[Gllug] Graduates paying for IT training before employment

Bruce Richardson itsbruce at uklinux.net
Wed Jun 1 14:45:06 UTC 2005

On Wed, Jun 01, 2005 at 02:08:04PM +0100, Steve wrote:
> > I reckon I must have spent a fortune on training myself through books
> > over the past ten years and buying/hiring equipment and software and
> > teaching myself to use it.  But I think it's been worth it.
> I think you raise a very intersting point.  For the cost of a
> 'professional course' one could set up a lab with some test kit and
> allow people to learn by doing. 

It takes a perceptive and disciplined person to train themselves
effectively. Even assuming they have the resources and the time.  That's
the killer, because most people do not have much to spare of either.  A
good training course (with a good trainer) can give the trainee a
significant amount of coherent information in a very short time and this
is almost always worth the expenditure.  Without that start, that person
is likely to waste signficantly more time finding their own way and that
time will be spread out around all their very important active tasks.
Companies that are serious about developing their staff really need to
take training seriously.  I would not consider working for a company
that did not have a training budget and a policy for staff development.

Managing staff training was one of my tasks at my last job.  I saw the
value of it (the gains in productivity and staff self-confidence, for
example) too clearly to miss.  Any company that doesn't take this
seriously is only hurting itself.

One of the issues I'm facing at my current job is that we have some very
clever and complex kit and not enough people who are clued up on it.
Picking it up as they go simply is not an option.  Intensive training
from the people who build and sold us the kit is the only practical

> This is especially valuable in an
> environment such as mine where most of the machines I admin are in a
> production environment and aren't really the sort of systems on which
> you can learn by trial and error.

Separate development, staging and production environments are a
necessity but they are also all critical in their different ways and not
playgrounds.  Staff at a workplace which has implemented professional
procedures like that are also likely to be busy maintaining them
according to procedure.  They aren't going to have the scope, let alone
much time, to use them as self-training facilities.  If you're simply
talking about learning how to do new task X with technology that you're
already familiar with, that's one thing.  But anything more serious
really needs time and attention dedicated to it.


I object to intellect without discipline.  I object to power without
constructive purpose. -- Spock
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