Want to achieve IT skills, but donít want to go to college?
Training and acquiring new skills should be a lifelong process as workplace requirements change and evolve, in line with new legislation, new technology and new work practices. Yet the majority of British workers fail to renew their skills, or acquire new ones, throughout their working lives, often falling behind school leavers, particularly in fast moving fields, such as IT.
With the British government driving new initiatives to encourage more and more workers to train, unskilled workers who are already falling behind in todayís technological world will find it more and more difficult to retain work or to advance their careers.
The IT industry in particular continues to demand more and more engineers, software technicians, website designers and IT competent office workers, so the need for sound and comprehensive IT training is growing ahead of virtually any other field.
One of the greatest drawbacks for those considering career advancement or a mid-career change, is an inherent reluctance to go back to full time study. The reluctance to go back into the classroom alongside other, much younger students, compounded by the need to continue to work, to generate and income to support family and personal commitments.
Studying IT courses at home provide those who need to `earn while they learní or who are reluctant to go back to college, with a way of training for new IT skills in their own time, at their own pace.
Home study IT courses lend themselves perfectly to distance learning. E-mail communication gives students far more of an interface with the home study college and the tutors. Most home study organisations will have an Intranet system where students can download updates of their course material, find out about other studentsí achievements and get a wider perspective of their studies.
New training methods, such as computer based e-learning, from DVDís, virtual reality scenarios and methods such as Live Internet Training, create an interactive environment, that gives students far more of an interface with the home study college, regardless of distance or locality.
Naturally, studying computing at home requires discipline. Unlike college, the onus is on the student to keep pace with the course work. The more committed the student, the sooner the target of achieving industry recognised qualifications can be realised.
The great advantage of home study is its flexibility. Students study at their own pace, in their own time, around existing job, family and personal commitments.
Hundreds of thousands of people who may have left school without a qualification, or whoíve found themselves in dead end jobs, are turning to home study. With the British government outlining plans for Britain to compete in the global `skills raceí, itís one way in which everyone can benefit from training, without having to go back to conventional college.
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Mary Stuart-Miller is author of this article on IT Training Courses.
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