Quality in training: you can make a difference

Several comments I’ve received in response to my “Knowledge or recipes” post were slightly resigned, leading me to the unfortunate conclusion that you all gave up and decided to live with the current state of the IT training business. But you can do something about it – go out and vote!

After every Cisco-certified training, you should be given the opportunity to evaluate the course, the trainer, the classroom and the lab equipment. If that doesn’t happen, complain! You’re entitled to voice your opinion. And don’t give high marks just because the trainer was a nice person; you’ve paid hard-earned money to increase your knowledge, not just to spend a pleasant week offsite. Quality-focused training companies will take your comments and suggestions very seriously; some make those results part of the bonus structure.

If your evaluation votes don’t help, vote with your feet (and your money) by changing vendors. Ask yourself a simple question: “Is it better to go to a low-cost course and get nothing in return, or to pay a bit more and learn something?

Last but definitely not least, help others by blogging about the training. It costs you nothing, apart from a few minutes of your time. Document your experience. The CCIE-to-be community is full of active bloggers who evaluate the CCIE preparation courses they’ve attended. You should follow their example, regardless of whether you’re preparing for your CCNA exam or your fourth CCIE exam. With the explosion of Web 2.0 and “social technologies,” there’s no reason to let vendors (those that develop materials and those that deliver the courses) take the path of least resistance.


  1. I agree Ivan. I left a comment on the fragments blog as well

    I think that I will start a CCNP blog. I will send you a link when its has started.
  2. I agree 100%. I also think that it is important to provide a feedback mechanism to your employer (if they are footing the bill). I've worked in large enterprises and they all have used the same training company for tech training (with a few exceptions for direct training from the vendor). This training company has a huge catalog of courses but the quality of their training is inconsistent. I've attended outstanding classes and very poor ones. They have a feedback mechanism, but it only for the training company. This means that we continue to send engineers to those sub par courses regardless of whether or not they "fix" the class.

    The lack of internal feedback also poisons the well for other training vendors. If our "primary training vendor" offers the course then we must use them. With an internal feedback mechanism it could open up the option of using a different vendor for classes that don't meet our training needs.
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