Thumbs down for Skillsoft aka cbtdirect.com

chutestratechutestrate Member Posts: 5 ■□□□□□□□□□
I have spent a year with them, and their material is horrible.

I've been working on various technical courses of interest for several months. If I had it to do again I don't believe I would have chosen this company.


Positives:
Their mentoring services are pretty good. The people I interact with are knowledgeable, some more than others, but overall pretty good. It's a big plus to be able to contact assistance when the material is unclear - happens alot, but more on that later. The mentors can be very good for giving advice and insight into what to focus on.


Their customer tech support is very good. Jason goes out of his way to assist. I have found problems, more than I think there should be, contact their tech support, and it gets taken care of. I don't point things out in a whining, negative way, it's just bringing issues to the attention of the company. Issues that students should not have to worry about.


The study material is ok. Based on my experience nothing is changed unless a problem is found. In some cases the source material is a few years old, and the mistakes should have been found. Overall, it's ok.


Negatives:


The so-called course advisors are anything but that. They're sales monkeys. I made multiple calls to "my personally assigned" course advisor. I ask "what is the progression of classes I should take in order to get the best experience out of the classes as a beginner"? It doesn't really matter I'm told. So I start taking courses, get royally confused, call back for advice, get a different answer, get confused in the course work again. Vicious circle.


Remember the term sales monkey? Yep, and some of them brag about how long they have been there. I wonder how many students they have ruined.


Course material is mediocre at best. There are no labs. There is structured question and answer exercises. There are interactive exercises that move you from one step to the next to set up a scenario, but there are no labs. I like labs to make mistakes in, and see what happens if you do something wrong or right. Might not matter to you.


I continually find poorly written or wrong information being presented in the course material. I get this in the feedback from the mentors answering my questions. My feeling is this if I signed up to learn something from an online training company I should not have to critique their learning material. I'm the student. The company is responsible for ensuring the training is up to date and accurate. I get furious when this happens.
I can say that I am notified via email that reported inaccuracies will be corrected, and released. But come on, does it need to be found by a student?


You better use internet explorer when going through the interactive exercises. All of the other browsers will launch the courses and allow a student to progress through them. BUT, you will not be able to use the interactive exercises to practice the concepts or take tests which require specific types responses to exam questions.


CBTdirect.com says it will right on their website, no it won't. I even have a transcript from their tech department confirming that Safari, Chrome, and Firefox will not work. Sorry Linux and mac users.


The work around to this is to install a free version of whatever virtual machine software you like, I use VirtualBox from Sun, install Windows (you will need a valid license key) and run internet explorer. I am using a mac, running win7 ultimate, on virtualbox, and it works well. Unfortunately, due to their false advertising I went a few months thinking I wasn't going to be able to get the most out of my courses. And you can't get out of paying your money because you sign a contract for a year.


I would give this course work a C- in quality, the mentors are B+, and the sales monkeys are a fail.


Found another incorrect piece of information in a course that Skillport is going to correct and re release. Problem is that it takes 20 days to make the correction and release the course again.


Doesn't do me a whole lot of good. I like leaving things better than the condition I found it in, but good grief.


So... another fail for Skillport. And...I get the pleasure of paying for it.


I have no choice but to honor my contract, and I'll continue to use their resources. I don't have the means at this point to enroll in another course. Once I do though I'm gone.


Really SkillSoft is failing faster than ever now. I found 2 mistakes last week, 6/17/13 that required two different courses to be re-released. It will only take them a couple of weeks to fix and release again.


I was liking Skillsoft but lately I can't recommend them to anyone. Their material is horrible.

Comments

  • paul78paul78 Member Posts: 3,016 ■■■■■■■■■■
    Thanks for the info. I had been curious about the depth and quality of Skillsoft materials. I had a perception that their technical training was marginal since they are highly diverse and it seems like their training was mostly about soft skills such as mangement and career development. Its much to diverse to expect them to be a leader for IT training.

    was most of the materials mostly overview stuff?
  • KoryKory Member Posts: 43 ■■□□□□□□□□
    This mirrors my experience with the material.

    My company selected them for this year and I took the CCNP ROUTE course. I found the instructional part to be marginal at best, the exercises that were supposed to quiz you at various points along the way were not even finished. In some cases the programmers who set up the drag and drop boxes left them filled them with garbage text. In one case they put in some offensive euphemisms. Many of the demonstrations had the lowest portion of the instructors screen obscured, thus completely blocking the ability to see what he was typing into the command line...which kind of defeats the purpose of the demonstration. Clearly no one had bothered with any Quality Assurance. I reported this to my adviser and I was contacted by the QA dept and offered extensions to our subscription for free to make things right. From that perspective I think it was ok. Restitution aside it speaks volumes to the fact that I was the first person to catch it (meaning I was the only person to actually view the course from start to finish since its creation.)

    Now don't get me wrong, I think the material is dense and very technical, but I found I could barely concentrate and follow along, and I didn't think it did justice to the material either. So I didn't bother viewing the course material for SWITCH and TSHOOT, and sought other options. When compared to Jeremy's CCNP courses at CBT nuggets, this really did not stand up well. The sound quality was very poor in some cases, making the instructors voice positively painful to listen to on more than one occasion.
  • N2ITN2IT Inactive Imported Users Posts: 7,483
    I went through some XP training a few years back and it was very dry and uninformative. I followed back up a few years later with another company and did the ITIL training and the same results occurred (junk). The application interface is terrible and then way the module flow are very clunky.
  • tpatt100tpatt100 Member Posts: 2,991 ■■■■■■■■■□
    I thought it was ok for familiarization but I also get access for free from the military and I wasn't using it as a certification prep.
  • kurosaki00kurosaki00 Member Posts: 973
    their Net+ and A+ is good
    its what you need to know for the exam
    meh
  • chutestratechutestrate Member Posts: 5 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Everybody's experience could be different. Depends on the caliber of the tech writers I guess. It was bad enough that I was able to get a partial refund. I'll never use them again.

    Their material was technical and it was more than overview. There was an ongoing tendency to drop terms into the material that were never defined and then not mentioned again. The problem with that was the whole meaning of the concept changed depending on whether you understood the term or not. The ONLY saving grace about skillsoft is their mentoring team. Without them it would have been impossible to use their material. They were the ones who kept finding incorrect information and sent the requests for revision back to whatever team was responsible for it. I have lots of emails from the mentors that show how unclear and inaccurate the courses were. Terrible, terrible, terrible.
  • Mike-MikeMike-Mike Member Posts: 1,860
    I actually really like skillsoft materials
    Currently Working On

    CWTS, then WireShark
  • phdillardphdillard Member Posts: 86 ■■□□□□□□□□
    I have access to skillsoft through my employer and went through every module they have for the A+ and I suppose that for a total newb, the information would be useful, but felt that I knew the majority of the information just from what I had already taught myself. It was very basic stuff. Now going through the Exam Cram and the actual CompTIA materials, it seems like there was a lot left out of the skillsoft training. I really hope the materials they have for future certs I go for is more in-depth than the A+ material. For free, I can't really complain about it, but I defintely wouldn't consider it to be more than a basic introduction to the subject being studied.
  • earweedearweed Member Posts: 5,192 ■■■■■■■■■□
    I used skillsoft while attending WGU and once past the A+ level found it really lacking. I still have access being wgu alumnus but don't use it. Books 24x7 is very much useful though.
    No longer work in IT. Play around with stuff sometimes still and fix stuff for friends and relatives.
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