CBT Nuggets: Why IT Training Is Moving Online

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Ryan-Lee CBT Nuggets

CBT Nuggets launches a trial that allows potential customers to train towards a new IT qualification for free

IT professionals can trust online video courses to improve their qualifications and even launch their career in a different direction, says Ryan Lee, COO at CBT Nuggets. He welcomes the fact that it has become fashionable to learn code, but says we shouldn’t forget about other skills in demand across the IT industry.

CBT Nuggets is a US training provider that publishes online videos covering a variety of IT, project management and office productivity topics.

From today, the firm is launching a free trial that gives potential customers unlimited access to all online courses for a whole week. Keith Barker, a CBT Nuggets instructor with 27 years of experience in IT, says seven days offers plenty of time to complete one of the training pathways and prepare for certification tests.

For example, someone with basic understanding of networking could use this opportunity to train towards CCNA (Cisco Certified Network Associate) or CCSA (Checkpoint Certified System Administrator), without paying a penny.

Why study online?

Lee believes that the corporate training market, worth approximately $62 billion, is rapidly moving online. “What it’s really come down to, in my opinion, is flexibility,” he told TechWeekEurope. “People log in, learn what they want to learn, do it at their own pace in their own time. There’s a lot of chaos in the world that we live in, and this way, they get results.

Kim Reinick“In the last two years, we’ve had a lot more conversations with large corporate and university clients, saying ‘hey, we don’t want to always send people out to go to these seminars, we don’t always want to pay for someone to come in. We are OK utilising online training, because we feel it’s effective.’”

“It’s been great to see, and I think we will continue to see that growth over the next five to ten years,” added the COO.

Lee is excited about the explosive growth of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), and says more competition will result in better quality education. He is not worried about the future of his own company, for one single reason: it takes a lot of time to generate content, and CBT Nuggets has been around since 1999, publishing hundreds of videos every month.

The massive demand for app developers and the emergence of MOOCs are the two trends responsible for the success of projects like Codecademy and Code.org. But Lee says that putting too much emphasis on code could be dangerous, because there are plenty of jobs in the industry that require a very different set of skills.

“You continuously hear about the need to learn code. That is awesome, because it’s necessary. But so is learning IT,” he explained. “We have hundreds of thousands of jobs in IT, and we need to get students and jobseekers as passionate about information technology as they are about coding.”

Free offer

CBT Nuggets produces on-demand video available on any platform, with each session around 25-30 minutes long – these are the “nuggets” from which it takes its name. The company does not issue any certificates itself – instead, it trains customers towards industry qualifications like Cisco CCIE Security, HP-MASE or Juniper’s JNCIS-ENT.

The decision to offer a free trial was based on customer feedback: Lee says there are plenty of people interested in online learning, but not everyone is ready to commit to a subscription without trying it first. From Monday, they don’t have to.

Maksim KabakouThe free trial could give someone the chance to get familiar with equipment from an alternative vendor, or try their luck in a new field.

“For example, a network engineer who doesn’t know much about cloud computing, and wants to jump into cloud, they can do it in a week, easily,” said Baker. “If someone wants to get into data centres, and they have never done it before but have a great general background in networking, they can. A network technician who has been working in the field for years but has never mastered IP subnetting, in a week can learn enough to become an expert.”

The trial is also suitable for complete IT novices, giving them the opportunity to see what a particular job is all about, and, in Lee’s words, “unlock that passion”.

If customers like the service, they can pay $99 for a monthly subscription or $1000 for the whole year. Additional resources like Transcender practice exams, emulators, virtual labs, MP3s and supplemental files, are available with paid subscriptions.

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