Instructor-led training preferences?

AxeCap.AxeCap. Registered Users Posts: 3 ■□□□□□□□□□
Hey Everyone!

I'm writing to you on techexams tonight hoping to learn more about your thoughts on instructor-led training providers. For those of you who are familiar with these types of companies/organizations: what are some of the features, offerings, or any of the specific details in general you look for when researching your options?

And for those of you who aren't a fan of instructor-led training: did you have any experiences that left a bad taste in your mouth or is it simply due to personal preference/learning style?

I'll be fully transparent with all of you; I'm employed by a pretty small company who providers vendor-neutral security training. I'm not here to promote or market, but to learn. I'm genuinely interested in hearing from you and hopefully start an educated conversation focusing on what it is about instructor-led training you like, dislike, or think can be improved--hell, we don't have to limit this to purely instructor-led training. Feel free to discuss OnDemand training too (or any style of training really).

I appreciate any time you've spent in this thread. Any thoughts, comments, or "Welcome to the forum AxeCap!" is always appreciated and I look forward to possibly hearing from you.

Comments

  • NavyMooseCCNANavyMooseCCNA CCNA R&S, ITIL, Security+ ZZ9ZZAMember Posts: 544 ■■■■□□□□□□
    I am a huge fan of instructor led learning. For most of this year, I've been in instructor led IT classes. I'm currently wrapping up Security+. I do not like online learning because I do not retain nearly as much compared to when I am in a classroom.

    'My dear you are ugly, but tomorrow I shall be sober and you will still be ugly' Winston Churchil

  • OctalDumpOctalDump Member Posts: 1,722
    I have a few criteria.

    It's better if someone else is paying (cost is a major issue)
    An instructor who knows the material they are teaching (they *don't* need to be experts unless they are teaching at expert level)
    An instructor who can explain what they are teaching well
    An instructor who knows how to teach (this is more difficult than people pretend, and not something to pick up as you go along, or learn in a 5 day course)
    The instructor is personable
    The course covers the material to pass the exam (if the course needs two weeks, don't try and cram it into 2 days)
    There's no cheating, or "looking the other way during exams", or hints to use **** sites, or notes left up during exams or other unethical behaviour. I want to learn, and I want my certification to mean something.

    The problem is that most of this is really hard to establish before you do the course. You often don't know who the instructor is, or what they are like, until you've done a course with that instructor. And you don't always have the opportunity to use that same instructor again, since they might not be teaching things you want to study.

    I've always found it odd that you can take courses that push an empirical, formalised approach to the subject eg troubleshooting methods, frameworks for running projects, careful deployment planning, structured service management etc but don't use a similar approach to teaching the material ie "wing it".

    In short, my advice is to hire good instructors who are appropriately trained in teaching.
    2017 Goals - Something Cisco, Something Linux, Agile PM
  • NetworkingStudentNetworkingStudent Member Posts: 1,407 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Welcome to the forum AxeCap

    instructor led training.. I'm not fan due to cost of the course.
    When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened."

    --Alexander Graham Bell,
    American inventor
  • tmtextmtex Member Posts: 326 ■■■□□□□□□□
    I like it however, I don't like it when someone is reading a book to you. I got to do the CompTIA trifecta in a class but it was more of a guy reading a book which made it super boring. ( I didn't pay for it)
  • JoJoCal19JoJoCal19 California Kid Mod Posts: 2,832 Mod
    SANS is the only ILT I've ever been to that I've liked. And that's for IT and non-IT stuff. I can't stand death by PowerPoint and even though SANS courseware slides are PP, the instructors have all been very engaging, and really have the stuff memorized so they really just speak directly to you, and they also explain stuff in-depth as well as use real life examples.
    Have: CISSP, CISM, CISA, CRISC, eJPT, GCIA, GSEC, CCSP, CCSK, AWS CSAA, AWS CCP, OCI Foundations Associate, ITIL-F, MS Cyber Security - USF, BSBA - UF, MSISA - WGU
    Currently Working On: Python, OSCP Prep
    Next Up:​ OSCP
    Studying:​ Code Academy (Python), Bash Scripting, Virtual Hacking Lab Coursework
  • networker050184networker050184 Mod Posts: 11,962 Mod
    My problem with instructor led training has always been cost, length and instructor quality. For the cost its just too short to actually learn the topics. It's usually just an expensive cram session. I'll only attend if it's paid for by my employer.
    An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made.
  • AxeCap.AxeCap. Registered Users Posts: 3 ■□□□□□□□□□
    I am a huge fan of instructor led learning. For most of this year, I've been in instructor led IT classes. I'm currently wrapping up Security+. I do not like online learning because I do not retain nearly as much compared to when I am in a classroom.

