Why Enroll in Online IT Training?
Online IT training programs have been popular for quite some time, and for good reason. Professionals need classes that can work with their busy schedules. If you are employed in the IT field, it's unlikely that you have a lot of extra time to show up on a campus or in a classroom when you may just need some additional guidance to learn a new programming language or software. Online training platforms allow you to take courses at times that suit your needs, such as evenings and weekends when you're not already in the office. Options like Microsoft's Virtual Academy, Skillsoft and Pluralsight offer training in subjects such as cloud infrastructure, IT security and creative suites like Adobe.
If you are looking to move into the IT space and are working full time, online computer training provides you with educational resources and certifications that can help you get situated in a new career. All professionals and students can appreciate the convenience of at-home learning with the hands-on guidance of an experienced instructor. If you are enrolled in a full-time educational program and are looking to round out your training, an online class could give you access to a trained and experienced professional in your chosen field. To learn more about online IT training services, check out our latest articles.
Online IT Training: What to Look For
There are seemingly endless online educational outlets on the internet today, but not all are of equal value. These programs offer benefits to both veterans and newcomers to the field. Here are some useful distinctions to help you differentiate between training programs and make the best decision for you and your career.
Accreditation vs. Certification
If you are in the process of completing an undergraduate or graduate program, you want to be sure the credits you earn from an online computer training course will transfer to your school. Check the accreditation of the institution offering IT classes to ensure your credits will be accepted. Many online schools have credit programs and direct affiliations with other virtual universities, such as the University of Phoenix. Others may have professional affiliations with corporations such as Microsoft that could be useful in your job search or career advancement.
Prior to registering for any online IT training, you should review a course catalog in the area or skill that you want to learn. If you only have small windows during which you can sit for these classes, look for class periods that last from one to two hours. Note that many seminars could take all day; others could be close to five hours long.
If you would like the option to access classwork or lectures remotely, look for a program that has a mobile app. Apps allow students to view online libraries, forums and even classes themselves via a handheld device. Typically, an online training platform will make it very clear that it grants mobile access.
Whether you are starting from scratch or refining your skill set in your IT career, online training programs offer many of the same benefits as a brick-and-mortar classroom. The primary advantage is the ability to work at your own pace, giving you time to complete classes in conjunction with your already busy schedule.
CBT Nuggets Review
CBT Nuggets provides on-demand coursework for IT professionals looking to hone their skills or keep them current. The online IT training programs support a number of professions including system administrators, developers, network engineers, DevOps teams and more. The courses are designed for busy professionals and are available through a number of online and mobile platforms.
CBT Nuggets designed its system to comply with the lives of busy professionals. All of its coursework can be completed on any desktop or mobile platform. Its apps can be downloaded in the Apple iOS store, Google Play store and via Amazon. The courses mostly consist of short videos led by IT professionals geared for other IT professionals. It's unlikely that this would be a good starting point for the beginner. These courses are best defined as online professional seminars.
Online seminars cover a variety of topics including CompTIA, Microsoft Windows Server, Cisco, Amazon Web Services, Linux, VMware and Juniper. While the school is not accredited, it does offer its own online certification in these paths. Membership pricing is available for individuals, teams and government organizations.
New students can sign up for a trial. The Basic plan is billed monthly. The Premium plan is a one-time annual payment, which offers a savings over the monthly plan. Both plans give you access to over 9,000 hours of streaming videos. A Premium subscription includes its online virtual labs, which gives you hands-on experience with the technology discussed in the online training. With this plan, you also get access to coaches and practice exams. Both Basic and Premium packages allow you to bookmark and take notes within any video, and grant you access to the supplemental materials for each training. You will only have mobile access through the Premium plan.
Teams of five or more who register for Premium plans are given have access to bulk discounts. For more information about team registration, contact the company directly. CBT Nuggets currently provides online training solutions for the U.S. military, and also the U.S. Department of Justice, NASA, DARPA and more. If you are an administrator for a local or state agency, inquire directly about pricing and appropriate programs for your staff.
CBT Nuggets has a simple membership structure to provide IT training online for experienced professionals. All classes are available on demand. Team discounts are available. Certification paths include common enterprise solutions including Microsoft, Cisco, Linux and Amazon Web Services.
