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CDL - the biggest problem in the certification industry?

Discussion in 'Training & Development' started by zebulebu, Jan 5, 2008.

  1. zebulebu

    zebulebu Terabyte Poster

    It seems that about once a month (maybe more) in various guises we have a big ol' bunfight about the rights and wrongs of Training Providers. My own thoughts on this are well documented here in previous posts, and I won't drag them up again.

    One common theme running through all these posts, however, seems to be the absurd ease with which people can apply and be accepted for credit in the form of a 'Career Development Loan' (CDL). Indeed, it seems that many TPs have sprung up simply to take advantage of this fact. Now I'm not naive enough to think it will be any other way for the foreseeable future. Irrespective of what we keep getting told by the media, banks will continue to lend money to people because the entire economy is propped up on debt - this is even more true with the CDL because it is a government-backed initiative.

    We've all seen the horror stories of people being pressured into signing up for the CDL by a TP - with all the accompanying dirty tricks used to ensure that it is as difficult as possible for people to back out after reconsidering. I myself had people on my MCSE course who had no hope of even getting through the first day of Networking Essentials - yet neither they nor the TP could give a monkeys because the Social would pay back the loan, and the TP already had the money.

    However, something occurred to me whilst reading Blue-Tac's post from yesterday. Could there not be some kind of mandated aptitude test that needs to be taken prior to being approved for the CDL? And I don't mean the joke tests provided by TPs where the prerequisite for passing seems to be to sign your name correctly on the form, but a proper aptitude test - like those given by some universities before accepting students onto degree courses - ratified by an exam board like ISEB.

    Personally I think if people are stupid enough to believe all the shite about 35k jobs with no experience after doing an mcse in a month then there is little anyone can do to dissuade them from getting a CDL. I'm thinking more about those people who genuinely are not sure whether they are cut out for a career in IT. I have met a few people who thought that because they could 'take a computer apart' they would be able to get an MCSE and work in the IT industry - but they were patently not suited to it. This type seems to be the prime target of the unscrupulous TPs out there - they know that they will always have a steady stream of no-hopers coming through the door forking out their five grand for a CDL with no hope of ever passing a single exam and no way of ever paying the money back. What they are really after to boost their profits is people who are umming and aahing about signing up for the CDL because they're not sure about it.

    Whatever the solution to this - and, in hindsight, perhaps an aptitude test isn't much use, because I'm sure when faced with the possibility of losing an enormous amount of revnue, most TPs would just encourage applicants to cheat - I personally think the CDL is one of the main contributors to the bad name that the IT training industry has. Our stock reply to people when they post asking for advice about paying for a training course seems to be that they should choose the self-study route because 4 grand/5 grand/whatever is a lot of money to pay for something that you can get for a quarter of that price with self study. However, this glosses over the fact that the reason most people can afford the price in the first place is because, like everything else nowadays, there is easy access to credit for it.

    Credit is evil!
    Certifications: A few
    WIP: None - f*** 'em
  2. Sparky
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

    Yup, plus the fact you don’t have to pay anything back for two years. By then you would have completed the MCSE and be in a job earning £35k anyway <cough> :rolleyes:
    Certifications: MSc MCSE MCSA:M MCSA:S MCITP:EA MCTS(x5) Security+ Network+ A+
    WIP: Office 365, Server 2016, CEH
  3. greenbrucelee
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

    Yes credit is Evil, I know that now.

    Before I decided to self study for the A+, I was going to go with a training provider with the A+ being the first course, I was also going to do this course through Learn Direct. When I explained to the guy from Learn Direct on the Phone that the cost was too much he said I could get a career development loan.

    I told him that I had a ccj so it would be unlikely I would get a loan, he then said that I would still more than likely be accepted for a CDL so not to worry about that. Now my debts are finished in 4 months if I had taken a CDL god knows how long I would still have before I would be debt free.

    To anyone out there I have learned a big lesson being in debt and being skint for the last 5.5 years, please think very carefully about getting any type of credit, and to anyone who is thinking of getting CDL because you have been promised a 30k a year job after doing some expensive courses with a training provider DONT because the training provider will have some get out clause and you will be in debt.
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, Security+, 70-270
    WIP: 70-620 or 70-680?
  4. onoski

    onoski Terabyte Poster


    I couldn't have said it any better great words of wisdom. I only hope people would read this carefully and see the truth in it and for what it's truly worth. Thanks for sharing:), after all if they don't learn it would come back and hunt them in the future and yes credit can be evil if not ultilised wisely.
    Certifications: MCSE: 2003, MCSA: 2003 Messaging, MCP, HNC BIT, ITIL Fdn V3, SDI Fdn, VCP 4 & VCP 5
    WIP: MCTS:70-236, PowerShell
  5. Rob1234

    Rob1234 Megabyte Poster

    Credit is not evil, it is the people who take massive loans when they have no chance to pay it back if they are dumb enough to do that then its there fault and they should deal with it.

