The question: Is web training a sound investment?
I have been in IT for 20 years, working mostly as a systems analyst on mainframe-based legacy systems. After a one-year career break, I am considering training in web development, as a certified internet webmaster (CIW), for example.
However, I am concerned that any investment in training may not bring the desired return because of my age (49) and because I took time out for a year.
The solution: Microsoft and Linux skills could be better
The fact that you have not been in IT for a year should not have any impact on your employment potential. Skilled IT professionals are in high demand and this is not likely to change in the near future. Your 20 years’ experience in IT is something you should bring to the attention of any future employer.
Choosing a CIW course would give you a baseline technical knowledge of internet, intranet and e-commerce technologies. These skills could then be applied to a variety of internet-related roles.
However, your experience might be better suited to a network infrastructure course such as MCSE (Microsoft certified software engineer) or LPIC (Linux Professional Institute certification). An MCSE would give you the skills to install, configure, support, and troubleshoot Microsoft Windows-based networks. LPIC would give you the basic skills to function in a Linux IT position.
With so many IT courses on offer, getting a couple of weeks’ work experience in a specific role should make your decision easier.
Solution by Robert Chapman, chief executive and co-founder of The Training Camp
The panel: Hudson, Reed Technology, Zarak Technology, No Limits Coaching, The Training Camp
Do you need advice on your IT career? E-mail your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org
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This was first published in August 2006