IT University Online Review
IT University Online (ITU) has three production studios to create in-house training programs. Its online IT training courses cover a range of topics and skills vital to the industry. It offers courses for beginners and experienced professionals.
ITU is an extensive online training platform for a number of trades. In addition to information technology, it has coursework for bartending, home improvement, culinary arts, accounting and medical coding. It offers certification bundles with bulk pricing for CompTIA, cybersecurity and forensics, database administration, ITIL and VMWare, Linux/Unix and more. There is even basic coursework offered to help you master your mobile phone.
All courses can be purchased online, and prices vary for course bundles and individual courses. It's not indicated in the description how long on average it will take to complete the courses. Other paths of study include Oracle, Cisco, Project Management, Citrix, Security and general programming. Under the latter, there are courses for Microsoft .Net programming and ASP.Net programming. If you are a corporate client looking for custom programs for your employees, ITU has worked with large organizations including the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, Dell, NBC Universal and the U.S. Army. Inquire directly for more information regarding customized training solutions for your staff.
The company also offers an affiliate program. Students are given a revenue share for referring incoming students. Business coaches or bloggers who focus on areas covered in ITU's online training platforms may consider signing up for extra income. Some of the coursework offers fundamentals that could be gleaned through trial and error, such as the social media training modules. However, even those courses are priced reasonably, so it could help a marketer or a developer hone skills more effectively.
The coursework is not extensive, and there are some definite holes in the catalog, such as app development for both Android and iOS. There is a free demo offered where registrants can access the online library for 48 hours. The site indicates that courses can be accessed through mobile apps, but no other information is clearly provided.
ITU's IT classes online can be accessed conveniently on demand. There are some gaps in its offerings, such as a lack of iOS or Android App development training. However, the basic courses could help IT professionals and marketers get more experienced with fundamental skills.
Learning Tree International Review
The Learning Tree International is a large, accredited online training institution. It can grant college credit towards bachelor's and master's programs. Its extensive online IT training programs help both novices and professionals improve their skills in this growing field. While it does have physical locations throughout the country, the catalog of online courses is extensive.
Learning Tree offers introductory classes in a variety of subjects including iPhone and iPad application development. There is a course path to become certified as an iOS development specialist. You can learn everything from the basics to advanced development and management in Scrum, Java, Oracle, Python, Unix, Linux, project management and more. There is extensive coursework for the Microsoft Office suite, which may be useful if you need expert skills in PowerPoint, Excel, macros, or Microsoft Project.
There are general paths as well including cyber security, Windows, web development, business analytics and cloud computing. The duration of each course is typically a minimum of one day and as many as five. Because credits can be accumulated, if your organization offers tuition reimbursement, Learning Tree courses may be eligible. Confirm with your supervisor or human resources manager whether your individual benefits cover online computer training.
For online classes, look for courses offered through Learning Tree's AnyWare web-based learning tool. Note that many of the classes are instructor led, so you may need to adhere to a class schedule for much of your training. Some classes may also be available on demand, meaning that you can log in and complete them based solely on your own schedule. If you need to reschedule a course or cancel your enrollment, you are not assessed any penalties, and no advanced payment is required prior to the course.
This is essentially a private online college, and the fees and tuition will reflect that. If you feel you would benefit from a more interactive environment, Learning Tree has learning centers where you can log in and take AnyWare courses live. Check the website for various locations throughout the United States.
Learning Tree has extensive coursework available for online IT training. It is accredited for college credits, which could impact tuition reimbursement policies from your employer. There are dozens of introductory courses on popular and important skills, such as developing apps for the iPhone and iPad. Courses will last a minimum of one day and could be as long as five. Courses are mostly live, so be prepared to schedule your coursework accordingly.
Microsoft Virtual Academy Review
Microsoft's popular enterprise software products remain ubiquitous in the business world. The company's own experts develop coursework offered through the Microsoft Virtual Academy (MVA) to help IT professionals improve their knowledge of everything from server-side technologies to standardized web platforms like HTML5. The Academy offers dynamic courses and seminars standardized by Microsoft and its staff.
Microsoft's proprietary online IT training program hosts courses in a number of subjects, ranking from beginner level to advanced. Beginners can start with consumer products like PowerPoint and other Office applications. Entry-level classes also include introductions to basic app design for Windows, a OneNote program for educators, some basic introductions to C++ and more. Each individual course ranges from one to three hours on average. The coursework is available only through a desktop platform at this time.
