It is both an irony and a paradox that I am writing this article. Again and again, on a daily basis I come across different students, corporate employees and individuals who keep asking me ''Sir, I dream of getting into a good job, which institute should I join and get trained?'' Those already working ask ''Sir, I want to change my job, which training package would be better for me at a cheap price?''. As it already sounds disgusting, CHEAP is the word they use in relation to education!
To the aforementioned sort of questions asked, my answer totally differs now from what it used to be years back. Working as a full time trainer for a small private institute and then working on projects and struggling to manage a little time even to spare for food because you have another batch of students awaiting to be trained seemed like an honorable job and a responsible life, but there came a time when I quit my job (for obvious reasons) and had lot many offers at hand, to which I decided I would rather become an Independent Consultant than be bound by a single company's stupid and illogical rules, where your efforts are over-looked or somebody else is always ready to take credits for all the hard work you have done!
It was recently, while I was working on a defense related project, that I came across a Network Engineer who was trained from one of the institutes where I had worked almost half a decade back and I could only wonder ‘’Why is this person here on the job? He doesn't even qualify for an entry level desktop engineer and how could he be hired to be Senior Network Engineer?!?!’’. The more we discussed the project implementation, it didn't take long to realize that the standard and quality of education had fallen down. He was one of those lab created samples from the institute who was launched into the market to pollute and further ruin the reputation of the Network Engineers! What I learnt was very surprising and equally disappointing that this person had attended one of these stupidly famous training institutes in the greed of learning too many subjects bundled for a cheaper price, but was doomed in reality.
There used to be time when the quality of education in private institutes were excellent, but during my time working with few of these institutes, as a consultant/Trainer, most of them went with the logic — We are running a money minting factory and to speed up the earning process we have to shorten the course duration. “We vowed to destroy quality education and We are legally permitted to play with student's careers” has clearly become the motto of these double standard institutes.
Yes! You heard it right. Crash-Course is the solution to speed up the money extraction process and no one cares about the quality any more! To add up more, now these private institutes have partnered up with big brands but fail to keep up with the standards. You can name anything from Programming, Networking, Linux Administration, Microsoft Server Administration, Firewalls, Ethical Hacking, VMWare Virtualization or just any subject made available by the private institutes don't stand a chance to even educate you enough to help you survive in the real-time job.
Big companies like Oracle, IBM, Red Hat, Microsoft, Cisco, VMWare, EC-Council to name a few have partner programs with a vision to easily reach and educate the young generation on new technologies and set standards to be followed by the training partners, but the truth is that they never cross-check the same quality being offered. In my opinion, DO NOT go to institutes that partner up with these companies because the standard and quality cannot be matched. And definitely DO NOT try to go for cheap combo packages because they will only discuss highlighted topics and leave out the rest. Few institutes claim they have 100s of engineers with real time experience, but the reality is they have never stepped out of the labs into the real networks.
Such institutes have ruined the quality of education in almost every city known to be a study hub, especially cities like Hyderabad, Bhopal, Indore, Pune to name a few which are known for the cheapest education hub in India. Out of 100 people who have learnt from these institutes offering cheap packages, you will hardly see 4-5 students landing up into a job and it's only because of their strong will, amount of time that they dedicate to practice and learn. The rest end up in call centers or other odd jobs and few get lucky with the backdoor entries for the job.
Oh yes! It's a known fact that there are a few many HR professionals who would charge you a huge sum of money and let you in on for a job with no guarantee, even if you don’t have required skills! And these are the HRs that have tie up with the private institutes and help them lure more students with job assistance, which in turn benefits the HR. Such strategies have only made the situation worse.
It is suggested to better pay a good price and get trained from the training centers that are set up by the big brands themselves like Vmware has their academy and Coss India does great with Red Hat, Cisco and EC-Council have their academy worldwide, IBM does it great too!
Let's say if you are unable to pay high prices for the training, there's an alternative. As an example, for Cisco and Red Hat, go to their websites and find the topics listed for the certification exams that you want. Articles on those topics can be found in detail on Wikipedia and Youtube. Why do you want to waste hard earned money to just go to the institutes? Instead invest that money to write certifications, which adds more value to your resume and to which companies are looking out for and will offer you a way better deserving job!
While it is good to learn all the technologies, don't become an example of "Jack of all, master of none". Decide your career path and focus only on that. Also be very careful with the recommendations which are shown online or testimonials on websites that you come across because many institutes have counselors and sales team that create fake accounts, post comments, testimonials and even go upto the extent of creating fake recorded videos from students and mis-guide students by pointing them to some institutes offering combo-packages at cheap price with job assistance. These are just marketing strategies that you should never fall for.
If one really wishes to pay and get educated, then why not learn from CBT Nuggets or Udemy app or many similar platforms and check out their course-wares and prices! You get only the best from them. They have full time support while training and also give you access to the labs! Instead of paying to institutes, why not invest in the right place. And it shouldn't come as a surprise that most trainers in the institute learn from CBT Nuggets and vomit out only a little in their sessions. Also there are hundreds of online forums where you can post your queries and people are willing to help out quickly, then to rely on a single trainer!
I close this article with a heavy heart and I only hope that the young generation finds right guidance and does not have to fall into marketing traps of institutes who value only for money and not quality education. Remember, most things are FREE on the internet and you can read and learn way more than what institutes can teach you.
Students are the future of our country and these institutes are royally destroying them. Do not choose the institute, always choose the trainer!
A Friend's Opinion
One of our friends and well-wisher, Monisola, says - Students are too lazy to study and explore their abstract thinking ability, self study clears almost 85% of the doubts. The instructors themselves can only teach what they know, the rest of the knowledge remains hidden until one stumbles on it. Learning should not be restricted to the classroom walls only. It takes unrelenting effort to learn and that is why knowledge is power.