Distance learning and IT courses

Discussion in 'Jobs (Discussion)' started by TABBER, Dec 15, 2006.

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  1. I have browsed the net hevily and am doing a couple.

    Just wondering what people found to be good companies for distance learning, academic courses, degrees etc.

    Also, has anyone done any Microsoft and/or Cisco IT quals online, any recommedations for training providers? I have seem some very expensive residentual courses, and some cheap CD bundles which seem to vary a price and method, any comments.....
  2. OK - here is my view which suited me - but maybe not everybody else!

    Residential schools are very expensive as normally it is paid for by your company who offset the training bill against their taxes therefore I would not do this if it came out of your pocket.

    The next option is distance colleges such as ICS (normally on day-time TV). I believe this company is alongside the debt companies who promise an easy life. I know a few who did these coures and for 4000 quid you get a CD, a ton of paper and exams at the end which you send off to ICS who then say if your are, or not on-track to take MCSE!! EASY MONEY!!!

    Next option is buying CDs from CBT nuggests etc which are great buy not that mobile despite being on DVD as you must register them on your PC and then that it the only PC you can use, so only go for this option if you have a laptop. Again, a complete course can cost 1000 quid.

    My last suggested option is to get onto a good P2P site such as emule etc and ensure your broadband does not have a download limit. Then, download the courseware in PDF and print it at work. Next, do the same for video tutorials and burn to DVD. Also, try to emulate what you are learning so buy maybe two cheapo PCs, a router from eBay or second hand with minimum spec as they wont have any load on them and use these to practice on.

    This option worked for me but is only good for commerical quals such as Micrsoft Certified, CISCO. For academic, if you can, enroll at your local college and not through a company as they college will teach you the theory and is not profit driven. The REALLY hard hard part is the disciplined study regimen that you need to stick to which is difficult if you have rug-rats and a misses as evening time is precious!

    Good luck and PM if you want more info.
  3. and another thing!!

    If you are up for discharge try looking at www.koenig-solutions.com.

    It is a company in India who will train you in budget with your resettlement grants, but act quick as I heard the package is to change - for the worse.
  4. Tabber,

    Don't forget as well that in addtion to the qualifications you'll get, you WILL need experience in order to get the job.

    There are far too many people out there with the qualifications and no experience.

    As a matter of interest, what courses are you acutally doing?
  5. Thankyou fellas, bullshit, very useful advice.

    I already work in remote communications enviroments, post discharge and am looking at a good hands on IT qual to back up the coms + look good on the CV - hence I dont want to pay thousands for it. Its just a CV boosting and extra skill course, not core since im not in an infomation systems job.

    I thought about the Microsoft desktop support course. Just bought a book on amazon. Will take your advice bullshit and download some stuff over P2P then sit the exam.
    Exams are 88£ x 2. The book was 20£ so if i can do it, a much better option then a 2.5k residentual.
    See how that goes and if it becomes impossible then think about an offical course and try for the company money to help out.
    At the moment the book is pretty taxing but just about managable with prior knowledge.

    Degree wise, more of a long term hobby, I have just registered for a Psychology degree with the open uni. Thats not realy work relevent though.
  6. Tabber OU are doing CCNA courses, T228 is the course title, prices at about 600 sheets. Course content is pretty decent and the router labs are on actual routers and not NETSIMs or software simulators.
  7. Again - it is very much down to the individual but a collegue of mine just passed CCNA purely by buying a decent book and getting two old routers and a PC and studying a lot.

    Again, his main thing was a strict regime and timetable which is the hard part. Total cost for him? 20 quid for the book from eBay (you can get some good book well cheap), 2 x routers and the exam costs.
  8. Another good point bullshit, which I can validate, in the last week, 20 quid off amazon i have brought the Desktop Support Technican certification book.

    I have been giving it a few hours a day and a bit of messing around on my home PC. A bit of prior knowledge is required, but its pretty straight forward. Im enjoying it.

    I am confused how people can get away with chargeing 400£ for a couple of CD's though, let alone 2.5k for 5 days doing some pretty basic stuff. The later is understandbale for corporate clients with no knowledge at all, but the book seems far the best option to me. Probably better written than some of the guides on CD if the online demos are anything to go by.

    The administrator courses would require a higher base of prior knowledge but i cant see way that wouldnt work.

    Mircosoft are buggers with the testing though, its all downloaded on a daily basis to virtual testing centres in cities around the world. You go in, sit at a terminal and crack your exam, then bugger off. There is no access to past papers or realistic practice exams, that Ive found.
  9. Interesting reading guys, can I ask for some advice/opinions too. I am currently out in 18 months time (after 22), I have been working as a software tester for the past 5 years and recently was posted into a Quality Management (in IT) role. I have some formal (Civi) qualifications, such as:

    HND in computing
    PRINCE 2 Practictioner
    ISEB Software foundation cert.
    ITIL Internal Auditors course

    I also have plenty of military courses/quals (Shrivenham courses) Now I could get out and go into the testing environment, but to be honest, I find it all boring. So I am looking at another stream of IT to get into, now having trawled around job sites etc, I am interested in IT Security and the CISSP quals. Now I have plenty of hands on experience with the hardware side of IT too and this interests also me, but I obviously need to focus and gain further quals before I am discharge.

    So after all that waffle I am seeking opinions as to where would be a good direction to go in, although wage is important, I am not expecting anything special initially and am willing to start low again to achieve more job satisfaction? Just some ideas, opinions please.

    Many thanks in advance.
  10. A very lucrative side of the business, but CISSP looks nails! I ordered a CISSP DVD from EBay. I also got the MCSE 2003 DVD set (5 disks) for a small amount. They're all cracked, of course, but there we go.
  11. If you go the CISSP route, it is well worth adding a buiseness quallification to your CV. Security is all about cost, after all.
  12. Hey CardinalSin,

    But now your the top of the supervisory tree you dont need to get your hands dirty anymore, so whats with the DVDs....? :wink:
  13. But back to the thread, I start my IT job as a DBA soon and have been studying for MCDBA certification. I tried to impress the panel of my acheivement in certification and they wern't that impressed. Not to say that it did not help, but the response was "oh - thats good - next topic".

    They really seemed to hit on character & experience and when I spoke to the guy who hired on how I did he said his question to himself was "can I see him working in my team?". On the tech side though, they hit me with questions well outside the Microsoft certification type questions such as setting scenarios and asking heavy questions on business rules in the database layer - discuss the pro's and con's!!! :eek:

    Anyway, just remember the certification gets you in the door, then its up to you!
  14. Many thanks for the comments guys, still lots to think about and so little time!