back to article IT training firm goes titsup

Tech training firm Advent Computer Training has been forced to cease trading, leaving its students in limbo. With headquarters in Worcestershire, Advent provided Microsoft Certifed Systems Engineer qualifications and other courses. Such courses typically cost several thousand pounds, and students are often trying to change …

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Anonymous Coward

Never heard of them

But the training market is absolutely cut throat and no one is booking courses at the moment.

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Paris Hilton

Maybe...

... some of their career changing graduates who are now on an average salary of £37k compared to their previous roles as office administrators and street cleaners could give a little something back?

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Ripoff merchants good riddance

They convince people with no that getting an MCSE will land them £30k in their first job, despite them having no real world experience in enterprise networks.

Never mind that microsoft says that "An MCSE candidate should have one to two years of experience in designing, installing, configuring, and troubleshooting network systems"

Source: http://www.microsoft.com/learning/en/us/certification/mcse.aspx

No responsible IT manager is going to let a newbie loose on the network, MCSE or not.

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N2

Agreed

They are / were actually worse than Crapita

Good riddance to a POS

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Anonymous Coward

@ rip off merchants

yeah anyone else noticed the prices being charged ? Up to 6k pounds for a course.... Holy shit..... As someone who lives in the general area, I have my doubts about the amount of investigation the boys in blue are allowed under their budget, but I fully expect the cops to gett involved with this little lot at some point. If they check out as excruciatingly expensive, but straight, but then fine....... I have my doubts though.

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Anonymous Coward

As Usual

The small person gets boned.

Insolvency in this country is too easy, go bankrupt today, set up new company tomorrow, or thats how it seems

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Grenade

They won't be the last

With all the offshoring going on, the random slashing cuts to IT depts, the hundreds of out-of-work experienced techs going up for any contract available, and the worse-than-usual despicable attitude to us techies from management............. i recommend to everyone i can to give this industry a WIDE fucking berth, never mind training up for it (training that is only relevant as long as the product is too).

Not to mention the fact that many personal development schemes, which pay for this kind of stuff via your employer, all got canned last year during the belt tightening. Got to pay for the CEO's company car somehow.

With no employers paying the £3000-minimum per course, and no-one sane paying to get bored shitless for a week, they're all fucked.

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neb
Grenade

@Joe K

fuck me joe k

why don't you just get off the fence and say what you mean, eh?

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Silver badge
Stop

not quite

If you spend thousands of pounds on a course and DONT use a credit card then you need your head reading anyway. Surely the money can be reclaimed via your CC?

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Pirate

Funny how...

...on the news last night it showed the company headquarters, and the owners driving off in their Range Rover Sport... And the students wonder what happens to their money...

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IT Angle

I Dream a Dream

I dream a dream...of being a techy guy (or girl), of earning £35K min pa (is that net or gross?), with my MS cert (can I get an Apple one) and experience of playing WoW on my brothers lappy!

Its the dream being sold to the unwary.

Also the sister training company Access2Trade - which trains plumbers and electricians, has gone under.

I have looked into this and its Anglo Capital Limited, the financing company behind the training companies, thats had its financial agreement withdrawn by Barclays. Various banks seem to be drawing in on agreements, made during the boom years, before the end of this financial year. Those companies who rely on loan and overdraft agreements during slack periods are suffering. One trick ponys such as private training companies are in dire strights. Personaly, I have had a few shocks over the last couple of months due to simmiler restructuring of agreements! B@stards!

Wonder what other shocks will hit during the next 12 months - even though we are out of recession now - lol.

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Anonymous Coward

No tears here

Training has always cost an outrageous amount of money anyway. When times are hard (or even normally), the cost of a £1500-a-week course (plus, costs, hotel etc..), starts to look silly against the £30 cost of a book.

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Flame

Freelance Trainers...

...would be well advised not to get over-extended with the money they're owed by the training companies. Not that this has anything to do with the arrogant, bloated, fat, Range-Rover-Sport-driving, capitalist bastards who get shirty when my missus asks for the money she's owed from three months ago, obviously. Just saying.

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FAIL

I'm doing Cisco training at the moment.

I probably also spent about €3K on a Cisco lab - three new 2950G-48-EI switches, six 2651XM and two 2621XM routers (all upgraded to 256/48F)- and a few WIC-1Ts and WIC-2Ts, one NM-32A, and a few other bits and pieces. All brand-spanking new kit, I might add. Not difficult to find on eBay in a recession...

Of course, the advantage of having your own lab means you can actually get a bit of experience trying to set up your own network scenarios - you also get the chance to screw things up royally without having to worry about being fired. You can actually answer tricky interview questions from your own experience, too.

Nobody sane would book a training course in Europe, especially when exactly the same quality of training in South Africa costs a mere fraction of the price you'd pay here. Take a look for yourself: If you are planning to do just ONE course for, say, VMware, you would find it worthwhile to book yourself a return flight to Cape Town, with a few nights in a hotel - and you'd still save hundreds of pounds. If you are aiming for two or more training courses, then a decision to fly to South Africa is a no-brainer.

But, as others have already said, only a fool would book any training without using a credit card - and if you have used one, getting your money back is very, very easy.

