As daunting as the costs may be, there are ways to minimize the expense without skimping on the quality of training. Sprint's Toomey knew from the outset that his staff needed thorough exposure to Win2K before migration. Yet, he says, we found a way to do it that didn't cost too much and allowed our team to stay onsite.
|What To Look For in a Windows 2000 Training Class|
How do you find the best class with the most experienced instructors?
Here are a few suggestions, according to several experts we consulted:
Especially for Online Classes:
Going Online for Training
The cost of sending Sprint's IT staff to a course was prohibitive for Toomey. To bring an instructor onsite or send people to a class was expensive, especially after adding in the cost of travel, meals, and hotel accommodations. To minimize the costs, Toomey opted to train the staff using KnowledgeNet.com Inc., an online course provider, based in Scottsdale, Ariz.
Although he was skeptical of the concept of a virtual classroom at first, Toomey was impressed by KnowledgeNet's combination of live classes and self-paced courses. Toomey and his staff are taking a six-day course, offered over several weeks. Class sessions are three hours each.
Toomey investigated the cost of sending his staff to off-site classes and the cost of bringing in an instructor, and he found that in both scenarios the budget drain would run between $1,200 to $1,900 per person for a one-week class, not counting the cost of travel, hotel, and per diem. By going with an online class, he estimates he saved $1,000 per student.
Companies that prefer traditional classroom training will have to dig into their wallets, says Giga's DiDio. They have to bite the bullet and do it. DiDio is not convinced that online training will provide the in-depth, hands-on training required to become proficient in Win2K. The element missing, she believes, is the human exchange of ideas and experience you get in a traditional classroom. In class, you can consult with your peers and share war stories, she says.
But for those in a pinch, online classes may be the way to go, she says, and they are also good for expert users who could use a virtual classroom as a starting point. Top technology staff may use the online classes to get a good overview, but DiDio says they'll still need at least one live instructor-led class to get hands-on experience using Win2K.