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Anyone have experience with computertraining.edu ?[UPDATE: Should I learn IT stuff?]

CangoFettCangoFett Registered User regular
edited September 2009 in Help / Advice Forum
So yeah. Heard about it on the radio. They say they're a member of the Microsoft IT Academy program, but I dont know how legit/meaningful that is.


According to the site, in 6 months i can get an MCTS and MCITP.


How bad an idea is this/will this work out as well as I'd like it too? Anyone have any experience with them? Do they overcharge and have horrible teachers? Are they actually a good thing to apply to?


edit: People answered for me, $24,000 is ridiculous, however.
So, I was talking to another person at work, and they were mentioning they do a bit of side work with low level programming gigs, and it got me interested.

Ive started studying a tiny bit of C++, and know a tiny bit of HTML but I was curious if anyone had any insight/opinions/experience if something like java or python or php would be more worth while.

Ideally I'd like something that could get me into an entry level IT position. With things like getting an MCSE and other certs, is it realistic to expect to be able to buy a study book, and just go take the test? Would the certs actually be helpful?

CangoFett on

Posts

  • Armored GorillaArmored Gorilla Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    CangoFett wrote: »
    So yeah. Heard about it on the radio. They say they're a member of the Microsoft IT Academy program, but I dont know how legit/meaningful that is.


    According to the site, in 6 months i can get an MCTS and MCITP.


    How bad an idea is this/will this work out as well as I'd like it too? Anyone have any experience with them? Do they overcharge and have horrible teachers? Are they actually a good thing to apply to?

    I was going to PM this to you, but I'll just post it because I feel like people should hear this side of things.

    I signed up for the courses at ComputerTraining.com. You'll get out of the program what you put into it. Even then, having gone through the courses, I would say the cost is entirely too much. I'm now paying off a $24000 loan that I started to pay for the courses, when you could get the same experience taking courses at a college for far less. Also, the tests to certify you cost $$$ as well. They'll give you 7 "free" vouchers for test taking, but it's already factored into what you're already paying them, so it's not actually free. They'll also provide you the books (I still have mine, I do find them useful), but again, that cost is factored into what you're already paying.

    All of the answers to the tests you'll take can be found online in some form or another, either for purchase or other methods. With good memorization, you can simply study those test answers, pay the $125 (or whatever) test fee yourself. Ultimately, I'm left with the feeling that what you'll get out of their course is the same as what you could get out of a college degree with your own self-study ... it may take a few more years, but you'll have learned more along the way and cost less over time. Also, a 2-year or 4-year Computer Networking degree is going to look better on your resume and with the knowledge you get, you'll be able to wrap up those certifications anyway.

    They were able to place me with a bank's IT support group as a contractor. I started at $14/hr with no benefits and was never hired on. I was eventually released from the job and after 6 months of unemployment, I was lucky enough to find a Data Security job in a company that was willing to train me to learn it.

    Right now I am an MCP (which is the lowest level there is) and have my A+ Certification as well as a degree in Visual Communications. I was having issues at the time I took the courses, so I didn't get nearly as far in the course as I should have (ie, never became MCSA or MCSE). How I was able to parlay what I have into a Data Security position is a combination of blind luck and knowing the right people who were willing to train who they feel is the right person.

    Ultimately, I think you'll get more out of college and a few years of hard work than you would out of this course. If I could do it again or had knowledge of how things worked, I would go that route. Look for as much information as you can on the certifications and what books to study for them (things may have changed since I took the course a few years ago). Ask your friends in IT how they feel about the important of certifications. The general feeling I've gotten is that they indicate you can memorize facts and that you can set a goal and accomplish it.

    Seeing a college degree on your resume will do the same.

    If you have any other questions, feel free to PM me and if I can answer, I will.

    TL;DR - College is a better use of your money.

    Armored Gorilla on
    "I'm a mad god. The Mad God, actually. It's a family title. Gets passed down from me to myself every few thousand years."
  • PirateJonPirateJon Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    I'm now paying off a $24000 loan that I started to pay for the courses
    D: Holy shit that's insane.

    For comparison Global knowledge* (a big, top-ranked IT training firm) will get you a MCITP boot camp for $3k.
    http://www.globalknowledge.com/training/course.asp?pageid=9&courseid=10227&catid=184&country=United+States. Ive taken a number of courses at several locations and always been impressed with the teachers and staffers. Plus they've always have a good breakfast spread and tasty afternoon snacks.

    FWIW - I just saw on their site a sale notice about 4 months of unlimited classroom training for $4500.
    http://www.globalknowledge.com/training/generic.asp?pageid=2490&country=United+States
    (* Not a salesbot - I have no ties to them other than the courses I've taken)
    Also, a 2-year or 4-year Computer Networking degree is going to look better on your resume
    Very true. Certs are only useful to secure job interviews. I've never hired someone or been hired by someone solely on them.

