In the past decade, IT vocational schools have popped up all over the country and internet. Online classes, online-live, instructor-led, all key terms in choosing a class. Students have endless resources from boring books to eight hours video lectures, irrelevant blogs and outdated snippets from old CompTIA exam prep videos. How do you know which school is best? This is a major investment of time and money. Here are a few steps to ensure you make the right choice.
Do not be a victim of a great marketing campaign and end up in classes with failed instructors.
Some of the most important questions include:
What is the instructors student exam pass rate?
This will tell you how many of the instructors students are passing the actual exam. Some school measure pass or fail by attendance. Imagine a 1 week course - a student shows up for 4 days, they get an 80% in course and never pass their exam. Technically that student passed the class. You need to know how many passed the test!
How many student pass the exam before they enter the next class?
Some schools will allow students to take every course in their program without ever attempting an exam. Students can attend their basics, intermediate and advanced courses without ever earning their entry level certifications. Why are you spending time in CCNA and CEH courses if you have not earned your CompTIA A+? You should not be funneled through a program at a pace that is unrealistic. Make sure students are testing and passing instead of being pushed through advanced classes before understanding the basics.
How many students got a job - in tech - in the last 6 months?
Schools often have a long list of student success stories that reach into last decade. You need a job in the near future. Ask about student placement rates and what the average entry salary is for current students. Also, are students getting jobs before they graduate? If a school has a good reputation, they are able to get their students into great entry-level jobs DURING the program. In those cases, students graduate with experience, certifications, and income!
Never hesitate to ask questions. Speak with other students and alumni to get insight into their experience. Your future depends on your choices and effort, make sure you invest your time in a school that will invest in you.