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Training Providers Help Please!!

Discussion in 'Training & Development' started by JamieKitsonUK, Mar 10, 2010.

  1. JamieKitsonUK

    JamieKitsonUK New Member

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    Hey Everyone,

    I hope you can answer this post to the same professionalism as the others :-)

    I’m in a bit of predicament so il give you guys my life story and perhaps you can put me on the right track :biggrin

    I’ve been working at a college for nearly 4 years now (started as apprentice) so I’ve missed the whole UNI side of life. I took the Zenos route in Birmingham for two years which gave me some knowledge of Microsoft networks but nothing I felt I haven’t came across. I came out with some of the lowest baseline qualifications an IT specialist could have. But despite the wasted two years i shrugged it off and continued to slowly but surely relax into a rut. I’m now 21 and locked to one job which is becoming more of a reality every day. I know I wouldn’t stand a chance without a degree or Cert to show and prove my 4 years worth of knowledge. Then it hit me....I need to pursue a baseline qualification. After researching for over 2 weeks I came across a training provider called "Computeach". The company has a course called "Networking" (which in my eyes it should be called Microsoft Networking) and they offer you a year’s subscription at a fee of £1679.00 or £139.95 a month. This subscription gives you access to the following:

    Books, Manuals, CD-ROMs, E-learning Etc

    They also state that the exam fees are included in the price so I’m very tempted......just one small problem....the cost. £140 a month is well above my price range and after reading a post from Arroryn my mind has suddenly changed on whether you can trust someone with that much of your own personal funding. I sooo confused :blink

    My current skills are Microsoft networking although i do have an interest in (real) CISCO networking...I just don’t work with the kit or had any experience with it....apart from a an old DMZ which was 100 years old and i think it was used on Hitler’s LAN.

    So my questions are as follows:

    Has anybody ever had a good experience with a training provider cheaper than Computeach?

    Has anybody ever used Computeach?

    Are there cheaper methods which can visually help me with my Certs?

    And have I asked too many questions for a post? (I understand some people like it short and sweet)


    Anyways....I’m sure your all bored of my constant rant by now so im leaving it open to your much appreciated knowledge and experience.

    Many Thanks for Reading


    Jamie
     
    WIP: CIW
  2. GiddyG

    GiddyG Terabyte Poster Gold Member

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    You don't say what your current job is. Is it actually in IT?

    Personally, for entry level certifications, I would save your money, buy the books and self study. By entry level, I mean CompTIA A+ and Network+ (now that they have withdrawn the requirement to recertify every 3 years until the end of this year). Companies like Boson and Transcender provide pracrice exams that you can download a demo of before you buy. Books, exams and practice exams will cost you far less than the £140 per month you have been quoted by Computeach.

    I suggest you look in the CompTIA area of this forum for more information.
     
  3. JamieKitsonUK

    JamieKitsonUK New Member

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    Apologies GiddyG,

    Im currently working as an ITC Technician within the education sector. I will invest my time to research in CompTIA A+ (My ignorance has always told me to stop with Microsoft route as i feel they are there best judges when it come's to there Software).

    Many Thanks

    J
     
    WIP: CIW
  4. volatile

    volatile Nibble Poster

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    You are only 21. You make it sound like you are closing in on retirement lol. As it was already stated, if you already have experience and just want to get some entry level certs to prove that knowledge, you probably wouldn't need a training provider. Even if you were going for an advanced cert I'd try to stay away from training providers unless you can afford it. I often find that their tuition is astronomically high and not justified. I'd just recommend you self-study and then get couple/few entry level certs and find another job that will challenge you and allow you to grow.

    Also, it isn't too late to go to a university. If that is something that interests you, you should pursue it.
     
    Certifications: Computer Science Degree, A+
  5. JamieKitsonUK

    JamieKitsonUK New Member

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    Hey Volatile,

    Sorry to bring you in on my sob story lol! ( Perhaps my grandparents have more of an effect on me than i thought Hehe!)

    I feel University is a route i would like to pursue in the future when im settled and perhaps respected within my work place. May i just ask though, do yo feel a degree is needed to become successful within IT? Basically my overambitous goal is to be on an annual of 30k when im 30 years of age. To your technical knowledge do you feel this could be achieved?? Or am i being to ambigious?