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Anonymous Coward

RE: Maybe

Maybe they have already given a little something in the shape of the fuck off big wedges of cash they forked out in the first place.

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Silver badge

EH?

"An MCSE candidate should have one to two years of experience in designing, installing, configuring, and troubleshooting network systems"

What? So you need a maths degree to get an MS o'level?

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Gates Horns

Oh dear.

People are still falling for this MCSE = high paid job crap?

Holy moly.

I looked at this about 8 years ago and it was a fools game then. High cost, low quality with little chance of real work. The market has been flooded with MS qualified people for ages. They don't even advertise them on the telly anymore and that's saying something.

I feel sorry for those stung by this though. Poor buggers.

They'd have been better off installing RedHat and learning every inch of it and then going for the RHCSE qualification. Of course, that requires a couple of years work, some serious self effort and a high quality brain, rather than the effective deceit of being told that 1 week in a classroom = shortcut to a guaranteed job.

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Never held papers..

Been in IT for years, self taught, know my way around Servers and Networks, never felt intimidated by people sending CVs with MCxxx and wearing badges, and never once been asked for qualifications by my clients.

Experience sells, not the qualifications (which I believe expire after some time?)

I suppose that Cisco training would be on the radar as I have had a lot to do with Cisco, but for the majority of the time its basic tweaks so have usually figured it out.

Its like the ads on the TV for computer training where the guy is driving around in a beamer as he's rolling in it. The reality is not the same.

Sadly, people think that spending money will get them somewhere high in IT - generally it doesn't has there's another 100 people with the same intent.

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FAIL

Money, money, money

Just adding my 2 Euro cents to agree that IT training courses in the UK are ludicrously overpriced. I booked a Sharepoint course in the US which, even when I added the cost of a return flight + car hire, was still shed loads cheaper than the same course in London. Plus I got a few days holiday in the US getting drunk with new people (who I kept trying to help speak English properly)

No, it's not "aluminum" for goodness sake.

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Paris Hilton

Money, money, money....

"IT training courses in the UK are ludicrously overpriced"

Can't disagree with the sentiment. However I think it would be a little unfair to blame that all on the training companies (and this isn't in defence of the company mentioned in this article).

The "problem" is that by the time you have factored in cost of equipment, training room, facilities, lecturer cost and heaven knows what else a charge-per-training-day of £300 isn't so unreasonable in my opinion IF you want decent training, and assuming (say) 12 students in a class. Underlying all of this is the fact that the UK is a pretty tough area in terms of cost, significantly thanks to that idiot in number 10 who prints money on a whim - and that bubble is going to burst big-time over the next few years.

Where it gets unreasonable for me is when the training company stuff 30+ students into a class at £300 a day each - and perhaps sharing a PC (which happened to me once). I just did a 5 day training course with just 4 students, cost me £500 a day but that included lodging and food (decent hotel, good food) and 2x certification exams, so the training cost was probably around £300 per day if other factors were removed. I don't begrudge the training company the cost I paid, though they may have been operating at a loss given the number of students on that course. In fact I have already decided to invest in more training with them when my budget allows.

Paris because there are some things where I need one-to-one tuition, though she can bring her sister along to help me get the results.

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They Won't Be Missed

Advent, purveyors of that advert saying the average salary in IT is £37k. I challenged the ASA at length about this misleading and dishonest advert and got a weakass reply saying that Advent had shown them statistics backing this claim up and they weren't prepared to take any further action.

Goodbye Advent. You and your mendacious adverts won't be missed.

Pity the ASA hasn't gone titsup either.

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MCSE

Must Choose Someone Else

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Gates Horns

They were in cahoots with the banks

If you didn't have the wads of money upfront, they very quickly pointed you to a Career Development Loan or some other scheme - THEY always got their money :)

Shame for those who didn't get what they paid for :S

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WTF?

FSCK me.....!!!!!!

whoah, I knew they were expensive but 30K for an MCSE ?

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FAIL

They can't be any worse than...

CompuSwerve

But a completely useless bunch of total fuck-tards.

I packed all my training gear up sent it back and got my money back. Their 'support' web site looked like it was coded in QuickBasic. The forums were full of questions from struggling students, and the replies were "Check your documentation".

An utter waste of my time.

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Prometric test site

Only ever used them for taking Microsoft tests as they were the closest Prometric test site to me, now have less choice and more travel/lead time if I need to take a test.

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Boffin

Been there....

Back in the nineties I worked for several training firms, both as a full-timer and on an ad-hoc basis. There is a lot of ill-feeling mentioned here and not all of it is unjustified: I've seen for myself the unprepared trainer being asked to cover a course they don't know, the too-many people crammed into a room and the 'intensive' courses which don't allow a spare minute to ask questions or catch your breath.

But I've seen the other type of training firms too: the ones who employ the best calibre of staff and don't/can't just compete on price. They're the ones that get the work teaching Microsoft's own staff, and they're the ones who wrote some of those books. Not all trainers live exclusively in the classroom - and the ones with the real-world experience stand out a mile. They also cost a little more to employ, as the best ones are still in demand: when training work dries up they go off and do a few months getting their hands dirty in the real world.

Don't assume that all training firms are bad just because a few cut corners. But if you're booking with a firm who are £500 cheaper perhaps you should wonder why...

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