Wednesday, February 3, 2010

10 Tips for IT Training in 2010

Make 2010 your year to expand your knowledge of IT subjects, seek IT certifications, or improve your IT job performance. Follow these tips to make your training experience most effective.

1. Use training that includes online lab simulations for practical experience. Your training is for more than just passing an exam, right? If you want to learn how to do your job well, make sure you invest in training that gives you real practice performing tasks with hardware, operating systems, and networking.

2. Find training software that combines hands-on experience with practice exams, expert video instruction, and written reference material for a complete training package. There’s more than one way to learn, so be sure to incorporate different methods in your training. Each method will build on the others and reinforce what you’re learning.

3. Use online training to have the flexibility to study wherever you are. Computer-based training gives you flexibility in your training schedule and allows you to review the training again and again so that you really master the concepts.

4. Take an intense on-campus course for quick completion. If you’re working on a tight deadline to receive a certification, a “boot camp” may be the way to go. These intense courses cover a lot of material in a short time, and they’re designed to help you pass a certification exam.

5. Only use training that follows IT certification course requirements exactly to help prepare for certification exams. Make sure you pass your certifying exam the first time by preparing with materials designed according to exam objectives.

6. Utilize training that tracks every action and scores results accordingly. The only way to gauge your readiness both for a job and for a certification exam is to track your progress. Find a training that keeps track of your scores as you go. You’ll be able to see where your strengths are and where you need additional training and practice.

7. Practice on physical hardware if it’s available to you. Do you have access to computers or components that you can practice on? Many people don’t, but if you do, be sure to use it!

8. Take advantage of on-the-job training whenever possible. Every job comes with opportunities to learn and practice new skills as part of your job responsibilities. Never pass up a chance to receive additional training—formal or informal.

9. Follow a schedule to maintain steady progress in your training. Without a plan, you may find the months passing by without making progress toward your training goal. A schedule will help you stay on track.

10. Focus on the fundamentals. Learn processes, how things should be done, and how things work. Good training will help you really understand your job and prepare you to do it well.

Emily Howard, TestOut

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