All of us are short of time, and inevitably should we decide to study for a new career, studying in addition to a 40 hour week is what we have to do. Microsoft certified training could be the answer. It's advisable to consider all the options with someone who has knowledge of the commercial demands for IT staff, and can influence your choice of the most appropriate area to go with your personal characteristics. Insist that your course is tailored to your ability level and skill set. The best companies will make sure that the training is appropriate for where you want to get to.
When did you last consider how safe your job is? Typically, this isn't an issue until something goes wrong. But in today's marketplace, The cold truth is that true job security simply doesn't exist anymore, for most of us. Now, we only experience security in a swiftly escalating marketplace, fuelled by a lack of trained workers. This shortage creates the appropriate conditions for a secure market - a much more desirable situation.
Taking a look at the IT market, a recent e-Skills survey highlighted an over 26 percent shortfall of skilled workers. So, for every 4 jobs that exist in IT, businesses can only source trained staff for three of them. This fundamental reality reveals the requirement for more appropriately certified Information Technology professionals around the UK. Undoubtedly, now really is the very best time to consider retraining into IT.
With the sheer volume of talk covering IT at present, how is it possible to know what exactly to look for?
There are a myriad of job availability in Information Technology. Finding the particular one for yourself can be very difficult. Therefore, without any experience in the IT market, how can you expect to know what someone in a particular field spends their day doing? And of course decide on which certification program is the most likely for your success. Reflection on these areas is vital when you need to reveal the right answers:
* Which type of person you think yourself to be - the tasks that you really enjoy, and on the other side of the coin - what makes you unhappy.
* Are you aiming to pull off a key aim - for example, working from home in the near future?
* How highly do you rate salary - is it the most important thing, or does job satisfaction rate a little higher on the scale of your priorities?
* Considering all that the IT industry covers, it's important to be able to see what's different.
* You need to understand what differentiates all the training areas.
To bypass the confusing industry jargon, and uncover the most viable option for your success, have an informal meeting with an experienced professional; a person that will cover the commercial realities and truth and of course each qualification.
Training support for students is an absolute must - look for a package offering 24x7 direct access to instructors, as anything less will not satisfy and will also hold up your pace and restrict your intake. Locate training schools where you can receive help at any time of day or night (even if it's early hours on Sunday morning!) You'll need access directly to professional tutors, and not access to a call-in service which takes messages - so you're constantly waiting for a call-back during office hours.
The very best programs utilise an online access round-the-clock package pulling in several support offices over many time-zones. You will be provided with a simple interface that accesses the most appropriate office irrespective of the time of day: Support when it's needed. Don't under any circumstances take less than you need and deserve. Online 24x7 support is the only way to go with computer-based courses. It's possible you don't intend to study late evenings; usually though, we're out at work at the time when most support is available.
Traditional teaching in classrooms, involving piles of reference textbooks, can be pretty hard going sometimes. If you're nodding as you read this, check out study materials which feature interactive and multimedia modules. Recent studies into the way we learn shows that much more of what we learn in remembered when we receive multi-sensorial input, and we get physically involved with the study process.
Programs are now found in the form of CD and DVD ROM's, so you can study at your own computer. Using video-streaming, you can sit back and watch the teachers showing you precisely how to do something, and then practice yourself - in an interactive lab. It would be silly not to view examples of the courseware provided before you sign on the dotted line. Always insist on videoed instructor demonstrations and interactive modules with audio-visual elements.
Some companies only have access to training that is purely available online; and although this is okay the majority of the time, imagine the problems when you don't have access to the internet or you only get very a very slow connection sometimes. A safer solution is the provision of actual CD or DVD ROMs which will not have these problems.
A question; why might we choose commercial certification and not more traditional academic qualifications taught at schools and Further Education colleges? Vendor-based training (in industry terminology) is more effective in the commercial field. The IT sector is aware that this level of specialised understanding is essential to service the demands of a technically advancing marketplace. CISCO, Adobe, Microsoft and CompTIA are the key players in this arena. Typically, only that which is required is learned. It's slightly more broad than that, but the most important function is always to cover the precise skills needed (including a degree of required background) - without going into too much detail in everything else - in the way that academic establishments often do.
The bottom line is: Recognised IT certifications give employers exactly what they're looking for - the title is a complete giveaway: i.e. I am a 'Microsoft Certified Professional' in 'Planning and Maintaining a Windows 2003 Infrastructure'. Consequently an employer can look at the particular needs they have and which qualifications are required to fulfil that.
It's essential to have accredited simulation materials and an exam preparation system included in the package you choose. Steer clear of relying on non-accredited exam preparation questions. The terminology of their questions can be completely unlike authorised versions - and this could lead to potential problems once in the actual exam. 'Mock' or practice exams are enormously valuable as a tool for logging knowledge into your brain - so when it comes to taking the real thing, you don't get uptight.
Searching for your first position in IT is often made easier with the help of a Job Placement Assistance service. The honest truth is that it's not as hard as some people make out to land employment - once you're trained and certified; the shortage of IT personnel in Britain looks after that.
Get your CV updated straight-away though (advice and support for this should come from your course provider). Don't delay till the exams have actually been passed. It's not uncommon to find that junior support jobs have been bagged by trainees who are still studying and haven't got any qualifications yet. At the very least this will get you into the 'maybe' pile of CV's - rather than the 'No' pile. Normally you'll get better performance from a specialist independent regional employment service than you'll experience from any training company's recruitment division, because they'll know local industry and the area better.
Certainly make sure you don't spend hundreds of hours on your training and studies, and then do nothing more and leave it in the hands of the gods to find you a job. Stop procrastinating and start looking for yourself. Channel as much energy and enthusiasm into securing a good job as it took to get qualified.