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Hello. Stumbled across this site via Google by a search of "Skillstrain scam"

Discussion in 'New Members Introduction' started by IdentityMatrix, May 2, 2011.

  1. IdentityMatrix

    IdentityMatrix New Member

    First up, let's get this out of the way...
    By the title of this post, I am not stating that Skillstrain is a scam, but as I came to this forum via a google search, then there are, I assume other people here who discuss such topics.
    As this is an IT certification community and Skillstrain seems to be an IT certification/training company, I would be interested in hearing if any of you have used Skillstrain to help you obtain any of your certifications.

    Hello everyone! I'm 33 in just over a week, I'm in a dead end job (Postman), it's 5:30am and I couldn't sleep due to too much coffee! So I appologise in advance if this post is a little bit bloated and erm, wired.

    Whilst being unable to sleep, I was thinking about my current financial situation, struggling to pay bills etc and I remember about 3 years ago contacting Skillstrain, then one of their sales reps visiting and trying to get me to sign up, but at the time I was unemployed and the cost of everything scared me so it went no furthur.

    Then tonight, whilst in bed, high on caffeine, I thought that I'd contact them again. I got out of bed, but couldn't remember the company name, but sitting inside my "important folder" where I keep my birth certificate and other important documents was the business card which the Skillstrain representative gave me when he visited. I then proceeded to visit their site, view the whole site, then gave 'em my e-mail address.

    Then I did a search for them and came across some worrying links, mainly this one... THE SKILLSTRAIN SCAM & HOW I GOT MY REFUND

    So that's made me a little bit concerned about dealing with them in anyway :/

    Then I stumbled across this site, saw some of your forum signatures with "CompTIA A+ and more!" at the bottom, did a search, came across the main CompTIA site and a light bulb started to glow!

    Now, I need to use my brain to it's fullest (and earn more money with it).
    I've always been interested in computers ever since my Commodore plus 4 days upto present and I wish to persue a career in computers, as far as my mind is capable of taking me.

    Now for the point of this post (at last)...

    Surely it can't be "as simple" as self studying with books, booking the exam, taking it then getting a job! If it was, I wish I'd done this 17 years ago!

    Maybe I'm too old!?

    I see jobs advertised even in local job centre stating "Certification required of XXXX" ... but what about the previous experience?

    I've only been thinking about this whole thing for a few hours and would be very gratefull if someone could point me in the correct direction and give me some basic advice on how I could proceed.

    Thanks for reading this overly long post!

    EDIT: Been browsing these forums and they've answered alot of questions already :D
    Still haven't found an answer to "Job experience required" though, but it's only been fifteen minutes...
    Last edited: May 2, 2011
  2. dmarsh

    dmarsh Terabyte Poster

    Steer clear of Skillstrain, never used them but theres been far too many complaints to be worth risking your time or money in my opinion.

    Yes you can self study in life and learn a lot in many areas, computing is not the only area where this applies, many people have made significant progress throughout history without degrees or formal training in many areas.

    Getting a job is difficult, capitalism is a competitive system with the odds stacked against 99% of the planet.

    Certifications alone aren't going to do it, the rest will depend on experience, luck, geographic location, economic climate, connections/influence, hard work, determination, intelligence, etc.

    People solve the lack of experience issue in various ways, get more education, train more, set up own business, volunteer, work for a friend, get an entry level job, get a job with part of your current skill-set but with some limited exposure to new stuff (stepping stone), ask for more responsibility at work, help people out in other departments, join hobbyist / special interest / user groups, etc
    Last edited: May 2, 2011
  3. soundian

    soundian Gigabyte Poster

    It isn't as simple as that. It requires hard graft, patience, perseverance and sacrifices. And luck to a certain extent but you can make your own luck when it comes to job applications and interviews by putting in the graft on them as well.

    You also mentioned that you have some financial worries. Starting a new career isn't a quick fix, you'll have to start at the bottom and work your way up. Have a look at First line/helpdesk/trainee jobs near you. Can you live on that wage for a year or two?
    Certifications: A+, N+,MCDST,MCTS(680), MCP(270, 271, 272), ITILv3F, CCENT
    WIP: Knuckling down at my new job
  4. JonnyMX

    JonnyMX Petabyte Poster

    Companies like Skillstrain exist because for the common man, IT certification is generally unknown. It's a world of black magic.
    They exploit this general ignorance by making it seem that they are the only people who can usher you into this mysterious world.

    They make the world of the certified professional look rosy and bright.
    They probably have copies of certificates with 'YOUR NAME COULD BE HERE!!!' across the middle. :dry

    As with most training providers, they will hook you with advertising.
    Once you contact them, you will receive intense sales pressure - either by phone or in person.
    You will see lots of glossy brochures and testimonial and statistics about how much the average MCSE earns.

    The problem with these places is that it usually falls to the student to fight for what they are entitled to.
    They will send you course material, but it will be up to you to tell them how it's going or to ask for help.
    That's not the end of the world as long as they actually cough up.
    You need to be prepared for tutors to be 'out of the office' and for other annoyances.
    But for those who just give up or fall by the wayside - they end up with nothing. :(

    If you fight every inch of the way, you will eventually get what you paid for.
    But as you so, you'll think to yourself 'hang on. They sent me a book that I could have got from a bookshop, then sent me to a testing centre which I could have walked into off the street. Why did this cost me £7k instead of £1k?' :eek:

    That question will bug you for a very long time.

    With regard to experience - that's a tough one.
    Many people will quote the saying that certification is there to show what you can do, not teach you what you can't.
    It's a bit like taking your driving test.
    On the other hand, we've all got to start somewhere.
    There are some certifications that are more beginner friendly than others.
    CompTIA A+ and N+ get mentioned a lot, but there are others depending on your interests and abilities.
    Strata, ECDL, Microsoft Office, Adobe, ACT and many others have certifications attached to them.

    But to be quite honest, why certification?
    You'd actually be better off finding a class locally that does evening classes in formatting Word documents or something.
    It will cost a fraction of the price (and may even be subsidised).
    More importantly, although you may only get a grubby completion certificate at the end (as opposed to Microsoft's none 8)), you can actually say to an employer that you can format a Word document.

    Personally, I wish I was a postman. :biggrin
    Certifications: MCT, MCTS, i-Net+, CIW CI, Prince2, MSP, MCSD
  5. kevicho

    kevicho Gigabyte Poster

    Welcome to the forum

    And yes self study is the preferred method of learning for the majority of Certificiations.
    Good luck with your learning and also if you decide IT is the career for you.
    Certifications: A+, Net+, MCSA Server 2003, 2008, Windows XP & 7 , ITIL V3 Foundation
    WIP: CCNA Renewal

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