    Hey NavyMooseCCNA, thanks for responding! I'm glad to read instructor led classes are working well for you. Without naming the provider you went with for Security+, how was the experience in regards to post-training support? As in, did they provide you with anything to review on your own time to help with your learning goals (ie. achieve a certification or develop new knowledge/skills)?
    OctalDump wrote: »
    I have a few criteria.

    It's better if someone else is paying (cost is a major issue)
    An instructor who knows the material they are teaching (they *don't* need to be experts unless they are teaching at expert level)
    An instructor who can explain what they are teaching well
    An instructor who knows how to teach (this is more difficult than people pretend, and not something to pick up as you go along, or learn in a 5 day course)
    The instructor is personable
    The course covers the material to pass the exam (if the course needs two weeks, don't try and cram it into 2 days)
    There's no cheating, or "looking the other way during exams", or hints to use **** sites, or notes left up during exams or other unethical behaviour. I want to learn, and I want my certification to mean something.

    The problem is that most of this is really hard to establish before you do the course. You often don't know who the instructor is, or what they are like, until you've done a course with that instructor. And you don't always have the opportunity to use that same instructor again, since they might not be teaching things you want to study.

    I've always found it odd that you can take courses that push an empirical, formalised approach to the subject eg troubleshooting methods, frameworks for running projects, careful deployment planning, structured service management etc but don't use a similar approach to teaching the material ie "wing it".

    In short, my advice is to hire good instructors who are appropriately trained in teaching.

    Hi OctalDump, I really appreciate how you took the time to write out your last post. Seriously. I find it interesting how you appreciate a personable trainer. I share this thought with you, and I'm hoping we're not alone on this. All of your criteria makes complete sense and again, thanks for sharing!
    Welcome to the forum AxeCap

    instructor led training.. I'm not fan due to cost of the course.

    Thanks for the warm welcome NetworkingStudent. I feel like the cost is one of the more common issues when it comes to instructor led training. Would this mindset put you in the OnDemand camp, or are you a good ol' textbook only kinda guy? Very interesting regardless, thanks again for taking the time to respond.
    tmtex wrote: »
    I like it however, I don't like it when someone is reading a book to you. I got to do the CompTIA trifecta in a class but it was more of a guy reading a book which made it super boring. ( I didn't pay for it)

    Hey tmtex, apprecaite you taking the time to post in this thread. I have to agree with you, there's not much value in paying top dollar for instructor led training only to have them read the textbook--unless the student can't read of course. At least you didn't have to pay for it out of your own pocket!
    JoJoCal19 wrote: »
    SANS is the only ILT I've ever been to that I've liked. And that's for IT and non-IT stuff. I can't stand death by PowerPoint and even though SANS courseware slides are PP, the instructors have all been very engaging, and really have the stuff memorized so they really just speak directly to you, and they also explain stuff in-depth as well as use real life examples.

    Interesting, thanks JoJoCal19. It seems the common response is engagement. This makes complete sense. During your SANS course, was there any additional features/benefits they offered you to make the experience that much more enjoyable?
    My problem with instructor led training has always been cost, length and instructor quality. For the cost its just too short to actually learn the topics. It's usually just an expensive cram session. I'll only attend if it's paid for by my employer.

    Hey networker050184, appreciate you taking the time to let me know your thoughts on instructor led training. If you don't mind me asking, what are your feelings with using OnDemand training to study for a course?
  • AxeCap.AxeCap. Registered Users Posts: 3 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Any other thoughts towards Instructor Led training, or OnDemand training? I would love to learn about whatever it is that makes your experience not only successful, but memorable (in a positive way icon_thumright.gif ).
  • JoJoCal19JoJoCal19 California Kid Mod Posts: 2,832 Mod
    AxeCap. wrote: »
    Interesting, thanks JoJoCal19. It seems the common response is engagement. This makes complete sense. During your SANS course, was there any additional features/benefits they offered you to make the experience that much more enjoyable?

    One of the benefits offered by the instructors is that they make themselves fully available to the students before/during/after the class to answer any questions and help with labs, and even just chitchat. Also these instructors are industry experts and some are world renowned so you have the chance to pick their brains about different things. I know people would go to Dr Cole with questions related to their work situation during breaks and he would give them his thoughts. Also a benefit of the SANS conferences themselves (and I'm sure other ILT classes/conferences) is that you can network a ton.
    Have: CISSP, CISM, CISA, CRISC, eJPT, GCIA, GSEC, CCSP, CCSK, AWS CSAA, AWS CCP, OCI Foundations Associate, ITIL-F, MS Cyber Security - USF, BSBA - UF, MSISA - WGU
    Currently Working On: Python, OSCP Prep
    Next Up:​ OSCP
    Studying:​ Code Academy (Python), Bash Scripting, Virtual Hacking Lab Coursework
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