledge so studying should just be topping up and preparing for exams, buy the books online and scrap yoru deal with advent
     
    Certifications: MCSA, N+, A+(Tech), ECDL
    WIP: 70-294, 70-298
  10. ohmygawd

    ohmygawd New Member

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    ManicD,

    Thank you for your advice. I shall seriously look into the self-study route.
    Eek! Should have checked this forum first!
     
    Certifications: Diploma in IT
    WIP: OCA
  11. Sparky
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    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

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    To be honest if you are in any doubt then cancel the contract. 8)
     
    Certifications: MSc MCSE MCSA:M MCSA:S MCITP:EA MCTS(x5) Security+ Network+ A+
    WIP: Exchange 2007\2010
  12. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    Send me a TENTH of the £4750, and I'll make sure you get a structured approach. 8)

    Alternatively... just listen to our advice and don't pay me ANYTHING. :thumbleft
     
    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!
  13. Fergal1982

    Fergal1982 Petabyte Poster

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    Agreed. You can always sign up again for it later if you decide that it is actually for you. If you think you might not want to go with them, drop out now before they bind you into the contract. Once in, theres no way out, and you will be liable to pay the full amount, regardless of how much of it you use.
     
    Certifications: ITIL Foundation; MCTS: Visual Studio Team Foundation Server 2010, Administration
    WIP: None at present
  14. Mr Machfisto

    Mr Machfisto Nibble Poster

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    Hi there

    Where I do agree with some of the comments above, I also disagree with many.

    YES, do have a big long think about the financing of the course, this is one hell of an investment for you and shouldn't be taken lightly.

    Should you self study....well in my eyes NO. I tried to do this and failed misreably. I am now with a TP and doing very well for myself. I needed the motivation given by spending my hard earned cash to better my career.

    One final point regarding the funding. You say the loan is deffered for 12 months, if this is the same deal as I was looking at before, the APR Rate is around 30% after the year is up, so be very careful. I ended up getting Career Development Loan, which is defferd for 2 years and the APR rate is then around 7%. Saying that I am due to pay it off soon.

    MrM
     
  15. michael78

    michael78 Terabyte Poster

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    Whilst I know virtually nothing about databases I would of thought the crossover from Oracle to SQL would be pretty easy for you. I agree with what has been said that if you are unsure cancel and do some google'ing on the training company to see if anything comes up to be worried about. You may also be able to get financial help if your a single mum so it might be worth looking into.

    Plus isn't there more money in Oracle that SQL job's?
     
    Certifications: A+ | Network+ | Security+ | MCP | MCDST | MCTS: Hyper-V | MCTS: AD | MCTS: Exchange 2007 | MCTS: Windows 7 | MCSA: 2003 | ITIL Foundation v3 | CCA: Xenapp 5.0 | MCITP: Enterprise Desktop Administrator on Windows 7 | MCITP: Enterprise Desktop Support Technician on Windows 7
    WIP: Online SAN Overview, VCP in December 2011
  16. dmarsh

    dmarsh Terabyte Poster

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    I agree some people need assitance and person to person learning, people with very low levels of experience will probably benefit most, or those that have trouble with book learning in general.

    The OP mentioned they have prior DBA experience so they probably do not need a course, even a CBT at a few hundred pounds would probably be more suitable.

    This is precisely the poor thinking that means you should probably not be in IT ! If you are motivated by money you should be in finance !

    If you are interested in IT you should not need any extra motivation, do you think Lewis Hamilton is a good F1 driver because he likes track girls ? :biggrin
     
    Certifications: CITP, BSc, HND, SCJP, SCJD, SCWCD, SCBCD, SCEA, N+, Sec+, Proj+, Server+, Linux+, MCTS, MCPD, MCSA, MCITP, CCDH
  17. michael78

    michael78 Terabyte Poster

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    That's not really a fair point. Sometimes it's difficult to be motivated in what you do especially when you have done the same crap for years or taking another IT exam after you have already done 6-7 before it. I can see the point that forking out £££ will help some people get motivated as they don't want to loose their money on nothing. I'm sure Lewis Hamilton will have his off days as do most of us :biggrin.
     
    Certifications: A+ | Network+ | Security+ | MCP | MCDST | MCTS: Hyper-V | MCTS: AD | MCTS: Exchange 2007 | MCTS: Windows 7 | MCSA: 2003 | ITIL Foundation v3 | CCA: Xenapp 5.0 | MCITP: Enterprise Desktop Administrator on Windows 7 | MCITP: Enterprise Desktop Support Technician on Windows 7
    WIP: Online SAN Overview, VCP in December 2011
  18. Fergal1982

    Fergal1982 Petabyte Poster

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    I sure as hell would be. mmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

    Mr Machfisto, you seem to have fallen into the (quite common) trap of thinking that just because one method worked (or didnt, in the case of self study) for you, that that is universally true for everyone else who ever needs learning. That you need structured learning to progress is all well and good, but dont make the mistake of assuming everyone will be the same. I'm happy that you found a method that works for you, but dont push it on everyone else - not everyone is like you. Same goes for the self-study advocates.

    ohmygawd, As I agreed with earlier, if you are in any doubt whatsoever about which TP to go for (or even if you should go for one), cancel now. You can sign up again later. But you could always try a compromise: Buy a couple of books for the cert, and try to self-study for the course. If its not working, then you can re-evaluate the TP route, and go for it. Even if you go back to the TP, you will still gain benefit from the extra books, and you might save yourself some money in the long term.
     
    Certifications: ITIL Foundation; MCTS: Visual Studio Team Foundation Server 2010, Administration
    WIP: None at present
  19. dmarsh

    dmarsh Terabyte Poster

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    I totally understand that, and in fact I took a HND and a Degree to get into IT. Everyone occasionally needs a little extra push.

    My point is I didn't do my HND or my Degree for the money it was gonna cost me, I did it for my love of IT and computers.

    Do you think top sports people are motivated by the cash or the love of their sport ? What makes them dig in when the time gets tough ? What makes them put in the hours of practice ?

    Do you think scientists and nobel prize winners do it for the money ?

    If you are motivated by money then one day you will find the money is not enough, and you will wonder what you did it all for...

    If they said "I need the structure and encouragement and the support of my peers", then I'd totally agree, but to say :-

    Is just tosh...

    I don't think everyone is like me, and I have indeed taken courses, my point is to chose carefully what you chose as motivation, realise truthfully what motivates you, look at what motivates great people, and to follow the right path in life in general...
     
    Certifications: CITP, BSc, HND, SCJP, SCJD, SCWCD, SCBCD, SCEA, N+, Sec+, Proj+, Server+, Linux+, MCTS, MCPD, MCSA, MCITP, CCDH
  20. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    So what do you plan on doing when you get into IT? Wait for your employer to pony up the money for a training course for you so you can do ongoing training? If you aren't able to self study, it will be very difficult to survive in IT... just ask any of the people who are currently in IT.
     
    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!

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