Monday, January 4, 2010

PC Support Training Online - Insights

By Jason Kendall

The CCNA is the way to go for training in Cisco. This teaches you how to work on maintaining and installing routers and network switches. Fundamentally, the internet is based upon huge numbers of routers, and commercial ventures who have several locations utilise them to allow their networks to keep in touch.

Routers are linked to networks, therefore it is necessary to have an understanding of the operation of networks, or you'll struggle with the program and not be able to understand the work. Seek out a program that teaches the basics (for example CompTIA) before you start the CCNA.

If you're just entering the world of routers, then working up to and including the CCNA is the right level to aim for - at this stage avoid being tempted to do the CCNP. Once you've worked for a few years, you'll know if it's relevant for you to have this next level up.

Watch out that all qualifications you're considering doing will be commercially viable and are bang up to date. The 'in-house' certifications provided by many companies are often meaningless.

Unless the accreditation comes from a company like Microsoft, CompTIA, Adobe or Cisco, then chances are it will be commercially useless - because no-one will recognise it.

Commencing with the understanding that we need to find the market that sounds most inviting first, before we're able to weigh up what development program meets that requirement, how can we choose the correct route?

As without any commercial skills in computing, how could any of us be expected to understand what a particular job actually consists of?

Usually, the way to come at this dilemma properly flows from a full chat, covering a variety of topics:

* Your personality type as well as your interests - what kind of work-related things please or frustrate you.

* Are you aiming to reach a specific dream - like being your own boss sometime soon?

* The income requirements that guide you?

* Getting to grips with what the normal work types and sectors are - plus how they're different to each other.

* Taking a serious look at the level of commitment, time and effort that you're going to put into it.

For most of us, considering all these ideas tends to require the help of an advisor who knows what they're talking about. And not just the accreditations - but also the commercial requirements of the market as well.

Have a conversation with a proficient advisor and they'll regale you with many terrible tales of how students have been duped by salespeople. Only deal with an experienced industry advisor who asks some in-depth questions to find out what's appropriate to you - not for their pay-packet! You must establish the right starting point of study for you.

If you have a strong background, or maybe some live experience (some certifications gained previously perhaps?) then obviously your starting level will be quite dissimilar from a student that is completely new to the industry.

Working through a basic PC skills module first will sometimes be the most effective way to start into your computer program, depending on your current skill level.

A sneaky way that training providers make more money is by adding exam fees upfront to the cost of a course and presenting it as a guarantee for your exams. This sounds impressive, but is it really:

You're paying for it somehow. One thing's for sure - it isn't free - it's simply been shoe-horned into the price as a whole.

The honest truth is that if students pay for each progressive exam, one at a time, the chances are they're going to pass every time - as they are conscious of what they've paid and their application will be greater.

Sit the exam as locally as possible and don't pay up-front, but seek out the best deal for you when you're ready.

Why borrow the money or pay in advance (plus interest of course) on examinations when you don't need to? Big margins are made by companies getting paid upfront for exams - and hoping either that you won't take them, or it will be a long time before you do.

In addition to this, 'Exam Guarantees' often aren't worth the paper they're written on. The majority of organisations won't pay for you to re-take until you've completely satisfied them that you're ready this time.

The cost of exams was about 112 pounds in the last 12 months through Prometric or VUE centres around the United Kingdom. So don't be talked into shelling out hundreds or thousands of pounds more to get 'an Exam Guarantee', when any student knows that the best guarantee is consistent and systematic learning, coupled with quality exam simulation software.

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