Apprenta Who Are They?

Discussion in 'Training & Development' started by Angex, Nov 4, 2005.

  1. Bluerinse
    Honorary Member

    Bluerinse Exabyte Poster

    You have missed out a word or two here I think..

    Otherwise a brilliant post mate!
    Certifications: C&G Electronics - MCSA (W2K) MCSE (W2K)
  2. cuthbert

    cuthbert New Member

    gravetye1975 - I agree with you

    This is what happened to me (from another thread)


    I am an ex ICS/Apprenta trainee.

    No I didn't get the qualification I was aiming for (MCSD, initially microsoft exams 70-315 and 70-316); no I was not taken on as an 'intern' and no, I have not ended up in a well paid IT job.

    So I would understand if any subsequent comments may be interpreted as sour grapes, however ...

    I am amazed that people are still falling for Apprenta's sales pitch, and it *is* a sales pitch. They are telling you what you want to hear ie you can pass the course in a matter of months (even 6 months is very good going. I think 1-2 years is more like it) and then everything is going to be fine.

    Listen up. .Net is complex stuff; wonderful but complex There is *alot of it*. You need to have a very, very good memory and be used to processing lots and lots and lots of text.

    The microsoft books supplied are not well written. The microsoft knowledgebase is vast and confusing. Books by other authors are frequently out-of-date and the exercises and example code doesn't compile properly. To sort out what is relevant and essential from what is simply too detailed, wrong or out of date is a herculean task.

    The trainers/tutors are not experts and do not have time to keep up with the latest developements in the .Net world. They certainly don't have time to sit down with you on a regular basis and explain to you *why* your horrible code does not work because there are not enough of them and their main function is to deliver classroom 'training' not one-to-one tutorials.

    The initial classroom training course is a ridiculously fast and furious skim over an outline of the main features of .Net. If you don't get it first time your f***ed because there is no time to go back over it; your onto the next topic.

    The learning time table is ridiculously compressed (just download their recommended teaching outline to see what I mean). It is not teaching by any stretch of the imagination; just a whirlwind blur of slides, commentary and expectation. After six weeks thats it! You're on your own.

    The preferred method of solving students problems is by email. To say I found this unsatisfactory would be an understatement.

    Beware! The free Visual Studio trial software is time limited to 60 days. For those of you with a pure maths background that is 2 months, which is 4 months short of the 6 months they say it will take to pass the course.

    This software is essential otherwise you cannot do any coding at all. To buy a new copy of Visual Studio is approx £500. The new free Visual Studio Express while very wonderful in its own right is no good for the purposes of passing the exam because it uses Net Framework 2.0 which changes many things from version 1.1 which is what you are asked about in the exam.

    The exams themselves have to be paid for separately approx £100 each attempt.To prepare for the exams themselves you would be well advised to use online mock exams from companies like Transcender. These also cost hundreds. All of this essential information was either not mentioned or glossed over at the interview.

    Above all the £6000 fee is a complete con. Once you have paid it upfront you are entirely in their hands. You have no come back. They have no incentive to respond to your complaints or worries. They have the money already. They can sit back and watch you sink or swim.

    There is nothing I saw in my time at ICS/Apprenta that even remotely justified paying out that kind of money. Read the contract very, very carefully before you sign it and try and understand the implications of all the small print.

    If they say something like "you must take personal responsibility for your progress" and "you must work very hard" they mean it, because they know perfectly well that they're going to do as little as possible.

    Remember they have your money already. They know most people will fail/fall by the wayside. All they have to do is keep costs down; spend as little as possible on the facilities/trainers to keep the system ticking over and then when someone does pass make sure they get a testimonial for the web site.

    Right at the beginning of the course I asked what percentage of people passed and was given the answer 9/10. I believed them at the time. Why? (with hindsight) because I *wanted* to. I am sure the real pass rate is more like 1/10.

    But there is no way of knowing for sure because I never saw the other 8 people in my initial training group again and was stupid enough not to get a some email addresses so I don't know how they got on.

    That is why forums like this are so important.

    If I had known then what I know now ...........

    P.S. The impressive list of corporations which they quote on their website as being clients are nearly all based in the Middle East. I am not saying they don't exist or that the work wasn't done but it may explain why some professionals in the UK IT industry may not have heard of ICS(London) or Apprenta.
    Certifications: BTec C Prog Level III
    WIP: MCAD/MCSD 70-315 & 70-316
  3. postal postie

    postal postie Nibble Poster

  4. postal postie

    postal postie Nibble Poster

    oh and if the offer is still up i'll try and get down there and take a photo of their building in croydon.
  5. postal postie

    postal postie Nibble Poster

  6. Abbsta

    Abbsta Bit Poster

    O well, after reading majority of the posts, I can't help but feeling low. Maybe the fact that I'm doing 216 test tomorrow is making me more nervous/regretfull.

    I joined them in 2005. My experience is very similar to most on here except mine was probably more dodgy.

    Like the others, I did the test, interview, the wierd presentation and I paid for the whole thing.

    To save my readers from reading a long story, I'll just bullet point:

    - Access to the lab after training.
    - Books and handouts.
    - Help if you have questions.
    - Career placement. (I have seen/heard students get jobs, however those people did have some experience).

    - Dodgy sales pitch and sales consultant.
    - No guidance to which career to take (i.e. Administration or Development)
    - You are rushed through the course and anytime you want to speak to a trainer.
    - No realistic time plan for you to finish the 'career path'.

    That's all I can think of for now (1:40am) and I'll edit this post accordingly.

    I just wish I found this place before I committed but you live and learn. Saying that, I still have a feeling they'll come good and the only way to find out is when I go back after completing the 3 exams they asked me to take. They were:

    070-210, 070-215 and 070-216.

    I'm doing the 216 tomorrow and I really hope I pass so I can go back to them and see what happens.

    Wish me luck and if anyone needs any advise, please feel free to ask.
    Certifications: MCP
  7. cjcf

    cjcf New Member

    I joined ICS in late 2005 and started the courses in early 2006 and I must admit I was a bit skeptical at first and I did do a lot of research on both Apprenta and ICS but found nothing wrong with either appart from other peoples skepticism on forums like this. So I decided to give them a chance and paid the £6000 through a career developement loan and since then I have passed all the Microsoft exams that they want you to pass and the assessments and having completed all that they have stuck to thier promise and found me a job after only 4 weeks or so of finishing and they have been really helpful. I'm not saying that it is easy because it really isn't, you do have to work very hard and put a lot into it but I just wanted to make my point that Apprenta/ICS are not as bad as everyone makes them out to be and hopefully this will encourage people who have joined to carry on and be more positive.

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