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Training in Computer Support

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These days, industry couldn't function properly if it weren't for support workers fixing PC's and networks, while recommending solutions to users on a day to day basis. Industry's need for better technically qualified people grows, as we become significantly more beholden to PC's in the modern world.

Does job security really exist anymore? Here in the UK, with businesses changing their mind at alarming speeds, it seems increasingly unlikely. Security only exists now via a rapidly increasing market, driven forward by a shortage of trained workers. It's this shortage that creates the appropriate setting for a secure market - a far better situation.

Using the Information Technology (IT) business for example, the 2006 e-Skills investigation demonstrated major skills shortages throughout the United Kingdom in excess of 26 percent. Put directly, we only have the national capacity to fill just three out of each 4 job positions in the computing industry. This glaring fact clearly demonstrates the requirement for more properly certified computing professionals in the United Kingdom. While the market is evolving at the speed it is, is there any other market worth investigating for a new future.

So, what questions should we be asking if we're to take in the understanding we want? As it looks like there are some pretty superb prospects for everyone to mull over.

A fatal Faux-Pas that students everywhere can make is to choose a career based on a course, rather than starting with the end result they want to achieve. Colleges are stacked to the hilt with direction-less students that chose an 'interesting' course - rather than what would get them the job they want. You may train for one year and then end up doing a job for a lifetime. Don't make the mistake of taking what may be an 'interesting' course and then spend decades in a job you hate!

Be honest with yourself about how much you want to earn and whether you're an ambitious person or not. Often, this changes which particular qualifications will be expected and what'll be expected of you in your new role. Chat with a skilled advisor who has a commercial understanding of the realities faced in the industry, and could provide an in-depth explanation of what tasks are going to make up a typical day for you. Researching these areas before commencement of any training path makes a lot of sense, doesn't it?

Training support for students is an absolute must - ensure you track down something that includes 24x7 access, as not obtaining this level of support will severely impede your ability to learn. Avoid those companies who use messaging services 'out-of-hours' - with your call-back scheduled for standard office hours. This is useless when you're stuck and could do with an answer during your scheduled study period.

The best trainers have many support offices active in different time-zones. Online access provides the interactive interface to link them all seamlessly, no matter what time you login, help is at hand, without any contact issues or hassle. If you opt for less than support round-the-clock, you'll regret it. You may avoid using the support late at night, but consider weekends, late evenings or early mornings

Traditional teaching in classrooms, using textbooks and whiteboards, is usually pretty hard going. If this sounds like you, find training programs that are multimedia based. Where possible, if we can involve all our senses in the learning process, then the results are usually dramatically better.

Learning is now available in disc format, so everything is learned directly from your own PC. Utilising the latest video technology, you are able to see your instructors showing you how something is done, followed by your chance to practice - via the interactive virtual lab's. You really need to look at courseware examples from any company that you may want to train through. You'll want to see that they include video, demonstrations and various interactive elements.

It is generally unwise to choose training that is only available online. Due to the variable nature of connection quality from your average broadband company, it makes sense to have CD or DVD ROM based materials.

Many men and women assume that the traditional school, college or university path is still the best way into IT. So why is commercial certification beginning to overtake it? With an ever-increasing technical demand on resources, the IT sector has been required to move to specialist courses only available through the vendors themselves - namely companies such as Adobe, Microsoft, CISCO and CompTIA. This usually turns out to involve less time and financial outlay. They do this by focusing on the actual skills required (along with a relevant amount of background knowledge,) as opposed to spending months and years on the background 'extras' that computer Science Degrees can get bogged down in - to fill a three or four year course.

Think about if you were the employer - and you wanted someone who could provide a specific set of skills. Which is the most straightforward: Wade your way through loads of academic qualifications from several applicants, trying to establish what they know and which vocational skills they've acquired, or select a specialised number of commercial certifications that perfectly fit your needs, and make your short-list from that. You can then focus on how someone will fit into the team at interview - instead of having to work out if they can do the job.

A key training package will undoubtedly also offer Microsoft (or key company) simulation materials and exam preparation packages. Don't go for training programs depending on unauthorised exam papers and questions. The type of questions asked can be completely unlike authorised versions - and sometimes this can be a real headache when it comes to taking the real exam. Clearly, it is vital to make sure you're absolutely ready for your actual certification exam before embarking on it. Rehearsing simulated tests logs the information in your brain and will avoid you getting frustrated with thwarted exam entries.

Many training companies will provide a useful Job Placement Assistance program, to help you get your first job. The honest truth is that it's not as hard as some people make out to secure a job - once you're trained and certified; the shortage of IT personnel in Britain looks after that.

Nevertheless, don't procrastinate and wait until you have qualified before updating your CV. Right at the beginning of your training, list what you're working on and place it on jobsites! You might not even have passed your first exam when you will be offered your first junior support job; but this won't be the case unless your CV is with employers. You'll normally experience quicker service from a specialist independent regional employment service than any training company's employment division, because they'll know the area better.

Essentially, if you put as much hard work into finding a position as into training, you're not likely to experience problems. Some men and women bizarrely spend hundreds of hours on their course materials and then just stop once qualified and appear to be under the impression that jobs will come to them.
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