If you are an experienced developer interested in progressing your career, you can jump in and start learning advanced app development techniques and game development training, as well as gaining experience with Windows server, web development and more. This is particularly useful if you need a jump-start to learning tricks for developing for Windows Phone and other Microsoft-specific consumer platforms. Security professionals may benefit from granular training in Azure.
It's completely free to register, and all the coursework and online training platforms are also free. Once you've created your online profile, you will have immediate access to various online forums. These forums let you interact with other IT professionals. Each individual training is weighted by a point system, and points are added to your leaderboard ranking every time you successfully complete a course. Through the internal ranking system, you will have immediate visibility into how much training and points other MVA members have accumulated. There are certifications offered through Microsoft in various technologies, including C#. You can download a certification of completion for any course you finish through the MVA.
The MVA is not an accredited program. Because it is completely hosted by Microsoft, all of the training relates directly to its products and is taught by Microsoft employees or Microsoft-trained instructors. This coursework is ideal for IT professionals who need to refresh their knowledge of Microsoft products or expand their knowledge in new areas.
The MVA is also a virtual community of professionals. It's free to use and offers a variety of courses taught by Microsoft staff and experienced professionals. IT professionals have been accessing this online IT training for quite some time to expand their knowledge of the Windows environment, brush up their skills or learn completely new coding languages.
New Horizons Review
New Horizons has computer-learning centers across the United States. Initially focused on in-person instruction, New Horizons now offers extensive online classes in a number of subjects related to technology. Its extensive online IT training provides a comprehensive selection of training modules and certification paths for individuals new to the IT field.
New Horizons is not a formally accredited educational institution, but it has a partnered with large corporations as a trusted training facility. For example, it has been a Microsoft Authorized Technical Education Center (ATEC) since 1994. Its Online LIVE and Online Anytime virtual training programs include all its virtual instruction. New Horizons has extensive locations globally, so make sure the certification path you're interested in can be completed virtually if you are only interested in online computer training.
Online LIVE classes are taught in real time, are instructor-led and are highly interactive. These classes include extensive coursework from Cisco, Microsoft, Citrix and more. The Labs on Demand feature allows students to access the same server-side technologies they are being taught for a more hands-on experience. To attend the live courses online there are some technical requirements, including a high-speed internet connection of 1 Mbps or higher. A representative from New Horizons will contact you prior to the beginning of your coursework to test your system and make sure it is configured correctly.
Online Anytime is available on demand and has a completely separate course catalog. You can complete your coursework based on your own availability and are not led by a live instructor. These courses are tagged with the keywords "Online Anytime," a term you can search on the website. The Online Anytime library includes reference books and texts from top publishers. The entire library is indexed and searchable online. The online class registration lets you filter by company, certification, technology or job role. Duration of classes and fees are not identified directly on the website. Contact the company for further details regarding pricing and scheduling.
Most of the coursework focuses on Microsoft products including end-user software like Word, Visio, Outlook, PowerPoint, Excel, Access and Project. Enterprise technical training covers business systems including Azure, Dynamics, SQL Server, Visual Studio, Windows Server, Exchange Server and more. The information security paths offer certifications in ethical hacking, information systems security, Cisco CNNA security and computer hacking forensics. Other major technology platforms include Cisco, VMWare, cloud computing, CompTIA, Adobe, Linux and others. There are also courses in the popular Six Sigma business leadership structure.
New Horizons has a lot of options for both real-time and on-demand online IT training. A specialist from their organization will contact you to determine if your system specs are adequate.
Pluralsight builds online IT training programs for individuals seeking to increase their knowledge at their own pace. Classes can be accessed online via a computer or any mobile device. Students can register individually, and custom coursework can also be developed for individual businesses, schools and government organizations.
Individuals are given access to two different learning packages. The Basic plan enables access to Pluralsight's 3,700 online courses. These courses can be started and completed based on your personal schedule. The Basic plan also gives the access to mobile learning apps, allowing a student to use any connected device to log into the course content.
