Hi there! Nice to e-meet you! My name is Michalina DeBoard and I am a Product Manager at Fast Lane focusing on Cisco, NetApp, Palo Alto and more! I entered the IT training world over 7 years ago and can't believe how much it has changed over time!
As I continue to grow my career in the training industry, I continue to be amazed at the sheer quantity of certification and non-certification courses there always seems to be amongst the different vendors. Traditionally, non-certification courses have been predominantly labeled as skills courses or courses that centered around the end-user having a specific set of skills in order to be able to carry out their roles/responsibilities around a specific technology area. Most of the big vendors offer both skills based training and then certification training. Certification training has traditionally centered around the need to stay certified in a particular technology area in order to be better equipped to troubleshoot or implement the latest fail safe devices or hardware piece for their organization.
Honestly, there’s a need for both in our technology culture and one doesn’t override the other. One track isn’t better than the other, it’s just different. Adding a certification can help with job security, better salary options and more flexibility to increase your learning in a particular area. The same can be said for skills based courses. Relying on skills based courses helps the end-user accomplish their goals for how they’re going to practically use their newly found skills to get ahead in their career or to help them decipher what career path they should embark on based on their skill set.
It really comes down to not only the learner’s preference, but also their organizations goals for their IT Infrastructure, as well as their goals for the persons that manage their IT Infrastructure, such as their IT Administrators, System Engineers, Security Analysts, etc.. If it’s the company’s goals for their IT personnel to be certified on the technology that they’re working on daily, then that provide a clear path forward towards taking certification courses. If certification isn’t valued within a company, then skills based courses in a particular technology area may be sufficient. There will definitely need to be more conversations between a company’s IT department and the individuals in the company that are setting the company goals to better understand the plan moving forward.
So, don’t fret! If you don’t know where to start with your training, our internal sales team can help you flush out the best solution to embark on. The best solution that will provide you with the best training to increase your knowledge/skills and/or certification needs. Learn more today or check out the different certification learning paths!