Entries in training (1)


CBT Training Options

WIth diminishing training budgets many companies are looking at different options to train their employees. There are a lot of Computer Based Training (CBT) options available to the IT professional. Recently I have been evaluating a number of training providers since I have been studying for some updated Microsoft exams. Some of these CBTs do offer practice exams or vouchers to obtain practice exams. I will outline a few options that I have recently tried.


Been using this company since 2007 and generally I have found their instruction to be of high quality. Their unlimited streaming program is the best value and is the most convenient I have found. The only drawback is the lack of offline access to the video content. They even offer a 24 hour pass to their library, however, it is difficult to find that particular offer on their website. CBTNuggets does offer an iPhone and iPad app but they seem to be a bit buggy at times. Watching via a web browser is going to be the best experience. CBTNuggets offers a 2 minute preview on all of their videos, I found this to be inadequate to properly evaluate the content so I purchased a 24 hour pass a couple of times. I liked what I saw so I purchased a year of streaming of their IT library. Another nice feature is  that they will lock in the price if you automatically renew year after year. Individual pricing on video courses is not so great at $199 per month. They do offer packages on a series of subjects such as Cisco Networking but they have time limits as well.I find that CBTNuggets updates their training very often and their daily free MicroNuggets are a bonus.


I really like their instructors and the fact that they offer free streaming for paid products is a nice perk. Trainsignal also supplies its courses with MP3, and iTunes compatible MP4 files as well (DRM free). If you pay for some of the packs Trainsignal may provide you with free vouchers for Transcender practice tests. I found the overall quality of instruction to be comparable to CBTNuggets. Trainsignal does not offer any streaming only options but I think that their materials are a better value because of the non-expiring DRM-Free physical media. Individual courses are inexpensive ranging from $199 to $399. Another great perk is the 90 day money back guarantee, this is something I have not seen in a CBT training program!

LearnSmart (formally known as PrepLogic)

Back in 2008 I signed up for their unlimited plan, they sent me several DVDs and I watched them, go certified then sent them back for another set of DVDs. As a result I only got to view a few courses over the year. Their turnaround time for processing new orders was slow as well. Plus to top everything off their entire process for ordering was low tech. I found that to be funny for such high tech material. I ended up paying $2200 for the access. I also hated the fact that the courses had to be activated at least once a month and would not work on a Mac. Before opting for the unlimited program I had purchased a course that I can no longer use! On the positive side their instructors are excellent. The course also includes PDF, and practice exam downloads that were developed internally.


Although Lynda training material is primarily geared toward consumers I have found that their instruction is one of the best in the industry. Lynda.com also has some IT related courses on SQL server, and Sharepoint. Their development library and instruction far exceeds any of the others I have tried. Lynda.com has a monthly based subscription model, they charge $25 a month for basic and $37.50 for premium features that include all of the exercise files. All couses can be streamed via the web or through the free iPhone, and iPad apps. Subscribers can save even more by opting for the annual plans. Some cources can also be purchased for a low cost, exercise files are included with the DVD purchase. Overall I feel that Lynda.com is probably the best value, however, the lack of most advanced IT subjects such as messaging, unified communications, and networking make it unsuitable for most IT professionals, however, it is an outstanding value for high quality instruction. I will continue to maintain my annual subscription, I'm always finding something cool to learn at Lynda.com!