Nearly all aspiring web designers start their careers with Adobe Dreamweaver training. It's reputed to be the most used web-development environment in the world. It's also recommended that students get an in-depth understanding of the full Adobe Web Creative Suite, which includes Flash and Action Script, to be able to take advantage of Dreamweaver professionally as a web designer. These skills can mean later becoming an Adobe Certified Expert or Adobe Certified Professional (ACE or ACP).
Knowing how to construct a website is simply the first base. Driving traffic, content maintenance and programming database-driven sites are the next things. Look for training programmes with bolt-ons to teach these subjects perhaps HTML, PHP and MySQL, alongside E-Commerce and Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) skills.
Discovering job security in this economic down-turn is very unusual. Businesses often remove us from the workforce at a moment's notice - as and when it suits them. In actuality, security now only emerges in a swiftly growing market, driven forward by a shortage of trained workers. It's this alone that creates just the right background for market-security - a far better situation.
A rather worrying UK e-Skills analysis highlighted that 26 percent of all IT positions available remain unfilled as an upshot of a lack of appropriately certified professionals. Basically, we only have the national capacity to fill three out of every 4 jobs in the computing industry. Fully skilled and commercially educated new staff are consequently at a complete premium, and in all likelihood it will stay that way for many years to come. In reality, acquiring professional IT skills throughout the years to come is probably the safest career choice you could ever make.
If the UK Information Technology (IT) sector offers some unique job possibilities for us - what are the questions we should be posing and which aspects are most important?
A proficient and specialised advisor (as opposed to a salesman) will ask questions and seek to comprehend your current level of ability and experience. This is useful for understanding your starting level of study. If you've got a strong background, or maybe some real-world experience (some industry qualifications maybe?) then it could be that your starting level will be very different from a trainee who has no experience. Starting with a basic PC skills module first can be the best way to start into your IT training, depending on your current skill level.
There is no way of over emphasising this: Always get full 24x7 professional support from mentors and instructors. You'll severely regret it if you don't. You'll be waiting ages for an answer with email based support, and telephone support is usually to a call-centre which will chat nicely with you for 5 minutes to ask what the issue is and then simply send an email to an instructor - who will call back over the next day or so (assuming you're there), when it's convenient to them. This is no use if you're stuck and can't continue and have a one hour time-slot in which to study.
Top training providers offer an online access round-the-clock package combining multiple support operations across the globe. You get a single, easy-to-use interface that seamlessly accesses whichever office is appropriate no matter what time of day it is: Support when you need it. If you accept anything less than online 24x7 support, you'll regret it very quickly. It may be that you don't use it late in the night, but what about weekends, evenings and early mornings at some point.
It's likely that you've always enjoyed practical work - a 'hands-on' individual. Usually, the trial of reading reference books and manuals is something you'll make yourself do if you have to, but you really wouldn't enjoy it. So look for on-screen interactive learning packages if you'd really rather not use books. Memory is vastly improved when multiple senses are involved - experts have been clear on this for decades now.
Courses are now available via DVD-ROM discs, so everything is learned directly from your own PC. Utilising the latest video technology, you will be able to see the instructor presenting exactly how something is done, followed by your chance to practice - via the interactive virtual lab's. It would be silly not to view some examples of the kind of training materials you'll be using before you sign on the dotted line. You should expect video tutorials, instructor demo's and interactive audio-visual sections with practice modules.
You should avoid purely online training. Physical CD or DVD ROM materials are preferable where offered, as you need to be able to use them whenever it's convenient for you - ISP quality varies, so you don't want to be totally reliant on your internet connection always being 'up' and available.
What is the reason why traditional degrees are less in demand than the more commercial qualifications? With an ever-increasing technical demand on resources, industry has of necessity moved to specific, honed-in training that the vendors themselves supply - namely companies such as CISCO, Adobe, Microsoft and CompTIA. This usually turns out to involve less time and financial outlay. They do this by focusing on the actual skills required (alongside a relevant amount of related knowledge,) instead of going into the heightened depths of background detail and 'fluff' that degree courses can get bogged down in (because the syllabus is so wide).
If an employer understands what work they need doing, then they simply need to advertise for the particular skill-set required. The syllabuses all have to conform to the same requirements and do not vary between trainers (as academic syllabuses often do).
A successful training package will incorporate Microsoft (or key company) simulation materials and exam preparation packages. Don't go for training programs relying on unauthorised exam preparation systems. The way they're phrased is often somewhat different - and this leads to huge confusion when it comes to taking the real exam. Practice exams will prove enormously valuable as a resource to you - so when it comes to taking your actual exams, you don't get phased.
One feature provided by many trainers is a programme of Job Placement assistance. This is to help you find your first job in the industry. Don't get caught up in this feature - it's easy for training companies to make too much of it. The fact of the matter is, the need for well trained IT people in this country is why employers will be interested in you.
CV and Interview advice and support is sometimes offered (if not, see one of our sites for help). Ensure you polish up your CV immediately - don't wait until you've finished your exams! Getting onto the 'maybe' pile of CV's is more than not being regarded at all. A surprising amount of junior support jobs are bagged by students (sometimes when they've only just got going.) You can usually expect better performance from an independent and specialised local recruitment consultancy than you will through a training company's recruitment division, as they'll know the area better.
A slight grievance for some training companies is how much students are prepared to work to become certified, but how little effort that student will then put into getting the role they have trained for. Don't falter at the last fence.