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Training Provider success stories? (if any?)

Discussion in 'Training & Development' started by mattgrey, Mar 21, 2008.

  1. mattgrey

    mattgrey Nibble Poster

    Hello all.

    There are lots and lots of threads about training providers on here, some give bad feedback, some good, some constructive, some not!

    I have spoken to a number of training providers in the last year or so, they all make similar sorts of claims, 'we can get you from A+ to MCSE and employed within x timescale for y fee'

    I am still to finish the A+ I started it some time back but buying a house and having a baby boy kind of got in the way, so I have started to study again and intend to pass this within the next few months.

    I would be interested in using a training provider after A+ and N+, if their claims of getting me certified and employed are correct. (I would be willing to spend up to £6,000 on the right provider)

    My question is this, is there anyone, anyone at all on this forum that has used a training provider (distance learning only, unless you live in Brighton!) successfully by getting certified and employed? I know a lot of people here believe in the self taught route and I understand their reasons for this, but I am interested in the provider route none the less, if their claims are accurate! So if you have used a provider, got certified and employed, could you tell me who you trained with, what certs you gained, over what timescale and if you got an offer of employment through the provider and what they charged you. Also if you are willing, the salary of the first position you took?

    Thanks all.
    Certifications: none yet!
    WIP: A+
  2. GiddyG

    GiddyG Terabyte Poster Gold Member

    £6k to gain A+ and Net+ certification? You'd be throwing good money away Matt. You don't say what experience you have of IT; however, having gone down both the Training Provider and self-study routes, I would definitely say that self-study, at least for the likes of A+, Net+, and MCDST is the clever way to go.
  3. mattgrey

    mattgrey Nibble Poster

    £6k is just a top end figure I would pay to the right TP. The A+ and N+ I will do as self study. What i want to know is has anyone gone with a TP who has said something like 'we will get you certified all the way from A+ to MCSE and get you a job for £x.xx' and found they actually did what they said they would do!

    In short I am looking for evidence that any TP has lived up to their claims! A task that is proving to be rather tricky!:biggrin
    Certifications: none yet!
    WIP: A+
  4. GiddyG

    GiddyG Terabyte Poster Gold Member

    No TP can guarantee you a job, unless it's with them.

    £6K may get you the certifications, but they are worthless without the experience.

    Going for the A+ and Net+ is the right way forward, looking for an entry level position at the same time. Then, when you've got your foot on the ladder, you can start really learning on the job. Then you'll probably find that the experience you're gaining, along with further self-study, will help you get the likes of the MCSA and so on.
  5. sunn

    sunn Gigabyte Poster

    I have used a training partner and they did live up to their promise, but....
    (A) I had been working for many years using the technology they were teaching in the course
    (B) I had already read 2 different books (2 different publishers) on the subject
    (C) They didn't guarantee any job. Although I was employed, I wondered what kinds of guarantees they'd offer

    In short I did use a training partner, but I was already well versed in the subject and they were the third tool I used to take in the information. Like I have always maintained, don't rely on just one source for knowledge. If on a budget use 2 books to help reinforce the material. Also, since I didn't learn much more from the TP, I don't use them anymore.

    Review of the TP:
    A) Moved fast, most people in the class were falling behind. I only kept up because I was already comfortable with the material
    B) Did as they promised
    C) Got a chance to network with people, although I never maintained those relationships (but either did they :dry)
  6. neutralhills

    neutralhills Kilobyte Poster

    The six thousand pounds you're looking at spending won't give you ANY advantage whatsoever against the uncertified person who applies for the same entry-level job that you've applied for in my shop.

    Do you REALLY want to drop that kind of dosh on a 50/50 chance that I'll toss your resume, anyhow? It's your money.
    Certifications: Lots.
    WIP: Upgrading MS certs
  7. Arroryn
    Honorary Member

    Arroryn we're all dooooooomed

    You may want to check the articles forum area for topics I have already written around this matter.

    I study with a TP, and have the A+ and N+ through them - currently studying CCNA and CCNP, total cost £3500.

    I got my first job after attaining A+ with the TP, though I got the job off my own back. Starting wage 19K.