    Many Thanks

    J
     
    WIP: CIW
  6. volatile

    volatile Nibble Poster

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    I'd say go to school whenever you feel you are ready for it. Depending on how seriously you take it, it can make you are more well rounded person. For most IT, other than software developer, I would say it's not something you would have to have. However, you may find yourself in a situation in the future where not having a degree prevents you from a job or progressing within a company.
     
    Certifications: Computer Science Degree, A+
  7. SimonD

    SimonD Terabyte Poster Moderator

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    I am sorry but I disagree with

    I turn 40 in a couple of weeks, I left school at 16 and joined the army, I left school with very little in the way of scholastic qualifications and I haven't returned to college or university since. I don't have a degree or even higher education certificates. I have had the opportunity of turning down employment in large investment banks where I could have gone in 1 step below AVP (with the opportunity of getting AVP within 5 years) with a complete lack of formal education, having a (or more to the point not) degree does not mean it will either hold you back or push you forward in a career, that is down to the individual concerned.

    I have known people with degrees who I wouldn't trust with a dog, let alone the management of a team of IT bods, I have also known people like me (with nothing beyond high school) who have excelled and gone right up the career ladder.
     
    Certifications: CNA | CNE | CCNA | MCP | MCP+I | MCSE NT4 | MCSA 2003 | Security+ | MCSA:S 2003 | MCSE:S 2003 | MCTS:SCCM 2007 | MCTS:Win 7 | MCITP:EDA7 | MCITP:SA | MCITP:EA | MCTS:Hyper-V | VCP 4 | ITIL v3 Foundation | VCP 5 DCV | VCP 5 Cloud | VCP6 NV | VCP6 DCV | VCAP 5.5 DCA
    WIP: VCP6-CMA, VCAP-DCD and Linux + (and possibly VCIX-NV).
  8. JamieKitsonUK

    JamieKitsonUK New Member

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    Hey SimonD,

    Can i just say that your recent reply has gave me alot of motivation to progress and be succesfull in my own manner. To hear about someone who started in similiar position to what im in present and become succesful has very much cheered me up and probably made my year :-) (which im sure sounds sad to some people...but hey...im dedicated). I didnt want to start and waste my time money and effort if Certs will not get me anywhere in future. So thanks alot SimonD....It just proves i have a chance to not get in debt with british goverment.

    Thanks
     
    WIP: CIW
  9. beaumontdvd

    beaumontdvd Kilobyte Poster

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    Through previous experience I would Never Use a training provider again, I too am in a similar situation and I am studying myself. They cant keep their promises and its all a sale scam. To be fair most are the same, there are a few out there that go out there way to help students. But it's so much easier to do it yourself at your own pace.

    Dave
     
    Certifications: 070-271, 070-272, (MCDST)Level 1,2,3 NVQ
    WIP: 070-270, A+, N+, S+,MCDST 7 Upgrade
  10. JonnyMX

    JonnyMX Petabyte Poster

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    You REALLY don't want me to do that... :biggrin

    Can you just fill me in on what you mean by that?
    Are Zenos the ones that do the apprenticeship thing?

    A baseline is a start. It's something that non-IT people don't have.
    Well, they do - but it's lower. :rolleyes:
    If you've got four years experience, you've already go more than a lot of people here.

    A cert through a TP at this stage of the game will only serve to make you poorer.
    They don't offer anything that you can't pick up for yourself.

    It sounds to me like picking up an A+ book or two and getting stuck in is really what you need to do right now. If you want to study at university level without going to university, there is always the OU, but I don't think that's what you need right now.

    The most important thing is to get stuck in to what you're doing now. Are you still in your ICT job?
    If you are, get out of your rut and look for things to do. Voluteer for stuff. Go in on the weekends and watch disks defrag. Anything that raises your profile and gives you more experience.
     
    Certifications: MCT, MCTS, i-Net+, CIW CI, Prince2, MSP, MCSD
  11. SimonD

    SimonD Terabyte Poster Moderator

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    Where as through previous experience I would (and am.. at the end of the month) use a training provider again, please remember that there are both good and bad training providers so don't tar everyone with the same brush.

