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back to article Has any employer ever delivered the training it promised?

Does this sound familiar? You tell the interviewer you're willing to learn, they tell you they are deeply committed to funding ongoing personal development of all their employees. Three months in you're still spending your free time reading through The Idiot's Guide to ERP that you paid for yourself. Six months on you're …

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Anonymous Coward

Actively Obstructive

I'd like to study a degree part time, I'm not asking for money, just the option to work part time while I study.

No.

Oh ok thanks bye. I've been offered a job that will.

....

New boss, I'd like to study a degree part time, I'm not asking for money, just the option to work part time while I study..Remember, you agreed

No.

Oh ok thanks bye. I'll just do it without a job then.

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Trollface

Re: Actively Obstructive

My boss paid for my Masters degree, didn't force me to use my leave days for the course and even stumped up for some decent hotels and first class train tickets to and from uni. He fully appreciated that investing in education now means better returns later.

Another win for contracting and being your own boss

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Actively Obstructive

Too bad you asked again. =( The right response would have been to take the initial agreement, and start your training. It is easier to ask for forgiveness than for permission.

Also, remember to get everything in writing, but I'm sure that you did, which makes the behavior even more unacceptable. =(

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Unhappy

Not just me, then.

That's heartening, in a disheartening kind of way.

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Must be a rare case,,

Started my current (and first) job in IT without any qualifications or real experience. Hiring manager said they would put me on training courses and pay for the exams etc.

2 years later and I had 2x MCITP and an MCTS with training towards other areas as well. My employer has just signed an enterprise agreement with CBT Nuggets giving all It staff access to their entire library as well.

Now if only they'd give me the pay grade rise to go with the new qualification levels :)

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Bronze badge

What's training?

In 15 years making video games, I've had one (1) single day of training, which was basically sitting down with one of the company directors and fixing a few bugs.

I would love to be able to point at certificates and qualifications I've picked up along the way, but instead it all comes down to being able to pass programming tests in job interviews and show a list of games on a CV. :-/

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Silver badge

Re: What's training?

>I would love to be able to point at certificates and qualifications

Why? What would they prove? That you attended a week long diatribe given by some spotted oik that knows less about the subject than you, but hey, at the end of it you get a certificate of attendance. Or maybe it's one of those courses that offers certification. Certification in what? Being able to remember a number of answers to multiple choice questions that have been designed to be just difficult enough to require a little more thought than is needed to cross the road at a pedestrian crossing. MS and others need people to pass their certification so they won't make it too difficult. Oh, and is MS certification still going?

I know people who seem to do nothing else but go on courses and collect certificates. Totally useless as employees so it's the best place for them as it keeps them away from creating a disaster in the workplace.

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Re: What's training?

Because I'm under the impression that it's easier to get recruitment types to push your CV to potential employers when you have certifications on it.

Could be wrong, of course.

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Silver badge

Buy a book

Going on courses is a bore. You sit in a class with other people who are not important to the day-to-day running of their employers. The instruction will always proceed at the pace of the slowest attendee (if you think otherwise, that person is you). At the end you get a binder, a certificate and a week's worth of email and backlogged work to catch up on.

You also never get to use the stuff the course was about. Or you forget it all until the boss comes by, 6 months later, and says "you went on the XYZ course, get this done by tomorrow .... please".

If all you want is some time away from the office (and lots of courses are held in London and the pricey ones are in the run up to christmas) then that's great - and we all love the company paying for a little jolly now and then. But if you want a new skill, then you need to learn it, practice it and understand it - a few days listening to someone drone on won't do it.

The best way to get training is to have a project that requires your intended skill. Do some (book based, web based, whatever you prefer) research. Read the Idiot's guide - not hard to find: the internet is full of them (idiots, that is) and start DOING it. You'll not only learn faster, but you'll get practical knowledge - or experience, as it's called on CVs - and something useful at the end of the time. It's also far more enjoyable than sitting around listening to lecturers. The only downside is that you don't get a certificate - and you still have to catch up on all that email.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Buy a book

Sorry have to disagree. problem with books.

1. You can't ask a question

2. Books don't go "wrong". No well it shouldn't do that

3. They bore the shit out of me, get to page 5 and I'm half asleep.

4. Books don't get revised enough

5. idiots guides.....great if you are doing the same as man + dog, but in my job, there is no such thing.

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Silver badge

Re: Buy a book

1. You can ask questions on a course but don't expect the professional regurgitator pointing at slides to be able to answer them. Half the time, if it's not in the script, they wouldn't be able to explain what's on the slide.

2. Part of the thing with books is spotting the mistakes, it shows you've understood what's being described. You should also be using the book as a starting point. They show you how to create a linked list. Well go away and create one, index it, sort it, whatever don't just do the examples.

