Has anybody had a bad time

  Forum Editor 20:06 28 Jun 04
Locked

with an IT training company?

I would be very interested to hear about any disappointing experiences with companies who offer course that result in an IT qualification of some kind.

Did you feel you were being promised something that didn't materialise, or were there references to plum jobs in the IT industry being made?

  ajm 20:16 28 Jun 04

a few years ago, i foolishly took a course with the now-defunct company called Amraf. The course consisted of Windows 2000 and 2000 server. Having parted with a big sum of money and promised a job immediately after taking the exams, no big job materialised. At that time people with MCP and MCSE's were quite few. Nowadays, every Tom, Dick and Harry has at least one MCP or more.

Having learned from that experience, I have advised friends and colleagues not to take that avenue but to get a couple of networked PCs and some books and set time to learn.

  david.h 20:35 28 Jun 04

I had a course with "smartforce" not at all impressed,poor customer support and support help with studies

  kbo64 21:06 28 Jun 04

Here is Stratford Upon Avon where I live we have Connexions that run basic IT courses for the unwaged.

They will not be told that a Certificate with out any Employer input, ie xx hours in a class room and xx hours with an Employer is only good for my tush.

To actually hold the Certificate in One's hand takes 6 months

Best wishes
KBO

  Simsy 06:34 30 Jun 04

with my college course a couple of years back, (Sept 2000-May 2002).

I'd been to the local college to talk through what they had to offer. The intention was just for me to learn more, in a very general sense, as I had just got a PC for the first time, and wanted to be able to help my son when necessary. I was NOT looking for a qualification for carrer purposes

The course recommended would result in a qualification, a "BTEC National Certificate in IT applications". No promises were made with regard to job availability.

The administration and teaching was AWFUL.

You may remember, FE, that we did have some correspondance about it at the time; I sent you a word document detailing the failings. I will still have that at home. If it is of interest I could resend it?

Regards,

Simsy

  Forum Editor 06:59 30 Jun 04

Thanks for the offer - I would be grateful if you could resend.

  david.h 18:07 30 Jun 04

the poor course i mentioned earlier was smartcertify not smartforce it was a waste of money

  Chris the Ancient 21:38 01 Jul 04

Some years ago, I was an IT trainer. I worked for two different companies. One was government sponsored and the other provided requested specialised training for different companies on request. (Funnily enough, both went bankrupt while I was working for them! Hmmm...)

For now, ignoring the second company who had no dealings with the general public, I want to reminisce about the first one. They specialised in providing C & G courses initially - and later we moved onto BTEC NVQs. These courses were aimed at the long-term unemployed who were trying to get a new start in life. I was the assessor for my group and the internal verifier for other groups.

Principally, we taught MS Office applications to level 2 (occasional 3s). It was very heart-warming to see people who previously had not had a job in a long time perk up and see a future.

However, I always made it plain - straight from the start - that there was no guarantee of a job and that the qualifications were pretty basic. I didn't want to engender high or false hopes.

I was tough. I would not pass people through the NVQ 'just for the sake of statistics'! They worked for the qualifications. One or two students expected a lot higher qualification status and 'dream jobs' in the IT industry. I had to disillusion them. Not always successfully. The good side was that the 'winners' made it a worthwhile job for me.

Anyway. I now have to wonder how many people go into these courses and expect to come out at the other end as the industry's answer to everything! Are their aspirations too high? Most (note well the use of the word 'most!)really good IT professionals have taken very many courses and had a long time at the 'sharp end' developing and honing these skills. It's not an overnight success.

So, I do blame the industry, to a certain extent, for not making it very clear what the potential outcome of any particular course might be - both for qualifications or employment prospects. But, IT training companies have to blow a very large trumpet, very loudly, in a very competitive market. However, I also have to blame some of the (potential) students for being gullible enough to believe all the hype!

Caveat emptor.

Right. Now let me go and find another fence to sit on! ;o)

Chris

  Forum Editor 23:08 01 Jul 04

Caveat emptor?

Surely the whole point about any training course is that the trainers must start with the presumption that prospective students will have little or no knowledge of the subject? It seems to me that the reason so many students have high expectations of IT training courses is that some training companies infer that their qualification will be the key to a golden future in IT.

Time and again I've heard from people who feel they have been duped into parting with considerable sums of money in return for very little by way of proper tuition. Promised jobs have not materialised, and course materials have failed to meet expectations.

  Chris the Ancient 23:41 01 Jul 04

I still can't blame it all on the training companies.

Does everyone believe all they are told by the people who try to make you change your gas/electric?

Does everyone believe every advert they see in the paper and tv?

When one is investing a lot of time/money in a potential change of future (and I've been there and done it - after being in IT), one should make very sure that the money is being invested properly. Check out the facts. Get references. Do everything possible before parting with the cash.

I'm not going to say anything daft about deserving all you get and throwing money away; that would be too sweeping and general. But, would you spend a lot of money on something - money that you may well not readily afford - without really checking what you're spending it on?

Liken it to Helproom and/or Consumerwatch in these hallowed halls! How often have people complained about not getting what they expected.

Life is like that. There are plenty of people out there who are willing to take people to the cleaners in the name of a fast buck. Why should the IT training industry be any different?

Before spending any large sum of money on anything, a wise person does the research first - and makes up their own mind and doesn't let other people bamboozle them.

Having said that...

Yup, there are sharks out there! I just did my darnedest to never be a shark, I was up front and honest about the qualifications ad prospects. Oh, that there were more like it!

And so off for the (much needed) beauty sleep.

Chris

  Dorsai 09:08 03 Jul 04

E-mail me £10 and i will send you a searching questionare to determin you level of gullability.

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