The Plus plan is somewhat more interactive. Plus also enables offline viewing, downloadable exercises which can then be saved locally, as well as thorough course assessments before and after the course is completed. Pricing for both Basic and Plus are provided for monthly and annual installments.
There are dozens of different learning paths available, all of which focus on corporate IT training and technology. Some of these training paths include common and popular platforms, like Android, C++, Windows Enterprise Apps and Java. Some unexpected course framework includes two sides to security and encryption: an Ethical Hacking learning path as well as updates to its Systems Security Certified Practitioner, or SSCP, certification program.
Organizations could enjoy some flexibility with Pluralsight's pricing. Companies with large, internal IT teams, you may want to look into this option. Bulk pricing can be quoted online for groups of two or more, up to 21 users. Pluralsight will offer custom pricing for 25 licenses or more.
Pluralsight has a robust amount of online IT training courses and paths available for IT professionals, or novices who wish to improve their skills. Pricing is broken down into monthly and annual packages. Bulk pricing is available for small, midsized and large organizations. It also can create custom training for educators and government organizations.
QuickCert provides online IT training for professionals looking to keep their skill set relevant for their careers. Organizations can also work with QuickCert to design customized corporate training programs for employees. All courses are available on demand and online for the busy schedules of working professionals and job seekers.
QuickCert divides its students into two separate categories: individuals new to the world of IT and experienced professionals. It offers interactive career road maps for the new student who isn't quite sure where to begin. Prospective IT professionals can follow certification paths in many different areas, including app development, cloud computing, systems administration and development, security, and network administration. For example, the Windows app development road map begins with three courses in coding and programming in C#. A job description is included with each career path so the newcomer will know what to expect.
Experienced professionals can hone their skills for a number of brands and technologies including VMWare, CompTIA, Cisco, Oracle, Citrix and more. Pricing is extremely straightforward. Each individual course costs the same, but several course bundles include related discounts. Access to the complete library for the individual courses is a one-time charge. This charge includes 12 months' access to all of QuickCert's IT classes online.
QuickCert's Pro Packs offer more features and a bit more interactivity. Upgrading to Pro Pack includes access to the virtual lab. The lab simulates a live environment where you can log in and begin to apply the new skills you've been learning in your courses. A Pro Pack purchase also includes access to the online library of over 250 books and titles on IT, how-to guides and more. The library includes other texts assigned for coursework. Pricing for Pro Packs is almost double the price of a single course, and you can pay monthly or annually.
Courses can be accessed from any internet-enabled device, and QuickCert provides access to more than 100 online IT training videos. There is a three-tiered exam prep system: practice exams, single-objective testing (which tests specific modules) and certification testing simulation. This is intended to help students pass rigorous certification exams the first time.
QuickCert offers flexibility with its pricing, and all classes and videos are available on demand. Pro Packs give deeper access to an online library and simulated lab environments.
Skillsoft provides customized online IT training programs for professionals and large organizations. If you are an employer or a human resources director interested in creating a large-scale training program for your employees, this may be an option. Skillsoft offers a number of courses in the IT field and other professional development programs.
Skillsoft's teams can help create certification programs to keep your IT department members' skills current and relevant in a very dynamic market. Its staff includes Microsoft-certified trainers, as well as individuals with backgrounds in telecommunications, information architecture (IA), automotive and more. Each mode can be customized based on the skill sets you would like you and your staff to gain. Appropriate organizations for its training programs include companies specializing in software, hardware, web development and networking. Consider this type of training if your organization has a particularly large IT team responsible for extensive connectivity and internal web or software development.
Skillsoft has amassed an online library full of resources that registrants may use for both professional development and online coursework. This includes white papers, eBooks and research studies. The ITPro library contains thousands of published titles covering a range of topics in various development languages and technologies. It is completely searchable and registrants can export data, enter notes, bookmark pages, save searches and more. Skillsoft has accreditation programs in place with the University of Phoenix and George Mason University.
Its IT training services also include certifying project managers. Your organization may have leadership-oriented engineers or management staffers who could use some improvement in their organization and leadership skills. Your existing project managers might also need to be kept abreast of changes in the industry. Skillsoft has partnered with the Project Management Institute (PMI) to provide relevant certifications for that profession.