    Despite my good experiences, I still maintain that self-studying is the cheapest way of going about attaining Certs, if you've the wherewithall and self esteem to do it.
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, 70-410, 70-411
    WIP: Modern Languages BA
  8. NightWalker

    NightWalker Gigabyte Poster

    I signed up with NITLC about three years ago to do the TSE course. I had no IT experience when I started, so had limited knowledge of what certs to do. Although it cost me £4k, I think it was worth the money. I don’t think I would have stuck at self study alone, spending the money on a structured course, and having the three 4 day workshops at NITLC are the reason I stuck at it. Ok, so it’s taken a little longer than expected, life has a way of being quite dynamic, so I didn’t always get in as much study as I wanted, but I’m still working away at it, got to finish the 70-284, then got 294 and 297 to do and I’m an MCSE. I’m in my second IT job, got the first after I had my A+ and the second (where I am now) with MCSA. I had to put the work in, created my own CV based on advice from NITLC, they checked it over and provided feedback. It all came together though, I’m planning to stay with my current employer for a good many years, and have had a successful transition to a new career with excellent future prospects. I don’t think I would have done it with self study, so for me a training provider was worth every penny.
    Certifications: A+, Network+, MCP, MCSA:M 2003, ITIL v3 Foundation
  9. BosonMichael
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

    If a TP tells you they'll get you certified from A+ to MCSE without you having any real-world IT experience, then run the other direction as quickly as you can. The MCSE should be pursued by people who have been administering 250+ user, multi-site, multi-server network environments for at least a year... not just in IT for a year, but doing that job for a year. If the TP doesn't know that, or won't tell you that... then they're simply after your money.

    No company can guarantee you a job. Plus, there are so many ways they could "fulfill" their "guarantee"...
    - giving you a job making a salary so low, you cannot take it
    - giving you a job making a good salary... but will keep you employed for only a short amount of time
    - giving you a job that requires an extremely long commute (or extended periods of travel)
    - giving you a job with awful working conditions (carrying a pager 24/7/365 with no rotations, abusive supervisors, too few staff for too much work, unreasonable expectations)
    - giving you a job with awful working hours (split shifts, overnights, non-consecutive days off, unpaid overtime)
    - giving you a job that has absolutely nothing to do with IT...

    ...in short, beware of any "job guarantees".

    Self-study is the way, mate. If you want to throw away your money, then fine... but don't say you weren't warned. :)
    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!
  10. Mr Machfisto

    Mr Machfisto Nibble Poster

    Hi Matt

    I am also with a TP and i'm am extremely happy with what I have got for my money. I can understand that you need to go with a training provider as a motivation use and totally agree with this. I could not have done the course via self study.

    I always have a good look on CF but I do not get involved with the messages as I do not have time as work and studies get in the way. There are certain members on this forum who always vote for self study, and if you look they have posted over 5000 messages in the last year (that's 19 a day) and wonder why its taken them a year and haven't got to their A+ yet, but keeps telling everyone who asks the question to self study, self study, self study!!!!!!

    You mentioned in the first part of your thread that you DO NOT want to do self study and they all come back and tell you that self study is the way forward and you should save your money. Do these members not read your thread properly.

    Now I know I may have got a few peoples backs up and I do vote for using a TP, ok its not for everyone but it was for me.

    Give Training Providers a chance guys, their not all out to get your money.
  11. Bluerinse
    Honorary Member

    Bluerinse Exabyte Poster

    If you had read as many horror stories as i have over the years on this and other forums and if, like me, your TP went out of business half way through your MCSE. You would understand why so many people try to guide people away from the potential pitfalls that can and do happen once you have parted with your huge chunk of money. Of course they are not all bad, some are probably excellent, what we do, or try to do is to open peoples eyes and at least get them to do their research properly prior to signing any CDLs or agreements.
    Certifications: C&G Electronics - MCSA (W2K) MCSE (W2K)
  12. mattgrey

    mattgrey Nibble Poster


    Thanks for that! Was starting to think I may be all alone if favouring a TP! I have read with interest all the negative views on TP's (there are plenty of them) and am thankful that there are members here who are just looking out for others and trying to guide them as best they can, but.....it has to be remembered that different people study in different ways and each individuals needs will be different. I could have passed my A levels by self study, but I still benefited from the classes at college!:D

    For now, my options are open. I will continue to investigate TP's and see what suits me best. Thanks everyone who has replied.
    Certifications: none yet!
    WIP: A+
  13. dmarsh

    dmarsh Terabyte Poster

    Ah but you can learn your certs and more useful stuff at college, and it will still cost you half as much as most TP's and you will probably get more support and tuition.

    The main points of certs as far as I'm concerned is to allow an individual to prove they have undertaken unstructered study in their own time. Of course they also allow vendors to promote their products. If you are going to spend a lot of money and are prepared to study full time you might as well get a HND or Degree...