    I personally find it much more difficult to dedicate time towards self study, perhaps it the near 4 hours a day commuting or the fact that I have a (nearly) 3 year old son who I only really get to spend time with at the weekend but I really don't get the time to self study. I much prefer going into a classroom and having a dedicated learning environment to learn in and because of that I always pretty much go down the TP route.

    In my case I am going back to Firebrand Training for a third time, I am not one to spend my own money willy nilly (as it's my money rather than some big companies) so my due diligence is done with that in mind.

    So far I have had really good experiences with both FireBrand as well as Global Knowledge, I have also heard good things about QA-IQ as well.
     
    Certifications: CNA | CNE | CCNA | MCP | MCP+I | MCSE NT4 | MCSA 2003 | Security+ | MCSA:S 2003 | MCSE:S 2003 | MCTS:SCCM 2007 | MCTS:Win 7 | MCITP:EDA7 | MCITP:SA | MCITP:EA | MCTS:Hyper-V | VCP 4 | ITIL v3 Foundation | VCP 5 DCV | VCP 5 Cloud | VCP6 NV | VCP6 DCV | VCAP 5.5 DCA
    WIP: VCP6-CMA, VCAP-DCD and Linux + (and possibly VCIX-NV).
  12. JonnyMX

    JonnyMX Petabyte Poster

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    This.

    I've said it before, and I'll say it again.
    People tend to lump everyone into the 'evil TP' category.
    We should have a different name for them.
    There are plenty of quality organisations out there, from the man in a garage to colleges and private training organisations who provide everything they say they will and do it well.
    They genuinely are 'training providers' as they provide you with the training you want.

    It's the ones that don't provide any training that you want to watch out for.
    The give away is usually that they come to you rather than the other way round and say 'HAD YOU THOUGHT ABOUT A CAREER IN I.T?'
    Clearly, if you hadn't, then that's not a good place to start.

    Unfortunately the latter get more press, as is always the case with the bad stuff. They also ensnare more people with their aggressive marketing practices.

    If it took the OP two weeks of research to find out about Computeach, then someone's doing something wrong... :biggrin
     
    Certifications: MCT, MCTS, i-Net+, CIW CI, Prince2, MSP, MCSD
  13. JamieKitsonUK

    JamieKitsonUK New Member

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    Thanks for your comment beaumontdvd will keep that in mind.

    Hey JohnnyMX,


    Zenos are a provider which deliver training to people who are employed and non-employed under the Learning and Skills Council's Advanced Apprenticeship and Train to Gain Plus schemes. I was forced into there apprenticeship course by my employers when i first started. I attended there 5 days every 2 months for 2 years. It was great to meet other people in a similiar position to my self and do not knock them for there teaching and guidance but i would becareful with outcome qualz. I gained:

    # Key Skills Level II
    # NVQ for IT professionals - Level III

    I believe they put you threw your first Microsoft exam which is MCDST...sadley i missed out :-(


    I agree that above certs are a baseline but nothing to prove to employers my current skills. I wish employers in interviews could just put you in a room with of couple of servers, switches and client pc's and say "Build a DC and DNS Box with DHCP and call us when your done".....My ideal interview....I can dream i suppose.


    Im still in my IT Job and had some extra responsibilitys given to me the other day which has kept on my toes. Dont know whether youve heard of Heritage Library System? Feels good to have a project which spans over 4 campuses. :)
     
    WIP: CIW
  14. BosonMichael
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    That's all well and good that you got where you got without a degree. But I can state quite definitively that there ARE some higher-level IT jobs that you absolutely CANNOT get without a degree, particularly supervisory ones. And for that matter... the job I'm in requires one. I absolutely wouldn't have been considered without a 4-year degree.

    Both statements are correct. You absolutely don't HAVE to have a degree to excel in IT. But one cannot say that the lack of a degree will NOT keep you out of some jobs - it absolutely can.

