Nothing beats the ease of getting training online. And a great area to study online is Information Technology. The ability to see a technique in action certainly beats watching a professor write out code on a blackboard. It also gives you the ability to get the amount of training you need, regardless of whether you simply have one question that is keeping you from finishing your project or if you're starting from square one in an IT education.
Consider these steps when determining what kind of training is right for you.
- Determine your goal. If you are seeking online IT training simply for self-edification, then self-paced tutorials may be what you are looking for. These will give you a reasonable overview of a topic, and may break a topic into smaller segments. For instance, if you are looking for training in Visual Basic, it might have separate tutorials for object programming, GUI design, etc. If you are looking for a more thorough coverage, consider taking a class online.
- Look at the IT provider/designers' website. Companies like Microsoft offer tons of free (or low-cost) online seminars (called "webinars") that are quite comprehensive. They are presented by industry experts working for the company, so you'll get great training for little or no money. The only downside is that you usually can't ask questions if there is a point that isn't clear. But look around the site - the presenter may be happy to answer your question via e-mail.
- See if your company offers IT tutorials and training on the company's Intranet. A lot of companies have online IT training available on the company's intranet. Usually you'll have to go through the lessons on your own time, but ask your boss if you can do it during the business day - especially if it's a project-critical problem.
- Consider online classes. More and more colleges are putting IT classes online. You can either take a single class in a specific subject matter, or enroll in a full IT degree program. Many online classes are discounted over regular tuition, and you can find some great schools that you wouldn't have access to otherwise. Additionally, as a student, you will qualify for highly discounted software, which is great if you do not have the packages you want to learn.
- If you are looking for the answer to one question (or even a series of questions), don't overlook forums. Forums are full of knowledgeable people who want to share their expertise in exchange for yours. I always find it astonishing how much time people will spend figuring out problems for strangers in forums. If you frequent a forum, try to answer questions when you can, and as you become more of a presence in the group, people will want to help you out more since you helped them out. But if you are a newbie, forum members will be generous with their time and knowledge - and as your mother would tell you, always thank people for the time and effort they put into helping you!
It's easy to find the IT training you need on the Internet - just evaluate the amount and the nature of the education you need, get enrolled in the best online college you can afford, and you'll be all set!