    PirateJon on
    all perfectionists are mediocre in their own eyes
  • ChanusChanus Harbinger of the Spicy Rooster Apocalypse The Flames of a Thousand Collapsed StarsRegistered User regular
    edited September 2009
    I went in to the orientation a couple years ago, but yeah... the $20k+ up front they require seemed a bit ridiculous. You can get yourself certified for a fraction of that with a little bit of study (depending on what you already know).

    Chanus on
    Allegedly a voice of reason.
  • ChrisDudeChrisDude Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    I went through a program like this about 5 years ago, except it was actually at a place and not online. My opinion? You'd be better off taking some community college classes (or real college if you're really going for it) and learning on your own than spending money on these hyper specific classes. I think my computer classes cost around 18 grand and while they did teach everything you would need to know, I never got enough out of it to get me more than a few job interviews (along with the realization that I didn't want to work in networking :P).

    Try looking into your local library for books that can help you study for things like the A+ and stuff if you're really gung ho on taking them.

    ChrisDude on
    Chris Pennell Is A Huge Nerd - My blog. I talk about nerd-ish things a lot.
  • Jimmy KingJimmy King Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    Don't do it. Really. These promises you hear of jumping right into a $40-$70k/year sys admin job are complete shit. Especially with the job market the way it is right now.

    You cannot become a competent admin with 6 months of rushed training. You might be certified, but there's a big difference between being able to pass those tests and actually do the work. You'll be qualified to do level 1 and level 2 support type stuff. Much of the stuff taught in these classes is stuff that doesn't even really make sense to most people until they've actually done it several times. They may memorize the words, but they don't actually understand what they mean and how it affects things (I see this ALL the time in community college courses).

    I would find a degree, even from a community college, more respectable than going to one of these places if the person had no other real experience to go with it if I were looking to hire someone. Someone who ran through 6 month program with promises of doubling their pay with no other experience says "some lazy jerkoff looking to get rich quick who probably doesn't know what they are doing" to me. Keep in mind that if you have real experience, even just with personal projects where you set up and run servers, that changes things significantly in my eyes.

    Go to community college and set up servers on your own for your own personal projects. If you're not where you want to be career-wise after that, then look into going to a proper college/university for your 4 year degree. It'll look better on paper all around, it shows more initiative to learn what you need, and will give you far better experience and knowledge.

    Jimmy King on
  • CangoFettCangoFett Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    Thanks for the help guys. Yeah, im avoiding this with a 10 foot pole. Ill look at the local community college stuff instead.

    CangoFett on
  • ZampanovZampanov You May Not Go Home Until Tonight Has Been MagicalRegistered User regular
    edited September 2009
    CangoFett wrote: »
    Thanks for the help guys. Yeah, im avoiding this with a 10 foot pole. Ill look at the local community college stuff instead.

    Yep. College if you want a degree. The random certifications you can straight up get on your own.

    Zampanov on
    r4zgei8pcfod.gif
    PSN/XBL: Zampanov -- Steam: Zampanov
  • CangoFettCangoFett Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    So, I was talking to another person at work, and they were mentioning they do a bit of side work with low level programming gigs, and it got me interested.

    Ive started studying a tiny bit of C++, and know a tiny bit of HTML but I was curious if anyone had any insight/opinions/experience if something like java or python or php would be more worth while.

    Ideally I'd like something that could get me into an entry level IT position. With things like getting an MCSE and other certs, is it realistic to expect to be able to buy a study book, and just go take the test? Would the certs actually be helpful?

    CangoFett on
  • PirateJonPirateJon Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    Ive started studying a tiny bit of C++, and know a tiny bit of HTML but I was curious if anyone had any insight/opinions/experience if something like java or python or php would be more worth while.

    Not really, if IT support / server admin is your goal. scripting is good, and any programming language will help you learn that, but PHP won't be as relevant as powershell to an MS shop.
    Ideally I'd like something that could get me into an entry level IT position. With things like getting an MCSE and other certs, is it realistic to expect to be able to buy a study book, and just go take the test? Would the certs actually be helpful?
    Certs will get you interviews. they are a quest piece, not a final goal.
    Can you buy a book and study to pass a test? lots of people do. Its easier if it's you day to day job (like my ccna) but you can do it from scratch. And MS has tons of free on-line resources.

    I'd suggest starting out easy to get into it with the A+ test.

    PirateJon on
    all perfectionists are mediocre in their own eyes
  • ZampanovZampanov You May Not Go Home Until Tonight Has Been MagicalRegistered User regular
    edited September 2009
    CangoFett wrote: »
    So, I was talking to another person at work, and they were mentioning they do a bit of side work with low level programming gigs, and it got me interested.

    Ive started studying a tiny bit of C++, and know a tiny bit of HTML but I was curious if anyone had any insight/opinions/experience if something like java or python or php would be more worth while.

