We have an EU funds program that covers some of the employers expenses on personnel education via courses and/or exams.
The downside is that you have to sign up for those in advance and this works out perfectly fine for us; the spots are filled in in the last moment.
Funny thing is – after 3 years have passed since the exam has been available to public and 2.5 years after the release of the courses – the technologies mentioned in the courses are more or less deprecated (the concept is not, however) – med-v 1.0, app-v 4.6, server 2008 r2; in IT things go fast!
These are the first MS courses I ever attended, the average price being 15 hundred USD is not really something I’m willing to give up unless promised a return on investment; and making money of students is a massive trend recently; there’s a nice Russian proverb about that – “If you can’t do something, go and teach it”.
Days of slide-reading (English studying materials – > Latvian translation) are already getting to me in a bad way. No real-life examples; though, it has been mentioned that it’s really doubtful some things like Med-V are being actively used in enterprise environments (from my experience – it’s less expensive to actually solve those compatibility issues than support extra infrastructure components).
The not-so-good first experience.
Things I enjoyed:
1) MS has everything laid out and managed, specific requirements for hardware, software, step-by-step guides for all the tasks involved
2) study class hardware was pretty good – i7, 16 gb of ram and raid0.
3) high-speed internet in classrooms
4) structured studying material and proper approach
5) a minor bonus to my CV + experience
6) Take-aways: book, e-book, good times
1) Slide reading; honestly I would feel more comfortable sitting with a book and doing all the reading/labs all by myself; probably the trainer did not bring a lot of benefit
2) Course would be actual at the time (or even before) of it’s release +1 year tops, but not now
3) Could really use more real-life examples (we had almost nil)
The aftermath is that I have to pass the following exam: Exam 70-669: TS: Windows Server 2008 R2, Desktop Virtualization
Being on the lectures really made me wonder how much time (and health) do I really invest in learning and studying to be competitive on the market and does it really pay off, this will require a separate blog entry.