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Technical Training Schools - The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

By I Call It As I See It ! ·
Hi everybody !

I would like to start a new discucussion track on experiences with technical training schools. It may be traditional classroom setting, training/boot camp, CBT method, Self Study, ON-Line or whatever else may be out there. I know that in my quest to find a suitable training format for my situation it seems every con artist, snake oil salesman out there has turned to selling technical training. While this topic may have been mentioned throughout this category I would like to keep this discussion track on experiences with technical schools with the hope it could serve us all well.
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Do the salespeople have a clue ?

In my search for a decent training school at least here in the Delaware area the sales people
seem to be absolutely clueless. Any question you ask about courses or subject matter they are brain dead. I have been searching for a good format for myself and have settled on a period of self study in conjuction with boot camp for Cisco CCNA and Microsoft MCSE 2003. I have found a booy camp format offered in Viginia. I am hesitant to mention it by name as I started this discussion and don't want anything I say to be considered a plug or commercial. Any boot camp feedback would be appreciated.

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Dunno about any boot camps but.

by Garion11 In reply to Do the salespeople have a ...

I attended a tech training school from 2001-2002. The first thing I think people should look for when they go see a school (you did go see the school/campus first before you signed that check right?) is the staff, people, students and how many PCs or I should say their infrastructure.

Ask the students about what they are learning and stuff. Talk to the teachers and see what they teach and ask to see the books that they use (are books extra etc).

Finally the infrastructure. One school I went to visit had one switch, one hub and 2 routers and they were teaching a CCNA class LOL. My last one has 6 (I think) different routers, 5 switches, 2 hubs per student and a maximum of 5 students (all of them are connected). Certain schools offer internships, temporary/contract assignments while you work or during school. Take those, they are an excellent way to get your foot in the door.

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Boot Camps are good if they are staffed well and have the right equipment

by nawebb In reply to Dunno about any boot camp ...

I agree with Garion11. Staff and Infrastructure are critical to a successful training environment.

I help run a network training facility in Virginia (will not say name because I am not trying to plug my company). When you are about to spend thousands of dollars on training, you need to know that the people involved in the training organization are going to offer you what they claim they can.

Make sure that they have real live simulators. You are never going to run into a simulator when you are working on a 1000 user network. Simulators are the devil. Rarely do they react like the equipment they are simulating. Check out the equipment that the facility it up to date? Is there enough for everyone in the class to have access to? Also check out the size of the class room. The more students there are, the less attention you will get from an instructor. You want a class with a maximum of 7 or 8 students per instructor. And preferrably you don't want to have to share equipment with others.

Ask if you can sit in a class that is running for an hour or so with the instructor you will have to make sure the person knows what they are talking about. Listen to his/her teaching style. Is it compatitible to your learning style? Check to see if he is reading straight from the book (a big no-no in my opinion). ask questions in the class to see if the instructor is quick on his/her feet with accurate information. Probe the other students....ask questions. Ask for references to other students that have taken the course. Is the company training corporate clients as well? Ask to speak to those people also. The chances are, if an organization is sending people back to the school repeatedly, they are having a good training experience. Try to find out as much information as possible to make sure you are going to get what you pay for.

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Sims are perfectly fine for learning...

by TomSal In reply to Boot Camps are good if th ... you said you work for a "network training facility"...stop the spin. Sims are perfectly legitimate training tools for those just learning, not all people can afford to attend fancy classes with real equipment; and I believe the IT training industry is about 70% smoke and mirrors and false know "spin".

Its enough to make one load and re-load a remington model 700 with a sadistic gleam in ones eye....

But yes, I agree real equipment is the best to train on and a good (well-researched before you sign anything) class is normally the best training tool....but don't just rip into alternative lower costs training solutions that some folks have as their only options.

It all comes down to the person being trained anyway, which is why I think most sales folks from training places are a damn joke with their car-salesman-like talk....Let me tell you something, if I pay $10,000 for your training and your teachers suck, your materials are sub-par, etc. I'll be seeing you in yeah you better deliver me something.

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CDI Collage of Business and Technology

by iMpulse In reply to Technical Training School ...

I'm currenttly attending CDI's Network and Internet Security Specialist program.

Its basically a self taught enviroment. Think of a lan, a book, and a room to take on-line tests. Frankly I'm very disapointed. I've been working with pc's since the 386ers, and figured well maybe some Certs and a deploma will help me say I know what I say I know...

The tution for the year is maxed out. I'm paying $12,900cdn for the year.

Course: This is something they did get right. We basically do every certification book along the way. (Certs not incuded, pay and write if you wish, along the way)

So alot of the students are getting high marks, but still asking me the dumbest questions. Some will know of this as book-knowledege.

Not too bad at these schools, plenty of PC's of all varieties, many hubs, switches, servers ect. I did notice however that there are no MAC's or Linux machines here. Isn't Linux the network backbone these days?

So, I'm 5 months into this course, 12 years over all experience, A+ Net+ MCP XP, a heavy dept, and I'm scrubbing floors at the local perkins. Anyone have any hope left in it for me?

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Hold your breath and jump in!?

by oboogie In reply to Technical Training School ...

I,also, would like to hear feedback on training/bootcamps. My decision revolves around those "unknowns": Salesmen respond to your (Web)query with the usual pitch...
In the past five months, I've completed the MS Official Curriculum for MSCA track at the local Community College. What I found was 1. You won't find the desired in-depth "hard tech" answers- 2. Therefore-do more research! Example: The "Official Curriculum" referred to the ItelliMirror Technology. (what is that?)...then find and buy used books to discover the underlying "File Replication Service".
3. (At least at the C. College) The student mix may well be heterogenous, in terms of what is the goal of classroom attendence.
So, my question is: Are all (or most) cert. coursework, whether B.Camps or otherwise, loaded with these references to what surely seems to be a marketing strategy?...
I can see it first job- and I try to converse with a knowledgeable cohort, by
referencing "Itellimirror"?...Come On..will ya!
Right now. I'm seriously contemplating CCNA bootcamp, but not willing to put down the bucks for who-knows-what, in term of No.s 1 thru 3 (above).
Any thoughts out there?
I'm 7 months out of MCSA training, achieved the MS Professional Cert., job displaced from another industry, preping for the next Server Exam, an rapidly re-thinking a new chart for these waters.

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