    The other point that is often made is that IT is a profession that requires continuous life long learning, If you need to spend £6-8k and take weeks off work, every time you want to learn something then you are gonna find it tough going...

    Also as you may have noticed from other posts certs are not a magic silver bullet or a golden ticket to a successful career in IT, it also takes a lot of other qualities, the determination to get the qualifications and apply for you own jobs being one of them. Many new IT grads will have to apply for hundreds of jobs for months to get their first break. You should not be attempting to gain the MCSE certification without significant experience, potential employers are more likely to view you with suspicion than anything else...

    In the past year I have successfully self studied for eight cert exams while also finding my latest contract and working full time on that contract. So I like others on this board do walk the walk as well as talk the talk.

    Yes I had the benefit of a traditional education, as well as years of experience which has no doubt helped, thats why I'd advise you to do the same.

    Best of luck ! :D
  14. GiddyG

    GiddyG Terabyte Poster Gold Member


    If you read my post, I have studied using a TP, and I have studied using self-study. For me, self-study was by far the best. There are others who believe that TPs and/or colleges allow for a better environment in which to study and take exams. Fair play to them...

    My concern is that someone wants to spend £6k on something that he could spend a lot less on, with the same result. If I don't speak up, then shame on me; that said, if Matt still wants to spend the money, then I say good luck to him.

    By the way, the fact that someone does not have an A+ but has managed to rack up 5000 posts should in no way imply that self-study is not the way to go. There are often real world issues that mean someone cannot take the exams, even if they are ready. If you spend so long reading the posts, then you will obviously realise that.

    Thanks for putting your point of view across.

  15. sunn

    sunn Gigabyte Poster

    Hold on a sec…
    I’m one of those guys that support self-study. However, if you read the post above (in this thread) I said I did use a TP in the past. However, I strongly encourage a student to do research about the trainer and him/herself.

    If you can learn the material on your own (forces discipline, structure and organization) you will learn many other skills along with the subject material. Skills that are important to on top of things and material in the IT-world. However, not everyone can, and for them a good TP is a valid option.

    Nonetheless, I do not suggest anyone to use any single source as the end-all for studying. Use a TP, in addition other materials to assist in the learning process. Other materials may include:
    - Other books
    - Additional labs
    - Additional legit exam preparation material
    - etc…
  16. zebulebu

    zebulebu Terabyte Poster

    Personally, I'm a bit bored with this topic. It crops up on here about once a fortnight and always seems to follow the same path - newbie doesn't know much about the IT industry, has heard that a Training provider can give them x, y and z for six grand and wonders whether or not that equals value for money.

    Cue five or six posters (we all know who we are!) saying that self-study is the way to go, with two or three new posters who may (or may not) be shills for TPs saying that Training providers are great and people should fork over their dough if they want to.

    Lets lay out the bottom line here (maybe someone can tidy it up a bit and turn it into a sticky)

    Point number 1: If you don't have any experience in IT, paying someone six grand to 'train you up' to MCSE standard in a year is a pointless waste of time and money.

    As one of the few people on here who espouses the benefit of self-study over Training providers but who has actually used a Training Provider to assist in gaining their MCSE I am pretty well-qualified to speak on this topic. I was very pleased with my TP - the classroom training certainly helped me a lot, especially when dealing with subjects I hadn't come across before, and in explaining concepts which I found difficult. However, it was a long time ago now (six years or so) and I still paid nearly three grand for my 'support' from said TP and, had I not been fortunate enough to have had the total cost of the course paid for as part of a redundnancy settlement, there is no way in Hell I would look back and consider I got 'value for money'. If you search back through my past posts on this forum, you'll find that I estimate (conservatively) that I studied for about eight hours a day for a full year (I was lucky enough to get enough redundnancy money not to have to work for 12 months) - that makes a total of about 3000 hours' worth of study - and had less than 200 hours of classroom time with my TP. The 'extra materials' were worthless. I also had three years' solid experience before tackling the MCSE - prior experience is absolutely essential when looking to attain an MCSE legitimately (something no TP will tell you beforehand!)

    Point number 2: The A+ and Network+ are not difficult certs to achieve if you already have a background in IT

    Seriously folks - anyone who has more than a few months' experience beyond first line support should be able to pass both exams without studying. If you are only in first line it might be a bit tougher, but its still relatively easy to obtain them with a bit of studying, some experience and 'sticktoitiveness'. If you have NO IT experience, then you probably can pass them, but should look at a local college to provide you with a decent grounding in IT whilst you are studying - a lot of colleges now offer the A+ & Network+ taught at a reasonable rate, with hands-one tuition, for a fraction of the price the OP quoted. Six grand for two entry-level certs is absolute, utter madness - I wouldn't pay more than 500 quid for the pair!

