The Great IT Training Swindle!
How Alan lost $7200 in 30 minutes.
I’ve just got off the phone to a guy who downloaded some of the tools from my site. I asked him if he was going to join howtonetwork.net but he said he didn’t have $97 to spare as he had spent $7200 a few days ago on a CCNA home study course.
Alan explained that he wanted to change careers from the legal industry into IT. He surfed the net for a few days and found several companies who offered IT training and many were recommending Cisco as the way to go. One had a nice web site but no prices on. He filled in a form to get more information and one of their ‘career advisors’ called him to arrange a free consultation.
They came to his house and explained that he could be making big money in IT and using their proven home study system he could be working as a network engineer in a few weeks time. He signed up for their loan facility and is paying $200 per month for the next 36 months at a very high rate of interest.
And what did he get for his money? He got two manuals, a set of CD ROMS and the e-mail address of his tutor in case he has any questions. I asked him if the manuals were covering the new CCNA syllabus but he didn’t know. I asked what help they were giving him to study for the exam and then get a job in IT but he wasn’t sure!
Alan is a well educated man and is certainly no fool so what happened and has he been ripped off?
Well the first warning is when the career advisor calls to arrange your free consultation. They are not career advisors at all but freelance sales people who are paid a commission which is higher the more they sell. The free consultation is a carefully designed sales script designed to push your emotional buttons around money, success, security, peace of mind and so on. The actual product is not discussed in great detail hence Alan not being able to tell me much about what he has actually paid for.
I went to visit one of the UKs largest IT training companies last year because they wanted help with their CCNA and CCNP course. The guy they were using to train was their web designer who had only passed his CCNA the week before! During lunch the operations manager was laughing about the fact that the company made $100 million that year but only 25% of their students even turn up for the course because they make them sit some very hard exams before they are allowed on the course.
By this time they have taken their money of course so they don’t care if they come or not.
So why I am telling you all this? Well first I suppose I don’t want others to fall victim of these immoral schemes. Every day, hundreds of these type of high price and low quality/poor results courses are being sold to people who are in a desperate situation and want to get into IT but need some impartial advice.
Second, of course I run my own Cisco training company as well as the online training for CCENT and CCNA and I like to think the students get good value for money and with a 95% pass rate for the first exam attempt I feel pretty confident that the course works.
I guess it is just a bit of a rant on my part but it really grates me to see people paying vast sums of money when I know that the chances of them attaining the thing they want are remote to say the least.
If you are considering an IT course why not:
Ask what results they get for the students
Ask about money back guarantees
Ask to sit in on one of the courses
Ask about what jobs the students get afterwards
Ask about the instructors experience
Ask how much time you get configuring the kit
Ask what job seeking support you get
Ask what after course support you get
Shop around and don’t make any snap decisions and turn down any ‘free consultations’ and beware if they do not post their prices on the web site. That is a sure sign they are trying to suck you in.
End of rant.