What could a trainee searching for certified training from Microsoft expect to discover? Patently, companies ought to have a variety of routes that meet the requirements of training tracks certified by Microsoft. Maybe you’d choose to look for a person who’s got industry experience, who could offer counsel on which area of the industry would be right for you, and what sort of tasks are a good match for somebody with your personality. Once you’ve decided on the area you want to get into, you’ll need a relevant course customised to go with your skills and abilities. Your course material should leave no room for complaints.
Always expect the most up to date Microsoft (or any other key organisation’s) authorised exam preparation packages. Ensure that the mock exams are not only asking questions in the right areas, but also asking them in the exact format that the real exams will pose them. This throws students if the phraseology and format is completely different. It’s a good idea to request some practice exams that will allow you to test your comprehension whenever you need to. Simulated or practice exams log the information in your brain – then the real thing isn’t quite as scary.
The age-old way of teaching, involving piles of reference textbooks, can be pretty hard going sometimes. If you’re nodding as you read this, look for learning programmes which feature interactive and multimedia modules. Research has consistently shown that getting into our studies physically, will more likely produce memories that are deeper and longer-lasting.
Study programs now come on CD and DVD discs, where your computer becomes the centre of your learning. Video streaming means you are able to see your instructors showing you how something is done, followed by your chance to practice – via the interactive virtual lab’s. It’s wise to view a small selection of training examples before you hand over your cheque. The minimum you should expect would be videoed instructor demonstrations and interactive modules with audio-visual elements.
Many companies provide online training only; sometimes you can get away with this – but, imagine the problems if internet access is lost or you get intermittent problems and speed issues. It is usually safer to have CD and DVD ROM materials that removes the issue entirely.
There is no way of over emphasising this: You have to get round-the-clock 24×7 instructor support. You will have so many problems later if you don’t follow this rule rigidly. Never purchase study programmes that only provide support to students with a call-centre messaging service after 6-9pm in the evening and during weekends. Companies will try to talk you round from this line of reasoning. The bottom line is – support is needed when it’s needed – not when it suits them.
The very best programs tend to use an online access round-the-clock facility utilising a variety of support centres from around the world. You’re offered a single, easy-to-use interface that seamlessly accesses whichever office is appropriate no matter what time of day it is: Support on demand. Never settle for less than you need and deserve. Direct-access 24×7 support is the only way to go for IT learning. Maybe late-evening study is not your thing; but for most of us, we’re working at the time when most support is available.
So, why might we choose qualifications from the commercial sector and not familiar academic qualifications gained through tech’ colleges and universities? Key company training (as it’s known in the industry) is far more specialised and product-specific. The IT sector has acknowledged that a specialist skill-set is what’s needed to handle a technologically complex commercial environment. CISCO, Adobe, Microsoft and CompTIA dominate in this arena. Obviously, an appropriate portion of relevant additional detail must be covered, but focused specialised knowledge in the required areas gives a vendor educated person a distinct advantage.
The bottom line is: Recognised IT certifications tell an employer precisely what skills you have – the title says it all: as an example – I am a ‘Microsoft Certified Professional’ in ‘Managing and Maintaining Windows Server 2003’. Consequently companies can look at their needs and which qualifications are required to fulfil that.
Being at the forefront of the cutting-edge of new technology is about as exciting as it can get. You become one of a team of people defining the world to come. We’ve barely started to scrape the surface of how technology will influence everything we do. The internet will profoundly revolutionise how we see and interrelate with the entire world over the next few years.
Wages in the IT sector aren’t to be ignored either – the usual income throughout Britain for an average man or woman in IT is considerably better than in the rest of the economy. Odds are you’ll make a whole lot more than you’d expect to earn doing other work. With the IT marketplace developing year on year, it’s predictable that demand for appropriately qualified IT professionals will remain buoyant for decades to come.