Advanced IT Training Methodology

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Advanced IT Training Methodology

Across the globe we're witnessing an ever increasing dependency on IT systems and the services we expect from them. Society is becoming more and more familiar with IT functions and terminology, but are we really becoming more proficient with the systems?

We need to ask the question "Is my knowledge increasing at the same rate as the developments within the industry?" for if not, then surely I'm falling behind.

I appreciate the fact that no-one can know everything about everything and therefore the above question needs to be placed into context, such as Dreamweaver or Networking if that's my specialist subject or chosen industry.The critical factors must surely be not necessarily the breadth of knowledge, but the pertinence of the knowledge as the driving force.

I'm reminded of the story where the owner of a large tanker had consistent issues with the engines of his ship, and often had to bring in 'specialist' engineers to fix the problems every time they berthed at ports around the world. Whilst trying different methods to resolve the challenge, the owner of the tanker was becoming more and more frustrated.

Finally when they berthed at a port in South America he remembered an old friend of his who, being a fully qualified engineer, had an exceptional talent for fixing and maintaining marine engines, so he asked if he could help.

His friend arrived and proceeded down to the engine bays. After a period of time listening to the engines he walked around and tapped a few pipes with his spanner, finally moving to a valve which he adjusted 25 degrees clockwise. Immediately the engines settled down and the problem was resolved.

The next day the owner's friend returned with a bill for £10,000. The owner was dismayed by the size of the bill, especially as all he had to do was to turn a valve and so he asked his friend for a breakdown, hoping for a reduction. The following day the engineer returned with the breakdown - For time spent onboard to fix the problem - special rate to a friend, £1. For the knowledge of where to tap and which valve to turn, £9,999.

Surely this reminds us that all knowledge must be fit for purpose, and therefore equally the techniques and methodology of training must fit the same criteria. Within a fast-paced industry such as IT, the reliance upon traditional training techniques, such as classroom environments and staid teaching skills, surely is at odds with the buoyancy of the industry itself.

Whilst I'm not disparaging IT teachers, there remains a concern where it's left to the individual to keep their knowledge as pertinent and cutting-edge as possible. I have considerable sympathy for the difficulties in maintaining this when a person isn't exposed to the latest industrial developments, such as those who are working within Microsoft directly as an example.

Students are the reverse and are voracious in seeking access to the latest terms, thoughts and techniques wherever possible, and any system that can provide 24x7 direct or indirect access to the knowledge and thoughts of the leaders in the industry would be pertinent to both teacher and student alike.

Moving into the working environment, many owners of IT systems expect their IT support teams to do more than manage and maintain the integrity of the systems, to protect the business interests. They also look to them to provide strategic support and advice, to ensure that decisions regarding IT procedures, hardware and operating system procurement provide a business edge, and keep the company ahead of its competitors within their particular field.

When considering the options for development within IT either as a career change, start of career or furthering ones future within the industry, one of the key factors has been the increasing attraction of the professional qualifications. It benefits from the same overall factors as the Aviation industry in that a common language and format is fairly dominant throughout.

Students seeking to maximise their employability for the long-term are favoured by adopting the approaches and methods of the industry heavyweights. This makes them attractive to a wider range of employers in both the short term and long term. Qualifications recognised by industry leaders such as the MCSE or MCSA, that have legitimacy across geographical boundaries and industry sectors, remain a prudent choice when considering the same level of insurance in today's economic climate.

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