Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Ethical IT Training

Over the last decade, the IT training industry has enjoyed great success in grooming students to be the IT professionals of tomorrow; delivering quality IT training and career development services. In recent times, there has been a dark cloud looming over the industry with regards to the demise of standards and ethics of some IT training providers thus damaging the repute of the industry as a whole.

It seems the focus has shifted from actually delivering a professional and worthy service, to simply making money at any cost. There appears to be a lack of regard for the future ambitions and career objectives of candidates who have placed great trust in some IT training providers by investing extortionate amounts of their hard earned cash and often getting very little back. IT training providers have a duty of care to their students and should always endevour to guide them correctly as opposed to deliberately mis-guiding them.

Here are some claims and practises used in the industry that are designed to excite, entice and deliberately mislead prospective candidates

  • 'Work in IT within weeks' - Weeks? How many weeks? This ambiguous statement is deliberately designed to mislead people into thinking 'it'll be a lot sooner rather than later'. Otherwise the terms months or years would have been used. Any IT professional would emphatically explain how long it took them to establish their IT careers through their focus, dedication and hardwork; which most likely would have taken them months and even years. I am sure they will not be speaking in terms of weeks.

  • Crash Course Intensive Programs - 1-2 week crash course intentive programs - These work well for soft skill courses i.e. Project Management, theories and methodologies that can be applied in the real world. This is different in comparison to learning technical IT training courses. It is impossible to cover the entire curriculum of an techincal IT course within such a short space of time. E.g. The A+ certification recommends on average 160 hours of learning and 500 hours worth of experience in the field - If you are brand new to IT and would like to get certified in 2 weeks, then regrettably you are only setting yourself up for failure. Some IT training organisations prefer this format as it presents them with an opportunity to extracts £1000's from a candidate, and wash their hands of them and the responsibility within a few short weeks.

  • 'Earn upto 37k in your first year' - While there is every possibility of earning 37k in your first year, the chances of a newly qualified IT professional earning 37k in their first year is highly unlikely. Many IT training providers like to make these sensational claims in a feeble attempt to attract vulnerable people, in low paid jobs - who hope to improve the quality of their lives. Realistically you can expect to make 18-25k in your first year and experience counts towards this. You can expect to earn 37k after having at least 2-3 years experience in the industry. The statement 'Earn upto 37k in your first year' would be regarded as false advertising if the word 'upto' was ejected. It is carefully worded to to stay within legal parameters, again, it is used to project an unrealistic expectation to a potential candidtate.

  • Being sold courses that are unsuitable for you - This is one practise that is prevalent with most IT training providers. Are you speaking to a hardened salesman who is only interested in your custom and not your future aspirations? Like most salesman, they will only tell you what you want to hear - they will close the sale and get paid sums of commision, one might argue that in this regard they are only doing their jobs, but is this right? Our stance is NO! This is wholly unethical and a deception to the prospect. All across the IT training industry, candidates with little or no IT experience are relentlessly being sold advanced networking and programming courses. This is good for business but its not good for the candidate who has parted with 5-6k in the hope of securing an IT career. This is an unethical practice. There is often little interest in the candidates progression and they will soon discover they were sold an unrealistic dream based on falsehood.

  • Are you discussing your career with a salesman or someone who knows IT and the industry? - Why would a candidate put their trust in someone who does not know what they talking about? let alone consult with them about ones career ambitions. Are the salesman themselves even familiar with the course content and exam structure? You might discover not a lot of salesman are. These questions need to be addressed. It is a case of the blind guiding the blind.

  • Guaranteed Success - It is unthinkable for some IT training providers to guarantee candidates success least of all a job. Success in what exactly? and how is it measured? Candidates can guarantee themselves success by working hard, being dedicated and commited to their learning. Many IT training providers guarantee success to candidates in a ploy to win their confidence.

PIPER IT has an objective to clean up the industry through the continuous improvement of our people and processes, We adopt good ethical practices in our operation and reject practices that are unjust. We offer a professional service with an exceptional level of support to our delegates and we ensure their progress is timely and consistent. We do not make false promises but we do promise to help you advance your career in IT.

The Revolution Starts Here