Classroom training vs online learning

Everything You Need to Know About Online IT Training 

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Online IT Courses 

Online IT courses are gaining in popularity, and rightfully so. They provide many benefits when compared to traditional classroom training. Traditional degree programs can provide in-depth knowledge, but they come with a few limitations 

First, degree programs can have high tuition costs that can be cost prohibitive for many people. For many aspiring IT professionals, the idea of taking out student loans and starting a career already in debt doesn’t sound appealing. Online IT training can provide a much more affordable option while still giving an in-depth coverage of IT topics.  Check out more on why you might not need a degree to get into IT here.

 For working professionals, traditional in-person classes can be challenging to fit into a busy schedule. Typically, classes are offered at a set time, sometimes during working hours. Online classes can provide the flexibility to study at any time, and at your own pace. For those who are already working who are looking to make a career change or just brush up on new skills, this can be a good option to fit in training in the evening, on weekends, or even during lunch breaks.  

Traditional degree programs can also take a long time to start, and a long time to finish. With online IT trainingstudents can begin learning quickly and work at their own pace. Most online programs don’t require applications like degree programs do, so students can start learning without waiting on an admissions committee to let them in and waiting for the next semester to start 

They are also not forced to work at the pace each class sets. With self-paced online courses, students can begin immediately and work as fast or as slow as they desire. It isn’t necessary to spend four years getting a bachelor’s degree if training is only needed for a few specific certifications; students are able to customize training to exactly the topics they want to learn.   

Online training also provides one crucial benefit when it comes to certification prep that traditional classroom training cannot offer – the ability to review specific lessons right before the exam. Each person learns in a different way, and most people will not remember every piece of information that is taught in class. Classroom training can provide a standardized review at the end of the course, but it isn’t possible for instructors to provide a review that is perfectly tailored to each student. Online IT training gives students the ability to go back and review specific classes on subjects that they need to brush up on right before the exam.  

If you have decided that online IT training is the right option for you, the process for beginning online IT courses is simple. Typically, online courses do not have any admissions requirement. You can sign up & begin learning almost immediately. Then, classes are usually not graded and can be completed at your own pace. This means that there are often no assignments or tests within the actual course.  

These courses are geared towards gaining knowledge to be applied in a career or used to gain a certification, so in the end, the test of knowledge comes either during the certification test or through practical application in the field. If gaining a certification was the end goalyou would schedule your certification exam through the vendor that offers that certification once you complete a course. You could look back on your online IT course to prepare for the certification and use any available practice exams that might come with your course.  

Types of IT Certifications Available Online  

 Training for almost every IT certification is available online, from cybersecurity to web development. Some of the most popular certifications come from CompTIA, Microsoft, Cisco, Apple, and Amazon. There are also service management & project management certifications available online that can be useful in the IT field.  

CompTIA is one of the best places to start for people looking to break into the IT field. They offer an IT Fundamentals+ certification, that is perfect for people looking to build their foundational knowledge and see if a career in IT is right for them. They also offer more advanced certifications for people looking to move down many career paths, such as A+, Security+, and Network+.  

Microsoft offers many certification paths for technical job roles. Microsoft Azure certifications are useful for developers, MTA is an entry-level certification useful for many job candidates, and MCSA certification is useful for prospective administrators. Microsoft is currently reworking their certification course names, but the content is mostly the same.  

Cisco has certifications for networking professionals of all levels, from entry to expert. Cisco Certified Entry Networking Technician, or CCENT, is a certification to validate the skills that most entry-level network support roles require. Cisco Certified Network Associate, or CCNA, is the next level up and certifies many more specific skills needed for networking professionals.   

Apple offers certifications that validate knowledge of their operating system and products, such as the Apple Certified Associate (ACA). They also offer certifications for those looking to prove their skills in troubleshooting and configuring Mac OS X, like Apple Certified Support Professional (ACSP).   

Amazon Web Services, or AWS, certifications include the AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner, which covers the fundamental principles of the AWS cloud platform.  There are also certifications for other roles, including AWS Certified Solutions Architect and AWS Certified Developer. 

For people with career experience who are seeking advanced knowledge, there are many online certification options available. Examples include the CISSP and ITIL Master certifications. CISSP, or Certified Information Systems Security Professional, is offered by (ISC)2 and is intended for experienced security practitioners, managers, and executives. ITIL Master is a service management certification. To even be eligible for the ITIL Master, you must first be ITIL Expert certified, and have worked in leadership in IT service management for 5+ years.   

Now, what do you do if you are interested in multiple IT certification courses? It is feasible to get multiple certifications, and to prepare for those certifications using online IT training. Some training providers sell each course individually, but this isn’t the most cost-effective choice for people looking to enroll in multiple IT certification courses online.  

The best option would be to seek out a training provider that has multiple courses available that you want and offers a subscription-based service that allows you to access all of the courses you need for a single price. A hidden benefit of finding a training provider that offers all courses for one price is that you might even find other new courses you are interested in taking, and you won’t have to pay extra to explore this new knowledge base.  

Best Online IT Training Programs 

As everyone has a different learning style, there won’t be one program that is the best for every person. However, there are a few training options that can provide some advantages over others when it comes to passing certifications. 

First, instructor-led training can be provided online, and offers many benefits. For many people, it is more interesting and engaging to learn from an instructor. Higher levels of engagement can translate to more knowledge absorbed, and better certification pass rates. With higher engagement levels, it is also more likely that the knowledge gained from a course can be applied in a practical workplace setting. Additionally, with instructor-led training there are opportunities for students to ask questions about what they are learning to quickly clear up any topics that they may find confusing 

It is also important for a training program to provide some way for hands on practice, so that knowledge can easily be applied in the field. One of the best ways to do this is through virtual labs, that allow for hands-on practice anytime and anywhere.  

 Additionally, the best online IT training programs will offer a way to complete courses on mobile devices. These days, people are using phones & tablets nearly as much as traditional computers, if not more. Having a way to work on classes while on the go is a useful & efficient option that all the best training programs will provide.   

On the flip side, there are also some things to be wary of when searching for online IT training courses. First, an abundance of bad reviews is never a good sign when it comes to online training. If other people are not finding courses engaging and effective, then this is a sign of a poor quality training course that should be avoidedTwo sources to find reliable reviews of online IT training providers are G2 and Trustpilot 

Often, poor training quality could stem from having inexperienced instructors, which leads to the next training pitfall to avoid. Watch out for training platforms that are always on the hunt for new instructors. This could mean that they aren’t hiring experienced people to teach the courses and have lower quality standards when it comes to who teaches their coursesTo avoid learning incorrect or incomplete information, it is important to do research on the background of each instructor you learn from. Make sure they are truly experts in their respective fields and have certifications to back up their expertise.  

So, where can you find online IT training that checks off all of the boxes? First, YouTube has some free basic courses available, like this IT Fundamentals+ course. It is a good resource for people just starting out in IT! For in-depth courses on other topics, ITProTV offers engaging online IT training that is filmed daily, so their course library is up to date. They offer practice labs to gain hands-on experience and the instructors are all experts in their fields. They also have mobile apps for both iOS and Android, to make learning on the go easier. Sign up for a free membership today to see if this training style is right for you!