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Career Training: Building Skills From Scratch

By mbelanger ·
While the 'Net offers resources left and right for training and certification, I often wonder if the course prices are justified. We know that managers and recruiters place a high value on these designations, but is it worth the up-front cost?

A few questions to discuss:

- Given the vast information at our fingertips, is it viable for a possible candidate to self-study and then challenge certification exams (notably Microsoft and Cisco).

- With the flexibility of virtual environments, can a potential candidate learn "the basics" within a simulated environment yet possess enough of the skills required to present a competent portfolio to other organizations?

- In terms of self learning, "boot camps" and challenge exams, have people experienced any of these? (Personal stories welcome, if you feel so inclined; I would highly appreciate it!)


Sincerely,
Mike

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Career training is generally tools

by Tony Hopkinson In reply to Career Training: Building ...

knowledge not skill.

Administration is a skill, windows, or linux, or AD is the tool.

That's where they all go wrong. Nowhere is this more visible than development.

How to program in C# for instance, does not teach you how to program, it teaches you C# and some .Net...

Until the powers that be get their heads round that, the value of these traning offerings will always be open to question.

That's not even considereing what running training/education as a business means. After all if it's too hard to pass, no one will pay you will they?

I started pretty much self taught (many moons ago), added some formal academic stuff and learned to apply it with more self teaching
Done various training courses, learnt to apply that with more self teaching.

If you give up on the idea that academia/certification turns out the finished article as opposed to merely 'qualified' ones, you'll be a lot happier.

Any IT pro who doesn't / hasn't done a LOT of self teaching will be a total waste of space on any technical role worth a mention.


Skills are found and honed with use not inculcated with money.

Not a popular opinion I know, particulary with academia and certification, who wat business to buy the lie.

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RE: Tools

by mbelanger In reply to Career training is genera ...

Hi Tony,

Thanks for the honest and candid reply. I'm not much in favor of all these certifications myself; to me it's as if I am saying "I know how to learn this topic and the general gist of it", but shows nothing for the meat and potatoes of it all.

That said, how does one get their foot in the door when it almost seems that hiring managers are "blind" to the passion/talent of experienced young minds just because they do not have [Certification Here] after their name on a business card?

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That;'s a different question

by Tony Hopkinson In reply to RE: Tools

I'm a dev and certs are generally considered less critical on my side. I've also near thirty years experience in a very wide ranging career.

I've no certs and no degree if I were back where I was, now, I'd be getting them. Pretty much no choice, and you will learn something. Without them? Either you need a relative who happens to be a CEO, or you go sideways. Get into business and then traverse to IT. I started as general clerical myself, but that was before certs were invented, and when computer science was in a shed behind the maths faculty....

Or you could start your own business of course, you'll have a heck of a lot more than IT to learn though.

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