How to Evaluate Technology Training Programs
Allan Hoffman/Monster Tech Jobs Expert
The array of options for technology training can be daunting, especially for people looking to break into the world of information technology jobs. Training centers often hype the opportunities in IT, even as they underestimate (or ignore) the challenges of finding a position as a PC technician or programmer.
The hype sometimes leads to hasty, ill-considered career decisions. The technology sphere is vast and, while MCSE certification is an asset for network engineers working in Microsoft environments, that doesn’t mean you need an MCSE to work as a Java programmer. All of this argues for a well-researched, thoughtful decision when looking to enroll in an IT training program.
Here are the steps to take when considering technology training and education options:
Quick and Easy? Don’t Be Conned
To put it bluntly, there is no fast-and-easy route to a $70,000-per-year IT job. A decision to enroll in a training program should start with an evaluation of your own skills and desires — not with a marketing pitch about jobs for those with technology training. “The first question people need to ask themselves is, ‘What am I good at and how good am I?’” says Ilya Talman, president of Roy Talman & Associates, a Chicago recruiting firm specializing in IT.
What’s Right for You?
Scores of training programs emphasize classes to earn an entry-level IT certification, such as the A+, but that’s not the right route for everyone. “They can become a PC tech, or maybe a help-desk person, but this is not going to catapult them into the top reaches of the IT hierarchy,” says Talman. “The more complex the subject matter, the higher the upside.” If you’re early in your career (and if personal circumstances allow), consider a bachelor’s degree in an IT-related discipline. Those exploring a mid-career transition may want to explore other options, such as a techno-MBA. The diversity of IT jobs means you want to make sure the training is appropriate for your goals.