Because you're doing your research on Microsoft MCSE's, you'll probably be in one of these categories: Maybe you're thinking of a radical change of career to the field of computers, and research demonstrates there's a huge demand for people with the right qualifications. In contrast you're someone with a certain amount of IT knowledge - and you need to formalise your skill-set with a qualification such as MCSE.
Take care to ensure you prove conclusively that your training company is actually training you on the latest Microsoft level. Many students have come unstuck when they realise they've been learning from an out-of-date syllabus which now needs updating. Computer training companies ought to be devoted to discovering the ultimate program for their students. Educational direction is as much about helping people to work out where to go, as it is helping to help them get there.
What kind of questions should we ask if we want to arrive at the understanding required? Since it looks like there are some somewhat exceptional possibilities for everyone to mull over.
Ask a specialised consultant and we'd be amazed if they couldn't provide you with many horror stories of how students have been duped by salespeople. Only deal with an experienced professional who asks some in-depth questions to discover the most appropriate thing for you - not for their bank-account! You must establish an ideal starting-point that fits you. Sometimes, the training start-point for a person with experience will be largely different to someone just starting out. Always consider starting with user-skills and software training first. It will usually make the slope up to the higher-levels a much more gentle.
The classroom style of learning we remember from school, utilising reference manuals and books, is usually pretty hard going. If all this is ringing some familiar bells, dig around for more practical courses which feature interactive and multimedia modules. Many studies have proved that we remember much more when we involve as many senses as possible, and we get physically involved with the study process.
Courses are now available in the form of CD and DVD ROM's, so you can study at your own computer. Utilising the latest video technology, you are able to see your instructors showing you how to do something, with some practice time to follow - in an interactive lab. It makes sense to see examples of the courseware provided before you make your decision. You should expect video tutorials, instructor demo's and audio-visual elements backed up by interactive lab's.
Opt for actual CD or DVD ROM's whenever you can. This then avoids all the potential pitfalls with broadband outages, failure and signal quality issues etc.
Proper support is incredibly important - locate a good company that provides 24x7 direct access, as not opting for this kind of support could hold up your pace and restrict your intake. Email support is too slow, and so-called telephone support is normally just routed to a call-centre who will take the information and email an instructor - who will attempt to call you within 24-48 hrs, at a time suitable for them. This is all next to useless if you're stuck with a particular problem and only have a specific time you can study.
Top training companies utilise several support facilities around the globe in several time-zones. An online system provides an interactive interface to seamlessly link them all together, irrespective of the time you login, there is always help at hand, without any problems or delays. If you opt for less than support round-the-clock, you'll regret it very quickly. You may not need it in the middle of the night, but you may need weekends, early mornings or even late evenings at some point.
A lot of trainers still use a now out-dated method of training - classroom lessons. Usually touted as a major benefit, after discussion with someone who has first-hand experience, you'll find them listing some or most of these:
* Repeated visits to the centre - hundreds of miles most times.
* Availability of classes; typically weekdays only and two or three days in a row. You then have the difficulty of the work-leave.
* Lost annual leave - a lot of trainees are given only twenty days of leave annually. If over half of it is swallowed up by training classes, that doesn't leave much holiday time left for the student.
* Classes fill up quickly and can sometimes be too big - so they're not personal enough.
* You may prefer to move at a slower or quicker pace than the rest of the class. This creates the tension often found in classrooms.
* Never disregard the extra financial outlay of driving or taking public transport and over-night accommodation either. This may well run to a lot of money - from hundreds to thousands. Sit down and add it up - you'll get a shock.
* Do you want to risk even a small chance of getting overlooked for a lift up the ladder or pay-rises because your employer knows you're retraining.
* It's very common for attendees to not ask questions they want answered - just down to the fact that they're with their peers.
* More often than not, classes are simply impossible to attend, if you work or live away for days at a time.
It would be better to watch a video and be trained by tutors one-to-one through pre-made modules, studying them at your convenience - not somebody else's. Think... Utilising a notebook PC then you're free to learn in any location you choose. And live 24 hr-a-day support is only a web-click away at times of difficulty. You'll never have to write notes again - you have the lessons and accompanying information ready-made for you. And if you want to repeat anything, you've got it all. Although this won't avoid all study problems, it undeniably makes things easier, simpler and less stressful. Plus you've got less costs, hassle and travel.
Does job security honestly exist anywhere now? In a marketplace like the UK, with businesses changing their mind on a day-to-day basis, it certainly appears not. Of course, a quickly growing market-place, where there just aren't enough staff to go round (through a big shortage of properly qualified workers), creates the conditions for lasting job security.
A rather worrying UK e-Skills investigation demonstrated that more than 26 percent of IT jobs remain unfilled mainly due to a chronic shortage of well-trained staff. So, for each four job positions that are available around Information Technology (IT), companies can only find enough qualified individuals for 3 of the 4. This disturbing concept reveals the requirement for more commercially accredited computing professionals around Great Britain. Quite simply, retraining in Information Technology over the next few years is very likely the best choice of careers you could make.