There’s no doubt about it: Training and certifying information technology professionals is big business. Promotions for training facilities and online campuses proliferate on the Internet, in trade publications, and at technology conferences—anywhere network administrators, programmers, or chief information officers can be found. Training and certification are essential to your career and to the careers of those you manage.
One brick-and-mortar example of a training and certification institution is NexTech Training Solutions, LLC, located in Hauppauge, NY. NexTech also has operations located at Hofstra University and at the Stonybrook School of Professional Development. The three operations provide certification courses for Microsoft products and Novell networks, as well as meeting accreditation standards of Prometric and the Computing Technology Industry Association.
The NexTech Web site is slickly produced, but not to the point of gaudiness. The navigation buttons are located across the top and are intuitively arranged. The course calendar is well laid out and can be viewed by the week or by the month, with additional specification by location. Besides course information, the site provides a seminar schedule and a description of the NexTech method of teaching, which emphasizes hands-on technical training in its labs. For current students, there is a discussion forum, which is a nice feature, but I found only seven postings, three of which were related to the “Welcome to the Forum” posting by NexTech staff.
You could be a winner
One mildly interesting feature of the Web site is its Palm Pilot giveaway. When you fill out contact information and request a seminar schedule, NexTech will enter you into a contest for a Palm V. One Palm V is given away each month, and if traffic on the site is as light as the forum activity indicates, the odds might actually make it worth the effort and the possible spam/junk mail hassle to follow.
Overall, the NexTech Web site is a professional, slickly designed Internet presence for the company. It does a fine job of conveying the corporate message without overwhelming visitors with marketing hyperbole. If the quality of course offerings matches the quality of the Web site, NexTech is a capable training company that deserves a closer look. Of course, the possibility of winning a Palm V doesn’t hurt.
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Mark Kaelin is a CBS Interactive Senior Editor for TechRepublic. He is the host for the Microsoft Windows and Office blog, the Google in the Enterprise blog, the Five Apps blog and the Big Data Analytics blog.