IT people always know the inside scoop. They’d be the first to tell you about vulnerabilities and the latest in ransomware. They also know where to go to get training and stay relevant in their career field.
From small businesses to large enterprises, online IT training platforms are becoming are moving from a ‘nice to have’ to a ‘need to have.’ When used correctly, they can be a resource to research a quick issue and a way to upskill an entire team with certifications – from entry level folks to senior leaders.
Even if you already know that having an IT skills training platform for your team is essential, you still need to make the right platform selection. To do so, it’s critical that you understand the key features that vendors offer.
Use this checklist to make sure you’ve got all the ‘6 must-haves’ covered when selecting a provider for online IT training courses.
Get quick answers with searchable content
Sometimes you just need a quick refresher or help on a specific command or topic. Make sure you can drill into courses and search through transcripts to find what you need. Your platform will become more than a training place; it will become a reliable resource beyond YouTube and Google.
Ensure it’s a format that doesn’t bore you
Do the instructors seem to like what they are doing? Or are you just hearing a voice drone on over a desktop? Some courses can be 20 or even 30 to 40 hours. Take a test drive with a free trial and make sure you’re not just sitting through the training, but actually enjoying it.
Download courses for offline viewing
You may not always be on wifi, so make sure you can learn on the go by downloading courses. Also, ensure you can view the training on mobile devices.
Access ITIL®, PMP and other leadership content
Most platforms offer content from the big vendors: CompTIA, Cisco, Microsoft, Linux, Apple, etc. Will your platform of choice will grow with you and, if you’re leading a team, will it serve all levels of team members? Project management and service management are two areas of growth. Make sure these are offered.
Get hands-on with virtual labs
You’ll want to test out your new skills, so access to virtual machines is vital. You can buy labs individually through a vendor, but you’ll typically get a better deal if you buy through your training platform. Practice Labs and Labs on Demand are two of the bigger vendors.
Save money with practice tests
Exam vouchers are expensive. Taking practice tests is the best way to be sure you’ll pass when you sit for the test and therefore avoid costly re-takes. As with labs, you can buy practice tests individually through a vendor, but you’ll typically get a better deal if you buy through your training platform.
There are certainly other considerations, such as access to instructors, certificates of completion, and whether or not you can do a free trial. The best option is to try out a few platforms and pick the best fit for your learning style, skill level, and budget.