3. Courses bore the shit out of me, I'm usually fully asleep very quickly especially if the temperature is just right.

4. So write to the publisher with a list of errors, I have. Or put them on a blog, I haven't I don't do that social networking thing.

5. Who reads the idiot/dummy guides anyway. Also if there isn't one in your line of work you're missing an opportunity.

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Thumb Up

Re: Buy a book

To right, play with it until it brakes, then rebuild it. I find that building something from scratch is the best way to learn and understand.

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Headmaster

Re: Buy a book

[i]You can ask questions on a course but don't expect the professional regurgitator pointing at slides to be able to answer them. Half the time, if it's not in the script, they wouldn't be able to explain what's on the slide.[/i]

Don't tar all courses with the same brush... a lot of the instructors on the better courses only instruct for a limited part of the year and spend the majority of their time consulting i.e. putting their infinite knowledge to good use.

If you want to go on a training course (and it's anything above beginner level) then make sure that the course instructor is named before you sign up and you get a chance to check their credentials.

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Re: Buy a book

Obviously my next course will be a beginners guide to HTML tags

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Buy a book

One other issue Chris, the kit I use tends to cost 5K (up to 150K) a pop. Our company tends to frown upon us "having a play" on this kit which ironically, due to the lack of training, is exactly how the whole lot was designed and is maintained.

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Bronze badge

Question 2 you missed off the option for "No"

Question 4 you missed off the option for "Not at all"

Question 5 you missed off the option "None"

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Anonymous Coward

Wahoo......

...I'm finally getting partly trained in the job I've done for 7 years, but still, better than the other training in the last decade i.e. None

Oh actually not correct, I know how to lift a perfectly square, evenly weighted, small box off the floor. Boy am i trained in that!

F**king joke.

PS how about other in that poll, your excluding a LOT of people

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Silver badge

S/W Development Methodlogy (Extreme, Agile etc)

I was once asked in an interview if I'd used any S/W methodology. "Yes" I replied, "Common sense".

Seems to have worked for me so far.

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Thumb Up

Re: S/W Development Methodlogy (Extreme, Agile etc)

Brilliant, although last time I tried "You pick one(of the 30 or so) and I'll tell you" didn't really work, turns out a sense of humor is not something blue chip companies look for in a contractor.

I for one hate the way some companies try to align themselves with certain methodologies like it make's a real life difference, if you're incompetent and lazy you will fail, no amount of S/W methodology will help you.

If you're skilled, organised and use common sense...problem solved.

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FAIL

Education?

The training on my CV is along the lines of "ran a class on $FOO at $SHOW".

My first and only MSCE cert was when they needed you answer 10 questions at a trade show.

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Flame

My personal decision.

A while back I decided I was seeing too many cases of people contracting for us via third parties who would arrive onsite and have to admit the task they were being sent to do was the first time they had actually touched the kit or software in question. I've had to do the same in the past both as a contractor and when employed and I thought it was more than cheeky to be trying to blag it. I'm all for on-the-job training, in fact I think it is one of the best ways to learn when you are doing it with an experienced co-worker who can point out the gotchas, but that is very different from sending me people that - whilst they may be very clever and experienced in general - are learning how to do something at my expense (and at risk to the success of the company I work for). So I have a rule with my own team in that I don't ask them to do something they have not been able to do at least once on test or training kit (inhouse or on a proper training course), and I tell suppliers and vendors that if they send me anyone to do their first time on my kit I will be ejecting them from site. If they admit to me they have not touched the kit before I find that much more honest and saves me time and hassle in the long run, rather than having to clean up the mess after one of them has been pressured into "having a go" at something new to them.

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Anonymous Coward

funny timing

we just received emails this morning confirming that we'd been signed up for an internal training course...

...and then this afternoon, we've received a follow up email confirming that the original sign up was in error and we've now been removed from the course.

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Coat

Re: funny timing

The worst part is, the course was about how to use the internal booking system.

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Headmaster

Re: funny timing

Funny thing happened to me. I was ok'd for training, then un-ok'd weeks before the training, all the time the training center hadn't been notified I was un-ok'd! They called on the first day of training and said "We're waiting to start the class, where is he?"

Classic!

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Happy

People Skills?

Is that some software I don't know about? If it means pleasant and meaningful communications with other Humans then no amount of training is going to help. You'll just end up acting like one of those customer service droids spewing catch phrases.

Go to the pub, join an interest club, do anything non IT related & you'll gain people skills. Also training classes are expensive and boring and generally taught with a script by a 'training expert' who knows as much about the subject as what's in the slides. You do get a certificate though (sometimes) but you still have to provide your own frame (which I think is the pinnacle of cheapness on the trainers part).

