| Fill Skills
and Knowledge Gaps
IT Training focuses on both the theory and practice of IT the
acquisition of skills and knowledge. It is therefore an activity
that seeks to fill skills and knowledge gaps. What is lacking?
Are you at zero level? Then the training you need is one that
will make you computer literate. If you are an IT professional
your need might be for IT certification. Before embarking on training
you must know what your training needs are. What gap needs to
be filled? Is the training need for an organization or an individual?
What is your desired career path and specialization? What do you
need to know? Are you sure training will close the gap? Set your
training objectives carefully. The purpose of your training should
be well defined.
See it, Hear it, Do it
To acquire practical IT skills and knowledge, the best training
approach is that which uses the See it, Hear it, Do it.
Concept, i.e. interactive and participative. You see it been
done. You listen to concepts and ideas and then you do it yourself.
What you need to know how to do, you learn by doing.
Training must combine the right blend of theory and practice.
Choose Your Training Based on
The quality of training varies widely. It is critical that you
choose your training provider based on substance. A training
center is assessed with respect to quality of materials, competence
of trainers, degree of instructor support, training skills of
trainers, corporate IT focus, counseling facilities, track record,
quality of facilities and other quality related issues. You
should be able to gain from the real world experience of the
Focus on Effective Learning
The focus of IT training should be on effective learning by
students. Has the gap been filled? What can the learner do now
that he or she couldnt do previously? The training outcome
is key. Are the skills and knowledge acquired relevant and adequate?
What is the value of training you have received? The outcome
should be such that you must not only learn, but you must also
be able to apply your learning for yourself.
Acquire Practical Skills
Certification and awards of diplomas are important training
outcomes most especially where there is a lot of emphasis on
paper qualifications. But the primary focus of IT training should
be the acquisition of practical skills and knowledge; the award
of certificates or diplomas is secondary. Paper certification
will not get you anywhere in IT. Training should give you a
form of certification (diploma, certificate, etc), as well as
practical skills and knowledge. Training is not only about immersing
yourself in knowledge, its also about creating opportunities
Training is Essential
If you want to build a career in IT and you have a degree or
certification without practical skills, training is essential
for you. You need to acquire these skills and knowledge to advance
your IT career. Cramming for tests and reading text materials
alone are not enough to establish your IT career.
Consider the Cost
Cost is a major issue in IT training. To many it is a deciding
factor. But price should not be your sole determinant for choosing
training or a training institution. Always do a proper cost
benefit analysis before deciding if the cost will give you value.
How do you value the investment? Tie this to your training needs.
Think not only of your immediate costs but also of present and
future opportunities. It is reckless to choose an inferior training
solution to save money. On the other hand high cost does not
indicate high quality.
Make the Effort to Learn
All the best instructors, world-class facilities cannot learn
for you. You must be prepared to make the effort to learn. Learning
involves more than routine attendance of lectures. Your primary
role is to learn. With a good training setup, there is no mystery
to learning. You simply have to be committed. Lack of commitment
is a major problem. This often arises due to poor planning and
or insufficient motivation. Each day after training, do you
go over concepts youve been taught? Do you practice on
your own? Or is your learning reserved for the classroom only?
You paid your course fees in full
two weeks before the course started, but where is your commitment
if you are frequently absent or late for training sessions?
Make sure you are dedicated to learning before you start. It
might seem funny or weird, but Ive met students who just
want to pay training fees and collect certificates. Theyre
simply not ready to go through the stress of training classes
or exercises! Talk about a misplacement of priorities! You either
want to learn or you dont want to. Period! If you want
to learn, get with the program and work on getting the most
out of your training program. Let your career ambitions keep
you motivated during times of self-doubt and stress. You must
be ready to the effort to learn and to apply what you have learned.
If you dont make the effort you are burning, not just
throwing away, good time and money.
You need to consider some important factors when choosing the
right learning solution. What is your skill and motivation level?
Consider financial constraints and available study time. Each
of these important pieces should be used in determining the
right training model for you. Instructor-led IT training seems
to achieve more for students than other training options, most
particularly when there is a focus on in-depth hands-on exercises.
Instructor-led training is regarded as the most effective means
of acquiring IT skills and knowledge.
You must however be prepared to
learn at the pace of your training institution. However, if
you already have some practical skills and or you cannot make
time to attend instructor-led training, a wide variety of learning
options is available to you. These include self-study such as
books, practice tests, computer based training and Web Online
learning. A blend of self-paced learning and classroom learning
might be what you need.
Gain Soft Skills
Most IT Training focuses on the acquisition of IT skills and
knowledge. However, if you want to build a career in IT, there
are more issues at play than technical skills and knowledge
alone. You also need soft skills (presentation, communications,
marketing, project management, etc) to enhance your value. Your
tech skills and training decisions are important, but if you
cant market yourself, getting ahead will be an uphill
task. Furthermore, attitude is important in the real world.
Attitude will determine your altitude.
Issues like professionalism are important. Do you practice in
an ethical manner? IT Training is a career advancement tool.
You dont train just for the sake of training. As an IT
professional you need to develop professional skills and know
how training fits into your career plan.