Tuesday, October 9, 2012

How to choose a training center for a professional course?

This reminds me of the times (late 1990s and the beginning of the millennium) when one would see a host of training centers on almost any road in any city in India.  If you had looked for training centers for Microsoft, CISCO, Sun, or Oracle Certification, you would see few of them on the street wherever you stand.  This was a great time to be in training business for me too operators. The best and the worst quality providers made roaring business.  Yes, the best and the worst too!

Many civil contractors and builders who had extra office space and did not know what to do with it, jumped into the IT training business.  Their biggest motivation was to make hay while sun shines and ride another wave later.  Many succeeded in making money, big money in a short duration. But all this lasted for a short time.

Soon around 2002, the shake-out happened, almost all training business models seemed worthless. Less than 1% of the training companies survived and some just did not want to continue.

Training business has never been the same.  You do not see the same density of training centers that you saw a decade ago.  However, one thing has not changed. Even today, those seeking training are still unsure about where to go. From the training customer's perspective, they are still at risk.

This was the motivation to write this piece. Whatever be the professional course you are trying to pursue, evaluate the training center using the following four criteria, for your own good:

1. Check expertise of the training provider in the domain.  If it is a specialist skill, you may want to check if the training provider has continuous exposure to the constant changes in technology, tools and rules of the game.
2.  Study if any academic institution, like a college or a university offering the same course has "real" practical experience in the domain. Most often such courses from colleges or universities tend to be pure theory and therefore not very usable during interviews and actually performing the job.
3. Verify if the latest technological aspects are discussed, new standards are explained and you get at least a peek into the future in the subject.  This is not possible for training companies that are me too operators and for most academic institutions that do not have any practical experience of design and development.
4. Validate infrastructure but do not let this factor decide the selection of the training center. Remember, a builder can easily put up a fancy training center but will not have any domain expertise in the course to be taught. Don't let jazzed-up places fool you!

Apply the above four criteria when choosing a professional course.  Be it Project Management, Instructional Design, Technical Writing, Video Shooting, Sound Editing, CISCO Certification, etc

-         VIVEK PADUBIDRI,  Click  www.4c-learning.com to know what we do.
       About the author: Vivek is a hands-on instructional designer and heads 4C-Learning Solutions which is now in the thirteenth year of providing interactive design & development solutions in eLearning. Vivek has nearly two decades of experience in managing Design & Delivery functions in the Education industry.


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