Its online training program lets you use its full research library. Skillsoft can also create custom mobile support documentation, courses and training materials based on the curriculum you have designed for your staff. This could be useful if you have a lot of employees who work remotely or are actively traveling to client sites or conferences.
You can contact the organization to get a quote for a program. Individual courses cannot be purchased online, nor is there a course syllabus included anywhere on the website. Skillsoft also offers online coursework for leadership development for senior management staff, government training, talent management and risk assessment.
Skillsoft provides customized IT training for large corporations and organizations. Its staff will build a custom profile depending upon your organization's needs. The online library includes thousands of published books that have been indexed and are searchable by topic.
Stormwind provides online IT training for experienced professionals. The company produces videos with high production values to provide an engaging experience. All courses are available on demand and are led by knowledgeable instructors with real-world experience.
Stormwind offers courses for a variety of technologies and products such as Cisco, Windows Server, Exchange, VMWare, CompTIA, SQL, project management and cybersecurity. Classes can be accessed via any internet-enabled device, including smartphones and tablets. This includes various exam-prep courses, including the Project Management Institute's certification exam. There are over 1,200 IT classes offered online. Further subjects in the IT path include Red Hat for Linux and Java development. Each class is available on demand to work within the schedules of busy professionals.
Each individual class lasts no longer than two hours, and each course path will vary in length. The Windows Server 2012 path encompasses nearly 15 hours of training on installing and configuring a complete Windows server. While it's unclear if each course path includes certification, many courses offer credits toward accredited programs. For example, the project management coursework will count for 32 hours of Project Management Institute (PMI) certification. However, Stormwind is not a formally accredited institution and does not offer college credits toward a secondary degree.
Class pricing is not provided online; you should inquire directly with Stormwind regarding enrollment and membership fees. Custom programs can be created for large organizations upon request. There are some obvious holes in the curriculum including app development and a wider array of web development classes. To register for any class, you must first inquire online, which is not as convenient as with several other organizations that offer online computer training.
Stormwind doesn't appear to offer an online library. It is also unclear if it offers any online lab simulation, which gives students the opportunity to test their knowledge in a live environment. It's also difficult to know how straightforward and competitive its pricing is compares to similar training platforms.
Overall, Stormwind aims to offer engaging online training videos that are all available on demand from any device, including mobile phones and tablets. Each course will run no longer than two hours, and each total course path will vary in length. Stormwind will prepare project managers for the PMI certification. Course pricing and membership fees are not available online; you'll need to inquire directly with Stormwind regarding registration.
TestOut provides online training for IT professionals and academics. Its LabSim programs give students hands-on experience with the software and tools they are being taught. TestOut is also affiliated with various other learning institutions such as DeVry, the University of Phoenix, ITT Tech, Georgetown, Syracuse and more. While the company provides training services for large corporations, it also offers online IT training for individuals looking to move into a new career path.
TestOut provides certification testing and training in a number of important security products. Each online computer training module prepares the student for a written exam. Certification is then awarded when the exam is passed. There are fees associated with taking each course and separate fees for exam administration. All classes are available on demand, which should make scheduling simpler for busy professionals.
Its LabSim programs include extensive training in Windows Server and client applications, routers and switching (including certification in Cisco CCNA), Linux, security administration and network administration. For example, the Network Pro certification is composed of 79 videos, 81 written exercises, 56 lab sessions, 31 demonstrations, 65 quizzes and 573 total exam questions. LabSim offers a simulated environment where students can test their skills on live examples of servers they would be using in a professional setting.
Pricing for coursework is not provided online. You must inquire directly with TestOut for each online certification program. Individual course lengths are not indicated in the online course catalog. It's also not clear what online reference materials are available. Prior to purchasing textbooks, students are provided with specific codes from their instructors. Students enter these codes on TestOut's virtual bookstore to download those texts electronically. Online lesson plans are available for download that can be modified by the student according to individual needs.
So far, TestOut does not have any mobile apps available for its courses or exams. It is not a formally accredited academic institution and should be considered for professional training only. If you need to accumulate credits toward a bachelor's or master's degree, you may want to look elsewhere.
TestOut has a number of certification paths available for IT professionals. You'll need to inquire directly for pricing and specifics regarding course lengths. TestOut is not formally accredited, and college credits are not available. All classes are available on demand but none were offered on mobile devices at the time of this writing.