    Ideally I'd like something that could get me into an entry level IT position. With things like getting an MCSE and other certs, is it realistic to expect to be able to buy a study book, and just go take the test? Would the certs actually be helpful?

    Yeah, you can pretty much just find out what the best study book for any particular certification test is and use that and pass. Especially if you're a halfway decent test taker and have a good aptitude for computers, whether it's Microsoft certification or A+ or whatever.

    As for the programming languages, from what I understand, java, python, php, C, C++, etc. are all in demand. Not to say everyone's hiring all the time, but it would make you useful. I'm actually in a similar situation where I want to start learning some decent languages, and that might not be something that's as easy to teach yourself. I'm going to be making the attempt because I'm fuckawful in a classroom environment. I don't turn in assignments, I lose interest in the lesson plan, I'd be paying for pretty much nothing if I tried to take more than one at a time. So I'm going to be trying to teach myself some of the simpler stuff like python, etc. but I dunno if I'd necessarily recommend going that route if you haven't had a lot of background in programming yet. Maybe if there are some decent classes at your local community college, you could give one or two of em a shot.

    That's just my two cents, like I said, I'm in a similar situation. Maybe we can get someone further along in this stuff to chime in.

    Zampanov on
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    PSN/XBL: Zampanov -- Steam: Zampanov
  • CangoFettCangoFett Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    PirateJon wrote: »
    Ive started studying a tiny bit of C++, and know a tiny bit of HTML but I was curious if anyone had any insight/opinions/experience if something like java or python or php would be more worth while.

    Not really, if IT support / server admin is your goal. scripting is good, and any programming language will help you learn that, but PHP won't be as relevant as powershell to an MS shop.
    Ideally I'd like something that could get me into an entry level IT position. With things like getting an MCSE and other certs, is it realistic to expect to be able to buy a study book, and just go take the test? Would the certs actually be helpful?
    Certs will get you interviews. they are a quest piece, not a final goal.
    Can you buy a book and study to pass a test? lots of people do. Its easier if it's you day to day job (like my ccna) but you can do it from scratch. And MS has tons of free on-line resources.

    I'd suggest starting out easy to get into it with the A+ test.



    Not looking necessarily at server admin. If I can get a crappy coding job, or anything anything that isnt 8/hr stocking retail, I'd be ecstatic. Just looking for a way to get my foot in the door, basically.

    CangoFett on
  • PirateJonPirateJon Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    Self trained admin with self-taught scripting skills? Typical for the industry.

    Self trained programmer (with no portfolio of OSS awesomeness)? Probably not getting an interview.

    PirateJon on
    all perfectionists are mediocre in their own eyes
  • underdonkunderdonk __BANNED USERS regular
    edited September 2009
    I would recommend focusing on certifications instead of a college degree if you're looking to break into IT. It's faster (will get you into the workplace earning money more quickly) and worth much more to the employer. Generally what I see these days are postings for jobs that require certain certs but only "would like to have" a degree. The federal space is where it's at these days, and of all of the agencies hiring, I only know one that requires all employees to have a college degree: CIA. Some research positions within DOE require them as well, but that's not what you're after, based on what you've said here.

    underdonk on
    Back in the day, bucko, we just had an A and a B button... and we liked it.
  • CangoFettCangoFett Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    PirateJon wrote: »
    Self trained admin with self-taught scripting skills? Typical for the industry.

    Self trained programmer (with no portfolio of OSS awesomeness)? Probably not getting an interview.

    So, I'll be putting down this C++ book for now then.

    What kind of scripting skills would you reccomend?

    You mentioned getting A+, but this link mentions 500+ hours in the lab/field. Am I missing something here, or is this just poorly worded?

    Any other certs I should look at studying for?

    CangoFett on
  • Jimmy KingJimmy King Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    For scripting, it depends on what environment you'll be working in. For Unix and Linux stuff, Perl and Python with a healthy dose shell scripting like sh, bash, csh, etc. Some PHP isn't going to hurt for web based tools (which can also be written in Perl and Python, but a LOT of those tools are written in PHP).

    I'm not sure what the Windows scripting languages of choice are since I'm a Unix/Linux guy.

    As to the Programmer/Developer vs Sys Admin thing, as Pirate Jon said, the programming stuff is definitely harder to break into without the degree. It's doable, but it won't happen overnight. it took years of work and some luck towork my way into software development while being purely self taught. I now have several years of experience and I still don't look forward to needing to look for another job without a degree (and am back in school because of that). I almost always have multiple projects that I am working on in various states of development, different programming languages, and for different environments - graphical games in C#, web apps in Perl and Java, some console text and ascii games in C, etc. which I make the source for available to prospective employers.

    In the end, though, I say work towards what you will truly enjoy. It'll be worth the work in the long run.

    Jimmy King on
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