Everyone at our company has an annual training budget and three paid training days. They have the option of converting those days to paid (non concurrent) personal days & $1500 cash if they prefer that to training. Rarely does anyone take the training & I encourage that. They are all accomplished professionals and can figure things out themselves in a way that actually helps the business instead of helping someone else's sales team.

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Silver badge

Re: People Skills?

People skills are one of the most important tools in your programming toolkit.

The end users of your software are people after all.

(Unless you're writing software for robots, in which case I envy you)

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Happy

Re: People Skills?

Agreed. I think people skills are the most important skill. I was just saying you don't learn those in a seminar.

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Re: People Skills?

I already have my black belt in employee relations. Thanks anyway.

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Facepalm

Re: Paul Hovnanian Re: People Skills?

"I already have my black belt in employee relations....." OMG, hopefully not another one of those Six Sigma "black belt" self-abusers? Never met one who wasn't a complete waste of oxygen. They seem to usually be sent on the courses as the only one in a team that they could do without whilst he was off training.

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Happy

Interesting.

So far, the numbers show an almost identical pattern to my own answers.

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FAIL

I was given the chance to get my MCSE qualification on NT4, it was only when I got half way through the self-teach course that I discovered that MS no longer even offered the NT4 exam. That's the MOD for you - cutting edge of technology.

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Stop

The Three Rules of Training

1. It's not an appropriate course for you to go on now as it's not really related to your current work.

2. It's an appropriate course, but at the moment you're fully committed to your current project and we cannot afford to lose you for training.

3. It would have been appropriate for your last project, but we feel you've gained all the relevant experience on the job and this course is not required.

So much for training....

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Devil

Stop applying for courses until I say you can apply for them.

If you don't take any courses by the deadline, you won't be eligible again until next quarter. Applying for courses shows your commitment to a career with the company. I have cancelled the courses you applied for. The queues are too busy, and I cannot justify giving you the time off to take courses. Remember, calls take too long at the moment, so to shorten call times, do not document your calls until you have spare time later in the afternoon. To improve the customer experience, our goal this week is to shorten our average call length by 14.2 seconds. Also, here's some pages of names and addresses you will enter in your spare time while on calls. Don't argue with me, I make the rules here! -Dell

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A A

I guess I have been somewhat lucky, mostly of late. In the last 19 years in IT I have had 5 employers and from four of them I have taken five paid classes that I consider worth my time and their money. That being said one of them I sort of sneaked into and another was as much for their benefit as mine. My current employer is the best as I have been here 2.5 years, had two classes and fully expect to have a third before the end of the calendar year but we have an IT budget that most can only dream of.

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Anonymous Coward

Edge cases

My big training interest is in UX, which doesn't fit very well in any of the categories provided-- I went with "People skills" in the end.

My current employer doesn't pay for training, but it's just because it's a small company and can't afford it yet.

My previous employer was much bigger and had a training budget, but provided no guidelines about what would be approved and denied almost everything without explanation. One of the reasons it's my *previous* employer now.

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Happy

I have to admit the company I am with now is awsome with training.

Put me through a MCDST 2 years ago, and now in the last few months have got MCSA (win 7) and moving towards MCSE. we are all also doing C&G in copper and fibre installs and CCNA.

Fair comment that these are just the quals to back up what i do in the day job but still fair play on them.

I have also privately started an ILM lvl 5 and my boss is giving me full support to do it.

Most places I have worked never gave me anything, did do a win 2k course once as the boss couldnt do it so sent me not to loose the cash.

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FAIL

Can get all sorts of training; May not get chnace to use it.

Employer encourages training. Employer doesn't utilize employee's new skills even when said skills are in widespread usage in company. What's the point?

Problem isn't corporate policy, it is mid level IT management.

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Anonymous Coward

Sweet FA or Bugger All? I went mad and had both!

Had 1 course in the last 12 years, that was 6 years ago! If I want to learn something, I don't even bother asking as I know it will entail reams of paperwork and weeks of waiting to be told they can't afford it. I paid for my own Oracle certifications and exams out of my own pocket, I used the one and only course they've ever gievn me to qualify for the certifications I wanted, on top of that I had to use my holiday time to take the exams.

I find it easier to just sign up to some online courses on places like Lynda.com at £20/month. Pay out of your own pocket, then at least you learn things at the pace you want and because you're interested in learning them which keeps you focused.

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Anonymous Coward

RTFM?

While I think employers should be smart enough to pay to keep their staff up to date on tech, I do also think that if you are serious about or enjoy tech and engineering, you will study on your own because you are interested in the subject. That being said, some things are not easily studied on your own, which is where a good book comes in handy.

In any case, question 2 is missing the answer: I conduct my own studies and research

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