Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Choosing The Right Online Computer Career Training 2009

By Jason Kendall

What might you expect the top of the range training companies certified by Microsoft to offer a student in this country currently? Clearly, the most supreme Gold Partner Microsoft certified training tracks, providing a portfolio of courses to take you into a selection of professions with IT. It's a good idea to look for a person who's got industry experience, who might give you help to sort out what sort of job would be right for you, and the kind of responsibilities that are suitable for someone with a personality like yours. Having selected the area you want to get into, an applicable training course must be singled out that's a match for your current level of knowledge and ability. Make sure it's well designed for you.

Often, folks don't comprehend what IT is all about. It's stimulating, innovative, and means you're doing your bit in the gigantic wave of technology that will affect us all over the next generation. We've only just begun to get an inclination of how technology will influence everything we do. The internet will massively change how we view and interact with the world around us over the coming decades.

The regular IT technician in the UK is likely to receive considerably more money than employees on a par in another industry. Mean average incomes are around the top of national league tables. There is a great nationwide requirement for professionally qualified IT workers. In addition, with the marketplace continuing to expand, it appears this will be the case for the significant future.

How can we go about making the right decisions then? With such prospects, it's imperative to understand where to search - and what it is we should be looking for.

It's important to understand: a course itself or the accreditation isn't what this is about; the job or career that you want is. Far too many training organisations over-emphasise the actual accreditation. Never let yourself become one of those unfortunate people who choose a training program that on the surface appears interesting - and end up with a plaque on the wall for an unrewarding career path.

It's essential to keep your focus on what it is you're trying to achieve, and build your study action-plan from that - don't do it back-to-front. Stay focused on the end-goal and begin studying for a career that will keep you happy for many years. Always seek guidance and advice from an experienced industry advisor, even if you have to pay - as it's a lot cheaper and safer to find out at the start if your choices are appropriate, instead of discovering following two years of study that you've picked the wrong track and have to return to the start of another program.

Students who consider this area of study often have a very practical outlook on work, and won't enjoy sitting at a desk in class, and struggling through thick study-volumes. If this is putting you off studying, try the newer style of interactive study, where learning is video-based. We see a huge improvement in memory retention when we use multiple senses - experts have been clear on this for many years.

Study programs now come via DVD-ROM discs, so you can study at your own computer. Video streaming means you can sit back and watch the teachers showing you precisely how to perform the required skill, followed by your chance to practice - via the interactive virtual lab's. Any company that you're considering should be able to show you some samples of their courseware. You're looking for evidence of tutorial videos and demonstrations and a variety of interactive modules.

Often, companies will only use purely on-line training; while you can get away with this much of the time, imagine the problems if you lose your internet access or you get a slow connection speed. It's preferable to have DVD or CD discs that will solve that problem.

Training support for students is an absolute must - look for a package providing 24x7 full access, as not obtaining this level of support will severely hold up your pace and restrict your intake. Many only provide email support (too slow), and phone support is often to a call-centre who will just take down the issue and email it over to their technical team - who will attempt to call you within 24-48 hrs, when it suits them. This is not a lot of use if you're stuck with a particular problem and can only study at specific times.

The most successful trainers incorporate three or four individual support centres across multiple time-zones. They use an online interactive interface to provide a seamless experience, no matter what time you login, help is at hand, avoiding all the delays and problems. Never make do with anything less. 24x7 support is the only way to go when it comes to technical training. Perhaps you don't intend to study during the evenings; often though, we're working when traditional support if offered.

Accredited exam simulation and preparation packages are vital - and really must be sought from your training company. Don't fall foul of relying on non-accredited exam preparation systems. The type of questions asked can be completely unlike authorised versions - and often this creates real issues when the proper exam time arrives. You should make sure you check your depth of understanding by doing quizzes and practice in simulated exam environments to prepare you for taking the real thing.

Commercial qualifications are now, without a doubt, already replacing the traditional academic paths into the IT sector - so why is this the case? With university education costs becoming a tall order for many, together with the industry's increasing awareness that key company training most often has much more commercial relevance, we have seen a large rise in CISCO, Adobe, Microsoft and CompTIA accredited training paths that create knowledgeable employees at a fraction of the cost and time involved. In a nutshell, students are simply taught the necessary specifics in depth. It's slightly more broad than that, but principally the objective has to be to master the precisely demanded skill-sets (with some necessary background) - without attempting to cover a bit about everything else (as academia often does).

Imagine if you were an employer - and your company needed a person with some very particular skills. What's the simplest way to find the right person: Wade your way through loads of academic qualifications from graduate applicants, asking for course details and which trade skills they have, or choose particular accreditations that perfectly fit your needs, and make your short-list from that. You'll then be able to concentrate on getting a feel for the person at interview - instead of having to work out if they can do the job.

Be on the lookout that any accreditations you're working towards will be recognised by employers and are current. The 'in-house' certifications provided by many companies are usually worthless. If your certification doesn't come from a company like Microsoft, CompTIA, Adobe or Cisco, then you'll probably find it won't be commercially viable - as it'll be an unknown commodity.

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