A range of new 'boot camp' IT training courses is targeting the UK as demand for fast track qualifications hits an all-time high.
US company The Training Camp has set up in the UK with a promise to put students through IT qualifications in a fraction of the time using an accelerated learning approach in maximum class sizes of 14 students.
The company offers a six-day residential combined Cisco Certified Networking Architect and Cisco Certified Design Associate A programme for £2,500 plus VAT, and a 14-day Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP) course for £5,500. Traditional CCNP courses are taught over four weeks.
Course fees include access to all Cisco course material and exams, 24-hour tutor assistance throughout the course and accommodation and associated costs.
Training Camp UK co-founder Robert Chapman said that orienting the courses around certification showed companies and individuals that they're investing their money wisely.
"Certification should be proof of experience, not an alternative," he said. "As human beings we're conditioned to believe that the way to learn is the way we were taught at school, but when you go on an accelerated learning course you live and breathe the subject with no distractions."
Other courses on offer include a two-week Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer programme, MCSA, MCDBA, A+/Network+, and courses across the areas of security, Oracle and Linux.
But Chapman admitted that negative connotations surrounding the boot camp approach were an issue.
"The term 'boot camp' is a bit of a double-edged sword because we want to appeal to people who are looking for a fast way to get their certification," he explained.
"But, while you can teach people what they need to know to pass the exam, we believe that what we deliver is knowledge transfer."
The company has already trained 150 students in the past seven months in the UK achieving an average 85 per cent pass rate. In the US, 3,000 students have received certification using the company's fast track approach.
"We believe the marketplace for this type of training is huge. Companies cannot afford for staff to be out of the office for weeks on end or to take months to learn skills that need to be used today," said Chapman.
Daniel Elkins, chief executive of skills analyst The Skills Market, suggested that time constraints and the pace of technological change were responsible for a boom in demand for the fast track training approach.
"People need intensive short courses to deliver what the clients demand. It's the way the market's going," he said.
"But recruiters still want people with experience and with IT it's even more important because technology changes so fast. Experience is the best, but fast track training and certification is the next best thing."
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