[2] IT Training Products: Vendor related Products

This is Part 2 of a series of columns on how to select training for IT.
Make sure you have read Part 1 before you read this column.

Most well-known training products are coming from the vendors, like Apple, Cisco, Citrix, HP, IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, Red Hat, SAP and Vmware. This training is only relevant if you are looking for training related to your daily work-, or the work that you want to do in the future. It depends also on which tools the organization you are working for is using. In case it is Microsoft as a platform (Windows) employees need to know how to use Windows. If the Organization is using SAP as the software for supporting its Customer related Management System, employees will need to know more about SAP.

The level of the knowledge and skills people need is dependent on the job role they have. In case an individual is looking for ways to make a career and does not know in what kind of Organization, it is not recommendable to go to a training like these. The investment is high, while it is not clear at forehand if it will be useful. This does not mean it can be recommended to do some training at a basic level, like for the European Driving License, ECDL: www.ecdl.eu. This model will work in most cases where people work with Microsoft tools, with products like Word, PowerPoint and Excel. We will not explain this model completely, as people who want to know more should go to the website to find out. Many Training Providers are licensed to do training for the products of ECDL. In countries outside Europe the standard is called ICDL (International Computer Driving License): www.icdl.org.

The Foundation for ECDL is located in Ireland where the governance is ruled and from where local organizations are licensed to organize the accreditation of Training Providers and take the exams.

Another standard for Microsoft related training is coming from Microsoft’s Learning Services. For the basic level it is called Microsoft Digital Literacy and for people who are working with more high level specified jobs there are many different programs as given in the example later on.

ECDL/ICDL and Microsoft’s Digital Learning training are meant for people who want to have basic skills for using Computers.

We have not included training that is relevant for using devices and tablets as we don’t see this as specifically meant for our defined target group.

Another, more or less independent supplier of IT Training Standards is CompTIA that is offering different training Products, like A+, Network + and Security +.

While CompTIA was founded by different vendors, it is not really offering vendor related training. For this reason we say this training is not vendor related.

The different vendors have varied rules to be able to:

  • organize training (for Training Providers)
  • take the training (for individuals)
  • take the exams (for individuals or groups of trained persons)

Most of them have a license based regulation. This means the Training Provider needs to have a license for using the courseware that is published by the vendor and also needs an accreditation to be allowed to do the training.

We give more detailed information about CompTIA, www.comptia.org not that this is the only right one to use, but as an example of a model used by most of those above mentioned. If employees work with Networks and the Organization is using Cisco as the supplier of the network, it is a logical step to go to a Cisco training event and make a choice out of the different Cisco programs. If one is using Citrix it should be the Citrix program. In the Microsoft Learning system we see training from basic to top level. It is called: Basic, Standard and Advanced.

The different versions are referring to the Windows simulations, from Windows 7 to 10 and Office 2007 to 2015

Like Microsoft most of the other certification programs show a policy for re-certification.

Microsoft training standards are for people who want to be skilled in a detailed way for using Microsoft tools. Job roles are associated to these levels, like Microsoft Solutions Associate.

Certifications in this field are supposed to be valuable in the market and will remain valuable as long as companies are using the technologies covered in the certification. One time, certifications will retire and eventually will transition to a “legacy” status. Legacy MS certification will appear on your transcript designed as such.

Because we see CompTIA as one of the most important players in the field of IT certifications we now provide details about their programs.

CompTIA was founded by some vendors but they are not typically only focused on the vendors for their business. CompTIA certifications cover the technical skills and knowledge needed to succeed in a specific IT career. The programs are:

  • CompTIA A+: Covers preventative maintenance, basic networking, installation, troubleshooting, communication and professionalism.
  • CompTIA CDIA+: Covers the knowledge and skills needed in the document imaging sales field, including planning, designing and specifying a document imaging management system.
  • CompTIA Cloud+: Covers standard methodology required to securely implement and maintain cloud technologies.
  • CompTIA CTT+: Covers the knowledge and skills needed for the technical training field, including classroom preparation, presentation, communication, facilitation and evaluation in both traditional classroom and virtual classroom environments.
  • CompTIA Linux+ Powered by LPI: Covers user administration, file permissions, software configurations and the fundamental management of Linux systems.
  • CompTIA Mobile App Security+: Covers the knowledge and skills required to securely create a native iOS or Android mobile application, while also ensuring secure network communications and backend web services.
  • CompTIA Mobility+: Covers the knowledge and skills required to understand and research capabilities of various mobile devices and aspects of over-the-air technologies.
  • CompTIA Network+: Covers managing, maintaining, troubleshooting, operating and configuring basic network infrastructure.
  • CompTIA Project+: Covers the entire process of project management, including initiation, planning, execution, acceptance, support and closure.
  • CompTIA Security+: Covers system security, network infrastructure, cryptography, assessments and audits.
  • CompTIA Server+: Covers areas such as RAID, SCSI, managing multiple CPUs and disaster recovery.
  • CompTIA Storage+ Powered by SNIA: Covers storage components, connectivity, storage management, data protection and storage performance.

CompTIA training is meant for all kind of jobs and job roles, related to the titles in the list above. The certification level is for basic skills on the subjects that are included in the titles, such as Network Specialist.

For certification, all big vendors are using channels. Most well-known are: Prometric and Pearson Vue with many thousands of test centers globally. We have not added the channel that the vendors are using to the vendors’ information, because they are frequently changing from one channel to the other. In all cases examinations are taken in centers that are available in many locations, most of them from Training Providers that make their locations available through one or more channels.

See: www.prometric.com and www.pearsonvue.com

The next column will deal with independent standards.

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