    Should the banks give them the money in the first place? yes as they are not concerned about people they are a business that wants/should make as much money as possible as that is why people invest in the business in the first place to make money.

    If people use credit sensibly it can help them out and improve there lives rather then ruin it but thats only if you borrow what they can afford to pay back.
    Certifications: A few.
  6. greenbrucelee
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

    I have a disagree slightly with you.

    When I was at uni banks were practically shoving credit down our throats, yes obviously it was my fault I got into such a mess with my finances but the banks are to blame too.

    They had offers such as get a free £1000 overdraft and study material if you get our credit card etc.

    Its not that people are dumb, well some are, in my case I had never handled my own finances before I was also under the impression that after finishing uni I would be getting a job with a good wage (since it was actually drummed into us) in a good job which I know now is a load of crap.

    Too late for my financial situation though.
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, Security+, 70-270
    WIP: 70-620 or 70-680?
  7. BrotherBill

    BrotherBill Byte Poster

    Hi Zeb,

    I don't have an issue with training providers in general. I have used them in the past for a number of topics and I believe there are a lot of good ones out there.

    I do however have a problem with providers that will send a representative to your door and try to pressure you into "signing up now before it's too late". These people are usually very good sales reps, but aren't concerned in the least bit about your present financial position or what it will be like 6 months down the road. Their job is to make the sale. In many cases, the school and the finance company are both owned by the same parent company. Some even offer free financing as an incentive to enroll immediately. And why not? In doing so, they have sold the enrollment, which was their reason for contacting you in the first place. And they have entered you into a binding contract in which you are required by law to make monthly payments to the finance company.

    Is credit evil? I really don't think so. Most people could not even consider the purchase of a home without borrowing the money to do so. Most businesses and governments use it, but I think that's because a lot of those idiots don't know any different. Even in most business schools, you're taught that credit can be a tool for leveraging.

    Credit can be extremely easy to misuse and credit cards can be the most dangerous. Anyone can get a credit card, even people that will no longer qualify for a loan from the bank. And with that new credit card comes a misguided feeling of power or confidence. "Hey! I've got money even when I'm broke". And so starts the habit of spending more than you make.

    As far as finding a solution, I'm not sure you ever will beyond simple education and discussions like these, and even that will take a very long time. I think the problem lies in the way many of us were raised. We've always been taught that credit was a good thing and never told about the dark side of it.

    Hey, thanks for a great topic.
  8. VantageIsle

    VantageIsle Kilobyte Poster

    Its all down to awareness of the situation, people must know that there is an alternative to signing up (in blood) for a course you can't afford/have no chance of completing in time/etc....

    Places like certforums raise awareness of this, but be honest, if you were to part with a few grand for something, anything... wouldn't you do a bit of research first? a tinsy bit of google time perhaps?

    This is how I got the lowdown on the state of play.

    Most people know to take what advertising and sales people say with a pinch of salt, really I wonder how many people are getting hoodwinked here.
    Certifications: A+, ITIL V3, MCSA, MCITP:EST, CCENT, 70-432-SQL, 70-401 SCCM
    WIP: MCSA upgrade MCITP:SA then EA
  9. MrNerdy

    MrNerdy Megabyte Poster

    I found whilst unemployed the offer for free IT courses was overwhelming.
    I managed CLAIT, ECDL, Cisco IT 1 & A+ total cost including book's & exam fee's was under £150.
    If you look further their are a lot of other IT courses you can get for free or get fee remission on them.
    It's just a case if you dont ask, you dont get!
    Certifications: ECDL, CiscoIT1 & A+
    WIP: Girlfriend & Network+
  10. JonnyMX

    JonnyMX Petabyte Poster

    Credit is not evil.

    CDLs were put in place to help people train for a career, probably as part of some kind of government target-meeting scheme.

    But you are quite right, it is open to abuse.

    I believe the maximum CDL grant is 8k.
    Take a look at how many TPs are charging 8k for their courses and that will give you an idea of who is taking the p1$$.
    Certifications: MCT, MCTS, i-Net+, CIW CI, Prince2, MSP, MCSD

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