Make Training choices based on Substance - IT Training Tip
13 Nov 2009 - What we get out of training depends on the choices we make. Poor choices lead to poor results. Investing in training can be exciting and busy. You are making choices all the time. But be careful. Be wise. For example, you must take important decisions about your training location, course and training institution.
Do we invest based on substance or are our choices anchored on the noise in the environment? First why do you want to train? Be honest as you answer these simple questions: What do you know? What do you need to learn? Do you have the appropriate background for the training program or certification you’re selecting?
The quality of training varies widely. Is there a formula? Empower yourself by doing your research. Or do you prefer being taken for a ride by “cowboys”? Following the crowd is an act of carelessness. Don’t be misled by popularity. Millions are choosing Cisco CCNA; so what? What matters are your needs not what the crowd wants.
Focus on substance rather than style. "All that glitters is not gold". The “best” course and content won’t help if it doesn’t clearly fit with your needs. Looking at your background, is that course the right length for you? And what is the wisdom in chasing high level courses without mastering the fundamentals?
Deciding based on substance requires you to keep your outcomes in view. Back to the initial question – what do you need to learn? Training for certification, or just training? Obviously you must have clearly defined training needs. In addition there are critical decisions to make regarding the training location and provider. Again place substance above style. Is training locally available? Assess not just availability, but also affordability and quality. It’s not enough to choose a training center. Is it the right training organization? Be honest. Are your decisions based on money, show or purpose? Or is it a place, “where I can hangout with my friends”?
Who you train with is at least as important, if not more important, than what you train on. The “right” training provider is one that works for you. Period!
What parameters should come into play? Critical factors to evaluate are: quality of materials, competence of trainers, degree of instructor support, training skills of trainers, organization’s corporate IT focus, counseling opportunities, track record, quality of facilities and other quality related issues. Good training centers are able to relate what is being taught in class with practical, everyday life. Sound training institutions are learner centred and results-driven. However, beyond technical competence and infrastructure, is the institution interested in you? In your career growth? Are they people you can get on with? Does the center have an Alumni network? Will you gain from the real world experience of the institution and its trainers?
It’s sad but a significant number of students continually make these choices based on window dressing and irrelevant promotions. Sometimes the programs have zero connections to their needs. What matters more to you: ceremony or closing your training gap? Make sure your choices are grounded in the core issues that matter. Doing otherwise means burning money and wasting growth opportunities. The choices we make are long lasting and life changing.
But it is is not just about the environment. The decisions you take are not just about the training school, infrastructure, materials, instructor, location, cost, etc. Substance is about what works for you. Let the main issue be the main issue.
Jide Awe is the Founder of Jidaw.com
(This articles focuses on one of several IT Training Tips to be highlighted on the IT Career resource)
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