    All that said... I wouldn't recommend putting your career on hold for a degree. If you can't do your degree while working in IT, it's probably not worth the time and effort. Someone with four years of experience will be in a much better position than four years of college and no experience.
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2010
    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!
  15. SimonD

    SimonD Terabyte Poster Moderator

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    Michael, I have seen jobs request people with degrees, after a short time the same job is re-advertised without the requirement for a degree because the calibre of those people applying that had a degree just wasn't good enough.

    I don't mean to belittle the degree but to all intents and purposes all a degree does is show that you know how to put structured documents together and are able to get drunk at the drop of a hat (not my words by the way but my brother who has an masters degree). The reason I actually asked my brother about a degree was because I was tempted to go back to school and get one, his advice was not to bother.

    There are other ways to achieve the required level of education (I am not talking degrees here) than getting a degree (CITP, ILM etc are going to suit better with regards to management positions than a degree in my opinion (as it happens my brothers degree and masters have NOTHING to do with IT at all (industrial archeology)).
     
    Certifications: CNA | CNE | CCNA | MCP | MCP+I | MCSE NT4 | MCSA 2003 | Security+ | MCSA:S 2003 | MCSE:S 2003 | MCTS:SCCM 2007 | MCTS:Win 7 | MCITP:EDA7 | MCITP:SA | MCITP:EA | MCTS:Hyper-V | VCP 4 | ITIL v3 Foundation | VCP 5 DCV | VCP 5 Cloud | VCP6 NV | VCP6 DCV | VCAP 5.5 DCA
    WIP: VCP6-CMA, VCAP-DCD and Linux + (and possibly VCIX-NV).
  16. JonnyMX

    JonnyMX Petabyte Poster

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    OK.
    Actually, a level 3 NVQ is quite good, especially if you haven't got much academically going for you.
    So I think you're putting yourself down a bit.


    @ everybody else:
    I don't know what it's like in the US, but here in the UK degrees are a bit hit and miss.
    Many jobs ask for a 'degree or equivalent' which is pretty meaningless. It just sifts out some of the rabble.
    It's down to the company to decide what equivalent they are prepared to accept.

    However, in some of the higher level jobs, especially the government and some public sector, when they say degree, they mean a degree. It just wouldn't be acceptable to employ riff-raff. :dry
     
    Certifications: MCT, MCTS, i-Net+, CIW CI, Prince2, MSP, MCSD
  17. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    That doesn't at all address my assertion that the lack of a degree CAN prevent you from getting SOME jobs. Regardless of how you or I feel about degrees, and regardless for how well or poorly a degree prepares you for real-world work, some employers want candidates with degrees for certain jobs. That is their perception, right or wrong.
     
    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!
  18. JamieKitsonUK

    JamieKitsonUK New Member

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    Can you please be specific on the "SOME jobs" part so i can have clear understanding. Im guessing you dont mean "Spar" or is it "Wallmart" America.

    Cheers


    BTW...

    I do respect and take in what you are saying so please do not hesitate to answer my question :-)
     
    WIP: CIW
  19. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    Like I already said earlier, IT supervisory and management roles often (but not always) require degrees. The higher you go, the more apt you are to encounter those requirements from employers.

    Do I think you need a degree to do a good job? Or to be a team lead? Or to be a manager? No, I don't. I think you CAN be a good manager or lead or supervisor even without a degree. But what I think doesn't matter... the perception of many managers is that a degree is desirable (or even required) for these kind of jobs.

    A degree DOES show that you can follow a long-term course of study through to completion (despite the partying and whatnot). Therefore, even though I don't think that you HAVE to have a degree to succeed in IT or to manage other techs, if I were hiring for a supervisory role, I would STILL give the edge to a candidate with a degree over a candidate without a degree (provided experience levels and personality are relatively equal).
     
    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!
  20. JamieKitsonUK

    JamieKitsonUK New Member

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    Many thanks BosonMichael.....

    Ive taken in your wise words and i think i will start with my Certs ASAP due to (hopefully) the success in the matter of months instead of years...sadly this is the motivation i need (quick and promissing success).

    I have some reading materials for 70-290 and will book next week :-)

    Oh and im also going to use measureup.com

    Can i just say a big thank you to everyone who helped me out :-)


    All answers have helped me soooo much and have put working overtime brain at rest!!


    THANK YOU!!
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2010
    WIP: CIW

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