    Point number 3: Post counts do mean something on this forum

    Ordinarily I'm not a fan of the old 'he/she's been around here for yonks, what they say is gospel' but the simple fact is this: The majority of posters on here that have more than a few hundred posts have seen the horror stories of people complaining about being ripped off by TPs time and time again. The reason they usually wax lyrical about self studying is because they know that 95% of the work you will be doing to pass your exams will be DONE ON YOUR OWN ANYWAY. Seriously - there is nothing - NOTHING - a Training provider can give you that you can't get cheaper elsewhere or, in the case of 'study materials' beyond the Official Courseware, for nothing on the Internet.

    Point number 4: Some people need to have a kick up the arse to get them to study

    This is the only real reason i can think of to sign up to a TP. If you have plonked down somewhere in the order of six grand for a couple of bits of paper, you'd DAMN sure better get everything you can out of them in order to get anything like VFM! Personally, if I signed up for the A+ & N+ for six grand I'd want a complementary reach-around once a week for a year before I considered that 'VFM' - but each to their own!

    I seriously think this needs a sticky under the n00bs forum. maybe not set out exactly like this - maybe an amalgamation of all the other old threads might be better, but certainly something that one of the mods can work on and put up so that next time some poor unsuspecting newbie pops in (hi by the way Matt!) we can just refer them to the sticky that explains the benefits/drawbacks of using a TP when studying
    Certifications: A few
    WIP: None - f*** 'em
  17. BosonMichael
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

    Perhaps you ought to look at MY signature and repeat that statement. :dry

    Troll much? :rolleyes:

    We sure did! That doesn't mean we shouldn't mention the advantages of self-study, nor does that mean we shouldn't mention the disadvantages of using training providers. You don't have to agree with us... but that doesn't mean we must stay silent.

    No, but many are... and our posts will hopefully cause him to go into the situation with his eyes open, rather than blindly latching onto the empty promises that many TPs will offer.
    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. greenbrucelee
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

    The only reason I have never done my A+ yet is because of my financial situation. I just havent been able to spare the money but thats about to end, so what if I have posted 5000 message its a bloody forum thats what they are for.
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, Security+, 70-270
    WIP: 70-620 or 70-680?
  19. mattgrey

    mattgrey Nibble Poster


    Apologise if my questioning of TP's has upset anyone, I am just looking for information, that's all:oops:.

    I think the reason this subject may come up again and again, is that although it is discussed a lot on here on passed threads, it is often generalised. By this I mean all TP get lumped together. The suggestion of a sticky above wouldn't really help, unless it listed every TP with feedback from people that have used them. Even then, I think people will question it. This is why my original thread was asking for people to comment on specific TP's they have used and how they found them. I don't think arguing about why someone may or may not prefer self study over a TP is really helping move the subject on. What this thread and others like it lack, is information about specific TP programmes and feedback from those who have used it. That is what I was asking for.

    I do appreciate I am a newbie, I know what I am asking has probably been asked a thousand times before, so I won't ask again....

    edit: not for a while anyway:-)
    Certifications: none yet!
    WIP: A+
  20. nugget
    Honorary Member

    nugget Junior toady

    No problem Matt. The reason that most of the experienced members here will tell you that self study is the way to go is that most of them have used a TP in the past and are speaking from experience. Most of the work that you would have to do with a TP is also self study. Add to that some TPs have substandard materials or even supply books that you can buy in the bookshop you can see the appeal of being able to save money by doing self study.

    So, doing the self study route 6K will get you a fantastic pc kitted with vmware workstation that will handle all the labs and testing that you will need to do, plus all the books that you could ever want. On the internet you will also find so much info that you can't use it all and there is always certforums to help you out when you need it. It's then up to you to find the time to study by yourself.

    Going down the TP route 6K will get you the course materials and some class time. The advantages to this way is that you have an (hopefully) experienced teacher to ask. You will then still need some other study materials plus a good pc to do all the labs etc. If you go this route you will also need to find the time to do self study.

    BTW I have also used a TP and done the self study way. I do have the name of a great TP for you but only if you're willing to come to Switzerland.:twisted:
    Certifications: A+ | Network+ | Security+ | MCP (270,271,272,290,620) | MCDST | MCTS:Vista
    WIP: MCSA, 70-622,680,685

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