IT Learning Courses

  KnightOfCydonia 09:39 05 Feb 2009

Hi there,

I'm not sure if I should have posted this else where but hopefully will get good insight anyway.

I currently work in retail and it is doing my head in, people had been telling me about this place and that place, do this do that, going on about all sorts of places like OU and Computeach.

I have been thinking and like the sound of database management/administrator/etc. as it was something I really enjoyed during a couple years of IT at uni a few years ago.

What I would like to know is if anyone can give ideas on more depth to jobs like this. I do have some basic programming experience but was told that may not be 100% necessary. Also, where should I look to going? Should I look at local colleges etc also?

I really would appreciate any information people can give.

Thanks in advance.


  spuds 16:05 05 Feb 2009

This is a subject that as appeared on the forum on a number of occasions.

You could start seeking advice from your local job-centre, library or college as to what opportunities are available in your area or elsewhere.Don't take to much notice of newspaper adverts and long distance correspondence courses

But looking at previous remarks, there are more people available than vacant spots for the type of work you are suggesting. The wages can also be a challenge, especially if you think a newspaper advertisement saying this work will provide £60/100.000 a year is completely true.

  lotvic 16:43 05 Feb 2009

this site click here gives statistics of IT job demand and wages in UK
and may be of help in deciding what type of IT job to train for.

One word of warning about training courses - read the thread on Skillstrain click here
7 pages of unhappy people who are now in debt

  iqs 11:21 06 Feb 2009

I worked in retail for 7 years until I accepted vocabulary redundancy,best thing I ever did.

Well second best thing,I decided it was time for a change,and I have always been interested in IT,more so PC repair,diagnostics and building.
So like you I posted a thread regarding the best route.
From the feedback I received,online courses or study from home were not the best options.So I visited my local college and enrolled in their 3 module courses which lead to the CompTIA A+.I recently passed the essentials part of the CompTIA course,and now studying the technician.

To get to the point,have a word with your local college,ask for an upto date course guide,and then arrange to speak to the lecturer in charge of the course/s you are interested in taking.
He/she can offer advice the type of jobs the qualifications will help you get ,that's whats I did .....

  Chris the Ancient 17:59 06 Feb 2009

I will reinforce what spuds has said.

I would avoid, like the plague, any form of distance learning; they can end up frustrating (and overly expensive) as admirably shown in the link in Consumerwatch on SkillsTrain. click here

Look at some adverts that might suit your desired position and then contact companies to see what sort of skills/qualifications they are seeking. Then, when you know what is wanted, look at what your local colleges offer. The cost of their course are probably the most equable that you will find.

Once you have got those qualifications, you should be in a better position to find the job you want.

If you can 'blag' yourself a job with your existing skills, so much the better - and, probably, quicker.

Good luck!

  KnightOfCydonia 21:48 06 Feb 2009

igs, o really like what you have said and I would just like to ask about how much it cost you?

I know theres no guarantee that it will be the same for me in my area but would give me a rough idea.

Thanks again to all who replied.


  iqs 22:39 06 Feb 2009

Just re-read my post,spelt voluntary wrong :-(

Well the first 3 modules the college suggested I take cost £250 each,10 weeks each.
The first was a general introduction to PC's,for those who have never used one before,the second was software based and the third was hardware.

I only took these courses because I was made redundant a month before which meant I was entitled to the concession ,each course cost £50.I didnt really learn that much,but I have 3 nice NCFE certificates.

The main course which I'm studying now is the CompTIA A+.
The A+ is broken down into two courses,you need to pass both to be CompTIA qualified ,the essentials and the technician.
Each course cost £250,but its worth it.

So far I have spent £650 which is a lot cheaper then many of the on-line or self teach courses I inquired about.Money well spent.

The best thing in my opinion about college,is the one to one support,guidance,supplied course work,library and education which the others I have mentioned lack,plus studying from home there are to many distractions.

After the A+ I would like to study the CCNA network,but is last 12 months and cost £1000,who knows.

I hope this helps you make the right decision,if you have more questions then please ask.

  wee eddie 09:37 07 Feb 2009

Many people, in later life, feel embarrassed about showing their lack of knowledge in public.

The first College Course I did, Computing Basics, was in the next door town, Kilmarnock. There were 3 other senior Ayr folk on the course. After a few weeks we decided to share a car and that as there were then 4 of us, we would bite the bullet, take the follow up courses in Ayr, to support each other and save the travelling.

When you go to a local College, you develop a small network of acquaintances that can be quite useful in the following years. 2 of the other 3, from Kilmarnock, are still in touch, although we don't speak to each other more than half a dozen times a year.

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