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It Training Gets an Extreme Makeover

By Computerworld

February 11, 2013

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Traditional approaches to IT training are fast becoming a thing of the past, as more and more companies are giving IT professionals access to new technology such as simulated environments, cloud-based e-learning modules, and high-quality video productions. Together, this makeover of IT training is giving workers more ways than ever before to earn certifications and upgrade their skills. There are a number of variables spurring the adoption of new IT training techniques: shrinking budgets, cost-cutting measures, and new delivery mechanisms that are enabling companies to offer online courses anytime, anywhere, and at a fraction of the cost of on-premises programs. In addition, IT professionals who grew up on a steady diet of bite-size online videos now consider it commonplace to learn within a video-centric training environment.

The growing popularity of online video for educational purposes has forever changed the IT training experience. For example, Lynda.com is an online training service that's wildly popular among techies because of its hands-on, all-you-can-eat approach. At a starting price of $25 per month, Lynda.com members receive unlimited access to nearly 1,600 courses encompassing more than 85,000 video tutorials. These tutorials, which range in length from one hour to 20 hours, are led by experts in specific disciplines, rather than trainers, and have a decidedly movie-like quality to them. Each video is divided up into 10-minute chapters — bite-size chunks — that allow members to easily search for relevant content, or jump in and out of a training session. It's a self-directed, piecemeal approach to training that's particularly appealing to today's typically independent, supervision-resistant techies. Since launching its online training service in 2002, Lynda.com has enlisted more than 3,000 corporate clients and more than 2 million individual members.

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