Who Needs a Computer Training School?
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Who needs computer training centers?

Computer training centers can provide assistance to all levels of computer users to meet their career goals, no matter how technical or nontechnical those careers may be. However, these training institutions are especially powerful career tools for information technology and computing professionals.

The purpose of computer training centers

Computer training centers employ qualified, and often certified, instructors to teach targeted skills or software using methods that have proven effective for computer and technology-focused learning. Computer training offerings can be organized a few different ways:

  • By the type of user, i.e., technical or business user
  • By the user's experience, i.e., beginner, intermediate or expert
  • By a subject or skills set, e.g., database management, information security, programming languages
  • By software vendor, certification or software product, e.g., Cisco, CompTIA A+ or Microsoft Excel

These centers can be found in community colleges and universities or as separate computer training schools and technology training businesses, any of which may offer courses online. Some companies contract with computer training schools to offer this kind of intensive training to tech employees, but in tough economic conditions, employees often seek out training opportunities, like certifications, for themselves.

CompTIA, a nonprofit trade association helping IT professionals advance, calls its certifications "an accurate predictor of employee success." Certifications from most organizations such as CompTIA and vendors such as Microsoft, most of which require passing an exam and oftentimes continuing education to keep a certification up to date, can show both a commitment to continued learning and prove to an employer that a candidate has the right skills.

Who needs a computer training school?

The better question is, what IT professional couldn't benefit from more training? Just about everyone can benefit from refreshing or even learning new skills. What professionals get out of computer training depends on where they are in their career and whether they need a few new skills, a degree, or a vendor or professional certification--all of which can be earned through computer training schools.

Russell Mickler, a consultant with 16 years of experience managing IT organizations and teaching technology courses, asserts that both formal technology education and vendor certifications serve to impress employers -- the former because of the dedication required to complete a complex and long-term goal, the latter because anyone who is on the job market without a certification may wind up on the wrong side of a filter used to weed out thousands of applicants. "No certification means you're likely filtered out. Therefore, as a benefit to you, you could look at certs as just a mechanism to be 'relevant' and to be in a list of results," wrote Mickler in a blog post.

Recent college grads new to the tough job market can benefit from certifications, according to John Estes, vice president of Robert Half Technology in an interview with the Dallas Morning News. Certifications seem to be given more importance when placing candidates into full-time, permanent positions.

A tech professional who wants to specialize early in his or her career or change to a new specialty, such as a Cisco networking specialist, could benefit from vendor certification available through local or online computer training centers, according to the Institute for Certification of Computer Professionals.

The ICCP also states that experienced professionals who opt for professional certification typically experience a 10 to 20 percent salary increase resulting from certification, but that the boost depends on the position. CIOs can earn from $15,000 to $40,000 more with an ICCP certification.

The Dallas Morning News reported that a panel of hiring managers at a meeting of the Association of Information Technology Professionals chapter in Dallas shared that some areas of tech, such as network security, require certifications, even if an employee has experience.

New job responsibilities also provide reasons to enroll in courses that don't necessarily lead to certifications. For example, developers who find themselves in jobs requiring more Web design and front-end development may want to take a one-day Adobe InDesign course through a computer training center.

Who needs a computer training school? The short answer: anyone working in the tech community. Computer training schools can benefit just about anyone because they offer a wide variety of courses for a wide variety of skill levels. Professionals who want to remain competitive in the workplace or pursue new career opportunities would be advised to seek out online or local computer training centers to explore their options.